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March 17, 2008

Acer's Gemstone Blue Multimedia Laptops With Blu-ray

acermain.jpgAcer unveiled its second-generation line of multimedia-based laptops this week. Named Gemstone Blue, the new line features 16- (6920) and 18-inch (8920G) displays that output 1080p resolution. Combined with surround sound support and Blu-ray drives on both models, the Acer lineup is ready to take on any cutting edge multimedia format, making the Gemstone Blue lineup ideal for web video and gaming.

Acer also built a Cinetouch touchpad into the keyboard layout on the Gemstone Blue models, but most who have had a chance to try it out find it oddly designed and a little difficult to use.

Prices for the Gemstone lineup start at $900 and the new models should be shipping in April.

Via Switched

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March 8, 2008

Sony: Expect Sub-$300 Blu-ray Players This Year, Sub-$200 Players In 2009

playdvds.jpgIt's got to be tough successfully ending the short life of HD DVD, only to return fearing the threat of a standard definition format. But that's exactly the predicament Blu-ray has found itself in. Sony president Stan Glasgow knows this, acknowledging in a recent press conference that "the battle really begins now to move people away from DVD to Blu-ray". With Blu-ray's expensive pricing an obstacle to mainstream success, Glasgow says that we can expect sub-$300 Blu-ray players this year and sub-$200 players in 2009. More likely than not, the only sub-$300 model we'll see this year will be one or two lower end models nearer to the 4th quarter. Sony also says that they'll continue to improve their emphasis on marketing some exclusive Blu-ray features such as BD Live as upscaling DVD players continue to improve. Oh yeah, and as for digital downloads? No threat for at least a decade. Yeah right.

Via Movieweb

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March 4, 2008

Panasonic BD30E Blu-ray Player Will Support DivX, Just Not In The US

68_1_large.jpgThe Panasonic BD30E, to be released later this month, is the first DivX-certified Blu-ray player available to the European and Russian markets. No prices have been released yet, but the BD30E is supposedly identical in features to the Panasonic BD30 with the DivX playback the only significant difference.

This is a smart move on the part of Panasonic as consumer demand for DivX playback is at an all time high. While the studios unleash their DVD-sniffing dogs on the world of movie pirates, manufacturers may as well make a buck at their expense.

Via Blu-ray.com

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March 3, 2008

BD-ROM: Preferred Blu-ray Format In 2008 Says Manufacturers

Sony_BDU-X10S_BD-ROM_Drive_2_med.jpgTaiwanese makers of optical disk drives believe BD-ROM drives will gain popularity in 2008 and possibly move ahead of stand-alone players. Sony's recent release of the BDU-X10S BD-ROM and its leadership role in the Blu-ray camp will propel other manufacturers to begin producing their own BD drives. In fact, Hewlett-Packard, Pioneer, Acer, and Asustek Computer all plan on releasing their own BD-ROM drives as early as the 2nd quarter of this year.

Via Digitimes

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February 27, 2008

Blu-ray's Not Getting Any Cheaper With Sony BDP-S350, BDP-S550 And Eidos 20 BD Blu-ray Player Announcements

How much do you think this little box costs?

2-26-08-eidos-20.jpg
We'd be willing to bet money that you weren't even close because it costs a whopping $17, 000. Yes, that's right, Goldmund's new Eidos 20 BD Blu-ray player will cost you that much when it's released. Of course, like most new products leaked onto the web, no date has been announced as of yet. Not to many details have been released either, but at $17,000 we'd hope you'd be witness to one of the greatest HD movie experiences ever.

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Sony announced the upcoming release of two new Blu-ray players as well, the first to support Sony's BD Live service which allows you to download bonus materials and games from the internet and enables picture-in-picture viewing. Sony will first release the BDP-S350 sometime this summer for "around $400" but won't support BD Live until the fall when it's expected to officially debut. The BDP-S350 will feature an ethernet port for connecting to the web via your home broadband connection. The second player, the BDP-S550, will be released in the fall after BD Live is available and will be priced at "around $500". Looks like Blu-ray players won't be getting cheaper anytime soon.

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

February 26, 2008

The Real Reason HD DVD Is Dead: It Wasn't Warner Or A $400 Million Payoff

While the general consensus is that Warner Bros. decision to release their movie titles exclusively on Blu-ray was the last straw in the format war, sealing the fate of HD DVD, general manager of storage device strategy for Matsushita, Masayuki Kozuka says otherwise.

thumb_230_1A.jpgRemember the hoopla surrounding the $99 (and in some places cheaper) Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player available from Wal-mart and Best Buy just before Black Friday? According to Kozuka, this pricing strategy was the worst thing Toshiba could have done for HD DVD. By introducing such low prices, Toshiba effectively discouraged new manufacturers from producing HD DVD players. For the most part, Toshiba had the only established series of HD DVD players on the market. Up until this point, standalone HD DVD players were actually outselling standalone Blu-ray players, but by Christmas Blu-ray had a clear lead. So it turns out that maybe Warner Bros. never killed HD DVD, nor did any backroom $400 million payoff, a pre-Black Friday sale did.

Now that HD DVD is dead, movie studios will aim to move the DVD market to Blu-ray, expecting movie titles sales to increase from 7 million last year to 50 million this year. And what about the meme floating around the web stating that Blu-ray will be the next format to go at the hands of digital downloads. Not going to happen anytime soon, says Kozuka, adding that 7-8 years from now could be a totally different story.

Via Tech-on

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February 23, 2008

Trade In Your Useless HD DVD Player For A Useful Blu-ray Player

2-22-08-edion.jpgThere is a catch of course: you need to live in Japan. But it is true. Edion, the owner of several electronic chains in Japan is accepting 7 different HD DVD players through the month of March in exchange for a brand-spanking new Blu-ray player from Sony, Panasonic, or Sharp. Of course, traders will have to make up the price difference as Blu-ray is a tad more expensive.

Via Tech.co.uk

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February 22, 2008

Blu-ray To Do Away With Discs?

bluray_machines.jpgApparently the HD DVD/Blu-ray format war was impeding a coalition of 150 HD player manufacturer's from developing innovations that will eventually do away with HD discs altogether. Home Theater Specialists Of America director of training and public relations David Berman says now that Toshiba has announced the death of HD DVD, the coalition is free to go ahead and move toward a future that will see Blu-ray players with no discs in our living rooms.

Via CEPro

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February 13, 2008

Stealth Startups Aiming To Knock Blu-ray Down A Notch

Nakamura.jpg
While Blu-ray has been getting all the press lately with its likely triumph over HD DVD in the battle of HD optical disc formats, a couple of stealth startups are looking to develop its eventual successor. Kaai and Soraa, who have both received an unknown amount of funding from VC firm Khosla Ventures, are working on developing lasers and LEDs that could revolutionize optical data storage, and replace Blu-ray.

Both companies will use gallium nitride, used in today's blue laser and blue LEDs, to develop technology that is cheaper and more energy-efficent than today's Blu-ray format. Founders Shuji Nakamura (pictured above) and Stephen DeBaars have extensive experience in the LED industry and have been working on the unknown technology since 2000, so hopefully we'll learn more soon. Unfortunately, given that the technology is still in its developmental stages, Khosla Ventures is keeping a pretty tight lid on the companies, making details sparse.

Via CNET

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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