Warner Home Video has announced that they will bring the highly anticipated The Ultimate Matrix Collection to Blu-ray on October 14th.
The sci-fi action film starring Keanu Reeves played a major part in converting mainstream audiences to DVD.
Warner Home Video is to launch aggressive pricing initiatives for the fourth quarter of 2008, including its most comprehensive Blu-ray Disc promotion yet.
From September and continuing into the first-quarter of 2009, Warner will offer a Blu-ray point-of-sale rebate programme in which retailers will be able to order participating catalogue titles for around US$11.
The strategy could result in Blu-ray discs at retail being on a par with current DVD prices.
Sales of Blu-ray discs for the first half of 2008 have grown by 506 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to the British Video Association (BVA).
Yet, despite the huge increase, the format still only represents 1.2 per cent of the total UK video market, with sales of nearly one million units.
The BVA’s half-year results show total sales in 2008 are up 3.3 per cent compared with the same period last year, a rise it attributes to the increased level of consumer choice provided by the HD formats – both BD and HD-DVD.
In the US, DVD also remains the most popular home entertainment choice but there are differences emerging among age groups.
Pioneer has developed a Blu-ray compatible disk that can hold 400GB of data on 16 layers.
The company currently only has a read-only disk available but expects to be able to produce recordable discs.
Each of the layers can hold 25 GB of data – equivalent to one single “standard” Blu-ray disk layer.
Multi-layer disks have existed for a while. Normal DVD players and burners are usually able to read and write to dual-layer discs.
It has been a challenge for Pioneer to get a clear signal from each of the recording layers of the disk, without picking up distortion from other layers.
The Weinstein Company became the final major studio in Hollywood to release movies in high def.
It has announced that its first offering in HD is to be the horror movie The Mist, which will be released in Blu-ray this August 5th.
The Weinstein company, distributors of Dimension Films, briefly supported HD DVD, but pulled out before releasing a title after the format’s downfall.
The extensive extras present on the standard DVD are set to be included on the Blu-ray.
The world’s second-largest maker of consumer electronics aims to double its revenue in Brazil, Russia, India and China within three years by bolstering sales in seven main businesses including Bravia televisions and Blu-ray disc players.
Sony’s plans for sales of electronics to so-called BRIC nations will rise to 1.2 trillion yen (US$11.1 billion) by the 12 months ending March 31, 2011, from 600 billion yen last fiscal year.
Speaking in Tokyo, Sony chairman and CEO, Howard Stringer, was presenting the company’s mid-term corporate strategy, which included the first concrete details on the plan for on-demand video content, including a launch window of later this summer.
After touting an installed base of 50 million network-enabled PS3 and PSP units and a plan to achieve profitability this year, Stringer outlined a large-scale video service for Sony’s entire empire.
The as-yet-unnamed video store is described as a “premium film and TV service”. Aside from Sony titles, no other content deals have been announced.
The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) expects sales of Blu-ray disks in the US to exceed those of standard DVDs by 2012.
In its latest Annual Report on the Home Entertainment Industry, the EMA reports that home video continues to dominate the movie market.
This segment of the market had sales of approximately US$24 billion, making it the largest segment of consumer movie spending by far, accounting for 49% of total consumer movie spending in 2007.
In the video game market, game software sales increased 34% in 2007, to a total of US$8.6 billion.
The idea that one movie could transform a technology from niche to mainstream may seem extreme.
Yet that is what Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios home entertainment, is suggesting will be the effect of the yet-to-be released new thriller starring Angelina Jolie.
The studio executive believes the film’s highly visual nature could be the trigger to mass sales of Blu-ray devices.
James McAvoy plays an average guy who’s recruited by Jolie to become a contract assassin.
Kornblau said he thought Wanted, which is released in US cinemas on Friday, could do for HD disks what The Matrix did for the standard-def DVD.
A leading maker of adult movies is to release all new titles on Blu-ray Disc as well as on standard definition DVD.
Digital Playground says it is the first mainstream studio to opt for the “same day” treatment for HD discs.
The porn maker will also begin converting one previously released title to Blu-ray every week.
Such a move is likely to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of adult titles available on Blu-ray.