Audio News for November 10, 2009

by | Nov 10, 2009 | Audio News | 0 comments

Home Entertainment Spending Down Only 3.2%Total consumer spending on all home entertainment was down only 3.2% for the third quarter of 2009 according of the Digital Entertainment Group, and totaled an estimated $4 billion. There was a 66% increase in Blu-ray sales over the same quarter of 2008, and digital distribution was up 18% from last year. Blu-ray players are in 11.7 million homes now, and 3.3 million players were sold in the first nine months of this year – 13% more than in the same period last year.

Possible $50 Blu-ray Players on Black Friday? – One industry analyst expects to see at least one $50 Blu-ray player featured on the Friday after Thanksgiving, although others feel the $99 point will be more popular.  There are now several feature-packed Blu-ray players under $200 – all offering Net downloads from Netflix, Amazon VOD, CinemaNow and Pandora. One dealer reports selling 50% more BD players now than last year.

Some Movies to Feature Captioning for the Disabled – Sony Pictures and Universal Pictures have announced that some of their latest films on DVD and Blu-ray include special captioning and narrative material for people with disabilities. The descriptive sound track is basically an audio narration of that is happening in the movie.  Producing the material is the Media Access Group of public TV station WGBH in Boston.  Among the films are The Ugly Truth and Brüno.

Electronics Industry Fights CA Proposal Reducing TV Energy Use – A new coalition called Californians for Smart Energy is opposing the state’s proposed regulations which would apply starting January 2011 to new TVs sized 58 inches or less. The regulations are planned to generate about 6,515 gigawatt hours in annual energy savings – enough to power 864,000 single-family homes. California has 35 millions TVs, about one per every resident. The average American home now has more TV sets than people, and one in four children under age 2 have a TV in their bedroom. TVs, DVD players and cable boxes now consume about 10% of a typical home’s electricity. The amount of electricity TVs suck from the power grid has risen due to the growth of large flat screen plasma and LCD TVs.  The CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) says that the new regulations will limit consumer choice. A Panasonic executive said “We’d much rather help consumers get rid of their old TV, responsibly recycle it, and help them make a smart decision about a new TV.”  There’s been no mention of a Cash for Clunker TVs program.

Broadcasters Tell FCC Not to Reclaim Their Spectrum for Wireless Use – The National Association of Broadcasters and the Association for Maximum Service Television had stressed in joint comments to the FCC that when looking for spectrum for wireless allocation, the agency should not only focus on broadcast frequencies. A CEA study showed that broadcasters are sitting on $62 billion worth of spectrum that could be turned into $1 trillion in broadband benefits if reallocated to wireless broadband.  Wireless has grown even though wired broadband can deliver higher speeds. The NAB and MSTV pointed out that the government, TV, consumers and equipment makers just made a multi-billion-dollar investment in the DTV transition, and the spectrum freed up by that as well as government spectrum bands should be used efficiently for wireless.

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