In 2009, Blu-ray title prices have declined rapidly and the pricing gap is narrowing, according to Futuresource Consulting’s price tracking service. The service shows that in February the average Blu-ray price for new release movies in the UK was £27.29. By the beginning of August this had dropped to £16.74 – a sizeable decline of 40%.
Catalogue pricing has also fallen, but not by such a significant amount. From an average price of £16.87 in February, this dropped to £14.25 in August; representing a decline of 15%. When looking at the average catalogue price across the three largest etailers, (Amazon, Play and HMV), the price drop is far more significant, with the average catalogue price hitting £11.22.
Back in Q4 2008, both in the USA and the UK the premium for purchasing a new release title on Blu-ray compared to DVD was between 30% and 80%. However, for catalogue BD titles this premium was considerably higher, and in some instances was as much as 300%. Although it has never been disputed that consumers will pay more for Blu-ray, the premium in the market in 2008 was clearly not sustainable.
NEC Electronics today announced the availability of a new image-processing solution, the EMMA3TMSL/P system-on-chip (SoC) based on NEC Electronics' enhanced multimedia architecture (EMMA) platform. EMMA3SL/P SoC is a set-top box (STB) device compliant with H.264 high definition (HD), the next-generation image-compression standard, as well as the multi-format video support used for the increasing number of worldwide internet-protocol television (IP TV) STBs, such as DivX®, VC-1, and WMV. The new SoC is also the first among the company's EMMA products to support China's audio/video standard (AVS).
The EMMA3SL/P device is an image-processing SoC that integrates key functions needed to receive and decode digital broadcasts, including MPEG-2 HD audio/video decoders, transport-stream demultiplexers, as well as display controllers for enhanced display and graphics features.
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today unveiled the new PlayStation®3 (CECH-2000A) computer entertainment system, featuring an extremely streamlined form factor with a 120GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD). The new PlayStation®3 (PS3®) system will become available in stores from September 1, 2009, in North America, Europe/ PAL territories and Asian countries and regions at a very attractive recommended retail price (RRP) of US$299 and €299, respectively. The system will become available in Japan on September 3, 2009, at a RRP of 29,980 yen (including tax). With the introduction of the new PS3 system, SCE will also reduce the price of the current PS3 with 80GB HDD to a RRP of US$299 from August 18 and €299 from August 19. Also in North America, the price of PS3 with 160GB HDD will be reduced to a RRP of US$399 from August 18. By launching a vast library of exciting and attractive software titles for PS3 this holiday season and offering customers a line-up of hardware models and pricing to match their preference, SCE will build on the momentum and further accelerate the expansion of the PS3 platform.
The internal design architecture of the new PS3 system, from the main semiconductors and power supply unit to the cooling mechanism, has been completely redesigned, achieving a much slimmer and lighter body. Compared to the very first PS3 model with 60GB HDD, the internal volume as well as its thickness and weight are trimmed down to approximately two-thirds. Furthermore, power consumption is also cut to two-thirds, helping to reduce fan noise. While inheriting the sleek curved body design of the original model, the form factor of the new PS3 system features a new meticulous design with textured surface finish, giving an all new impression and a casual look. With the compact body and casual appearance, the newly introduced model will appeal to a wider audience who are looking to buy the best entertainment system for their home.
WD®, the world's leader in external storage solutions, today introduced a new version of its popular WD TV media player. The new WD TV Mini Media Player now enables playback of RealNetworks®, Inc.'s RealVideo™ content and provides a more affordable way for consumers to play their stored digital content in up to 1080i HD resolution directly on their HD television.
The WD TV Mini Media Player connects to a user's TV or home theater and plays digital movies, music and photos stored on USB drives such as the best-selling WD My Passport portable drive. As with other WD TV models, the WD TV Mini Media Player supports playback of digital media on most USB mass storage devices such as digital camcorders and digital cameras. The new compact design is small and portable enough that users can easily take it with them when they travel and play their digital media anywhere on any TV in up to 1080i HD resolution.
In a time when price, quality and value are top of mind with consumers, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) today announces the extension of it's Blu-ray Combo Pack initiatives worldwide, providing extended utility of DVD and exceptional quality of a Blu-ray Disc in a single value-pack. The Combo Packs will now be available across all Disney-branded Blu-ray titles releasing through December of 2010.
In a recent online survey of US home entertainment consumers conducted by WDSHE and an independent market research company, Lieberman Research Worldwide showed that the value of the Combo Pack is undeniable for consumers. More than 77% consumers that intend to embrace Blu-ray technology in the near future agree that Combo Packs are a better value than purchasing a DVD or Blu-ray alone.
DivX, Inc., a digital media company, today announced the DivX Certification of two new high-performance Marantz® Blu-ray players for DivX® HD 1080p playback. The BD7004 and BD5004 Blu-ray players are now available in the United States and Canada.
With these devices, consumers can easily playback their 1080p DivX HD videos. Typical HD video requires a considerable amount of storage space, but DivX HD video provides a superior media experience by maintaining the highest visual quality while significantly reducing the video file size. Using DivX technology, a full-length high-definition movie is able to fit on a DVD.
"Having Marantz include DivX HD technology in their leading-edge Blu-ray players is a real win for us," said Eric Rodli, Executive Vice President, Licensing, at DivX. "As the market for Blu-ray players accelerates, we are pleased to have demand from our OEM partners to include DivX HD technology as a value-added feature."
As a market leader in digital technologies, Toshiba provides a wide range of advanced digital products, such as DVD recorders and players, HDTVs and notebook PCs that support a wide range of storage devices, including hard disk drives (HDD), DVD, and SD Cards. In light of recent growth in digital devices supporting the Blu-ray format, combined with market demand from consumers and retailers alike, Toshiba has decided to join the BDA.
Toshiba aims to introduce digital products that support the Blu-ray format, including BD players and notebook PCs integrating BD drives, in the course of this year. Details of the products, including the timing of regional launches, are now under consideration. We will make announcements in due course.Add a comment
Panasonic, a leader in High Definition technology and built-in TV web entertainment, announced today that Amazon Video On Demand is now available on its full line of 2009 VIERA CAST(TM)-enabled Blu-ray Disc players. Current owners of Panasonic's 2009 Blu-ray Disc players automatically received a free software update today and can begin enjoying the service immediately when they register their VIERA CAST Blu-ray Disc Player with Amazon Video On Demand.
Bringing unique internet-enabled services to Panasonic VIERA Blu-ray owners, Amazon Video On Demand on VIERA CAST, enables customers to:
For 2009, Panasonic's VIERA CAST feature has been extended to all of its Blu-ray Disc player models, including the DMP-BD60, BD70V, BD80 and the B15 -- the world's first and only portable Blu-ray Disc player. An internet connection is required to access VIERA CAST.
Looking to help consumers simplify and manage their living room entertainment experience, Sony today announced the new BDP-CX960 and the “Elevated Standard” (ES) BDP-CX7000ES 400-disc Blu-ray Disc™ MegaChangers.
The company also announced the BDP-S1000ES single disc ES player expanding the Sony’s Blu-ray Disc line to 13 models offering a broad set of performance and features.
The Blu-ray Disc MegaChanger models store and play 400 Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, and CDs, allowing consumers to relocate their disc library to a convenient, easy-to-access location.
In a groundbreaking move that promises to further elevate and differentiate the Blu-ray user experience, Universal Studios Home Entertainment today announced a plan to deliver an extensive array of iPhone and iPod touch-enabled features on its upcoming Blu-ray releases that can be accessed via companion applications from the App Store.
This industry-leading functionality will launch on Apple's APP Store on July 28, 2009, coinciding with the 2-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray release of the box-office smash Fast & Furious. For the first time ever, iPhone and iPod touch users will have the ability to control interactive content on their Internet and Wi-Fi connected Blu-ray players for a more enhanced and unique experience. Later this year on select Universal releases, consumers will also be able to access bonus content found on their Blu-ray disc and download it into their iPhone or iPod touch to watch features on-the-go; use the devices as a virtual remote to control their Blu-ray disc features; and/or access additional detailed information about the film, its cast and more while watching the movie. Releases will also integrate with social network applications or sites such as Facebook and Twitter to allow users to update their friends about movie-related activities.