Items tagged with Blu-ray

If one thing is for sure, recent home TV and movies services market changes have been seismic. Over the years we have gone through Beta, VHS, laser discs, DVDs, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, but nothing has reshaped the home entertainment landscape like streaming video. Each time a new form factor for delivering movies in the home launches, the old form factors have eventually gone extinct and it appears that Blu-ray may be the next format to die off. Samsung has announced that it is not going to produce any new Blu-ray players for the U.S. market. Samsung announced that no new 1080p or 4K Blu-ray players would be produced for the U.S. and the new announcement gives more detail than an earlier statement by... Read more...
If you own an Xbox One X and have been unhappy with some aspects of the Blu-ray playback capability, Microsoft's Mike Ybarra says that a fix is incoming. The integrated 4K Blu-ray player that the Xbox One X offers is one way that some buyers have justified the purchase of the console. $499 for a nice Blu-ray player/game console is palatable for lots of folks out there who don’t spend that much time playing games. The catch for some early adopters of the game console is that the On X isn’t performing as it should when content is played on a HDR-capable TV. Reports indicate that there are raised black levels with HDR movies that affect the performance of the movie and irk viewers. Ybarra... Read more...
It looks like Pioneer will be the first company to release a line of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drives for PCs. Pioneer in Japan announced two models that are expected to go on sale later this month, both of which stick to the standard half-height 5.25-inch optical disc drive form factor. However, both also require Windows 10, at least 6GB of system memory, and a Kaby Lake processor. The two models are the BDR-S11J-BK and BDR-S11J-X. They've very similar to one other, with the higher end BDR-S11J-X sporting a paint job that's better at dissipating heat, low resistance flat cable, anti-vibration components, and the ability to check and display the playback quality of an audio CD (CD-DA) in four different... Read more...
Sony is currently leering at DIYer’s with “Na, na, na, na, na, you can’t catch me.” The company recently unveiled its first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. The device, however, will need to be custom installed by automation system vendors such as Control4, Crestron, and Savant. Yukio Ishikawa, Director of Home Entertainment Systems for Sony, remarked, “The new UBP-X1000ES player has been long awaited by custom installers who desire a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player that provides a ‘one-stop’ solution for their clients’ premium entertainment needs.” The X1000ES is compatible with Ultra HD Blu-ray discs as well as 4K resolutions and HDR. The device reportedly provides up to twice the color range... Read more...
If you've been salivating over the prospect of purchasing some disc-based 4K content, it looks like your dream can become a reality very soon. Samsung's UBD-K8500 4K Blu-ray player was expected to land at the end of the month, but it seems some retailers have received stock early, and better still, have begun selling it. One such retailer is Video & Audio Center, in Santa Monica, California. The store made a post to Facebook yesterday about availability of the player, and later, someone posted to say that they were already gone, with another shipment expected in 10 days. Who knew there'd be big demand for such high-res content? Admittedly, the rollout of 4K Blu-ray has been stalled up to... Read more...
Samsung had lots to show off at the IFA event in Berlin, and while some of the focus was on high-def TVs as we'd expect, there was also an unveiling of a product we might not have expected: An "Ultra HD" Blu-ray player. As hard as it might be to believe, Blu-ray content has now been available on the market for over eight years, and admittedly, it didn't take but a few years after its launch when people began to question its lifespan. After all, our Internet connections are getting faster, and services like Netflix have proven that people are fine with consuming media that way. But, let's be honest: streamed content doesn't look as good as content that's already been downloaded or burned to a... Read more...
It's official -- there's a new Blu-ray specification called Ultra HD Blu-ray, and just as the name implies, the new spec represents a bump in resolution to 3840x2160, the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) announced this week. To go along with the new spec, BDA came up with a new logo to delineate Ultra HD Blu-ray products. Ultra HD Blu-ray is more than just an increase in resolution, though that alone should be a selling point for anyone that's ponied up for a 4K television or monitor. In addition to matching 4K streams in resolution, the Ultra HD Blu-ray format enables delivery of a significantly expanded color range, high dynamic range (HDR), and a high frame rate content. Object based sound formats... Read more...
If it's been several years since you last upgraded your mobile device or other electronic gadgets, you may lose the ability to use the Google's YouTube app. In an updated support document, Google says that select devices manufactured in 2012 and earlier are affected, including Sony TVs and Blu-ray Discs, Panasonic TVs and Blu-ray Discs, older iOS devices, and devices running older versions of Google TV."As we upgrade the YouTube Data API to bring more features, we'll begin shutting down the old version on April 20, 2015. This will result in the current YouTube app not working on certain device models from 2012 and older," Google states.For those of you with a device running Google TV version... Read more...
Google's Chromecast took a big step deeper into the mainstream with its recent 27946 firmware update, adding the ability to pause and resume video playback via your television remote. No longer will users need to yank out their phone (or worse — gasp! — put fingers to computer keyboard) to affect simple Start/Stop control. The new functionality reportedly works with YouTube, and with such apps as WatchESPN, HBO Go, Allcast, iPlayer, TuneIn, and Plex, among others (though Netflix users are out of luck, as of this writing). It is Chromecast's integration of HDMI protocol extension HDMI-CEC that is responsible for the device's increasing couch-friendliness. This protocol extension is able... Read more...
Redbox is putting the word out that it plans to hike the price of its DVD rentals by 25 percent next month, as well increase the cost of borrowing Blu-ray discs. Effective December 2, 2014, the price for DVDs will increase to $1.50 per day, up from $1.20, while Blu-Ray discs will jump $0.50 to $2. Starting January 6, 2015, the price of video games will triple from $1 to $3 per day go from $2 to $3 per day. "This is only our second price increase in 12 years, and the first for Blu-ray discs and games, so you can be sure that we made this decision very carefully," Redbox stated in an email. "We know that hearing about a price increase isn't the best news, but we feel it's necessary in order to... Read more...
Microsoft is rolling out a substantial update for the Xbox One and the changes are making a good initial impression on some of the Internet’s best known Xbox gurus. Some improvements, like the change to the Blu-ray player, add new functionality. Others, like the low battery notification icon and the Friends list changes, give you new information that will make your Xbox experience better. And one change removes unnecessary notifications from your activity feed. Nice, eh? Let’s start with the Activity Feed, which is getting a few tweaks in this update. The Activity Feed previously updated you when friends switched games – but no longer. Microsoft pulled the plug on that, deeming... Read more...
Your PlayStation 4 console supports 3D Blu-ray playback, though before that functionality becomes available, you need to install the latest firmware update, version 1.75. Sony has begun rolling out the update to PS4 users, giving them bragging rights over Xbox One owners, at least for the time being (Microsoft will roll out 3D Blu-ray support to the Xbox One in August). There are a few other goodies included in the update, though mostly minor from here on out. They include improved sound quality during 1.5x playback with Blu-ray and DVD videos, the relocation of system messages to the top-left corner (previously display on the top-right corner), and Featured Content added to the Settings >... Read more...
There was nothing wrong with Netflix’s former TV interface necessarily, but the company decided to gussy it up anyway, with the intent to give users a more immersive browsing experience. “The new design was created specifically for the big screen, featuring multiple cinematic images for each title along with a new, snappy description and more personalized detail on why Netflix suggests it,” reads a Netflix press release. The new look is rolling out across all devices that display Netflix on the TV screen, including smart TVs, game consoles, set-top boxes, and Blu-ray players. Netflix is unifying the Netflix interface on all of those devices, which the company says will allow... Read more...
Show of hands, how many of you care about 3D Blu-ray content? It's a question worth asking because with both Microsoft and Sony getting ready to release next-generation consoles to retail, only one has confirmed it won't support the format. No need to try and guess which one -- if you read the title, you know the Xbox One won't support playback of 3D Blu-ray discs, at least not initially. The folks over at CNET said they confirmed the lack of 3D Blu-ray support with a Microsoft representative, though the Redmond software giant hasn't ruled out implementing the feature at a later date. It will probably depend on how much of a stink, if any, gamers make about it. It's an interesting decision by... Read more...
It seems like the tech industry at large has its collective head stuck in the cloud these days, but don't forget about optical storage. Though there hasn't yet been an official announcement, there's reason to believe that the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) is close to revealing the next generation 4K Blu-ray Disc format, which could hold at least 100GB of a data. The early revelation comes courtesy of Singulus Technologies, a maker of optical disc replication equipment. Singulus Technologies just unveiled its BLULINE III, which it says is capable of replicating triple-layer 100GB Blu-ray discs. Source: Flickr (/pitzyper!) "Only Blu-ray Discs with these capacities will enable movie experiences... Read more...
It isn’t exactly 1,000TB on a DVD, but we’ll take it. Sony and Panasonic announced that the two companies are partnering to develop a next-generation standard for optical discs in an effort to provide another long-term data storage option for professional use. Leveraging technology owned by each company, Sony and Panasonic are looking to create an optical disc with a storage capacity of at least 300GB; the project will ostensibly be completed by the end of 2015. Panasonic LB-DM9 Both companies already have high-density optical disc storage in their respective portfolios. Sony has a system that uses a cartridge filled with 12 optical discs; each disc has 25GB of capacity. Panasonic’s... Read more...
Remember Kaleidescape? That's the company that attempted to give high-end cinema lovers the ability to digitize all of their DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, and clearly, enough of those folks exist to keep it afloat. While niche by nature, it's tough to knock the cool factor here, and the home movie server outfit is now bringing its high-end home theater experience to a broader audience with the all-new Cinema One. It's the company's first product designed for retail distribution, which could see its products fit into the lives of a far wider crowd. Cinema One lets consumers store and instantly access up to 100 Blu-ray or 600 DVD-quality movies in the highest audio and video quality available. Cinema... Read more...
It's hard to believe 20 years have passed since the first Jurassic Park film debuted in movie theaters. Even more remarkable is how well the special effects in the Stephen Spielberg-directed flick have held up over time. To celebrate the franchise's 20th anniversary, Universal Studios Home Entertainment is releasing the first three films individually to Blu-ray on March 26, 2013. Each film will come in the form of a combo pack with a DVD, Digital Copy, and an UltraViolet digital copy of the film included. In addition, there will be lots of bonus material added to each film. The titles are available to pre-order on Amazon for $24.49 to $31.48. After that, Universal Studios Home Entertainment will... Read more...
The doors of the Las Vegas Convention Center may still be largely sealed, but the news from CES 2013 is already starting to flow. Samsung is one of the major players showing up in Las Vegas to debut new products, and a new digital audio line-up will be a huge part of that. The company's 2013 AV products feature a number of wireless connectivity enhancements, including the industry's first soundbar that can connect with a TV using wireless Bluetooth technology. Samsung's Vacuum Tube Soundbar (model HW-F750) is the first soundbar to feature a built-in vacuum tube to maximize sound quality, and is the world's first soundbar that can wirelessly connect with a TV via Bluetooth, while the Portable... Read more...
You can't argue with the convenience of streaming video, provided you're rocking a fast enough Internet connection to watch your favorite movies without annoying hiccups and sudden drops in picture quality. As it turns out, consumers are also finding all those video rental kiosks convenient, and combined with brick-and-mortar store rentals, DVDs and Blu-ray rentals are still the media of choice for watching full-length feature films, according to data by The NPD Group. The NPD Group found that kiosks, brick-and-mortar stores, and movies by mail via Netflix accounted for 62 percent of movie rental orders during the first half of 2012. By comparison, digital movie rentals accounted for the other... Read more...
When we first took a look at the ASRock Vision 3D 137B with NVIDIA 3DTV Play last year, we were quite impressed with the machine. It offered excellent all-around performance for a system in its class and had an extensive feature set that included Blu-Ray and 3D video playback capabilities, all wrapped up in what we considered to be an attractive enclosure. So, when ASRock came to us with an updated model outfitted with a newer CPU, GPU, and other components, we were eager to check it out. Once it arrived we were pleased to see ASRock hadn’t messed around with the system’s aesthetics and after prepping it with an OS and various other apps, the system took residence in our home theater... Read more...
When we first took a look at the ASRock Vision 3D 137B with NVIDIA 3DTV Play last year, we were quite impressed with the machine. It offered excellent all-around performance for a system in its class and had an extensive feature set that included Blu-Ray and 3D video playback capabilities, all wrapped up in what we considered to be an attractive enclosure. So, when ASRock came to us with an updated model outfitted with a newer CPU, GPU, and other components, we were eager to check it out. Once it arrived we were pleased to see ASRock hadn’t messed around with the system’s aesthetics and after prepping it with an OS and various other apps, the system took residence in our home... Read more...
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