Seagate today announced that its FreeAgent Theater+™ HD media player now delivers easy access to content from Netflix Inc. and other providers such as YouTube, vTuner and Mediafly. Customers of these services will have access to an even larger pool of both user-generated and licensed Internet-based media on their TV using the FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player. All new enhancements are being offered to existing FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player owners through a free, automated firmware update that can also be downloaded from Seagate.com, and will be included as part of all future product shipments.
According to a recent report conducted by the University of California, San Diego and other sponsors, Americans consume information an average of 12 hours per day—41 percent of which is spent watching TV (including DVDs, recorded TV and real-time watching). Additionally, nearly 37 percent of broadband households in North America are extremely or very interested in viewing “Over-the-Top” video content on the home TV, according to market research firm, In-Stat.
Seagate’s media player is providing a gateway for people to consume digital media, whether it is stored locally or streamed through a network or the Internet. With the FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player, people can enjoy collections of photos, movies and music saved on a FreeAgent Go™ portable drive or any other USB-connected storage device. They can also choose to access and stream content using the included Ethernet port or optional wireless adapter, or connect directly to various video feeds including the Internet’s largest library of user-generated videos on YouTube.
At ShoWest 2010, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., announced it is working with Walt Disney Pictures® and Pixar® Animation Studios to deliver a new audio format, Dolby® Surround 7.1. Disney® and Pixar have stated that Dolby Surround 7.1 will be launched in select theatres with the release of Toy Story® 3 in 3D this June.
“For 40 years Dolby has not only provided content creators with the tools to create a more realistic audio experience, but has also enabled the exhibitor to deliver audiences the ability to experience the content as the creator intended,” said Page Haun, Senior Director, Marketing, Cinema Market Segment, Dolby Laboratories. “The release of Toy Story 3 in a discrete 7.1 mix will raise the bar for movie theatre owners and their patrons.”
Dolby Surround 7.1 brings a more exciting sensory experience to audiences for 2D and gives content creators control over audio placement in a theatre when mixing 3D movies. The ability to compose audio with visual elements of 3D allows content creators to immerse the audience deeper into the movie with dramatic realism.
Samsung Electronics America Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today announced the U.S. availability and pricing of its ground breaking 2010 lineup of Blu-ray players, beginning at $179.99.
As announced at CES, the BD-C6900, winner of the 2010 CES Best of Innovations Award, leads the lineup, featuring built-in 3D playback. For design and performance-conscience consumers, the BD-C7500 is the slimmest Blu-ray player to date, with a nature-inspired, contemporary form factor. Meanwhile, the BD-C6500 offers both performance and speed with faster disc load and boot up times, while the entry-level BD-C5500 features an eco-design. Samsung’s Blu-ray lineup will be on public display at the Samsung Experience, located at The Time Warner Center in New York City beginning March 9, 2010.
Continuing to drive innovation, Sony® today launched the new BDP-S470 stand-alone Blu-ray 3D™-ready player. The model can be upgraded to play Blu-ray 3D content with a firmware update available this summer.
The company also announced that the previously introduced BDP-S570 Blu-ray Disc™ model and the BDV-E770W and BDV-E570 Blu-ray Disc home theater systems will be Blu-ray 3D capable with firmware updates available this summer.
The new models, along with the previously announced BDP-S370, are now shipping and will be available at national retailers, Sony Style®, and www.sonystyle.com next month.
BluFocus Inc., an advanced testing and certification facility specializing in the assurance of quality media products and solutions, announced today the launch of their 3D-Focus Laboratory which will concentrate on the success of the 3D technology by providing services in the areas of 3D testing, certification, consulting/advisement and also offer a THX Certified High Performance 3D demonstration/testing environment for device manufacturers, content owners and producers to use as needed during their production process.
BluFocus’ 3D-Focus Lab will also be an advocate for informative collaboration amongst technology experts and will hold a webinar sponsored by MESA, THX and 3D@Home Consortium, on March 4, 2010 at 11am PST called “3D-Focus Part 1: 3D for Blu-ray” which will be an introduction to the 3D Technology in the areas of Encoding, Authoring, Equipment, Accessories and more. The goal is to promote collaboration and awareness of key companies within 3D so content owners, producers and developers know who they can go to for assistance. It also aims to provide a forum for attendees to ask questions and learn more. For more information on the “3D-Focus Part 1: 3D for Blu-ray” Webinar program visit http://www.blufocus.com/3D-Focus
S1Digital, the leader in digital entertainment solutions, today announced the launch of the S1Digital Blu-ray Disc Changer. The changer can hold 100 discs and seamlessly integrates with any S1Digiral Entertainment Server or Media Center.
When connected to an S1Digital Media Center or any third party Microsoft Windows 7 or Vista PC that includes media center, customers are able to load up to 100 Blu-ray and/or DVD movies into the S1Digital Bly-ray Disc Changer. Using the included playback software, each disc will be scanned and metadata and cover-art automatically downloaded to the server. Once catalogued, users can view more information about the movie, or watch the movie by selecting the appropriate cover-art, which is all available on the familiar and easy-to-use media center interface. The changer is simple to use and enables almost instant access to movies without having to physically find and load each movie. (This feature is coming soon).
HDMI Licensing, LLC, the agent responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface® (HDMI®) specification, today announced, on behalf of the HDMI Founders, that it has made the 3D portion of the HDMI Specification Version 1.4 available for public download on the HDMI Web site at http://www.hdmi.org. The purpose of this document is to provide public access to the 3D portion of version 1.4 of the HDMI Specification for those companies and organizations that require access to this portion of the Specification but have not executed an HDMI Adopter Agreement.
The document available for download is extracted from version 1.4 of the HDMI Specification. The HDMI Consortium intends to release a 1.4a version of the HDMI Specification shortly which will include updates to the 3D portion of the Specification. As soon as the 1.4a version of the Specification is published to Adopters, an update to the 3D portion of the document, available for public download, will also be published.
Following on the announcement of a broad range of Full HD 3D TV products, from VIERA consumer 3D TVs to a Prosumer Full HD 3D camcorder, at the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Panasonic is now unveiling its fully operational Blu-ray 3D™ Advanced Authoring Center located at Panasonic's R&D facility, Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory. The Advanced Authoring Center was recently upgraded and equipped with the latest 3D technological innovations, based on standards developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association. The Center now offers studios and filmmakers Blu-ray 3D™ image processing, interactive programming, as well as authoring and disc certification services, which are capable of making Blu-ray 3D™ Discs commercially available as early as Spring 2010.
Long before the Blu-ray 3D™ specifications were finalized within the Blu-ray Disc Association, Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory collaborated with studios and the creative community in Hollywood to conduct Blu-ray 3D™ encoding as well as menu and subtitle authoring trials. This type of early collaboration and research has given the Advanced Authoring Center expertise in guiding and advising companies during the key early planning stages of a Blu-ray 3D™ title.
OPPO Digital announced today the release of a new high-performance Blu-ray Disc player, model number BDP-80.
The new BDP-80 is a full-featured universal Blu-ray Disc™ player that supports BD Profile 2.0 (BD-Live and BonusView), DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD (SACD), HDCD, CD and other popular media formats such as AVCHD, MKV video files, digital photos and music. Sharing the same decoder and similarly optimized firmware as OPPO's award-winning BDP-83, the BDP-80 features fast disc load times, quick response to user operations, and robust audio and video controls. In contrast to the BDP-83, which utilizes an onboard VRS by Anchor Bay video processor, the BDP-80 design has been optimized for use as a digital audio/video transport, emphasizing the accuracy of its digital audio/video outputs. At the same time, the BDP-80 is versatile enough to be used as a stand-alone universal Blu-ray player, thanks to its full array of output connections and audio/video decoding capabilities.
Sony Computer Entertainment Japan (SCEJ), a division of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. responsible for business operation in Japan, today announced that it would introduce “torne™” for PlayStation®3 (PS3®) computer entertainment system, a set of digital terrestrial tuner and application in Blu-ray™ Disc (BD) for viewing and recording digital terrestrial broadcasting on the PS3 system. “torne” will become available in Japan in March, 2010, at a recommended retail price (RRP) of 9,980 yen ($109US) (including tax). Users can enjoy watching digital terrestrial broadcasting and record them on the hard disk drive (HDD) of the PS3 system by simply connecting the digital terrestrial tuner to the PS3 system using the attached USB cable and installing the application from the BD. Release date will be announced at a later timing.
To accommodate those users who wish to record TV programs in high-definition on PS3 and store many high quality entertainment content already available on PlayStation®Store including games, anime, movies, TV dramas, music videos and many other various content and services, SCEJ will also introduce a “PlayStation®3 Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting Recorder Pack,” that comprises the PS3 system with 250GB HDD, the largest HDD capacity of the existing model, and “torne.” The special bundle pack will become available in March, 2010, concurrently with the release of “torne,” and will be a limited offer at a RRP of 42,800 yen ($467US) (including tax).