Microsoft announced this week at the E3 Media & Business Summit that it has formed a partnership with Netflix that will give Xbox 360 owners the ability to instantly stream movies and TV shows to their television via the console. The service will launch this fall and will be available to Xbox LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix subscribers.
An exciting new home theater experience is coming to living rooms this holiday season. At E3, Microsoft and Netflix, the world's largest online movie rental service, today unveiled an exclusive partnership to offer the ability to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix to your television via Xbox 360®.
Xbox 360 will be the only game system that lets you instantly watch movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix. This movie-watching innovation will be available to Xbox LIVE® Gold members who are also Netflix subscribers, and will let those users enjoy streaming movies from Netflix on Xbox LIVE at no additional cost.
A growing library of more than 10,000 movies and TV episodes will be available from Netflix when it launches on Xbox LIVE in late fall, with more choices added over time. Through this agreement, along with the existing Video Store, Xbox 360 will be home to more movies and TV shows on demand than any other device connected to the TV. Xbox LIVE quickly and easily connects you and your friends to the entertainment you want—with no PC required for viewing.
With the recent price cut and this partnership with Netflix, its becoming harder not to buy an Xbox 360. Now if they'd just offer a Blu-ray add-on... If you'd like to read more, Microsoft's entire press release can be found here.
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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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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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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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