While Blu-ray won the format war, consumers have been slow to go high-def. One of the biggest reasons is the the high costs associated with the format. Players are still very expensive and Blu-ray titles usually cost $10 or more than the standard DVD release.
Warner is trying to rectify this somewhat through its new Blu-ray Disc promotion. According to Video Business, Warner will be launching a point-of-sale rebate program where retailers will be able to get catalog titles for around $11. With this rebate, consumer pricing is expected to fall somewhere between $17 and $20.
In this program, retailers will buy the titles at their present pricing but obtain rebate money back upon the sale of each unit. That should ultimately amount to a relatively inexpensive $11 cost for retailers.
Additionally, Warner will offer rebates, although less extensive, for newer Blu-ray releases, including 300, The Departed, I Am Legend, Ocean’s 13 and We Are Marshall. This layer of the Blu-ray program also will run from early September to the first quarter, according to store sources.
The consumer price for these titles is likely to fall somewhere between $17 and $20. That would still represent a deal for shoppers, as titles such as 300 are now falling between $24 and $30 at outlets such as Amazon and Best Buy.
This is great news for consumers who are looking to pick up older Blu-ray titles for their library. Hopefully, other studios will follow Warner's lead and offer their own discounts. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here.
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Futuresource Consulting recently released the results from its new home copying consumer research study. Sponsored by Macrovision, the study asked more than 5,000 people whether or not they made copies of pre-recorded DVDs. According to the results, one-third of the respondents made a copy of a DVD in the last six months. This is up from just over a quarter of respondents in 2007. Here are some of the highlights from the study:
Around one third of all respondents in both countries admit to making copies of pre-recorded DVDs in the last 6 months, up from just over a quarter of respondents in 2007.
As in 2007 it is 18-24 year old males who are most likely to be copiers.
Copiers of DVDs are using both analogue and digital copying methods, with the two being of almost equal importance.
In both territories, the most common way of copying is either from a DVD player to a DVD recorder, or using a single PC software application for burning DVD copies.
In the last 6 months, the average number of movies copied in the UK was 13 new release and 9 catalogue; in the USA the figures were 7 and 6 respectively.
Although the majority of people are copying from their own purchased DVD in both the UK and USA, a significant proportion of people are copying from rented and borrowed titles.
The majority of UK and USA respondents would most likely buy these movie titles new at sale or promotional price.
From a list of 40 recent blockbuster movie titles supplied to respondents, more than half of all DVD copiers in the USA and more than one third in the UK had successfully made copies of the titles on the list
Keep in mind that this study was sponsored by Macrovision and is being used to show that movie studios are losing revenue due to home copying. Personally, I'm not surprised by the number of people making copies. What does surprise me though is the the number of people making analog copies. It makes you wonder where they found the people in this study. Anyway, if you'd like to read more, the details from the study can be found here.
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CESI Technology announced today that it has been designated as the first official Blu-ray Disc Test Center in China. By establishing a test center in this country, the BDA hopes to shorten the time it takes Chinese companies to develop and launch fully compliant BD products.
CESI Technology Co. Ltd., a contributor member of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), has been designated as the first official Blu-ray Disc Test Center in China. CESI Technology’s joining BDA as a Contributor member and their establishment of the Test Center indicates the strong momentum building for the Blu-ray Disc format in China.
The establishment of this Blu-ray Disc Test Center is also a critical piece in the Blu-ray Disc value chain in China. From today, Chinese manufacturers can receive verification services for the official production of BD-ROM Movie Players at this center. This will dramatically shorten the time needed for product development and market launch of fully compliant BD products for Blu-ray Disc product manufacturers. the contribution of CESI Technology.”
Hopefully, this means that we'll be seeing Blu-ray players from more Chinese manufacturers. If you'd like to read more, CESI's entire press release can be found here.
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Seagate recently unveiled the world's first 1.5-terabyte desktop and half-terabyte notebook hard drives. The 3.5-inch Barracuda 7200.11 packs 1.5TB onto four platters and delivers a sustained data rate of up to 120MB/second. The 2.5-inch Momentus 5400.6 and Momentus 7200.4 are available in capacities up to 500GB and are tough enough to withstand up to 1,000 Gs of shock. The Momentus 7200.4 also offers a 7200-rpm spin speed and a 16MB cache.
The debut of the Barracuda® 7200.11 1.5TB hard drive, the eleventh generation of Seagate’s flagship drive for desktop PCs, marks the single largest capacity hard drive jump in the more than half-century history of hard drives - a half-terabyte increase from the previous highest capacity of 1TB, thanks to the capacity-boosting power of perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology.
The Barracuda 7200.11 hard drive combines proven PMR technology, components and expert manufacturing to provide 1.5TB of reliable storage for mainstream desktop computers, workstations, desktop RAID, gaming and high-end PCs, and USB/FireWire/eSATA external storage.
Seagate’s new 2.5-inch half-terabyte 5400- and 7200-rpm drives - Momentus® 5400.6 and Momentus 7200.4 - deliver the best combination of capacity, mobility and durability for mainstream and high-performance notebook computers, external storage solutions, PCs and industrial applications requiring small form factor.
The Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB will ship to retailers in August 2008. The Momentus 5400.6 and 7200.4 hard drives are scheduled to ship some time during the fourth quarter of 2008. If you'd like to read more, Seagate's entire press release can be found here.
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Pioneer Japan announced today that it has developed the world's first 16-layer optical disc with a capacity of 400GB. The disc has a per-layer capacity of 25GB, which is the same as existing Blu-ray Discs. The optical specifications of the objective lens are also the same, while makes it possible to maintain compatibility between the new 16-layer optical disc and existing Blu-ray Discs.
Pioneer Corporation has succeeded in developing a 16-layer read-only optical disc with a capacity of 400 gigabytes for the first time in the world. Its per-layer capacity is 25 gigabytes, which is the same as that of a Blu-ray Disc (BD). This multilayer technology will also be applicable to multilayer recordable discs. This development has bolstered Pioneer's confidence in the feasibility of a large-capacity optical disc, which is expected to become necessary in the near future.
For multilayer optical discs, it has been difficult to obtain clear signals from each recording layer in a stable manner due to crosstalk from adjacent layers and transmission loss. Utilizing the optical disc production technology that it has developed in the DVD field, Pioneer solved these problems by, among other things, using a disc structure that can reduce crosstalk from adjacent layers, resulting in a 16-layer optical disc that can playback high-quality signals from every layer.
As for the read-out system, Pioneer achieved stability in the playback of recorded signals by employing a wide-range spherical aberration compensator and light-receiving element that can read out weak signals at a high signal-to-noise ratio in the optical pick-up mechanism. Since the optical specifications of the objective lens, such as NA (Numerical Aperture), are the same as those for the existing BD discs, it is possible to maintain compatibility between the new 16-layer optical disc and the BD discs.
Pioneer will be presenting the details of its research at the International Symposium on Optical Memory and Optical Data Storage 2008 (ISOM/ODS2008), which begins on July 13. If you'd like to read more, Pioneer's entire press release can be found here.
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