Hitachi Home Electronics has announced a new HD hybrid camcorder (DZ-BD10HA) that functions in three formats and improves upon Blu-ray Disc recording capabilities from last year’s DZ-BD7HA hybrid camcorder. The new DZ-BD10HA has also improved upon power consumption and noise in the 8cm BD/DVD drive.
The three format hybrid camcorder is able to record HD video onto Blu-ray Disc, hard drive, or SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) card. It allows recording up to 4 hours and 20 minutes of 1920×1080 resolution video, or 8 hours 40 minutes of 1440×1080 onto the built-in 30GB hard drive.
Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2 will be released on Blu-ray Disc September 9. The 2-disc high-definition set is now available for pre-order on Amazon. However there is some speculation about whether or not to wait for the release of the elusive director’s cut Kill Bill – The Whole Bloody Affair, a box set that was much anticipated on standard DVD but never realized in the United States.
NEC announced it has come up with a new Single-Chip LSI named EMMA 3PF that is 50% smaller than previous chips, therefore reducing part production costs and space requirements. That means new Blu-ray players could end up smaller and less expensive because of the new size and combined functions into one chip.
Yet another Keanu Reeves Blu-ray release slated for October 14th, The Ultimate Matrix Collection will be released along with graphic novel based Constantine. Should we name October 14th “Keanu Reeves Day?” Two great films being released the same day on BD…the only question is which should I pick up first?
The Matrix, while revolutionary for its time, does seem a bit dated in moments. The “Matrix-branded” 360-degree camera movements wowed fans at the time, but ended up being so overused in the industry that its effect seems to have been reduced to more of a gimmick.
THX 1138 directed by George Lucas looked surprisingly well in high-definition (HD) on Friday night. The 1971 science fiction film was the first feature-length film directed by George Lucas. Now considered by some to be a “cult classic,” it was remastered and released on DVD in 2004. HDNet presented the film in letterbox format to preserve the 2.40:1 aspect ratio.
LG announced a new BD player that has Netflix streaming capability. The LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player scheduled to be released this Fall will be able to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from the 12,000+ Netflix library. Problem is, Netflix does not currently stream high-definition.
A sale at Amazon discounts Disney Blu-ray Discs at 40%. Regularly priced $34.99 Blu-ray discs are now $20.95. Regularly priced $29.99 discs are now $17.95. Some Disney titles worth mentioning are Pirates of the Caribbean (all three from Disney), Cars (Disney), Apocalypto (Touchstone), Enemy of the State (Touchstone), Flightplan (Touchstone/Disney), No Country for Old Men (Disney) and 66 more according the latest list from Amazon.
“JFK”, directed by Oliver Stone, will debut on Blu-ray Disc on November 11. The high-definition release will be accompanied by the release of a “Three-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition” on standard DVD.
The Blu-ray Disc will be sold with special hardcover book packaging, press materials and photographs from the film. The three-disc DVD package will include the Two-Disc Special Edition Director’s Cut which adds 17 minutes to the film. It also includes the documentary Beyond JFK: A Question of Conspiracy and other JFK memorabilia .
Warner Home Video will debut the high-definition Blu-ray Disc release of Constantine on October 14. The film was originally released in high-def in June of 2006 on the now defunct HD DVD format. No details on specs yet but Warner says the disc will include hours of extras including the IME (In-Movie-Experience), documentaries and deleted scenes.
The first Blu-ray Disc test center has been established in China, giving CESI Technology Co. Ltd., a contributing member of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) official designation. This will give new Blu-ray manufacturers quicker verification services for the production of Blu-ray Disc players and products.
Warner Home Video has announced it will be releasing A Christmas Story Ultimate Collector’s Edition on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc for the 2008 holidays. The 2003 classic Christmas film will be packaged in a collectible holiday cookie tin and sell for $49.99 retail.
Onkyo, who once produced HD DVD players for the now defunct format, has announced it will release a Blu-ray Disc player by the end of 2008. The player will be 1080p compatible (I would hope so) and HDMI capable. For audio the player is supposed to support Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather epic trilogy will be released on Blu-ray September 23. The newly-restored high-definition versions arrive 36 years after the original film was released in 1972.
The Godfather I and The Godfather, Part II took over a year to restore in a historical preservation effort. The collection also includes a newly remastered version of The Godfather Part III. The HD format of the restored films is 16:9 in Dolby Digital Surround 5.1.
Sony said it expects Blu-ray to reign in profits close to $10 billion annually within three years. The company also said its gaming business would be profitable by the end of the fiscal year in March, 2009, much in part to increased PS3 software sales as well as lowered PS3 production costs.
I’ll drink to that. Home Media Magazine reports that more Bond films will soon be available on Blu-ray Disc. MGM, through distributer 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, is currently producing six of the Bond classics for release on Blu-ray. The scheduled release dates are Oct. 20 in the U.S., and Oct. 21 in the U.K..
Amazon is having a buy two get one free sale on selected Blu-ray Discs. There don’t seem to be any new release titles, the most recent being from 2007. Some titles include “Spider-Man 3” (2007), “Surf’s Up” (2007), “Hostel – Part II” (2007), “Premonition” (2007), and “The Company” (2007).
Warner Bros announced a 25%-off sale on their DVD collection for 30 days, that according to an email invite I received this morning. The email promotion said the sale includes all DVDs in the shop, including Blu-ray Discs. However, when visiting the store I found a complete mess.
Walmart, the world’s largest retail chain, announced a new Blu-ray promotion. The company said it will offer a $100 gift card when you purchase any of its Blu-ray players. The offer will start on Sunday, June 8th and extend to June 14th.
The store’s recent promotion which offered the $100 gift card with the purchase of a 40Gb Playstation 3 must have been a success, as the store is now including all Blu-ray players in a similar offer. This includes Sony, Magnavox, Samsung and Panasonic.
Amazon currently has a steal-of-a-deal on the 5-disc Blu-ray version of “Blade Runner”. Starring Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer and Ridley Scott, this is a must-have title for your Blu-ray collection.
The classic/cult film by Warner Brothers that had a less than successful theatrical debut in 1982, was remastered and restored to high-definition quality. “The Blade Runner 5-disc Complete Collector’s Edition” was released in December of 2007, and is regularly priced at $39.99.