Scenic Labs, LLC today began shipping the first three in their series of BluScenes 1080p scenery on Blu-ray disc. Each disc offers consumers a choice of 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, as well as visual content acquired in 1080p or better native resolution.

The ambient discs, which include "The Classic Fireplace," "Coral Reef Aquarium," and "Journey Through Space" also unwittingly became the first 3 Blu-ray releases to utilize the Blu-ray Managed Copy feature, which was originally set to go live on December 4, 2009 (the live date has since been moved to March 31, 2010 by AACS-LA). To avoid customer confusion, Scenic Labs, LLC includes updates on their company blog at Each disc is also labeled as supporting managed copy in accordance with the AACS specification calling for acknowledgment of the feature on the packaging.

“We strongly support managed copy because we believe that, in some cases, our products will work even better when played off of a hard drive, a solid-state drive, a portable device, or a home theater hub. The delay in the live date of managed copy by AACS-LA does not impact our customers because there are currently no Blu-ray players that support the feature. We just wanted to be ready when they do. In fact, we had to take a leap of faith that when managed copy players are finally released, the final published spec will not have changed,” said Jason Rosenfeld, the founder and managing partner of Scenic Labs, LLC.

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In a move that is poised to elevate the Blu-ray(TM) Hi-Def format and provide consumers with the ultimate in convenience and viewing flexibility, Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE) announced the introduction of groundbreaking dual-format discs containing both Blu-ray(TM) Hi-Def and DVD versions of some of Hollywood's most iconic films. An industry first, the new "flipper" discs will launch on January 19, 2010 with the blockbuster superspy thrillers The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, starring Matt Damon, premiering as individually packaged Blu-ray(TM) discs.

For the first time ever, consumers will have the ability to choose between Blu-ray(TM) and DVD formats, simply by flipping a single disc. With complete utility in one convenient package, the revolutionary medium can be used on any DVD or Blu-ray(TM) compatible player, game platform or computer, making it ideal for anyone planning to upgrade to Blu-ray(TM) at a future date as well as current owners of both Blu-ray(TM) and DVD systems. Each side of Universal's flipper discs includes the entire movie as well as all available bonus features, with the Blu-ray(TM) side featuring exciting BD exclusives such as U-Control and BD-Live(TM).

"Universal's flipper discs are the perfect way for consumers to future-proof their collections while still enjoying their favorite movies on all their existing DVD players," said Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. "The flipper disc offers an easy way for viewers to convert to Blu-ray now or at any time in the future, confident in the fact they will be able to experience their home entertainment purchases in the highest quality picture and sound when they do."

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LaCie today introduced the most complete HD multimedia hard drive player, combining Full HD 1080p playback, unsurpassed format compatibility and DLNA media server functionality – LaCinema Classic HD, design by Neil Poulton. Users can browse, play and share HD media collections from anywhere in the home, directly on HDTV.

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The LaCinema Classic HD offers a timeless and sleek design making it a great addition to any TV setup. Providing the widest media format compatibility, LaCinema Classic HD will play all your files without concern – from the most popular DivX format to high-quality MKV H.264 video format via its HDMI 1.3 connection. Uncompromising support for Dolby Digital audio quality enhances the LaCinema Classic HD, as well as your entertainment viewing experience.

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Iomega, an EMC company and a global leader in data protection, and Sonic Solutions®  today announced a relationship that will allow consumers to buy or rent premium entertainment to watch on their televisions without leaving the comfort of their livingroom.

Just in time for the holidays, upcoming U.S. models in Iomega's award-winning ScreenPlay(TM) HD Media Player line will incorporate the Roxio CinemaNow(TM) entertainment platform, giving consumers instant access to buy or rent movies and other premium content via the Internet to watch on standard and high definition televisions.

"Iomega's award-winning ScreenPlay products make it easy for consumers to access video, photos, and music on home networks and enjoy that content on the television in the livingroom," said Jonathan Huberman, president of Iomega and the Consumer and Small Business Products Division of EMC. "With Roxio CinemaNow, consumers will be able to access premium content directly from Iomega's ScreenPlay HD Media devices. Now U.S. consumers can rent or buy movies over the Internet without needing their computer or ever leaving the livingroom. We are pleased to partner with Sonic Solutions to add this functionality to our industry leading ScreenPlay line up and further differentiate our products from others in the marketplace."

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Netflix, Inc., the world's largest online movie rental service, today announced that Netflix members can now instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix directly to TVs via Sony BRAVIA Internet Video-capable HDTVs, previous BRAVIA models compatible with Sony's BRAVIA Internet video link module and the Sony Network Blu-ray Disc Player.

The partnership between Netflix and Sony Electronics was announced in July. Separately, Netflix and Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) announced a partnership to make thousands of movies and TV episodes from Netflix available to be streamed instantly to TVs via the PlayStation®3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system.

The Sony BRAVIA TVs now available to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix include the W5100, Z5100, XBR9, and XBR10 series in 40-inch, 46-inch and 52-inch screen sizes, which are priced from $1,100.00 to $5,000.00, and the Sony N460 Network Blu-ray Disc Player, which runs $250.00.

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ASUS today unveiled the O!Play Air HDP-R3 HD media player that enables users to access all their digital content from various sources wirelessly—for the most convenient multimedia entertainment experience. The O!Play Air HDP-R3 streams a wide variety of audio, photo, and high-definition video formats from PCs, NAS, card readers and other USB or eSATA-connected devices. Formats supported include MPEG1/2/4, H.264, VC-1, and the popular RMVB. Additionally, the HD media player delivers up to 1080p Full HD image rendering.

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The O!Play Air HDP-R3 inherits premium High Definition playback features and extremely wide file format support from its predecessor—the highly popular O!Play HDP-R1 media player. However, the new O!Play Air HDP-R3 further raises the bar on performance by including new networking features and convenient memory slots for rapid and convenient digital data access. Equipped with the latest Wi-Fi support, the HD media player streams content wirelessly from PCs and NAS. Also, built-in card reader slots allow users to access digital files and photos effortlessly from CompactFlash (CF) and Secure Digital (SD/MMC) cards, or Memory Sticks (MS/MS Duo)—enabling users to view digital photos instantly.

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ZiiLABS, a pioneering media processor and platforms company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd. today announced, the ZMS-08, its 3rd generation media-rich applications processor that brings 1080p Blu-ray quality H.264 decode to low-power devices. Delivering more than four times the performance of previous generation devices, the ZMS-08 combines the flexible multi-format media processing capabilities of ZiiLABS’ StemCell Computing array with an 1GHz ARM® Cortex™ processor to deliver the low-power, high performance media-rich processing required of next-generation connected devices such as web tablets, netbooks, connected TVs, video conferencing systems and home media hubs.

The ZMS-08 is sampling now to certain customers and is supported by ZiiLABS’ optimized Linux-based Android™ and native Plaszma™ operating systems and development platforms.

The ZMS-08’s proven StemCell Computing array provides the media processing capabilities to deliver full HD 1080p high-profile H.264 video decode, simultaneous H.264 encode and decode at 720p, 1080p 24fps encode, accelerated OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics at up to 1 Gpixels/sec, 2D processing, compositing, image processing and advanced Xtreme Fidelity™ X-Fi Audio effects. With the low-power ARM Cortex processor running at up to 1GHz, the ZMS-08 is aimed at small form factor devices that enable content currently accessed via the PC to spread to mobile and low-energy devices.

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ESS Technology, Inc., a leading provider of high performance audio/video solutions, today announced that both its new ES9016 Sabre32 Ultra 8-channel Audio DAC and its ES9006 Premier Audio DAC are shipping in volume in OPPO Digital’s latest flagship BDP-83 Special Edition Universal Blu-ray Disc Player.

The ES9016 Sabre32 Ultra DAC is the latest addition to the world’s highest performance and critically acclaimed Sabre32 Reference DAC (ES9018) introduced in early 2009. Unlike conventional sigma-delta (ΣΔ) DACs, the ES9016 Sabre32 Ultra DAC incorporates innovative patented circuits to deliver spectacular music with an unsurpassed sound stage, with up to 128dB dynamic range and 0.0003% (-110dB) total harmonic distortion, and free from clock jitter common in digital audio systems. The patented circuits in the Sabre32 DAC include the 32-bit HyperStream™ modulator, capable of 100% modulation and unconditional stability, the Revolver™ Dynamic Element Matching which ensures the highest performance over an extremely wide audio dynamic range, and a Time Domain Jitter Eliminator to remove the digital jitter that causes distortion.

The ES9016 Sabre32 Ultra Audio DAC supports either 8-channel or stereo conversion from a digital audio input (up to 500kHz sampling rate) in PCM, DSD or SPDIF formats, features click-free soft mute, volume control, de-emphasis, programmable zero detect, per-channel customizable roll-off filter characteristics and consumes less than 100mW.

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Best Buy Co., Inc and Sonic Solutions today announced a strategic relationship that will result in a new Best Buy customer offering in its growing line-up of digital entertainment products. The new on-demand movie and entertainment service will be powered by Sonic's Roxio CinemaNow™ and will allow consumers to have access to buy or rent a vast library of premium content.

To power this offering, Best Buy has entered into a multi-year agreement in which Best Buy plans to license and deploy Sonic's Roxio CinemaNow™ technology and services platform to make on-demand digital content delivery a standard feature on connected consumer electronics devices sold throughout U.S. Best Buy retail stores and Under the terms of the agreement, Best Buy acquired warrants enabling it to purchase shares of Sonic Solutions common stock.

Best Buy, one of the largest consumer electronics retailers in the world, has a strong track record of bringing innovative technologies to a broad audience through its consumer-focused marketing, education, and Geek Squad services. To foster the consumer appetite for obtaining on-demand premium content electronically, Best Buy intends to embed the Roxio CinemaNow technology on a wide array of devices - web-connected television sets, portable media players, PCs, Blu-ray Disc players, set-top boxes, and mobile phones - from a variety of manufacturers. Best Buy expects to undertake a marketing program to educate consumers about the increased convenience, flexibility, and choice digital content delivery affords.

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ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of visual display and consumer electronics products, today introduced the VMP70 direct-connect, HD media player. Taking media that is stored on a hard drive or USB thumb drive the VMP70 makes attaining the ultimate Full HD big screen viewing experience easy and affordable.

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"We believe in enhancing the entertainment experience in a way that is both convenient and user intuitive," said Jeff Volpe, vice president and general manager of ViewSonic North America. "With more compatible media formats than any other media player on the market, we are confident that our portable media box provides consumers the freedom to enjoy HD multimedia content on their favorite HDTV without limitation."

The VMP70 makes it easy to enjoy ultra crisp, Full HD 1080p content on a TV or other entertainment system display. By simply inserting a USB drive or external hard drive into the player, users can enjoy their favorite output content, including HD movies with optional subtitles, TV shows, music and photo albums. Weighing less than one pound, this stylish and lightweight device can easily be brought along when visiting friends or family, making any digital library portable and accessible nearly anywhere.

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