Archive for May, 2010



BVA capitalises on HD World Cup fever with UK Blu-ray bundle

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The British Video Association (BVA) has announced a partnership between Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video and Samsung that will see a promotional Blu-ray bundle hit UK stores ahead of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

With this year’s tournament the first to be televised in high definition, retailers are expecting a boost in demand for new HDTVs. The new bundle includes six blockbuster movies for all the family on Blu-ray Disc and a Blu-ray player, allowing consumers to kick start their collection at a fraction of the normal cost.

Blu-ray titles included in the bundle are Mamma Mia! and Bruno from Universal Pictures, Up and Toy Story from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment UK, and Sweeny Todd and 300 from Warner Home Video. The bundle is available with three Samsung BD players: the BD-C5300, BD-C8200 and BD-C8500. The latter two both include Hard Disk Drives and free-to-air HD TV compatible digital tuners.

For more details, head over to the BVA for the full announcement.

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Dr Zhivago restored to glory on Blu-ray Disc

doctor zhivago[tweetmeme source= “blurayreporter” only_single=false]Multi Oscar-winning classic Dr Zhivago celebrates its 45th anniversary in style with a high definition revival. Created by masterful director David Lean, this epic love story, renowned for its unforgettable imagery and haunting score, is the perfect candidate for restoration on Blu-ray Disc.

Special features include a look into the making of the film as well as eleven vintage featurettes including New York press interviews with stars Omar Sharif and Julie Christie.

Cinematical says that “the film itself looks amazing, preserving and protecting the integrity of director David Lean’s expansive, epic imagery, and looks better than ever thanks to Warner’s high-definition remastering process.”

Dr Zhivago is available now.

Record breaking Avatar boosts UK Blu-ray Sales

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Last week we reported on the record-breaking launch of Avatar in the US and other territories. This success has been mirrored in the UK, where it sold 222,824 copies in one day and became the fastest selling Blu-ray Disc so far in the region.

This success was anticipated by supermarket giant Tesco, who kept 180 of its stores open until midnight to meet demand.

Speaking about the success, Tesco’s home movie buying manager Keith Metcalfe comments on the positive impact it has had on the Blu-ray industry overall:

“The release of Avatar is being seen by the industry as a historic moment in the development of the Blu-ray format – potentially the tipping point that many people have waited for to get their first Blu-ray player. We think it could replicate what happened when The Matrix was released on DVD in 1999, which was the point when many people bought their first DVD players.”

For the full story, click here.

Blu-ray becomes a Green Zone

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War movie fans will be pleased to learn that action thriller Green Zone is due for Blu-ray Disc release on 12th July.  The action thriller, starring Matt Damon as a rogue army officer, keeps the Iraq war firmly on the agenda following the Oscar success of The Hurt Locker.

Set in the early days of the Iraq war, the story sees Damon and his team ordered to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be stockpiled in the Iraqi desert. What is in fact uncovered is an elaborate cover-up, resulting in plenty of drama and action – the perfect mix to be captured in high definition.

Special features include a feature commentary with Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass, a behind-the-scenes look into the making of the film and the gruelling training programme Matt undertook. Exclusive to the Blu-ray Disc version, viewers can enjoy even more content with BD-Live, which allows users to access content via an internet connected Blu-ray player. Mobile app PocketBlu is also included, letting you, among other things, use your phone as a remote control. Another feature definitely worth trying is U-Control, which allows users to access bonus materials, such as Picture-In-Picture commentary, without leaving the film.

For more details, visit Blu-ray.com.

Home Cinema Buyer: “Blu-ray is the way to go”

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While the advantages of Blu-ray Disc over DVD are clear to many, there are those still to make the jump from DVD. Upscaling DVD players are also often wrongly assumed to offer an HD experience that can rival BD.

With this in mind, Home Cinema Buyer has a great article comparing DVD to Blu-ray Disc. Using Terminator Salvation on Blu-ray Disc and upscaled DVD, they compare all aspects of the experience, from picture quality and audio to start-up time.

In short, Blu-ray was judged overwhelmingly to be the winner. They note that “the sharpness and picture quality of Terminator Salvation on the Blu-ray player was instantly noticeable,” while the uncompressed DTS audio was “in a different league” to the DVD.

The article concludes with the following verdict: “As much as we love the DVD format (and we do really, really love DVD!), it has had its day now – Blu-ray is the way to go.”

Head over to Home Cinema Buyer to read the full post.

Europe gears up for Blu-ray 3D as first 3DTVs go on sale

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3D technology made its long-awaited first foray into consumers’ homes this week as the first 3D enabled TVs and Blu-ray 3D players went on sale in the UK.

Samsung was the first to have its technology in stores, with the 40-inch UE40-C7000 TV and BD-C6900 Blu-ray 3D player available from selected retailers and also online. Panasonic, Sony, LG and others are all expected to follow suit over the coming weeks and months.

Monsters Vs Aliens was the first 3D Blu-ray Disc available to consumers, with Samsung bundling it with each pair of its active shutter glasses.

Watch this space for further information on Blu-ray 3D launches in the coming months.


Blu-ray Disc Reporter

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