Redbox, the popular DVD rental kiosk provider, today announced it has started rolling out Blu-ray™ titles with availability at approximately 13,300 kiosks nationwide. Redbox will rent Blu-ray Discs® at $1.50 per night plus tax and the company expects to have availability across its network of approximately 23,000 kiosk locations by the fall.

"Offering Blu-ray rentals is an exciting opportunity for redbox to expand our product offerings and build on the relationships that we've established with millions of consumers nationwide," said Mitch Lowe, president, redbox. "Redbox is a convenient, affordable home entertainment provider and we're delighted to offer consumers their favorite movies on the increasingly popular Blu-ray Disc format."

According to a recent report by the Digital Entertainment Group, sales of Blu-ray players increased 103 percent in the first half of this year. The sale of almost two million set-top players during this time has increased the total number of Blu-ray players sold to an estimated 19.4 million, resulting in more consumers entering the Blu-ray rental market.

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Panasonic announced today the expansion of its line of Full HD 3D Blu-ray(TM) Disc players to include the DMP-BDT100. The DMP-BDT100, available in August, joins the DMP-BDT300 and DMP-BDT350 in providing superior 2D and 3D picture quality, as well as such innovative features as VIERA CAST(TM) internet functionality. Pricing will be announced at a later date.

The BDT100 continues the commitment to excellence established by the BDT350 which made its US debut at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, where it received the esteemed Innovations Award for 3D technology.

"From the beginning, Panasonic has led the way into the 3D era with end-to-end solutions ranging from our critically-acclaimed Full HD 3D VIERA Plasma TVs and 3D Blu-ray Disc Players, to professional 3D camcorders and our work with Hollywood studios on the authoring of Full HD Blu-ray 3D video content," said Richard Simone, Vice President, Panasonic Networking Group. "The addition of the BDT100 3D Blu-ray Disc Player to our line-up marks one of many planned expansions of our 3D offerings designed to give consumers more options and greater access to the immersive world of 3D entertainment for the home."

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Samsung recently launched three new 3D Blu-ray players: the BD-C5900, BD-C6800 and BD-C7900. According to Trusted Deals, the BD-C5900 is an update to the popular BD-C5500. While lacking internal storage, this new player is WiFi-ready and supports DTS/DTS HD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD audio codecs as well as Samsung's Internet@TV and AllShare technologies.

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The BD-C6800 builds upon the BD-C5900 by including 1GB of storage as well as an internal wireless connection. The top of the line BD-C7900 ups the ante even further by including two HDMI outputs for those with an older receivers that aren't HDMI 1.4 compatible.

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Sharp Corporation will introduce into the Japanese market two new models of AQUOS Blu-ray Disc recorders featuring a disc drive that supports the new BDXL™ format for Blu-ray Discs and that enables recording and playback of triple- and quadruple-layer Blu-ray Discs, a world first. The new BD-HDW700/BD-HDW70 Blu-ray Disc Recorders will be available in Japan beginning July 30, 2010.

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BDXL™ is a new format for multi-layer recordable Blu-ray Discs that expands the recordable storage capacity available on a single disc. The BDXL™ format allows for additional recording layers beyond the current dual-layer format (with up to 50GB in storage capacity) to provide triple-layer discs (100GB) and quadruple-layer discs (128GB).

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Sonic Solutions today announced the availability of the RoxioNow entertainment platform on the latest System LSI in the UniPhier® series from the Panasonic Corporation. The integration will enable consumers to instantly stream a broad catalog of premium digital entertainment, including the newest movie releases, on a wide range of next-generation connected HDTVs and Blu-ray Disc players from multiple manufacturers*.

"The combination of RoxioNow and UniPhier will bring the latest in digital entertainment to an exciting variety of new-generation system LSI solutions," said Koji Kitamura, General Manager, Software & Solution Development Center, Semiconductor Company, Panasonic Corporation. "Panasonic is working closely with Sonic to ensure high-quality entertainment experiences are available to consumers instantly, whenever and wherever they want them."

"Our collaboration with Panasonic, and integration into its system-on-a-chip reference design, provides us with a tremendous opportunity to further expand the ecosystem of connected devices that are compatible with RoxioNow-powered services," said Mark Ely, Executive Vice President, Strategy, Sonic Solutions. "This latest collaboration is additional proof that digitally delivered entertainment is now a must-have feature for consumer electronic devices."

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Sonic Solutions today announced the availability of the RoxioNow™ premium entertainment platform on MediaTek's advanced Blu-ray Disc SoC solutions as well as HDTV solutions. The integration will enable consumers to instantly stream a broad catalog of premium digital entertainment on next-generation devices from a range of manufacturers.

"Digitally delivered entertainment has become a must-have feature for connected devices," said Minto Yu, spokesperson of MediaTek. "With integrated support for services powered by RoxioNow, our BD as well as HDTV solutions combine the best in high-definition picture and audio enjoyment with a vast library of entertainment delivered instantly via the web."

"Our collaboration with MediaTek, a technology leader and major CE industry supplier, provides us with a tremendous opportunity to further expand our footprint on mobile devices," said Mark Ely, Executive Vice President, Strategy, Sonic Solutions. "Sonic is creating a vast network of connected consumer electronics that are compatible with RoxioNow powered services and provide consumers a far more flexible and convenient digital entertainment experience."

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Sonic Solutions and Boxee today announced an alliance to provide consumers new options for accessing premium content on a range of next-generation, connected devices. As part of the collaboration, Boxee would license the RoxioNow™ entertainment platform in order to power premium entertainment storefronts through its Web-to-TV desktop application, as well as upcoming set-top boxes, TVs, and mobile devices running Boxee, pending device review by content providers.

"RoxioNow offers a comprehensive solution that will enable users to access premium entertainment services instantly through Boxee," said Avner Ronen, CEO, Boxee. "With RoxioNow-powered digital entertainment services, we continue our efforts to expand the variety of premium content we can stream instantly to anyone with a broadband connection."

"Boxee is leading the charge to bring the creativity and flexibility of the web to the TV, and is another example of how our RoxioNow technologies and infrastructure can enable a wide array of companies to quickly develop and launch premium content services," said Dave Habiger, president and CEO, Sonic Solutions. "We continue to help a diverse range of companies launch compelling entertainment services and form ongoing relationships with their customers."

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Western Digital today introduced the WD TV® Live Plus HD media player, which makes it easy for Netflix® members to instantly watch thousands of TV episodes and movies on the biggest screen in their home -- their HD television set. The new Netflix interface enables members to browse and add movies to their instant Queue on the Netflix Website right from their TV.

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In addition to Netflix, the WD TV Live Plus HD media player also enables users to stream personalized Internet content from YouTube™, Flickr®, Pandora®, Live365™, as well as the MediaFly network which includes daily podcasts from CNN, NBC, MTV, ESPN® and other online content providers. Unlike most other Netflix-capable devices, the WD TV Live Plus HD media player also lets consumers enjoy a broad variety of the digital media they already own, creating a unified entertainment experience.

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Toshiba America Consumer Products today announced the availability of its latest Blu-ray Disc players, the BDX2500 and BDX2700. Perfect for consumers who demand a variety of entertainment options, Toshiba's new models are a great addition to any modern home theater setup.

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Both players include Wi-Fi® capabilities, allowing consumers to connect to a wide range of streaming content. With BLOCKBUSTER On Demand®, consumers can watch the latest movies the same day they are released on DVD/Blu-ray with no monthly fee. Instant streaming from Netflix® allows Netflix members to instantly watch tens of thousands of TV episodes and movies, many in high definition, directly on their HDTV.  VUDU™ Movies offers true 1080p HD and gives viewers access to over 3,000 HD movies on demand. The BDX2500 and BDX2700 also stream a wide array of music from Pandora® internet radio. A standard Ethernet connection is also included with both models.

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Sigma Designs today announced the availability of its new SMP8646 media processor SoC. Designed for networked Blu-ray device manufacturers, the new multi-core chipset enables the latest consumer experiences including 3D video, Flash video, Android and the latest over-the-top (OTT) services. The SoC integrates powerful multimedia processing, a robust content security system, multiple on-chip CPUs, and a range of on-chip system peripherals.

"To attract a wider audience, Blu-ray device makers continue to expand the feature set of their Blu-ray players," said David Lynch, VP and General Manager, Media Processing Group of Sigma Designs. "With the new SMP8646, Sigma increases the sales potential for its Blu-ray customers by enabling 3D video broadcast playback and the latest over the top functionality at more than twice the speed of previous versions -- all at a very competitive price."

A demonstration of the SMP8646 running Android 2.1 OS on the media processor will be showcased at the Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel in suite # 3707 at this week's Computex 2010 Show, located in Taipei, Taiwan.

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