Archive for March, 2010

Blu-ray awareness increasing in Germany

The perception that Blu-ray is the new standard in home entertainment is spreading, with a new German survey finding that 91 per cent of video buyers understand Blu-ray to be the best way to bring high definition pictures to a home cinema.

The survey by GfK demonstrates that awareness of the Blu-ray format has spread beyond technology fans and into the mainstream. In addition, feedback from those who already have a BD player is extremely positive, with 98 per cent either satisfied or very satisfied with the experience. Of this group, 70 per cent want to solely or mainly buy Blu-ray Discs in the future. “The more that consumers know about Blu-ray, the more they cherish it,” said Thilo Röhrig, Chairman of the Blu-ray Group Germany.

To see full details of the research, click here for the press release.

Rolling Stones to make Blu-ray debut later this year

Rock ‘n’ Roll legends the Rolling Stones have announced plans to release their first Blu-ray Disc later this year.

‘Ladies and Gentlemen…The Rolling Stones’, the legendary concert film from 1972, has been fully restored to make the most of Blu-ray’s picture and sound quality.  The European release date is not yet confirmed but is expected to hit shelves this Autumn. For more information click here.

CyberLink launches PowerDVD 10, includes Blu-ray 3D support

CyberLink Corp CyberLink PowerDVD packshothas released PowerDVD 10, a universal media player for the PC designed to upgrade and deliver the best playback experience.

At launch, PowerDVD 10 includes Full HD support for Blu-ray Discs and a range of ‘TrueTheatre’ technologies that upscale and enhance DVDs and video files to HD. Later in the summer, CyberLink will release ‘Mark II’ of the product (available for free to consumers who buy now) which will add Blu-ray 3D support and 2D-to-3D video file conversion support.

CyberLink CEO Alice H Chang said: “We’re not just talking about an incremental shift in quality; PowerDVD 10 represents a new era of media entertainment, offering the best 3D and HD experience you can enjoy on the PC.”

For more information, see the full press release.

Blu-ray Disc players make it into the UK’s official shopping basket

Alongside lip gloss, cereal bars, bottles of mineral water and hair straighteners, Blu–ray Disc players will now be included in the UK’s official inflation calculations after Government statisticians looked into the contents of people’s homes and handbags to assess how the nation’s spending habits have changed.

Each year, the Retail Price Index and Consumer Price Index (a list of about 650 items which are used to measure the rate of inflation) are refreshed to ensure that they represent the types of products the nation is buying. This year, Blu-ray Disc players have been included for the first time – demonstrating that they have reached a significant stage in consumer penetration.

Lavinia Carey, Director General, British Video Association commented: “We welcome the news that Blu-ray players have been added to the UK’s shopping basket of goods and services. We see this as a milestone moment for Blu-ray that reflects consumers’ growing appreciation of high-definition and what the format has to offer. With over 57% of households now owning an HDTV, sales of Blu-ray players – the technology that gives you the best high definition movie experience – are going to continue to grow throughout 2010, particularly in the run up to the FIFA World Cup as even more people make the move to HD.”

The full press release from the British Video Association can be read here.

Avatar confirmed to hit Blu-ray Disc in April

Update: We are now giving away a Blu-Ray Disc every Monday to our blog and Twitter followers. Last week, we gave a copy of Disney-Pixar’s Up to @ejkoenig on Twitter. Today, we are giving away a copy of the epic, visually stunning Avatar. To enter, simply leave a comment stating what you loved most about the film.

For a second entry, simply click the following link to retweet this post on Twitter. Good luck! Tweet this

We have featured this competition at:

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions

It’s official! James Cameron’s Avatar, winner of three Academy Awards and officially the biggest film of all time, will be released on Blu-ray Disc across Europe from April.

There has been much anticipation for the Blu-ray version of Avatar since the film includes some of the most stunning visuals and special effects ever seen.  Several packages will be available, including a limited edition Steelbook Combi pack with four lenticular art cards and an activist survival guide to the planet of Pandora (see the picture above).

A full list of European release dates is as follows:

  • UK – April 26
  • France – April 21
  • Belgium – April 21
  • Netherlands – April 21
  • Spain – April 21
  • Germany – April 23
  • Denmark – April 27
  • Norway – April 28
  • Sweden – April 28
  • Finland – April 30
  • Italy – May 6

A 3D release has not yet been confirmed, but further announcements are expected later this year. For more information about the April release, the full press release can be viewed here.

Samsung previews 3D Blu-ray player with built-in Freeview HD

Samsung’s new 3D player with built-in Freeview HD has received a glowing review by Stuff Magazine, who got the chance to try it out before its release in May.

In addition to a built-in Freeview HD TV tuner, the BD-C8500M player has Wi-Fi on board to enable access to Samsung’s Internet@TV service, which supports BBC iPlayer and LoveFilm‘s instant movie rental service.  DLNA support is also provided, meaning the device can be connected with any other DNLA compliant services in the house.

As Stuff put it, ‘there’s a whole load more to this little black box than meets the eye.’ The entire review can be viewed on the Stuff website here.

Up in the Air Blu-ray preview

Whilst Oscar nominated Up in the Air is not yet released on Blu-ray Disc, the special features we can expect in the package will make it worth the wait.  These include a feature-length audio commentary by writer/director Jason Reitman, director of photography Eric Steelberg and first assistant director Jason Blumenfeld, where they discuss changes in the script, anecdotes from the set, technical notes and the challenges they faced during filming, giving viewers an in-depth look into the making of the critically acclaimed film.

Other features include storyboard comparisons, 13 deleted scenes and the music video ‘Help Yourself’ by Sad Brad Smith. It also includes a look at Shadowplay, the company responsible for the design of the film’s opening titles, as well as similar sequences from movies such as Juno and Thank You for Smoking.

Up in the Air is due for release in the UK on May 24th, with other European territories to follow.

BVA’s ‘What Are You Waiting For’ campaign proves a success

Blu-ray KantarResearch out from Kantar Worldpanel has shown that the British Video Association’s ‘What are you waiting for?’ TV advertising campaign from Q4 2009 was successful in raising awareness of the benefits of the Blu-ray format in the run up to Christmas.

Kantar World panel found that the campaign, which ran across all major UK TV channels in November and December, was recalled by over nine million consumers, increasing awareness and understanding of the format. Nearly two thirds of respondents (64.7%) felt that Blu-ray picture quality was better than DVD, a rise of 10%, while just under half (47.9%) felt that the sound quality was better, a rise of 12%.

Lavinia Carey, Director General, British Video Association, commented: ‘The best way to enjoy films at home is on high definition Blu-ray discs. Our campaign set out to highlight the benefits of Blu-ray to consumers and to boost understanding and awareness.  The results of the research are heartening and indicate that we are moving in the right direction. This year we will be looking at how we maintain momentum and continue to encourage members of the public to trade up to high definition software.”

Full details of the findings can be read in the BVA’s press release.

LG confirms 3D plans for the UK

LG has confirmed that it plans to launch a range of 3D TVs and a 3D Blu-ray Disc player in the UK this May.

The LG BX580 Blu-ray Disc player will ship with full support for Blu-ray 3D, while also remaining backwards compatible with 2D BDs and DVDs. The player also includes Wi-Fi support, enabling it to access web based content from sites such as YouTube. DNLA support, playback of content from an external hard drive and a USB connection complete the package.

The BX580 will hit the market at the same time as the LX9900 3D TV, which will be available in both 47” and 55” screen sizes.

For more information, visit the official LG blog.

Saving Private Ryan makes Blu-ray Disc debut this April

Paramount Home Entertainment has announced that Steven Spielberg’s critically lauded WWII epic Saving Private Ryan will make its long-awaited debut on Blu-ray Disc in April.

The film, which stars Tom Hanks and Matt Damon and was the recipient of five Academy Awards including Best Director, is named by Amazon in its list of the top ten most anticipated Blu-ray releases. The Blu-ray Disc edition of the film comes on two discs and includes over three hours of bonus features to take viewers behind the scenes and also look at the real-life events that inspired the movie.

Saving Private Ryan will be available in the UK from April 26, with other European territories to follow.

Blu-ray Disc Reporter

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