226w ago - Japanese site TV-Tokyo.co.jp reported on the progress of China Blue High Definition (CBHD is a China-grown competitor to Blu-ray) in the China market, with CBHD penetration hitting a staggering 30 percent in only a few months on the market.
To quote: "TV Tokyo visited Gome, a major retail chain in China, where CBHD discs and players were flying off the shelf, while Blu-ray players and discs languished. They also visited a factory for one of the largest CBHD manufacturers.
Sources in these companies tell TV Tokyo that, in the China market, CBHD already constitutes some 30 percent of all disc players sold, while Blu-ray accounts for 10 percent, similar to its penetration in the USA. DVD is responsible for the remaining 60 percent.
That China has achieved 30 percent CBHD penetration, the sources say, reflects the strength of the format, as well as the determination of a nationalistic Chinese government and industry seeking to avoid foreign licensing fees on DVD and BD technology and make a greater profit on domestic sales."
CBHD players are currently more expensive than DVD players (almost $300), but the retail discs are cheap at roughly $7.40 US, while Blu-ray discs cost $29.60 US.
228w ago - I can't recall a new media format taking as much heat from consumers and the press as I have seen with Blu-ray... tagging it as an unneeded upgrade to DVD and too expensive.
While there may be some truth to one of those arguments, no one should doubt the superior picture and sound quality the format produces.
Sure you can get a DVD player that upscales, but doing that just isn't up to HD quality let alone 1080p. The bottom line in regards to Blu-ray is that it is the best format for Hi-Definition movies currently available.
However, the past few years have given rise to music, games, and software being mostly consumed through digital downloads. DVD's have been slow to fade away and Blu-ray keeps picking up steam. On the other hand, movies at this current moment are primarily still consumed through a physical media.
Netflix has really been the only leader in terms of pushing digital distribution of movies with their pioneering of streaming movies to PC and the Xbox 360.
So naturally it was of great interest to everyone when Microsoft announced Zune Video Service for the Xbox Live with the ability to display streamed movies at 1080p resolution and 5.1 surround...
228w ago - Folks at E3 witnessed Microsoft instantly fast forward a streamed 1080p movie right at start up. But how could this be possible?
How can a streamed 1080p movie have instant access to every point of the movie? Doesn't it need to buffer that huge file? Could this be Blu-Ray's true competitor? Or perhaps the beginning of the end for Blu-Ray?
Let's face it, why can't Microsoft sell this same technology to other content distributors, such as Netflix. Or better yet, collaborate with them to create the biggest HD streaming option for consumers, while having the biggest movie library.
TQcast (linked above) recently interviewed Michael Wolf, Senior Marketing Manager at Microsoft, about the upcoming Zune Video on Xbox Live as follows:
Q: What is the name of the new HD streaming technology?
A: The name of the feature is Zune video on Xbox LIVE, which is built on top of Smooth Streaming. Smooth Streaming is a feature of IIS Media Services, a state-of-the-art video delivery platform which enables amazing high quality video experiences that are instant on.
Q: Exactly how is this 1080p HD experience working? 1080p video would be huge files, requiring large amounts of bandwidth, how will this work without buffering timeouts?
228w ago - After Toshiba Corp., the developer of the HD DVD format, releases its Blu-ray disc player by the end of the year, Microsoft Corp. will have to follow and launch Blu-ray add-on for its Xbox 360 game console.
The support of Blu-ray disc (BD) by Toshiba means that the format is finally becoming a de-facto standard for high-definition home video. Toshiba is the last major consumer electronics maker to support BD.
To quote: Microsoft has publicly stated that high-definition video downloads and streaming is the future of video delivering to homes. However, it also had HD DVD add-on for Xbox 360, hence, the company admits that physical media is still popular.
Moreover, with all the consumer electronics making BD players, Microsoft also needs to provide such an option to its consumer electronics video-game platform: it is clear that there will be much higher demand towards Blu-ray hardware in the coming years.
Windows 7 operating systems supports burning of Blu-ray discs and recognizes their file structure. In a recent TV advertisement Microsoft even said that Blu-ray support is one of the advantages that certain Windows-based computers have over Apple Macintosh systems.
The main reason why Microsoft is unenthusiastic regarding Blu-ray is mandatory support of BD-Java interactive...
230w ago - People using the video renting outfit Netflix are starting to complain that Blu-ray disks are not as rugged as many people think.
Renters have been reporting brand new Blu-ray releases from Netflix have been arriving with a 1-3mm crack through the hardcoat part along the outer edge that makes the disc unplayable.
To quote: While DVDs sometimes used to crack customers claim that the Blu-ray hard coating actually seems to make the disks susceptible to damage in transit. The problem was noticed two years ago but hardly anyone was using Blu-ray in those days.
Netflix raised the rates on Blu-ray plans by $1 per membership and some are suggesting it might be that the outfit wants to pass the cost of frequent disk replacement over to the consumers who rent Blu-ray.
So far there have been no authoritative tests done for Blu-ray durability, but if it turns out that there is a real problem here, then it could eventually slow down adoption.