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Blu-ray News

Sony BDP-S1 Blu-ray Player Released

Posted December 1, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

Sony today announced that its first dedicated Blu-ray player, the BDP-S1, has begun shipping to major consumer electronics retailers and specialty dealers nationwide. The player is designed to deliver 1920×1080p output, the highest resolution HD signal currently available through an HDMI connection. Enhancing the entertainment experience further Sony's BD player outputs its signal at 24 frames per second, reproducing a film like image. The BDP-S1 is also backwards compatible with standard DVDs with the added feature of 1080p upscaling through HDMI, giving new life and improving the picture performance of existing DVD libraries. The new BD player will be available for about $1,000 at Sony Style stores nationwide, online at, and at authorized retailers across the country beginning next week.

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Blu-ray Disc Supporters Launch HDTV Advertising Campaign

Posted November 21, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc Association

A core group of Blu-ray Disc supporters including Twentieth Century Fox, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Sony and Warner Bros, working with advertising and marketing agency, SicolaMartin, have produced a series of advertising and marketing initiatives to promote Blu-ray Disc during the holiday shopping season. In order to best demonstrate the benefits of Blu-ray, the group has produced a 30-second commercial shot for HDTV that debuted on November 17. This spot, along with broader placement in print and online media outlets, builds upon earlier advertising efforts directed at home-entertainment enthusiasts. "This kind of promotional effort is unprecedented," said Peter Staddon, executive vice president, marketing for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. "The fact that such a large group of industry heavyweights support Blu-ray Disc is good news for consumers who want to be assured that Blu-ray is the format of choice by industry leaders."

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Sony DADC 50GB Blu-ray Up and Running

Posted November 20, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

Sony DADC has announced that they now have six 50GB Blu-ray Disc production lines up and running. The company, which announced its 50GB Blu-ray production plans in May of this year, is currently ramping up production to 60K discs per day. "We are encouraged by the performance of both our 25GB single layer and 50GB dual layer production technologies, both of which are meeting our expectations," stated Michael Mitchell, Executive Vice President, Manufacturing and Engineering for Sony DADC. In addition to the six dual layer lines currently running, the company has nine 25GB Blu-ray Disc production machines in operation and has shipped over three million Blu-ray Discs for a client base of over 35 customers since beginning production in May of this year.

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PlayStation 3 Launches in North America with Talladega Nights

Posted November 17, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
PlayStation 3

Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced the launch of the much-anticipated PlayStation 3 (PS3) computer entertainment system, the company's groundbreaking next-generation computer entertainment system, for sale immediately in North America. In addition to the PS3 hardware, a software line up of more than 20 first- and third-party titles will be available at retailers nationwide. The first half million PS3 systems shipped in North America will include one of this summer's biggest blockbuster hits from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, starring Will Ferrell, on high-definition Blu-ray Disc format.

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Twentieth Century Fox Rushes X-Men for PS3 Launch

Posted November 2, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
20th Century Fox

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing X-Men: The Last Stand to Blu-ray Disc on Nov 14, three days before Sony's next-generation video game console makes its US debut. "The demographics between X-Men and PlayStation 3 are a near-perfect match," said Steve Feldstein, Senior VP Marketing Communications for Twentieth Century Fox. "This is the biggest new release yet for Blu-ray, and we're working closely with retailers and others to ensure that when people are buying their PS3s, they're going to know they can get X-Men to play on it." Fox's other Blu-ray titles coming Nov 14, 2006 include Behind Enemy Lines, Fantastic Four, Kingdom of Heaven, Kiss of the Dragon, The Omen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Speed and The Transporter.

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Pioneer Delays Blu-ray Player to December

Posted October 31, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

Pioneer is pushing back the launch of its BDP-HD1 Blu-ray player to December as it works to ensure the hardware meets its specifications, the company said today. According to a Pioneer spokesperson the current delay is not because of technical issues, but because some of the player's specifications hadn't been finalized in time for the player to pass testing and ensure the player meets Pioneer's high quality control requirements and fulfills the high performance expectations associated with the Pioneer Elite-brand. "We just want to make sure the player does what it's supposed to do." said Andy Parsons, Senior Vice President of Product Development.

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Sony Pictures Announces Its First 50GB Blu-ray Titles

Posted October 6, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) today announced the imminent arrival of the studio's first 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray titles. The first ever BD-50 title available to consumers will be Click, which streets on October 10, 2006. It will be followed by two more BD-50 releases, Black Hawk Down on November 14, 2006 and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby on December 12, 2006. "We're proud to be the first studio to deliver a 50GB Blu- ray Disc title to the marketplace with Click on October 10, along with two other highly entertaining titles this year that offer the expanded capacity and special features only a 50GB disc can provide." said David Bishop, President, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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Panasonic to Launch Blu-ray Recorders in Japan

Posted September 20, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

Panasonic today unveiled the world's first Blu-ray recorders that also can play back BD-Video discs. The Blu-ray DIGA DMR-BW200 and DMR-BR100 can record high-definition imagery on BD-RE rewritable discs and dub from the built-in hard-disk drive (HDD) to Blu-ray discs at 4x speed without compromising video or audio quality. The new Blu-ray recorder models support single-layer 25GB and dual-layer 50GB Blu-ray discs (BD-RE and BD-R). In addition, the DMR-BW200 and DMR-BR100 come with a built-in HDD with a huge capacity, 500GB and 200GB, respectively. Packed with innovative features, the new Blu-ray recorders will be available in Japan from November 15, 2006.

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IFA 2006 Report and New Photos

Posted September 17, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin

IFA 2006, which is the world's largest consumer electronics and IT show, was recently held from September 1-6 in Berlin, Germany and we were of course there to check out the latest Blu-ray products on display. Companies that were showing Blu-ray related products included AMEX, CyberLink, Dell, DTS, Hitachi, HP, LG, Lite-On, Nero, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sonic, Sony and TDK. Among other things we were able to uncover some new and updated products, a mysterious Sharp player, as well as some previously unannounced Blu-ray movies. For more information and lots of photos, please check out our IFA 2006 report. To discuss the new Blu-ray players, recorders, writers, drives, movies and media, check out the Blu-ray Forum.

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Twentieth Century Fox Announces Its First Blu-ray Releases

Posted September 3, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Movies

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment today announced its first wave of Blu-ray releases, which will arrive at retail outlets worldwide in November. The first wave of BD releases include Behind Enemy Lines, Fantastic Four, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), Kiss of the Dragon, The Omen (666), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Speed and The Transporter. Taking full advantage of the next generation format's high definition technology and advanced Java-based functionality, titles will be presented with the highest quality audiovisual elements including AVC (MPEG4 Compression) and HD "Lossless" Audio (select tracks) and many have unique interactive special features. The Studio will also release Ice Age: The Meltdown (known as Ice Age 2 Internationally) day-and-date with the DVD release in November.

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MGM Announces Fourth Quarter Blu-ray Releases

Posted September 2, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin

MGM Home Entertainment today announced four new BD releases for the fourth quarter, which are demographically on target with for adopters and Playstation 3 purchasers. Slated for release on November 28, 2006 is Bryan Singer's acclaimed thriller Usual Suspects (day-and-date with a special edition DVD) and the compelling Nicholas Cage-starring action, war film, Windtalkers. On December 5, 2006 the company will release Sylvester Stallone's Academy Award winning, crowd-pleaser, Rocky (day-and-date with a special edition DVD), and the Chow Yun-Fat and Seann William Scott, comic, action thriller, Bulletproof Monk.

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TDK Develops Blu-ray Media with 200GB Capacity

Posted September 1, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

TDK, a world leader in digital recording solutions, has reached a landmark in the development of recordable blue laser technology, achieving a groundbreaking capacity of 200GB. Bruce Youmans, TDK Vice President of Product Research & Development, said: "The ultra-ambitious technology roadmap for Blu-ray has now been confirmed as realistic, with landmarks such as this proving the long term value of the format against its rivals. TDK was the first to develop a prototype 100GB recordable Blu-ray Disc, and yet again, our landmark achievement in creating a 200GB disc is affirming the company's position as a true pioneer in advancing the capabilities of optical media."

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Sun Microsystems Joins Blu-ray Disc Association Board of Directors

Posted August 31, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc Association

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) today announced that Sun Microsystems, the creator and leading advocate of Java technology, has joined the consortium's Board of Directors. "Sun's announcement today is another example of the tremendous support for Blu-ray Disc," said Victor Matsuda, Vice/President/Chair, Blu-ray Disc Association's Global Promotion Committee, Sony Corporation of America. "Sun has already played a key role in the powerful new interactive features that set Blu-ray apart, and we look forward to working with them as we bring this revolutionary new disc format to consumers." Sun joins the growing list of computing, consumer electronics, media, manufacturing, gaming and entertainment companies supporting the Blu-ray Disc platform.

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Paramount Announces Its First and Second Wave of Blu-ray Releases

Posted August 21, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin

Paramount Home Entertainment will roll out its first four Blu-ray movies on September 26, 2006 with a slate that mirrors its first HD-DVD releases this summer. Included in the first wave are Tomb Raider, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Four Brothers and Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow. A second wave with U2: Rattle and Hum, Aeon Flux and The Italian Job hit October 10, 2006. Later in the month, the studio will release Mission Impossible III with high-definition-exclusive bonus features such as enhanced commentaries with Tom Cruise and director J.J. Abrams and high-def-quality featurettes.

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Sony Now Shipping 50GB Dual-Layer Blu-ray Media

Posted August 16, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

Sony Electronics has begun U.S. shipments of 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray Disc recordable (write-once) media. The company also confirmed that it plans to start shipping 50GB dual-layer rewritable BD media later this year. "The arrival of 50GB Blu-ray Disc media is an important milestone in the evolution of this new format," said Mike Lucas, director of marketing for Sony Electronics' Media and Application Solutions Division. "The capacity represents more than four hours of HD quality video, at a 24Mbps transfer rate, allowing users to take full advantage of Sony's Blu-ray Disc burners and VAIO desktop and notebook computers."

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Disney and Buena Vista Announce Upcoming Blu-ray Releases

Posted July 17, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Movies

Buena Vista Home Entertainment (BVHE) president Bob Chapek today announced that BVHE will begin releasing titles beginning September 19, 2006 on the Blu-ray Disc format. Titles available on that date will include Walt Disney Pictures' Dinosaur and Eight Below; Miramax Films' Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and The Great Raid. These four titles mark the first wave of an ongoing release strategy from BVHE which will support the Blu-ray format. A second wave of releases will be available on October 17, 2006, including Walt Disney Pictures' Glory Road and Haunted Mansion; Touchstone Pictures' Dark Water and Gone in Sixty Seconds; and Dimension Films' The Brothers Grimm.

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Warner Announces Its First Wave of Blu-ray Releases

Posted July 12, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Warner Bros.

Warner Home Video (WHV), which distributes the largest film library of any studio, today announced that it will launch its first titles in the Blu-ray format on August 1, 2006. The first wave of Warner titles include two new releases, a catalog favorite and a title new to the high definition format: the critically acclaimed Oscar nominated drama Good Night and Good Luck starring David Strathairn and George Clooney; Academy Award winning, Training Day starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke; Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer's noir comedy caper Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; and Rob Reiner's clever romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Mark Ruffalo and Shirley MacLaine, Rumor Has It. Future waves of Blu-ray launch titles will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Samsung Launches Industry's First Blu-ray Player

Posted June 15, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

Samsung today announced that the industry's first Blu-ray player has been shipped to retailers in the U.S. market for availability on June 25th. The Samsung BD-P1000 plays Blu-ray software titles at the highest resolution available via a native 1080p HDMI output for films digitally mastered in 1920×1080p. The BD-P1000 also up-converts conventional DVDs to 1080p through the HDMI digital interface so the picture quality of any traditional DVD will look noticeably more detailed when used with the disc player. The BD-P1000 is backwards compatible and plays both standard DVDs and CDs in addition to supporting all DVD formats including, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+RW, and DVD+R. Connectivity includes HDMI, Component, S-video and composite outputs. Supported audio formats include Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, MP3 and 192KHz LPCM. The BD-P1000 will be available in stores on June 25, 2006 at a MAP of $999.99.

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Pioneer Ships BDR-101A Blu-ray Drive for PCs

Posted May 17, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

Pioneer Electronics is now shipping the Pioneer BDR-101A, the industry's first Blu-ray Disc (BD) computer drive, which will come bundled with Sonic Solutions Roxio Blu-ray Disc software and blank media by TDK. This first generation BDR-101A product is targeted towards professional users and technology enthusiasts who will be using the Blu-ray drive for advanced storage needs. "In order to serve our clients' needs at the highest level, we must anticipate their needs for uses of new media formats," said Randy Hudson, member of the DVD Association, and president and CEO of Broadness, a media service company providing A/V media services, digital cinema media services, and online video and audio media delivery solutions. "The professional DVD production community has always counted on Pioneer to deliver technologies, products and support that allows us to exceed our clients' expectations."

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Sony Pictures Moves Back Blu-ray Releases to June

Posted May 3, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Movies

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) president Benjamin Feingold today said the studio's first batch of Blu-ray releases will be ready by May 23 as planned, but the release date will be moved back to June 20 in an effort to ensure a more coordinated launch. "The majority of our retail base and hardware partners have requested that we reconsider this date to better coincide with the first commercially available Blu-ray-compatible hardware." Feingold said. The decision to hold off shipping Blu-ray titles to retailers comes a month after Samsung announced its first Blu-ray player wouldn't arrive in stores until June 25. The eight Blu-ray titles scheduled for release on June 20 are 50 First Dates, The Fifth Element, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, A Knight's Tale, The Last Waltz, Resident Evil Apocalypse and xXx.

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TDK and Primera Announce Inkjet-Printable Blu-ray Media

Posted April 24, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

TDK and Primera today announced the introduction of the world's first inkjet printable Blu-ray media. The media is coated with a special inkjet-optimized surface that not only delivers extremely bright, high-resolution full color images and text, but also prevents warping. "Primera is pleased to partner with TDK to bring the first inkjet printable BD-R to market," said Mark D. Strobel, Primera Technology's vice president of sales and marketing. "TDK BD-R is the perfect solution for our customers who will be using high-capacity BD-R media for backup and archival, data storage, high-definition video and a host of other cutting-edge applications." TDK and Primera will introduce the inkjet-printable BD-R media in the third quarter of 2006. TDK also announced it has developed the world's first thermal printable Blu-ray media compatible with thermal disc publishing and duplication systems.

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Panasonic to Launch Blu-ray Drives for PCs in Japan

Posted April 21, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

Panasonic today announced that the company will introduce a half-height internal Blu-ray Disc (BD) drive for desktop computers in Japan on June 10, 2006. The LF-MB121JD BD drive, which can read and write single-layer and dual-layer BDs, is also fully backwards compatible with DVD-ROM/DVD±R/DVD±RW/DVD-RAM as well as CD-ROM/CD-R/CD-RW. The drive will come bundled with a wide variety of software to help users easily backup and archive a large amount of data, edit video and audio and intuitively drag and drop data for DVD and CD burning. Panasonic also announced that it will make the half-height BD drive for desktop computers and slim-line slot and tray loading BD drives for notebook PCs available for OEM clients starting this month.

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TDK Begins Shipping Blu-ray Recordable and Rewriteable Media

Posted April 10, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

TDK today announced that it has begun shipping 25GB BD-R/BD-RE (recordable/rewriteable) media to retailers nationwide, making it the first to market with bare Blu-ray media. Retail pricing is set at $19.99 for a 25GB BD-R and $24.99 for a 25GB BD-RE. In addition, TDK will ship 50GB Blu-ray media later this year with retail pricing set at $47.99 for a 50GB BD-R and $59.99 for a 50GB BD-RE. TDK's Blu-ray Disc roadmap also reveals plans to further extend the format's speed and capacity in the future, proving that Blu-ray is truly future-ready. TDK technologies have already enabled creating 100GB, quad-layer Blu-ray Disc prototypes and blazing 216Mbps (6x) speed. The company is currently in the process of developing the world's first 200GB Blu-ray Disc prototype.

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Samsung Delays Blu-ray Player Launch Until June

Posted April 3, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

Samsung is rescheduling the US launch of their Blu-ray player from May 23 to June 25 in order to complete compatibility testing with several Blu-ray test discs that will become available from product manufacturers and content providers in late April. According to the company, the hardware development for Samsung's BD-P1000 Blu-ray player is complete and ready for mass production in Suwon, South Korea once these compatibility tests are passed. Samsung also announced that the player now supports 1080p output via HDMI as well as upconversion of DVDs to 1080p. Additionaly, the built-in memory card interface has been upgraded to support Mini-SD and Memory Stick Pro Duo formats. Samsung added that these new features will not change the expected $999 street price.

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Panasonic Announces Pricing and Availability of Blu-ray Player

Posted March 28, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

Panasonic today announced the upcoming availability of the company's first Blu-ray player, the DMP-BD10, available this September. The player supports 1080p output via HDMI, as well as playback of DVDs and CDs. "With the DMP-BD10, Panasonic proves its commitment to providing the best high-definition entertainment experience for the home," said Reid Sullivan, vice president, merchandising, Panasonic's entertainment group. "Our goal is to focus on the total solution for an uncompromised high-definition experience." The introduction of the DMP-BD10 is timed to coincide with Panasonic's release of its first 1080p Plasma TVs this fall, which can make full use of Blu-ray's high-definition entertainment capabilities. Pricing in the United States on the DMP-BD10 has not been finalized, but will be less than $1,500.

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Sony Announces Pricing and Availability of Blu-ray Products

Posted March 16, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

Sony today debuted its first Blu-ray Disc (BD) products in the U.S., along with details on suggested pricing and availability for some of the new offerings. These next generation devices include a stand-alone Blu-ray player, VAIO desktop and notebook computers, an aftermarket internal computer drive, and recordable/rewritable media. The BDP-S1 Blu-ray player is targeted to ship in July for about $1,000. The VAIO PC with Blu-ray Disc will be available for about $2,300. Both the VAIO RC desktop and notebook with a Blu-ray drive will be available by early summer. Additionally, pre-orders for the BDP-S1 player will be available through and Sony Style retail stores, beginning on March 17. The player will also be available for pre-order at the same time through authorized internet dealers.

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PlayStation 3 Launches Worldwide in Early November 2006

Posted March 15, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
PlayStation 3

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced today that it would launch PlayStation 3 (PS3) in early November 2006 in Japan, North America and Europe simultaneously. With a monthly production capacity of one million units, SCEI will push forward a powerful product launch to spread the platform rapidly throughout the world, together with a strong and attractive lineup of PS3 game titles. PS3 incorporates the final specifications of Blu-ray Disc (BD), and with the overwhelming computing power of PS3, it enables playback of Blu-ray software at a high bit rate. Users can also connect PS3 to high-speed broadband network through Gigabit Ethernet and comfortably enjoy a wide-range of rich and exciting content and services over the network.

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Lionsgate Announces Titles for Blu-ray Launch

Posted February 28, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Lionsgate Films

Lionsgate, the leading independent filmed entertainment company, today announced plans to release 10 titles on the next-generation high-definition Blu-ray Disc (BD) to coincide with the arrival of the first commercially offered BD players in stores. The first wave, available at retail on May 23, will include Crash and Lord of War, priced at a $39.99 SRP, and The Punisher, Saw and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, marked at a $29.99 SRP. The second wave with five additional titles will follow shortly thereafter with a June/July date still to be determined. These BD titles include Reservoir Dogs, Total Recall, Stargate and Frank Herbert's Dune priced at $29.99, while The Devil's Rejects will be available at a $39.99 SRP.

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Targets May Launch

Posted February 27, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Movies

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) today announced that they are targeting May 23 to deliver the first wave of Blu-ray Disc (BD) titles at retail. Delivery will coincide with the launch that day of the first commercially available BD player from Samsung, which will be followed shortly by BD players from Pioneer and Sony along with a BD compatible VAIO PC from Sony. The first BD titles from SPHE and MGM will include: 50 First Dates, The Fifth Element, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, A Knight's Tale, The Last Waltz, Resident Evil Apocalypse and xXx. BD titles streeting June 13 include: Kung Fu Hustle, Legends of the Fall, Robocop, Stealth, Species, SWAT and Terminator. Underworld Evolution will debut in early Summer day-and-date with the DVD.

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AACS Made Available for Interim Licensing

Posted February 21, 2006 12:00 AM by Marwin
Blu-ray Disc

AACS LA today announced the immediate availability of AACS (Advanced Access Content System) under interim licensing agreements. "While next generation HD players are in final assembly, and movies are being mastered, the AACS architects are ensuring consumers can enjoy the HD picture, sound and robust portability potential of AACS without any further delays," said Richard Doherty, Research Director for the Envisioneering Group. "Much more than just HD movies, AACS delivers new consumer interactivity, portability and feature enhancement after purchase on a scale like no other consumer digital entertainment system can." The final license agreement for AACS is expected to be announced in the coming months. In the meantime, companies in the consumer electronics, IT and entertainment industries are now able to develop devices and solutions based on the published specs and compliance rules.

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8. The Raid 2
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