Monthly Archives: March 2012
Dish really embraced the beauty of the kangeroo with the official launch of their whole-home HD DVR called the “Hopper,” which links to child set-top-boxes called “Joeys” throughout your home. Dish says the Hopper lets you record up to 6 HD channels at once during primetime, but really what it’s doing is using Dish’s PrimeTime Anytime feature to let you access primetime shows on demand for up to 8 days (although you can “Save” them to your library). The shows will only be available in HD if your local broadcasts are HD. So in a nutshell, you can get your Hopper to store 6 HD channels at once during primetime, but really only two of those channels are outside the local lineup. You can also stream four HD programs to different TVs at the same time. And, the 2 terrabyte hard drive is said to store up to 250 hours of HD content.
Suddenlink customers narrowly avoided a blackout of AMC Networks this week, which would have included AMC’s WEtv, IFC, and Sundance channels. AMC TV shows includes “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men,” and “The Prisoner.” Sundance and IFC specialize in broadcasting independent films and shows such as “FREAKS AND GEEKS” and “Little Miss Sunshine.” WEtv broadcasts programming focused on women, with shows such as “Amazing Wedding Cakes,” and “Bridezillas.” If the carriage deal didn’t come to terms, Suddenlink customers (who number approximately 1.4 million) may have missed the season finale of “The Walking Dead.” Whoosh. Details of the agreement, of course, were not disclosed.
After years of development time rumors about release dates, the hell of Diablo III will finally be unleashed in just two months, May 15 to be exact. Blizzard Entertainment says the digital version of the long awaited hack and slash sequel is available for pre-order right now through Battle.net for $59.99. A boxed release and a $99.99 collector’s edition will also be available come mid-May.
What’s new on Blu-ray this week? Oscar winning film The Descendants hits the shelves on Blu-ray. The film was nominated for a total of 5 Academy Awards including Best Actor for George Clooney’s performance. This week Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin is also available in both 3D Blu-ray and standard Blu-ray. Both editions include a DVD and Digital Copy of the film. And, Oscar nominated but controversial film The Last Temptation of Christ has been digitally remastered by The Criterion Collection for release in high-definition. The Blu-ray contains audio commentary by director Martin Scorsese, actor Willem Dafoe and writers Paul Schrader and Jay Cocks, as well as other extras. The soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ is formatted in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Here’s a link to all new Blu-ray Discs available this week at Amazon.
Wal-Mart has introduced a new in-store disc-to-digital service that takes your DVD or Blu-ray and converts it to digital, allowing you stream your purchased movies wherever you have an internet connection. The service is powered by VUDU, the digital movie company Wal-Mart purchased in 2010 which will give customers access to their digital movies. Supporting devices include PCs, HDTVs, tablets, phones, gaming consoles, and other devices that can run VUDU.
You may have noticed over the past few days a new Netflix interface via the PS3. Yesterday, Netflix officially introduced the new interface which asks you which experience you’d like upon launching the app – Netflix or Netflix “Just for Kids.” On the left, there’s a large square with the traditional Netflix logo on red.
This week Amazon has got a special price for Blu-ray action movie 3-Packs. Try knocking 70% off the list price of $49.99, and get any one of four action packs for $14.99 each. That plays out to a discount of $35 bucks. Not bad for Spring forward special. As mentioned all of the box sets fall into the action/sci-fi genre. There’s the Marvel Blu-ray Three-Pack (Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer/Daredevil), the Sci-Fi Three-Pack (Jumper/Independence Day/I, Robot), the AVP Alien vs. Predator/Predator/Commando 3-pack, and the Extreme Action 3-Pack (Live Free or Die Hard/Ronin/The Siege). The discounts are only good through this week, so here’s a link directly to the Amazon Blu-ray 3-Pack sale.
Here’s the daily schedule for this year’s NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament. As always, make sure you tune-in to the high-definition broadcast of the games. You’ll also be able to purchase an iOS or Android app to watch all 67 of the games on your computer, iPad, iPhone and certain Android devices. That app costs $3.99. DirecTV subscribers will also be happy to know TruTV will be carrying the entire tournament in HD.
Video game developer David Cage and his studio Quantic Dream are known for creating cinematic, emotion-driven video games like Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy. Their latest creation is a tech demo unveiled at the 2012 Game Developers Conference that, while not presented as a game, offers excellent graphics and an even better narrative during its 7-minute runtime. “Kara” focuses on the construction of a female robot and the conversation between the droid and her creator, which takes a disturbing turn.
If you can’t be in front of your TV this year for March Madness you might want to check out the new app for Apple devices. The app itself is free, but you can upgrade to watch all 67 games …
Geez. We got all excited about an “iPad HD” and all we got is the “new” iPad. What’s in a name anyhow? Today Apple announced details of the new iPad in San Francisco. Tagged as “resolutionary,” the new iPad does bring a whole new level of sharpness to the tablet’s 9.7″ display. This new iPad houses 3.1 million pixels powered by the new dual-core Apple A5X chip. The resolution has been improved to 2048×1536 (from 1024×768) and uses “Retina Display” technology. Apple boasts the new iPad has a million more pixels than a standard HDTV (see graphic below). The rear camera on the new iPad (now called the iSight Camera) has also been improved to 5-megapixels from 0.7-megapixels. And, HD video recording has been increased to 1080p from 720p. Storage capacities on the new iPad will be available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB configurations. There will also be two networking models available: a Wi-Fi model, and Wi-Fi with 4G LTE model. Battery life (even with the higher performing display) is still rated at 10 hours. Get more specs and photos at Apple.com.
According to sources such as CNET the next Apple iPad (the third generation of its kind) will not be called iPad 3. Instead, the tablet will be named iPad HD, a brand solution that’s not exactly original (not that “3” is)
Panasonic has released pricing on their lineup of 2012 Blu-ray Disc players, including both 3D and non-3D models. Prices on the 2012 lineup range from the low-end BD77 at $89 to the high-end BDT500 at $349. Panasonic says the new players feature enhanced VIERA Connect, smartphone remote, improved super resolution processors, built-in WiFi systems, and reduced power consumption. See suggested retail pricing below along with each model’s features.
It’s a great week for Blu-ray releases highlighted by several titles celebrating Universal’s 100th Anniversary. Movies such as The Deer Hunter, The Nutty Professor, The Blues Brothers and Parenthood have been digitally remastered and released in 1080p high definition. And, some editions of those Universal discs also include a DVD and digital copy. This week HBO’s Game of Thrones has also been released on Blu-ray Disc. The 5-disc set includes all 10 episodes of Season 1 along with plenty of extras such as never-before-scene footage and character profiles. The New York Giants’ road to winning Super Bowl XLVI has also been released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD. And, if you’re starved for more 3D content Immortals hits shelves as both a single-disc Blu-ray and three-disc Blu-ray/3D with Digital Copy. Check out our picks for the week or view all new Blu-ray Disc releases this week on Amazon.
Disney XD has announced the new animated series “Ultimate Spider-Man” featuring Drake Bell as the voice of Peter Parker and co-creator Stan Lee as Stan the Janitor. The new series will air on Disney XD’s new programming block called “Marvel Universe” premiering on Sunday, April 1 at 11:00am. The series’ second episode will follow immediately at 11:30am. Disney XD will also premiere the second season of “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” as well as a new series that takes you behind the scenes of Marvel Universe.
Nitpick all you want about the Austin Powers movies, but you can’t deny they are worth $5.66 apiece. That’s what Amazon’s Blu-ray Deal of the Week breaks down to, with the Austin Powers Collection on sale for just $16.99 through March 11. Jump on the shagadelic savings here.
DirecTV’s “big news” this week is TruTV launching in HD on March 7, just in time for the first bracket of games starting on March 13. From the looks of the TruTV schedule, the NCAA coverage will start with a one hour special on Selection Sunday, March 11.
GameStop will host Mass Effect 3 Midnight Launch events across the U.S. on Monday, March 5. Over 3,600 stores will be open to sell the latest EA game priced at $59.99 for the standard version, and $79.99 for the Digital Deluxe Edition.