Archives for the 'Hardware News' Category
Sony today announced an advancement to the Blu-ray format, whereby users can now transfer a Digital Copy of the movie directly from the Blu-ray Disc to their PSP via a PlayStation 3. This new technology eliminates the need to include the PSP file on a separate DVD-ROM, packaged with the Blu-ray, which would normally contain the Digital Copy files. This feature will launch with the November 10th Blu-ray release of Godzilla and will be included on select releases going forward, including The Ugly Truth.
Rich Marty of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment commented, “This latest enhancement to Blu-ray and Digital Copy demonstrates the versatility of the format… [and] showcases the unique advantage that the PlayStation 3 brings to the Blu-ray consumer.”
The enhanced Digital Copy feature is the latest addition to Sony Pictures’ portfolio of Blu-ray Disc features, which also include BD-Live, movieIQ (real-time movie information), social networking through cinechat, multiplayer games, an interactive video editing suite, as well as soundtrack playlists, e-Movie Cash and more.
Sony has unveiled the new PlayStation 3, featuring a streamlined form factor with a 120GB Hard Disk Drive. The new PlayStation 3 will be in stores September 1, 2009, in North America, Europe/ PAL territories and Asian countries and regions at a recommended retail price of $299 and €299, respectively. The system will become available in Japan on September 3, 2009 for 29,980 yen (including tax).
In my opinion, the PS3 is one of, if not the best Blu-ray Disc player out there and at $299 it is a no-brainer. Definitely pick one up if you’ve been thinking of going Blu.
More images after the break.
Netflix and Samsung today announced a broad partnership to offer consumers the ability to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from the Netflix Web site directly to their living rooms via Samsung’s BD-P2500 and BD-P2550 Blu-ray disc players. The companies also said they are collaborating to enable Samsung to integrate instant streaming from Netflix into a range of home entertainment products.
The BD-P2550 and BD-P2500 are currently available at $399.99. Consumers who already own one of these Samsung players can upgrade their device at no additional cost to enable instant streaming from a growing library of more than 12,000 movies and television episodes from Netflix. The upgrade is available at samsung.com/bluraysupport.
Instantly streaming movies and TV episodes from Netflix on the BD-P2550 and BD-P2500 is done through a wired broadband connection and a Netflix Queue-based user interface. Netflix members visit the Netflix Web site to add movies and TV episodes to their individual instant Queues. Those choices will automatically be displayed on members’ TVs and available to watch instantly through the Samsung players. Once selected, movies will begin playing in as little as 30 seconds. With the players’ accompanying remote control, Netflix members will be able to browse and make selections right on the TV screen and also have the ability to read synopses and rate
movies. In addition, they will have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding the video stream.
According to Xbitlabs, Toshiba-Samsung Storage Technology, a joint venture between Samsung Electronics and Toshiba , has been contracted to manufacture external Blu-ray disc drives for the Xbox 360. It’s rumored that Microsoft is aiming for a $100-$150 price-point in order to compete with the PS3, which has a Blu-ray drive built-in.
Before you get too excited, please keep in mind that this is classified as a rumor until Microsoft releases a statement confirming or denying this.
In Japan, there’s a popular snack called Pocky – a very thin, chocolate covered pretzel stick. And ‘Pocky’ is the code name Sony used during the development of the brand-new BRAVIA Theatre BDV-IT1000 Blu-ray Disc home cinema system. Why? It’s simple: the speakers used in the system look just as slim as the snack.
That’s made possible by a compact full-range speaker drive-unit developed by Sony’s engineers: just 16mm wide, it’s about the width of a finger. Three of these drive-units are used in each of the front and centre speakers, and two in the rear speakers.
Sony’s new Blu-ray player, model BDP-S350, is now available across the country at Sony Style retail outlets, sonystyle.com and other authorized Sony retailers.
The BDP-S350 supports BonusView (picture-in-picture), which is featured on select new Blu-ray Disc releases, and is also BD-Live ready, with an Ethernet port for easy firmware updates and access to Internet-based interactive content features. A firmware update enabling BD-Live is planned later this year.
It also features quick start-up mode improving the player’s boot-up time to approximately a few seconds and offers an external port for local storage for BD-Live, allowing users to add an optional flash storage device (sold separately).
Since many consumers own extensive DVD movie libraries, the BDP-S350 incorporates Sony’s new Precision Cinema HD Upscale technology that converts standard-definition signals (480i) to 1080p and outputs a full HD equivalent resolution signal to 1080p TVs via HDMI. Additionally, the model also adds Sony’s new Precision Drive HD, which helps to detect and correct wobbling discs from three directions, stabilizing playback of bent or scratched Blu-ray Discs and DVDs.
In addition, the unit features 21 percent less power consumption in playback mode and 43 percent reduced power consumption in stand-by mode.
The model offers 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus decoding and bit-stream output, as well as DTS-HD High Resolution Audio and Master Audio bit-stream output.
The player also feature compatibility with an array of video formats, including BD-R/RE (BDMV and BDAV modes), DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW, CD, CD-R/RW (CD-DA format), and JPEG on DVD/CD recordable media.
The new BDP-S350 is now available for about $400.
Wal-Mart announced today that from June 8-14 it is offering a $100 Wal-Mart gift card with the purchase of any Blu-ray player, including the PS3.
Wal-Mart also added Magnavox, Samsung and Panasonic brand Blu-ray players to its shelves. But wait, that’s not all! Also staring June 8, Wal-Mart will sell select Blu-ray movies for only $15, including 3:10 to Yuma, Shooter and 300.
Samsung continues to expand its lineup of Blu-ray products with its fourth-generation Blu-ray player, BD-P1500, featuring the latest in Blu-ray technology as well as advanced connectivity for use with other digital devices.
Designed with fans of multimedia technology in mind, the BD-P1500 easily connects to other digital devices through an HDMI 1.3 port with CEC for expanded color delivery and easy home theater control. The P1500 has BD Profile 1.1 Bonus View and is BD Live Ready. With its built-in Ethernet connection and USB input users can quickly upgrade their BD-P1500 with the latest firmware.
Audiophiles will love the BD-P1500 for going beyond standard Dolby Digital audio playback to include Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TruHD and DTS-HD High resolution (scheduled to available later this year via firmware update).
The BD-P1500 will be available in June 2008.
On April 15th, Sony will release yet another firmware update for the PlayStation 3. This one will probably interest you if you’re an audiophile and have a nice surround sound setup in your living room.
Firmware version 2.3 will add support for the DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) and DTS-HD High Resolution (HR). This update, along with the recent BD-Live firmware update, allows the PS3 to play all Blu-ray titles at their fullest potential.
Brian Towne of DTS commented, “We are extremely pleased that [Sony] is adding the full spectrum premium DTS-HD Master Audio codec into the PS3 so that more than 10 million owners of one of the best selling computer entertainment systems can have the best sounding, most efficient and flexible audio technology available system as well. DTS-HD Master Audio is fast becoming the must-have feature for high definition entertainment enthusiasts.”
According to Sony president and Electronics CEO Ryoji Chubachi, Sony will offer Blu-ray Disc devices in a range of products aiming to increase the global market share of its Blu-ray Disc products from 20% to 50% by the end of 2008.
The new Blu-ray Disc devices include models integrating an LCD HDTV with Blu-ray Disc recording functionality.
Sony has relied mainly on the PlayStation 3 to gain Blu-ray popularity so launching other devices that are BD enabled should help BD gain a significant number of new users.