Audio News for November 24, 2009

by | Nov 24, 2009 | Audio News | 0 comments

Sony Considering Charging $40 for Home Viewing of New Theatrical Films – In an effort to stem some of the company’s losses, Sony Corporation has been approaching Hollywood studios with the idea of charging $40 for viewing a newly-released movie at home prior to it being shown in the theater or made available as DVD/Blu-ray rental. A similar test was tried a couple weeks ago when the 500,000 owners of Sony Bravia TVs were offered the option of paying $10 to view the new movie Hancock during a 24-hour period.  Sony believes their future hinges on being a content company more than a struggling home electronics manufacturer.

Chinese Firm TCL Launches Glasses-Free 3D – The major Chinese electronic company – who makes products sold under the Sony, Samsung and Toshiba brand names – will introduce a line of LED and LCD TVs in Australia only, including 3D models for which no polarized or shutter glasses are needed.  Their 3D technology was developed in partnershp with a U.S. company, Alioscopy, and uses a specialised lenticular lens in the glasses. Their edge-lit thin panels will be available in 40”, 46” and 50” sizes.

Blu-ray Disc Price Drops – There is finally some effort being made to get the sale prices of Blu-ray discs down closer to standard DVDs. Amazon, Disney and Pixar all have announced special promotions. Amazon dropped the price of the 4-disc Up edition from $45 to $19.99 and if you buy it together with Monsters Inc., you will get another $10 off. Disney and Pixar are also giving consumers an extra $10 off if they buy a second Disney or Pixar Blu-ray from their catalog.

Blu-ray ‘Managed Copy” Starting Next Month, But Useless – Over 600 companies have signed on to an AACS (Advanced Access Content System) license which makes mandatory a link in each Blu-ray movie from December 4th onward which sends the player to an authentication server where the user can make a full 1080p HD Blu-ray copy of the disc.  Unfortunately, there are no Blu-ray burners capable of making the copies, so the links are useless.  Plus the AACS in LA says they won’t even have the authentication servers up and running until the end of March.  There’s some other catches too.  Once it does work, studios can choose whether to offer a managed copy instead of the standard digital copy, and they can even choose to charge a nominal fee for the backups.

Books for Burning – Over 5000 public libraries in the U.S. now offer the OverDrive downloadable books service, where users can download to an MP3 player, iPod or computer hundreds of titles for free.  Both text and talking books are available. One librarian said “People want to take advantage of being able to be mobile and listen to a book at the same time – whether they’re cooking or in the car.”

Country’s No. 1 Electronics Retailer is in Montana – Consumer Reports magazine ranked online retailers for electronic merchandise, and a Montana-based retailer – Vanns.com – came out No. 1, ahead of Amazon, Costo, Walmart, Bestbuy and Sony. 99% of their business is outside Montana and the largest number of goods sold – TVs, digital cameras, home audio gear, camcorders and GPS units – are shipped to the East Coast. Their prices seem to be the main determinator of customer satisfaction.

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