Tag: Blu-ray

Denon finally introduces its latest 3D Universal Blu-Ray player, the DBP-1611UD in Japan


Akihabara News: Announced earlier this year in Europe and North America and widely available overseas since this summer, the DBP-1611UD, Denon latest 3D Universal Blu-Ray player will finally be available in Japan within this month (December).

Supporting BD, DVD, CD as well as DVD-Audio and SACD disks, the DBP-1611UD comes also with the support of DivX Plus HD, AVCHD, DLNA, YouTube, Netflix (for the USA), as well as the usual MP3 and WMA file support.

The DBP-1611UD will be sold in Japan at around 52,000 Yen MSRP.

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Sharp launches super-slim 3D Blu-ray player


Electronista: Sharp Japan has launched the BD-HP90, which it first announced back in September. The 1.3-inch thin device supports 3D Blu-ray content in 1080p at 24fps as well as support for DVDs, CDs and digital formats through USB including DivX HR and JPEGS and MP3.

But like many home entertainment devices currently available, it is also web-enabled. It offers support for Netflix video and Pandora audio streaming through its in-built Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections. It DLNA compliant giving users the option of streaming media from compatible devices wirelessly for display on a connected TV.

The Sharp BD-HP90 ships in Japan on November 20 for the equivalent of $450. US availability and pricing has not yet been announced.

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Blu-ray household penetration hits 17 percent

Engadget HD: Seems like a long time ago many were wondering if Blu-ray would ever take off and now the latest report from the NPD Group shows that almost one in five households have a player. Sure, many of these are PS3s, but despite what some might be thinking right now, these Blu-ray households rent and buy more packaged media than the other 83 percent. And these young, wealthy families with kids aren’t digital streaming haters either, in fact a fourth of them have rented a streaming video in the past 30 days, which is 10 percent higher than those laggards with standard def disc players. So while Blu-ray has failed to keep the home media market flat, it has enjoyed growth in this terrible economy and returned profits to its proponents.


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IFA 2010: Loewe’s new range in full


What HiFi: We’ve just come from Loewe’s press conference, where the company has announced a whole raft of new products and services for the end of 2010 and first quarter of 2011. We’ll be going hands-on with the kit tomorrow, so will add updates (including pricing, with any luck) then, but scroll down now for the early details and pics.

The big news is that Loewe is introducing its first 3D TV, ingeniously titled ‘Loewe 3D TV’. This will be an active shutter model with 400Hz and LED backlighting. It will also be available with an integrated hard disk recorder, which will be compatible with 3D content.

The 3D TV is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2011, along with the 3D Blu-ray player in the picture above.

Interestingly, the company is also doing previews of glassless 3D – more on that later.

The Art range of tellies is also being updated to Art LED, with the biggest new feature being, you guessed it, LED backlighting. As the name suggests, the Art TVs are designed to be very stylish, so edge lighting keeps the profile slim, and there’s a new ‘Mocha’ colour option, as you can see from the pic.

The Art LED will be available in 32in and 40in sizes later this year, with a 46in version following in early 2011. The 40in and 46in models have 200Hz processing, and all have USB inputs for accessing videos, pictures and music via the MediaHome menu. You can also specify a DR+ version, which will add hard disk recording and MediaNet (more on that later).

As with the Art range, the Connect models are also being upgraded to Connect LED. Again, these are edge-lit models, and are available in 32in and 40in sizes, with the bigger of the two getting 200Hz processing. DR+ is standard here, and as well as recording TV, the Connect LED can act as a network server and client, distributing and accessing media right through the home.

Finally on the telly front is news that the Individual range is being expanded with the addition of 32in and 55in models, which flank the current 40in and 46in options. LED backlighting again features here, and while the 32in model has ‘just’ 100Hz processing, the 55in ‘Individual Compose’ boasts 400Hz.

The 55in comes with the 250GB DR+ hard disk, which can also be specified as an optional extra on the 32in, and there are loads of colour options (including custom colour matching for the insets) for you to configure your new telly.

Loewe is also going big on internet content with its MediaNet service, which has been developed in collaboration with Philips and Sharp. The web portal will contain a selection of internet sites that have been edited and optimised for large screens with CE-HTML.

You can expect video on demand (including BBC iPlayer), internet radio and information services to be included, and you can also access the full-fat internet using the Opera internet browser. MediaNet launches in November.

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Onkyo Introduces Flagship THX-Certified AV Component Separates


Akihabara News: Onkyo is now expanding its product line to include upscale separate components. With its announcement today of three new THX Certified components, Onkyo is now offering the higher levels of performance, quality, and capabilities typical of separates. These new products include Onkyo’s first A/V preamplifier/processor that is both 3D-Ready and THX-Certified, a powerful 150-watt nine-channel amplifier, and a full-featured Blu-ray Disc Player.

Onkyo’s flagship PR-SC5508 is a THX-Ultra 2 Plus certified, network-capable, 9.2-channel audio-video controller will function as the brains of the worlds most advanced in-home home theater systems. It has a 3D-Ready HDMI-1.4a interface, HQV Reon-VX video processing, ISF Video Calibration, and a long list of top-of-the line audio and video features unmatched in other products.

The networking features offer DLNA 1.5 and Windows 7 compatible connection to PC audio and internet radio. The system is configured for Pandora, Rhapsody, Mediafly, Slacker, Napster, VTuner, and Sirius Internet Radio. The PR-SC5508′s component circuitry is at the far edge of the technology envelope, both in terms of sound and video quality and processing. Superior video performance comes in the form of HQV Reon-VX processing, 1080p upscaling, and individual ISF calibration capability for all video sources. This THX-Ultra 2 Plus certified system offers exceptional surround sound, height channels, setup calibration, and state of the art processing from Dolby, THX, DTS, and Audyssey, including the latter’s new MultEQ XT 32. The PR-SC5508′s extensive connectivity options includes 8 HDMI inputs, dual USB’s, two balanced line-level XLR audio inputs, and nine XLR preamp outputs to drive the matching PA-MC5500 nine-channel power amplifier.

The Onkyo PA-MC5500 is a powerful nine-channel THX-Ultra2 Plus certified analog power amplifier that is 8-ohm rated at 150 Watts per channel, and up to 400 Watts dynamic power into 3 ohms. It utilizes Onkyo’s exclusive WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology) design philosophy, which proscribes low negative feedback, low distortion, extended frequency response, and a power supply with high instantaneous-current capability. To achieve all this, the PA-MC5500 uses large, custom output transistors in push-pull configuration and massive power supply consisting of a large toroidal power transformer and two 22,000 µF storage capacitors. Despite all this power, the PA-MC5500 preserves the subtle details of the sound with a three-stage inverted Darlington circuit to remove distortion and the use of professional balanced line-level XLR inputs for the optimal interface with its ideal companion, the Onkyo PR-SC5508. The 51-lb PA-MC5500 has a rigid, anti-resonant chassis, gold-plated inputs and outputs, plus multi-zone and bi-amp capability to allow full utilization of all channels no mater what the system configuration.

The Onkyo BD-SP808 is a THX Certified and DLNA 1.5 Certified Blu-ray Disc Player with a full array of state of the art technology, including Video On Demand, premium Marvel Qdeo™ video scaler, and studio-master quality Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio™ sound. Its superior build quality provides a robust and versatile playback solution for Blu-ray, DVD, and CD. Harmful vibrations are minimized thanks to the highly rigid chassis construction and a balanced, center-mounted drive mechanism. An Ethernet port enables interactive Profile 2.0 BD-Live features such as picture-in-picture and web-sourced firmware updates. An SD card slot allows playback of downloaded web content or stills and video from a digital camera. In HDMI Source Direct mode, the player can output the video signal in its native resolution for optional external processing.

These products will begin shipping to dealers in September. The PR-SC5508 will have a suggested retail price of $2,199, the PA-MC5500 will be $1,699, and the BD-SP808 will have a suggest retail price of $599.

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HDMI 1.4 FAQ: What is it and how will it make my life better?

Cnet UK: HDMI has been a part of our life for a few years now. It enables HD video and audio to travel from an HD source, like Blu-ray to our high definition televisions. There have been several revisions, and the latest is known as HDMI 1.4. But what’s the big deal about this version?

The people most likely to care about HDMI 1.4 are those intending to buy a 3D TV and Blu-ray player. The new standard is intended to make 3D TVs a bit more user friendly by allowing televisions to auto-switch to the correct mode when they detect a 3D signal. All 3D TVs and Blu-ray players will support HDMI 1.4 from the outset, so TVs will only fail to auto-switch to 3D when being fed a signal from a Sky+HD or other set-top-box that’s essentially had 3D support added retrospectively.

HDMI 1.4 also features something known as an Audio Return Channel, or ARC. This is very handy for people who want to pass audio received by their TV back to an AV receiver. Normally, this would be accomplished with a coaxial or optical digital cable, or with a stereo RCA cable. Now, the TV can get over-the-air HD broadcasts from Freeview or freesat HD and send that Dolby Digital or LPCM audio back to your audio system.

Also present, is a full 100MB/s data capability, which will allow devices to share data with each other. In theory, this allows devices to share their internet connections with each other. So we might see AV receivers act as the only device in your entertainment system connected to an Ethernet router, and the other devices simply sharing its connection. There are other possibilities too, like devices transferring secure, HD video between each other, while still respecting copy protection.

For 3D and ARC you won’t need a new HDMI cable, although you might have trouble with low quality, cheap cables if they aren’t capable of transmitting enough data –3D is extremely data intensive, so cheap cables, that do 1080p okay, might not be able to cope with 1080p 3D. The networking functionality will definitely need a new cable though.

On the subject of HDMI 1.4 cables, everything does become a lot more confusing. With the new standard comes a total of five possible types of cable. These are standard, standard with Ethernet and standard automotive. Unless you want to connect a camcorder to your car with an HDMI cable, ignore the last one. Standard and standard with Ethernet are designed for video up 1080i, and depending on which you chose, the transmission of data. The chances are, you’ll never see a ‘standard’ cable, because it’s very unlikely to be of use to most people, and manufacturers will want to write “high speed” on their cables.

On the other hand, high speed cables will handle 1080p and up, including new formats like 4K video and 3D. There are two kinds, high speed and high speed with Ethernet. We think you can work out what the difference is.

There is also a new connector type that you may see appear. In addition to full size and mini HDMI there is now a ‘micro’ connector. Aimed at mobile phones and other tiny devices, it’s got all the functionality of its bigger brothers, but can be used where space is at a premium. Honestly, we can’t help but be annoyed that there are now three sizes of connector. This sort of thing is deeply annoying with USB cables, and it’s bound to cause problems with HDMI too.

Don’t panic, you aren’t going to need to rush out and replace all of your current cables and equipment. The advantages of HDMI 1.4 over 1.3 are significant if you’re buying new equipment, but don’t affect anyone with current hardware.


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Blu-ray disc sales double in a year

Techradar: Blu-ray sales in Europe are looking better than ever, with new figures suggesting that the format has almost doubled in popularity in a year.

In Q1 of 2010, Blu-ray sales managed to increase by 94 per cent year on year, with 8.4 million discs sold, according to new figures released by the Digital Entertainment Group Europe.

This meant that consumers spent a cool 151.4 million Euros on the format. This is similar to what happened in 2009, where sales of Blu-ray increased by 109 per cent.

Riding the wave of success

Blu-ray has still got a long way to go to match DVD sales, however. In the same timeframe 135 million DVDs were sold, which is a slight drop of 1.7 per cent.

Money wise this equates to a massive 1.3 billion Euros.

Overall this meant that combined disc units sold was up 3.8 per cent.

Speaking about the increase, Yves Caillaud, senior vice president of Warner Home Video said: “Blu-ray has continued to ride the wave of success at the start of 2010 and it is promising to see consumers respond well to the format.

“The industry is providing consumers with the most innovative and enjoyable home entertainment experiences, and we expect sales to increase as the penetration of HDTVs continues to accelerate.”

This is all good news, but surely those betting big on Blu-ray will be a little concerned that the humble DVD is still outselling the format by 10 to one?

The entertainment industry will be hoping that another Avatar-like success will be just around the corner.


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Sylvania Blu-ray Disc Player going for $59.99

Übergizmo: Forget about the Sony PS3 being the most affordable Blu-ray player in the market – if you happen to scour Amazon, the Sylvania Blu-ray Disc Player breaks all records with its $59.99 price tag. Considering this has some pretty decent reviews, it is surely madness to turn it away at such a low price point – unless you want to get some gaming thrown into the mix of course, which is where the Sony PS3 comes in.

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LG teases new Blu-ray players with more Internet features

Electronista: LG today hinted at its CES plans with word that it will update its Blu-ray players.

The Korean company provides no details of the hardware inside but says they should have significantly expanded online features beyond the existing CinemaNow, Netflix, Pandora and YouTube options.

It’s hinted in particular that the players may let users download movies and music and create their own media library searchable by metadata like the album name.

Existing players already have built-in Wi-Fi and support BD-Live in addition to the Internet-only content. More information is expected at LG’s CES keynote in mid-week as well as at the show itself, which begins on Thursday.

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Panasonic makes bold move with new 3D Plasma TV

About: Panasonic has been pushing hard, really hard, to get 3D into the home. In the past year or so, Panasonic has been on the road and at trade shows demonstrating its 3D technology to manufacturers, dealers, press, and potential consumers. I have actually seen Panasonic’s 3D demonstrations during this time period and have been impressed with the results. However, good results are only part of the equation, cost and movie studio content support are even bigger factors, especially in current economic times.Keeping all this in mind, Panasonic has announced that it will be taking the first step into the consumer market in 2010 with a 3D-enabled 50-inch Plasma Television and, hopefully, a companion 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player (…).

This is especially important as a new breed of 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc players would be required to view 3D content using Panasonic’s system. Also, no price or content information is available yet, but I am sure this system will be displayed at the annual CES in January and information on pricing and content should be forthcoming by that time.

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Toshiba’s Cell TV still on for 2009 debut, now with Blu-ray

EngadgetHD: Just in case there was any doubt, Toshiba has confirmed plans to launch its halo product, the Cell (for Cell Broadband engine, similar to the one in the PS3) TV, with all the LED backlit 3D GUI, 3840×2160 resolution, and DLNA streaming capabilities one could want, in Japan by the end of the year.

Thanks to the company’s new religion, it will also feature a Blu-ray recorder to go along with the 1TB hard drive, though we can bet that will be axed before making its way stateside in 2010.

Of course we’re still looking forward to the Media Center Extender packing display expected here some time soon, but when an executive promises the “ultimate entertainment machine” we can’t help but wonder what’s in store. More detailed specifications and any pricing info other than “it will be fairly expensive” are still unavailable.

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Sony introduces five new feature-packed, confusingly-named Blu-ray DVRs

Engadget: Now that Toshiba’s getting in on the Blu-ray train, Sony needs to up its game. Enter a quintet of new players, each packing TV recording tech, overlapping feature sets, and seemingly nonsensical names.

Starting at the low end is the BDZ-RS10, which sports a measly single digital tuner and 320GB worth of storage.

Sony Blu-ray DVRs

Next up is the BDZ-EX30, adding a second digital tuner and a Blu-ray recorder into the action. Then the BDZ-EX50 moves up to 500GB of storage and adds PSP support, the BDZ-RX100 goes up to a full 1TB, and the BDZ-EX200 2TB.

All but the lowest two support DLNA and can spin an hours worth of video to a PSP or X-1000 in under two minutes, meaning you could sync the entire Battlestar Galactica series in just over two hours and get your Cylon fix wherever you like.

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