Audio News for January 13, 2012

by | Jan 13, 2012 | Audio News

DEG’s 2011 Home Entertainment Report – The Digital Entertainment Group survey tracking sources and retail input has found that annual spending on Blu-ray discs has jumped 20% to $2 billion for the first time, and Blu-ray devices are in nearly 40 million homes, up 38% from 2010. Total consumer spending on home filmed entertainment for the second half of 2011 run nearly 1%, with 5% of the third quarter. High margin products are gaining a foothold among consumers—not only Blu-ray discs but also VOD and EST (electronic sell-thru). Blu-ray has become the standard for home entertainment, and both new release and catalog sales saw double-digit growth. Sony, Universal and Warner launched their first Blu-ray titles with UltraViolet in 2011, and DEG estimates that more than 100 UltraViolet titles will be available this year. (UV is a digital rights authentication and cloud-based licensing system allowing consumers of digital home entertainment to “buy once and play anywhere.” Apple’s mobile devices do not support UltraViolet at this time.)
Consumers also purchased more than 27 million HDTVs during 2011 and HDTV penetration is now more than 74.5 million in the U.S. Available 3D Blu-ray disc titles more than tripled in 2011 compared to 2010, while unit sales increased more than six times. Some of the major movies now on 3D include Avatar, The Lion King, Cars 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Five of the best-selling Blu-ray titles sold in excess of two million discs.
Wireless Innovation at CES – More than 140,000 attendees will visit the current Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, seeing more than 3100 exhibitors and trudging thru 1.8-million square feet of exhibit space. In his keynote speech, CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro said more than $200 million of CE gear will be sold in the U.S. during 2012, an increase of 3.7% over 2011. HE also said mobile technology is one of those things thanging the world for the better. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman/CEO of Qualcomm, gave an hour-long speech about the great innovations of wireless. Qualcomm spent $3 billion on R&D last year along, China has a billion mobile connections, and how about this: people look at their smartphones 150 times a day!  Lenovo showed a new smart TV powered by Qualcomm that will be introduced in China. It features Android 4.0 and has a voice-controlled remote. A doctor used Qualcomm devices that lets consumers see their EKGs on their phones and monitor their body functions and glucose levels. He described devices that predict whether your meds are appropriate for your genetic makeup and could warn you if you’re going to have a heart attack. This opens the potential for a new culture of “cyber-chrondriacs.” The XPrize Foundation announced that their goal is to award a $10 million prize to the team that develops a real-life medical tricorder (a la Star Trek).

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