Audio News for January 11, 2010

by | Jan 11, 2011 | Audio News | 0 comments

Complete Star Wars Set on Blu-ray in September – For the first time, all six of George Lucas’ epic sci-fi series (Episodes I-VI) will be united in one complete set on Blu-ray. 20th century Fox Home Entertainment will release Star Wars in three different sets; The Complete Saga of six films on 9 Blu-rays, The Prequel Blu-ray Trilogy 3-disc set, and The Original Trilogy 3-disc set.  The highest possible image and sound presentation will be utilized, along with three additional discs and more than 30 hours of extensive special features including never-before-seen deleted and alternate scenes, an exploration of the Star Wars archives, and more. The epic franchise pioneered enhanced sound and visual presentation in theaters and provides a viewing experience only possible with Blu-ray.  This will probably be the most anticipated Blu-ray collection since the launch of Blu-ray. The Complete Saga on 9 discs will retail for $140.

DEG 2010 Home Entertainment Report – The Digital Entertainment Group – a non-profit, industry-based group, represents the broad spectrum of the home entertainment industry, including major movie studios, leading consumer electronics manufacturers, IT companies and retailers. Here are some Blu-ray points from their Year-End 2010 Report:

The Blu-ray adoption rate increased dramatically over the last two years, making it now a mainstream product with an installed base in the U.S. of 28.5 million players. Fox sold 15.3 million copies of Avatar in North American, with five million of those on Blu-ray, making it the No. 1 Blu-ray title of all time. A number of titles had initial Blu-ray sales in excess of 30% of total sales. Many of the top-selling Blu-ray titles in 2010 were animated films. Blu-ray catalog sales are up 52% year over year – showing that it is no longer being considered for new releases only. 2010 saw the initial launch of Blu-ray 3D and the DEG estimates that 100 3D titles will be at retail by the end of this year. Although total consumer spending in the U.S. on home entertainment product was down in 2010, a more precise indicator of consumer demand is transactions, which were up for the year.  Also, digital distribution made an appreciable contribution to the home entertainment mix, and offset the decline of rental – pushing the category to growth for the year.

DEG Awards at CES – During its 14th annual reception at the Consumer Elecronics Show in Las Vegas, the DEG announced its top honors for products and retailers. The membership voted Best Buy as National Retailer of the Year for Hardware and as Retailer of the Year for Software. Three awards acknowledged the year’s most outstanding digital entertainment products. The Sight award went to the Panasonic TC-P50VT25 50-inch Viera plasma display, the Source award went to the Panasonic DMP-BDT100 3D HT Blu-ray player, and the Sound award went to Sony’s STR-DA5600ES 7.1 Network Multiroom AV Receiver. Six honors went to Creative Excellence in Blu-ray titles: Theatrical Title of the Year was Avatar, Classical Titles was The Sound of Music 45th Anniversary Edition, TV Title was Lost: the Complete Collection, Non-Theatrical Title was Life (with David Attenborough), Music Title was The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story, and the 3D Title of the Year was Disney’s A Christmas Carol.

LG Shows New 3D Technology at CES – LG Display showcased its Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) 3D panel, which uses polarized glasses instead of shutter 3D glasses. FPR does not produce flicker or crosstalk sometimes seen in the bulky, battery-powered shutter glasses used by SG displays – whose glasses retail for $100 or more. FPR replaces the additional polarizing glass substrate on the LCD TV panel with special film which only costs ¼ as much. The lightweight FPR glasses are expected to change consumer perception of 3D video from an expensive novelty to a practical choice for viewing enjoyment. There are even FPR clip-ons for wearers of prescription distance glasses, and the normal polarized glasses will retail at $10-$20. 

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