According to The NPD Group, a leading market research company, consumers are still using DVDs and Blu-ray Disc (BD) to watch movies more than all digital-video options combined. Over the past three months, 77 percent of consumers reported watching a movie on a DVD or BD, which is unchanged from last year. Those who viewed movies from physical discs reported watching an average of four hours per week, which is also unchanged from the prior year. By comparison 68 percent watched a movie on a TV or cable network channel, 49 percent at a theater, and 21 percent used paid video on demand through their TVs.
According to data from NPD’s “Entertainment Trends in America” report, when asked about their recent spending on home video, consumers reported that 78 percent of their home video budgets went to the purchase and rental of DVD and BD, including online and in-store retail purchases and rentals, while 15 percent was spent on video subscription services like Netflix that offer a mix of physical and streaming rentals. Digital video downloads, paid streaming, paid transactional video on demand (VOD), and pay per view (PPV) comprised the remaining 8 percent. Overall per-capita spending on home video fell by 2 percent.
“With the well publicized struggles of Blockbuster and retail video stores closing around the country, and with media attention increasingly focused on the newest digital home-video offerings, the value and importance of physical formats to the home video industry and to consumers is often overlooked,” said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for The NPD Group. “Even though DVD sales and rentals are slowing, there is no evidence that consumers are abandoning physical discs for watching movies, even as the choices for viewing are expanding.”
ASUS has launched WAVI, the world’s first wireless HDMI kit to feature innovative two-way wireless USB control designed to stream PC content to the big screen TV. WAVI (Wireless Audio Video Interaction) is offered as a pair of devices that bridges the gap between the home office and living room. Watch movies, play the latest PC games, enjoy social networking or even do online shopping, all on the big screen TV from the comfort of a couch.
The WAVI HDMI streaming kit consists of a transmitter and receiver for two-way input and streaming. Unlike other wireless HDMI kits, the WAVI allows users to control the PC content in the living room with a wireless keyboard and mouse, thanks to wireless USB support. The WAVI operates at the wireless 5GHz band and provides up to 25 meters of coverage. Additionally, under the Extend Mode, users can continue working on the PC screen while streaming multimedia content to the living room TV – maximizing the use of a single home PC while also providing home entertainment experiences.
The ASUS O!Play Gallery takes all-around high definition enjoyment to the TV with the ASUS exclusive O!Direct streaming function and extensive internet-based services and content management. The multi-role design of the O!Play Gallery offers easy connectivity with the iPhone and iPod, the latest USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s devices and support for 7.1-channel Dolby TrueHD audio. It provides a true home entertainment center that’s perfect for video, photos and music, with support for all major media formats.
Entertainment on demand! The O!Play Gallery allows users to plug and play media content from an iPod and iPhone in full HD on the living room TV, with no additional software needed. The intuitive remote control with a built-in rotary wheel bundled with the O!Play Gallery helps users make their multimedia experience fun and easy to use.
The ASUS exclusive O!Direct function offers consumers fast and reliable one-click streaming of content from PC to TV. Hassle-free streaming brings broader enjoyment in the living room in both wired and wireless modes, without the need for USB storage devices and their storage restrictions.
Roku, Inc., maker of the best-selling and award-winning Roku streaming player, announced today that its Roku XD player is available for purchase at Best Buy stores nationwide and at BestBuy.com. With up to 1080p HD streaming support, integrated 802.11n WiFi and Instant Replay the Roku XD offers unlimited entertainment choices and incredible value to customers. The Roku XD has a list price of $79.99 and is available at Best Buy stores and at BestBuy.com for purchase today. Roku players can also be found at other leading retail stores including BJ’s Wholesale Club, Fry’s Electronics and RadioShack.
“Having sold over 1 million Roku players through online sales only up until now, we are incredibly excited to announce our entrance into brick and mortar retail with nationwide availability from the preeminent consumer electronics retailer,” said Anthony Wood, founder and CEO of Roku, Inc. “Customers can now grab a Roku off the shelf at Best Buy, take it home and be up and running, enjoying their favorite TV show, movie, music or sports team in just a matter of minutes.”
All Roku players continue to deliver the largest collection of streaming entertainment available for the TV, including over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and Crackle; live and on-demand sports from NBA Game Time and NHL GameCenter Live; music from Pandora, MP3tunes, MOG and Rdio; photo and video sharing from Flickr and Facebook; plus news and entertainment from thousands of sources around the world.
Iomega today announced the worldwide launch of the exciting new Iomega® ScreenPlay® DX HD Media Player line, a family of easy-to-use multimedia devices that changes the way you experience digital entertainment in your home. With the Iomega ScreenPlay DX HD Media Player, you can access and enjoy videos, movies, photos and music on the Internet as well as content you own – all on your own TV in full 1080p high definition.
The new lineup of Iomega ScreenPlay DX HD Media Player products is compatible with the most popular formats, including H.264, WMV and RMVB, as well as being DLNA certified for easy streaming with compatible devices on your home network. Other notable features include DivX® Plus™ HD certification for stunning playback of MKV movies, WiFi capability right out of the box thanks to the included 802.11n adaptor, and a user-friendly remote control featuring a full QWERTY keyboard for fast and easy text entry of online links, websites and more.
Samsung Electronics America Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today announced U.S. pricing, availability and new features for its 2011 Smart Blu-ray player line. Models will begin shipping this month at a range of price points to suit consumer needs.
The seven new Blu-ray players come fully loaded with Smart Blu-ray features, including easy access to Web content and services through Smart Hub, media sharing across devices with AllShare and integrated support for One Foot Connection, Samsung’s new hassle-free networking setup. The majority of Samsung’s Smart Blu-ray players support 3D playback and offer outstanding and immersive 3D experiences when connected to a 3D TV. One highlight of this year’s lineup is the world’s slimmest Blu-ray player – the BD-D7500 – measuring a slim 0.9-inch in height. The expanded lineup includes the world’s first AV Receiver with an integrated 3D Blu-ray player, the HW-D7000.
Sharp Electronics Corporation is shipping all three of the 3D wireless Blu-ray Disc™ (BD) players it introduced at CES in March. Each model offers full HD 1080p/24 fps video output, the maximum picture resolution available, for superior 3D and 2D home entertainment experiences, as well as advanced installation and control features. In addition to 3D Blu-ray discs, the BD-HP75U, BD-HP35U and BD-HP25U provide consumers access to content from a wide variety of Internet sources, including Netflix®, VUDU™, Pandora® and YouTube via Wireless LAN. (The BD-HP25U requires optional Wireless LAN dongle VR-WL25). These models also enable consumers to take advantage of the latest surround sound formats such as Dolby® TrueHD, with lossless 7.1 channel audio reproduction that is bit-for-bit the equivalent of the master recordings, and DTS®-HD Master Audio.
Each new model plays standard-definition DVDs and files stored on USB drives, as well as AVCHD, DIVX Plus HD, JPEG and MP3 files. The HDMI® upscaling capability of each model even enhances the picture quality of standard definition DVDs by upconverting content to 1080p pixel-by-pixel, not just frame by frame as is the industry standard through Sharp Super Picture function.
Seagate announced today that its Seagate TV Remote application has been approved and is now available for download from the iTunes Store. This easy-to-use application can be found by searching for "Seagate" or "GoFlex" in the iTunes store from either your computer or from the app store on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Use of the application requires installation of the latest GoFlex TV HD media player or FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player firmware, which can be accessed and downloaded from the support site on www.seagate.com to either of the two HD media players as long as the device is located in the US.
The new Seagate TV Remote app enables control of a GoFlex TV or FreeAgent Theater+ product from anywhere in the home using an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch via Wi-Fi. The app interface resembles the existing media player’s infrared remote controls, making it a familiar easy-to-use device. Additionally, because the app leverages the home Wi-Fi network, there is no need for line-of-sight between the HD media player and the controller, allowing it to be used anywhere within the home.
DivX, a division of Sonic Solutions, and Sharp Electronics Corporation today announced that Sharp will add DivX Plus HD Certification to its new LE835 and LE830 lines of AQUOS Quattron LCD TVs as well as its new line of AQUOS Blu-ray Disc players, providing flawless playback of DivX MKV files in 1080p. Consumers who purchase the new Sharp devices will enjoy high-quality playback of DivX Plus HD videos and Hollywood movies in the DivX format directly on the products using any optical disc or through the SD card slot.
Key advanced DivX Plus HD features on the Sharp devices include support for as many as eight subtitle and audio tracks in a single movie file, smooth fast forward and rewind which makes it simple to navigate through a DivX Plus video, and auto chapter points so users can skip between chapters in a video when no chapters have previously been authored.
“Sharp is a global consumer electronics leader, and it’s a testament to both our longstanding relationship and next-generation technology that they’ve chosen to add DivX Plus HD Certification to their 2011 LCD TVs and complete line up of Blu-ray Disc players,” said Matt Milne, Executive Vice President and General Manager, DivX. “We look forward to our continuedpartnershipwith Sharp to offer innovative home entertainment solutions to their customers.”
Orb Networks today announced new software for Blu-ray and PlayStation 3 players that allows consumers to watch thousands of online TV shows from Hulu, HuluPlus, Comedy Central and more on their home TV. The new Orb BR (Blu-ray) software works with an Internet- connected Blu-ray player, and is easily controlled through a smartphone app (iPhone, Android, iPad, iPod Touch).
Priced at only $19.99, Orb BR leverages the consumer's investment in a Blu-ray player, and offers an easy and cost-effective way to enter the new world of connected TV without buying or installing any new hardware. In addition to an extensive array of online TV options, Orb BR provides consumers with access to thousands of movies on their TV, via Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand. Orb BR also makes it fun to watch YouTube, personal videos, and photos on a TV, connected to a Blu-ray player, as opposed to viewing on a PC or Mac screen.
"The combined cost of a Blu-ray player and Orb BR software is less expensive than most of the other Internet TV solutions, like Boxee and Google TV, while providing more capabilities," said Joe Costello, CEO of Orb Networks. "With more than eight million connected Blu-ray players and 40 million PS3 players already in homes, the market opportunity for Orb BR is huge."