Items tagged with blu

Some say Microsoft chose poorly when they backed Toshiba's HD DVD standard, and that had Microsoft backed Blu-ray instead, there wouldn't have been much of a format war.  There's another group, including Michael Bay, that thinks Microsoft intentionally chose a standard that they didn't think would win in an attempt to undermine consumer confidence in disc formats altogether.  Why?So they could build up their HD content on their digital distribution service:"Microsoft has been expanding the HD video capabilities of both Vista Media Center and Xbox Live Marketplace. The Marketplace's HD content library is modest today, but the software giant clearly has plans to change that.So, let's put everything... Read more...
Sony has won the high-definition format war by backing the Blu-ray standard. Toshiba ran up the white flag over their rival HD DVD format, and things seemed settled. Not so fast. Professor Emerita Gertrude Neumark Rothschild of Columbia University told the US International Trade Commission that she believes she holds not only the patent on the Blu-ray laser, but a host of short-wavelength LED designs as well. She's filed a complaint against Sony and 30 or so companies for all sorts of devices that use the technologies. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States of certain short-wavelength light emitting diodes, laser diodes,... Read more...
After Toshiba pulled the plug on HD DVD the rumor was that Microsoft was going to offer support for the Blu-ray devices both in Windows and on the Xbox 360.  Now Microsoft is claiming that they're not presently working on such a device for the Xbox 360:"Xbox is not currently in talks with Sony or the Blu-ray Association to integrate Blu-ray into the Xbox experience," (Xbox group product manage Aaron) Greenberg told Reuters in an interview.One possible reason why Microsoft isn't developing a Blu-ray player just yet is that they might be planning on pushing their Xbox Live video rental service harder.  Why back a competitor's technology when you can vertically integrate?... Read more...
According to a report in the Financial Times, Sony is in talks with Microsoft about offering a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360.  As many of you know, until recently Sony has touted Blu-ray as an advantage the PlayStation 3 holds over the Xbox 360.  Microsoft had backed Toshiba’s HD-DVD format and offered an affordable, external HD-DVD drive for the 360, but by now we all know how that worked out... "A Blu-ray drive in a 360 would make Microsoft more competitive with the PS3, but it would also mean extra revenues for Sony’s electronics division. It would also add further cost to the 360, meaning a premium edition of the console could be necessary. A Blu-ray drive could be incorporated... Read more...
AMD sent word this morning of product demos with their new 780G chipset and platform that we recently covered here for you in full detail.  At the time, we provided a detailed look at the capabilities of AMD's IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) in gaming and 3D rendering scenarios, as well as their new Hybrid CrossFire technology but we didn't get a chance to cover HD video decode and playback performance just yet.  We'll be following up on the product's performance ourselves shortly with an update to the original article but in the mean time, AMD has this to show us this morning...   What's perhaps most interesting here, beyond the fact that AMD's new 780G provides excellent... Read more...
Now that Blu-ray has won the format wars, many are wondering when the prices are going to start dropping, maybe even coming into line with HD DVD player prices.  Don't hold your breath:The $200-player Blu-ray cavalry is at least a year away, according to Sony Electronics CEO Stan Glasgow, who we talked to today in New York. "I don't think $200 is going to happen this year. Next year $200 could happen. We'll be at a $300 rate this year. $299 will happen this year."We're still keen on the PS3 as a Blu-ray player.  Sure it's a little more expensive than a simple player but you get Blu-ray, the ability to play the latest games, and it can even help cure diseases with folding@home.... Read more...
The high-definition format war's over, of course. So it's Blu-ray or nothing now. But as manufacturers start including Blu-ray drives in your notebook computers as standard equipment, get ready to see your batteries drained like a frathouse keg.For now, the laptop manufacturers that have offered Blu-ray drives have also avoided revealing the precise effects of Blu-ray playback on battery life. That's probably for a very good reason, as some claim battery life can top out at one hour in some cases."The laser that runs the show [in Blu-ray players] is a very high-power laser," notes Mercury Research analyst Dean McCarron. That laser is one of the main things that conspire to raise power consumption.The... Read more...
Adobe is today releasing their new AIR software development system, which will allow end users to achieve their own personal information cloud that straddles their digital journey across the desktop, the Internet, and various smart devices like phones.  Adobe sees AIR as a major advance that builds on its Flash multimedia software. Flash is the engine behind Web animations, e-commerce sites and many streaming videos. It is, the company says, the most ubiquitous software on earth, residing on almost all Internet-connected personal computers.But most people may never know AIR is there. Applications will look and run the same whether the user is at his desk or his portable computer, and soon... Read more...
Now this is a classy move, but don't worry, odds are it won't be a total loss for the company. The only bad part: it's in Japan.The Japanese electronics retailer Edion is deeply ashamed it sold its customers HD DVD gear. So ashamed they that they're allowing buyers to swap in Toshiba HD DVD boxes for Blu-ray players. A little more investigation reveals that the trade must occur during March, and consumers only need pay the price difference. If a US retailer of the world would make such a move, they'd have me as a customer for life. But, I doubt any of the big stores here have the vision to put long term customer retention over its short term profits. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Circuit City, are you... Read more...
There seems to be one last detail we need to take care of before we put the fork in the HD DVD format: The hard drive for the Xbox 360.  It appears Microsoft is preparing to offer an Xbox360 with a stand-alone Blu-ray drive as early as May of 2008.Michael Ephraim the Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment said: "We would welcome Microsoft to the Blu-ray stable. In fact it is quite logical for them as the PS3 has been very succesful in driving consumers to Blu-ray. In fact we believe that it has done more to win the format war than traditional Blu-ray player".When asked whether Sony would grant Microsoft a Blu-ray licence he said: "That is up to Sony Corporate but I see no reason... Read more...
After recent defections in the HD DVD camp, many were calling for an end to the next generation disc format wars.  We weren't entirely sure that this was the case, but with new defections might indicate that the next-generation format wars may be winding down after all:A New Line Home Entertainment spokesman confirms reports that the minimajor is following distributor Warner Home Video's lead in abandoning HD DVD and releasing all future next-generation titles only in the Blu-ray Disc format.And HBO Video president Henry McGee says HBO, too, is "following the same policy as Warner Home Video."As long as there are two competing standards both groups may only be succeeding in alienating potential... Read more...
The rumors of Paramount dropping HD-DVD in favor of Blu-ray were dispelled - at least temporarily - earlier in the week when Paramount flatly denied it was leaving the HD-DVD camp. But here we go again.Daily Variety has confirmed that Universal's commitment to backing HD DVD exclusively has ended. And Paramount has an escape clause in its HD DVD contract allowing it to release pics on Blu-ray after Warner Bros.' decision to back that format exclusively.Neither studio is ready to throw in the towel immediately, however. Universal is committed to a series of promotions for the high-def format in coming months, and Par has said its current plans are to keep supporting HD DVD, which it backed exclusively... Read more...
Despite the recent announcement from WB and the subsequent cancellation of HD DVD related press announcements, it seems that the format wars are not over just yet."I don't think we're in a position to go out and declare a winner," said Steve Eastman, Target Corp's (TGT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) vice president of consumer electronics, in an interview.As long as there are two standards competing in public, consumers will stay away, he added."Until it settles completely I think we're going to continue to see consumers sitting on the sidelines," Eastman said.”There are already rumors about other key studios dropping HD DVD.  If those rumors prove true, then everything is more or less over,... Read more...
Not sure how viable this idea is, but it's another check box for the PS3: plug in a Blu-ray movie and play it on your PSP via wi-fi.Here's a hypothetical situation for you: you own a Full HD, 60in Pioneer Kuro PSP-LX608D, a kick-arse set of Ferguson Hill speakers, a PlayStation 3 and a PSP and you fancy watching a film, do you a) use your preposterously good home cinema setup to enjoy Casino Royale the way it was meant to be or do you b) sit in a huff wishing there was some way you could enjoy your Blu-ray titles on your PSP before going to bed? Well, if Sony is to be believed, option ‘b' may be more applicable than one might immediately think - bizarre no?We suppose this could work if you wanted... Read more...
Well the winner of the "Who wants to be listed in Wikipedia next to the Betamax format" sweepstakes appears to be HD-DVD.  Paramount  has decided to follow Warner Brother's recent decision to support Blu-ray and is going to drop its support of the HD-DVD format. Warner's decision last week to throw its weight behind Blu-ray saw it join Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as backers of the Sony format.The Warner move gives Blu-ray about 70 per cent of Hollywood's output, although the format's grip on film content will increase further when Paramount comes aboard.It is unclear whether DreamWorks Animation has the same get-out clause in its contract with the HD-DVD camp.... Read more...
One or the other of the two high-definition formats has to get an edge eventually, doesn't it?  This might help Blu-ray. Panasonic has started shipping samples of the world's thinnest internal Blu-ray drive -- just 9.5 mm high.Now available to PC manufacturers, the new sample 9.5 mm high BD drives, were accomplished by combining Panasonic's own technologies such as the low-profile, 2-lens actuator and spherical aberration compensation mechanism and an optimized optical design for CD, DVD and Blu-ray disc laser.Even with its 9.5 mm high thin profile, the new Panasonic BD drive features double speed reading and writing for both write-once BD-R and rewritable BD-RE discs. The product is also... Read more...
The fight for supremacy between the two high-definition formats for entertainment has been fought to a stalemate, at least according to Sony's CEO Howard Stringer. Sony backs the Blu-ray standard, while Toshiba touts the HD DVD format. When the numbers are in for Christmas, we'll likely see that one or the other format has a wide lead over the other, but not nearly enough to make the loser drop out. Who loses? Well, producers of movies, for one. They have to choose a format knowing that a goodly portion of their target audience can't view it. While Warner Brothers has demonstrated success in supplying content to both sides, the format war seems to be a lose-lose situation for many of the studios.... Read more...
"Can't we all just get along?" as that pundit of peace, Rodney King, once said. Friday the official Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) website was hacked, such that users were redirected to the HD-DVD Promotion Group's site, thelookandsoundofperfect.com.Beginning at around 4pm ET Friday, and continuing intermittently into the afternoon, visitors to the blu-raydisc.com web site were instead sent to the HD DVD camp's lookandsoundofperfect.com web site.At press time, no one had claimed responsibility for the apparent hack, and there was no official response from either the BDA or the HD DVD Promotions Group.Now, don't assume anything about this being the work of the HD-DVD camp; most likely it was an... Read more...
Addonics Announces Optical Solution that Bridges Blu Ray and HD DVD Formats -- Zebra Blu-ray / HD DVD Player Plays Both Formats and Burns DVD±R/RW and CDRW Media -- SAN JOSE, CA (December 13, 2007) – Addonics Technologies today announced its Zebra Blu-ray / HD DVD Player an optical storage solution that allows your PC to play Blu-ray and HD DVD movies from the same tray. The Zebra Blu-ray / HD DVD Player also plays standard DVDs and CDs in various file formats and burns DVD+/-RRW and CDRW media, which makes it one of the most flexible optical drives available. Users can turn their laptop or desktop computer into a high definition movie player and enjoy high definition video quality of 1080p... Read more...
If you own a Blackberry 8820 or 8320 curve device and are spend a lot of time flying from meeting to meeting, then this tidbit is for you:“JetBlue Airways Corp. plans to be the first U.S. airline to provide free in-flight email and instant-messaging services when one of its A320 planes equipped with an onboard wireless network takes wing Tuesday.”Despite being a low-fare carrier, this is major step forward and will hopefully push the larger carriers to make similar upgrades instead of just talking about doing so.  JetBlue also plans to extend the functionality to other devices in the future, but no timetable for this has been mentioned.  We'll be sure to stay on top of this and give... Read more...
If you aren't wearing your tin-foil hat, you might want to go get it before reading any further.Now that you have your tin-foil hat, we'll issue a not-too subtle warning that this as a wild rumor/allegation and it could easily fall under the heading of 'crackpot' theories despite having a big Hollywood name attached to it.  Microsoft may have manipulated the next generation disc format wars in an attempt to make downloading more popular.The theory contends that HD DVD was losing the war against Blu-Ray, and that Microsoft threw their support behind the standard in an attempt to make any standard adoption less likely to happen.  Even Transformers directory Michael Bay seems to believe... Read more...
The ongoing format war between Blu-Ray and HD DVD is continuing unabated and the battle has officially spilled over to the PC with the announcement of the $199 Phillips/Lite-On PLDS DH-4O1S internal drive.  The drive may or may not be a direct answer to recent HD players from the likes of Toshiba both for the set top and the PC.So what kind of a Blu-Ray player does $199 buy you?  Here's the answer:“Spec-wise, the drive reads either single- or dual-layer BD-R/RE/ROM discs at up to 4X speeds, while single- or double-layer DVD±R or DVD-ROM discs can be read at 12X and single or double-layer DVD±RW discs can be read at 8X speeds. DVD, Single-layer or Double-layer media at 4X maximum.... Read more...
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