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BDXL Blu-ray discs hold a whopping 128GB!

bdxl.jpgSharp has unveiled some new high-capacity Blu-ray discs that work according to the BDXL specification. Originally designed for application such as medical imaging, BDXL, in this case, allows 100GB to be stored on 3 layers of the Blu-ray disc and 128GB on 4 layers. Landing in Japan on the 30th of July for 5000 Yen, the BDXL discs will initially only work with the Sharp BD-HDW700 Blu-ray recorder/player. The 128GB discs will be available in BDXL-R and BDXL-RE versions while the 100GB discs will only be rewritable.

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July 15, 2010

Netflix, Warner Bros. sign another content deal

netflix_logo.gifAs part of its continued emphasis on Watch Instantly, Netflix has signed another deal with Warner Bros. to add more streaming video content. This deal nets Netflix all 100 episodes of Nip/Tuck, some Veronica Mars, Pushing Daisies and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

This adds to a deal Netflix signed with Warner Bros. earlier this year that resulted in the latter's new release titles being held for 28 days from the former's DVD-by-mail service. Netflix was given access to more streaming content in exchange. This week's deal also lengthened Netflix's existing license for Warner Bros. streaming content through 2011.

Netflix continues to make the transition to the web and de-emphasize its popular DVD-by-mail business. While some business, such as Blockbuster, have had trouble with this transition, Netflix seems to be doing okay with its web traffic exploding last month.

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Justin Davey Permalink | Comments (0) social bookmarking

LG's Nano Full LED results in 7.8 mm thin 3D TV

lg-3d.bmpIFA 2010, one of the world's most popular consumer electronics shows, will be all about 3D TV. LG, according to I4U, is going to be showing off a new 3D technology it calls Nano Full LED. According to LG, the technology enables it to enhance the direct backlighting behind its 3D panels with a micro lense-carrying nano screen. The nano screen makes the backlighting much more granular resulting in a sharper picture.

It makes sense that a nano screen would be slim and the Nano Full LED 3D TV being shown off this weekend at IFA is just that. At 7.8 mm thin, it's one of the skinniest TVs around. And with its 10 mm bezel, it'll be nothing but crisp, clear 3D picture.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about this TV.

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Justin Davey Permalink | Comments (0) social bookmarking

July 14, 2010

Netflix, Hulu neck-and-neck in the web video streaming race

hulunetflixminutes.jpg
Way back when I predicted Hulu wouldn't be much of a success and I was way off. Last month the video streaming site served up more than 1 billion videos, second only to YouTube in popularity. But it has some competition, according to new numbers from ComScore, in the form of Netflix. The prominent DVD-by-mail business has been steadily working over the past few years to move its business to the web and its traffic is growing quickly with its large library of streaming movies.

Netflix web traffic is up 15% since April and 46% year-over-year, and while this trails Hulu, Netflix's plain-jane June web traffic was actually higher - 20.2 million unique individual visitors to Hulu's 19.7 million. Of course, visitors use Netflix's website to look for DVDs to rent as well, but the trend is clear. Netflix is gaining ground on the video-streaming web.

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Justin Davey Permalink | Comments (0) social bookmarking

July 13, 2010

3D TV cruising along with major league baseball initiation

Over the weekend, DirecTV, Cox, Verizon, FiOS, Comcast, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable and a few regional services broadcast the first 3D major league baseball game in the New York and Seattle areas. Popular HDTV pundit Gary Merson from HDGuru.com reviewed the broadcast and while it wasn't perfect (and I hear some movies are just horrible), it does demonstrate the potential of 3D TV.

Said Merson:

The telecast gave a new perspective to the game, highlighting the physical space and interaction of the fielders as well as the pitcher to the batter like no other prior broadcast. You need to see it to appreciate it. My perspective shifted from distant spectator in a 2D HDTV broadcast to an umpire's eye view and "you are there" immersive feel.

Of course there were a few technical glitches, but it seems real 3D TV is on its way.

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July 12, 2010

Everyone to have 3D TV by 2013? Not.

ubisoftlogo.jpg3D will be "installed in everyone's living room in three year's time," according to gaming company Ubisoft's head of marketing. Yeah, I can't see this. By 2013, most North Americans will own a 3D TV? Maybe 2D television stops working entirely and we're all forced to upgrade to a 3D set...But even then, how many of us can afford the technology at this point in time. I can't, that's for sure.

With the digital TV transition barely behind us, many people have just bought a brand new HDTV in the past couple of years. Are they really seeing the necessity of shelling out for 3D technology at this point in time? Especially when it's nascent and full of glitches? Unlikely.

I suppose Ubisoft is just trying to drum up some publicity for its own new 3D gaming titles by issuing such a bold statement. It's definitely a smart business move. But a reasonable statement? Not in my eyes.

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July 5, 2010

Blockbuster kicked off the New York Stock Exchange

blockbuster_dying.jpgWay back when I predicted that Blockbuster would go bankrupt as it struggled against businesses such as Netflix and Apple's iTunes and their better business models. The bricks-and-mortar video rental chain has repeatedly failed to move its business online or into a similar, lower-overhead type business.

Now, Blockbuster will likely be delisted by the New York Stock Exchange as its share price has fallen below the $1 minimum. The company was made aware of the issue back in November of 2009 and attempted to remedy the problem by combining its Class A and Class B shares. Unfortunately that required a vote which went bad due to a "low vote turnout". Not good.

Hopefully the 960 stores Blockbuster closes this year will lower its expenses enough to allow the company to begin paying off some debt. Unlikely. I stick by my prediction.

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New Xbox 360 not as popular as PS3, Wii in Japan

360-new.jpgThe new Xbox 360 managed to sell 15, 000 units in Japan during its first four days on the market. The previous Xbox 360 managed to sell 2, 370 units during the same period. The previous full week saw only 2, 060 units sold. The launch was assisted by the popular new game, Monster Hunter Frontier Online.

Despite the new Xbox 360's initial success it was still outsold for the week by both Sony's Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. The two game systems sold 19, 578 and 19, 115 units, respectively.

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July 2, 2010

Apple TV to get revamped with new UI?

According to the New York Times, the failed Apple TV could be headed for a major overhaul and Apple could be making a play for your living room. As one of the last "disconnected" devices in the home, the television set is an important market. Sure, there are sets that allow internet connectivity. But no company has really revolutionized how we watch TV. Having the web on our living room TVs is cool, but not that important. With Google now making a play, Apple is looking to step in and offer some competition. Unofficial sources have told the times that the new Apple TV may use the same iOS operating system used by the iPhone, iPod and iPad. The hope for Apple would be that people access iTunes or a similar interface in order to purchase movies and TV shows. It could be lucrative for Apple if they get it right this time.

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CinemaGo BV-5005HD media hub announced

briteview-hub.jpg. Brite-View today has launched a new media hub called the CinemaGo BV-5005HDThe new hub is primarily built as a movie player capable of pumping out 1080p picture, and supporting a variety of file formats including AVI, MOV, WMV, MKV, RMVB, DVD (VOB) and raw Flash. Furthermore, the BV-5005HD will play ISO disc images, and can pull video from its local storage or from DLNA or UPnP sources. Furthermore it now supports BitTorrent downloads and will play Muzee internet radio stations. For expansion it has both eSATA and USB ports on the front. Brite-View is now taking pre-orders for $110 though the list price when it ships (an unknown) will be $150.

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