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Speculation: Samsung Adds MKV to Blu-ray Players, PS3 Next?

700°
255w ago - With Samsung now having a major advantage, we can only hope that the MKV file format is added to the PS3's accepted format list soon so that converting will be a thing of the past.

At IFA, Samsung [Register or Login to view links] that Blu-ray player models BD-P1600, BD-P3600 and BD-P4600 will support both YouTube and the MKV file format.

Existing players will be able to access those features by upgrading the firmware. The company plans to launch BD recorders in 2010, and is holding a wait-and-see stance towards 3-D.

To quote: "We know our consumers want access to multi-platform content, and the addition of YouTube to our Blu-ray players aims to provide this to them - from the comfort of their living room," added Robert Shaw (General Manager CTV & Home Platforms).

"Adding MKV file support and YouTube to our range of Blu-ray players is the latest step from Samsung Electronics in providing an unparalleled home-cinema experience for our customers."
 

Recession-busting $150 Blu-ray Players Coming This Year

200°
286w ago - As Blu-ray market penetration increases, the entry price of Blu-ray Disc players will continue to decrease.

China's Economic Daily News [Register or Login to view links] that white-box vendors will offer Blu-ray players at approximately a $150 USD price point this year.

Lite-On IT, a prominent Taiwanese disc drive manufacturer, plans to offer a half-height Blu-ray drive for laptops for around $150 USD, according to the newspaper.

White-box vendors are obscure electronics manufacturers, so don't expect to see Sony or Samsung Blu-ray players reach that price point just yet.
 

PS3 Blu-ray Disc Load Times Tested, Beats Standalone Players

50°
300w ago - What's not to like about PS3? Playing videos games, accessing PlayStation Network, intuitive firmware updates via WIFI/ LAN/Flash Media, abundance of video formats support and least but not last, most consistent and fastest loading time Blu-ray player to date.

Japanese site PhileWeb has put a 2nd generation BD recorder, a few 3rd generation Blu-Ray standalones, and the good old PS3 on test; no surprises here, PS3 once again came out on top in terms of disc loading speed.

If you have one of those older generation Blu-ray players, you know how frustrating it can be when it comes to loading BD-JAVA interactive menu. Painfully slow! The newest Sony entry level BDP-S350 and a $2,000 flagship BDP-S5000ES promise an improvement in this area, but how do the 3rd generation BD players stack up against the cell-power PS3?

Still behind... test after test PS3 has proved to be the fastest load times out of any standalone BD players. Can any BD player come even close to the PlayStation 3? It better be equipped with a Sigma design SoC SMP 8644.

Title in test: Men in Black
Sony PS3: 43 seconds
Sony BDP-S350:66 seconds
Sony BDP-S5000ES:67 seconds
Sony BD Recorder: BDZ-T50: 80 seconds
Sony BD...
 

Samsung Blu-ray Players Hooking Up with Netflix

50°
300w ago - Samsung are reportedly planning announce a deal on Thursday which will see its Blu-ray players possess the ability to retrieve movies and TV shows from Netflix.

In a statement, Netflix and Samsung noted that they are planning to integrate the streaming capability into a variety of home entertainment devices.

To quote: Samsung Electronics Co. is equipping Blu-ray DVD players so they can retrieve movies and TV shows from Netflix Inc.'s Internet streaming service, accelerating Netflix's push to develop more delivery methods beyond the mail.

The deal, to be announced Thursday, could set the stage for Netflix to embed software connecting to its streaming service directly into television sets made by Samsung.

In a statement, Netflix and Samsung said they are planning to plant the streaming capability in a variety of home entertainment products. Reed Hastings, Netflix's chief executive officer, declined to elaborate on the other possibilities in an interview.

This won't be the first time that Netflix has piped its online content through Blu-ray DVD players _ devices built to show movies in high-definition quality that outshines traditional DVD players.
 

New Sony Blu-ray Players Aimed at Low Price Point

50°
305w ago - In an interesting development that may de-value it's own PS3, Sony is focusing on more user-friendly price points to promote its two new Blu-ray Disc players.

The new models, showcased at a Sony event today, are aimed at current DVD and HDTV users who have previously been priced out of the market.

Sony technology communications manager Paul Colley explained that the new Blu-ray strategy is heavily influenced by history, with the Sony looking to replicate the whirlwind take-up of DVD. Colley noted that DVD players didn't explode in popularity until the players were able to reach a price point more agreeable with everyday consumers.

This was back in December 2001, when the price point for DVD players came down to around the $400 mark. In was at this time that DVD players finally overcame various competing formats to become the number one choice for movie playback in Australia. Sony hasn't been able to get its prices that low, but they have come close.

The new BDP-S350, which will be available in October 2008, is RRP $449. Also launched today was the BDP-S550, which is RRP $649. This latter model will be available in November.

The key feature of these models that Colley highlighted was BD Live. This enables users to retrieve bonus content though access to...
 
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