Paramount Home Entertainment U.S. have announced full details for the Blu-ray edition of Transformers. The 2 disc release, which hits US stores on September 2nd, will be a mirror of the previously released HD-DVD disc, but adds on an uncompressed PCM audio track (instead of the lossy Dolby Digital soundtrack on the HD-DVD) and a new video encode, supervised by Michael Bay himself, which takes full advantage of the higher bitrates available on Blu-ray. The disc will also utilise BD Live!, but without specifics.
Paramount Home Entertainment Australia have yet to make a similar announcement, but they would be crazy to miss the Christmas window.
When Paramount Pictures announced plans to join Blu-ray once again, there was a huge HD-DVD hit that was strangely absent from the lineup - Transformers, and since then Paramount have been quiet on the issue, with speculation they may be holding back the title for the theatrical release of Transformers 2 next July.
However now, Paramount UK have begun shipping Blu-ray elements to the British Censorship office (BBFC), a neccessary step before being able to release a title in the UK. This is always a good indicator that a DVD or Blu-ray is soon to be released.
You can find the breakdown right here.
Denon electronics today announced their first profile 1.1 player to the U.S. market, for release in October.
The DVD-1800BD also features Dolby TrueHD, and DTS HD Master Audio bitstream output and features full HDMI 1.3a compatability. Oh, and it will also upscale standard DVD's.
There has been no announcement for the Australian market, but we will try to get some information from Denon Australia.
Criterion, the famed DVD house whom prides themselves on releasing classic Hollywood and international titles, often with fantasticly remastered video and audio, have announced plans to suport the Blu-ray format. More importantly, they have announced intentions to price them no more than current DVDs.
Titles will start rolling out in the US in October.
Finally after months of guessing, Paramount has confirmed their triumphant US return to the Blu-ray fold on May 20th by announcing 4 new release titles; Bee Movie, Face/Off, Blades of Glory, Next and re-releases of their previously released titles. These titles will suprisingly be shipping to stores as early as next week. Then in June, Paramount will bow Cloverfield, There Will Be Blood, and The Spiderwick Chronicles.
Whilst Paramount Home Entertainment Australia have yet to make a similar announcement, our spies tell us to look for releases beginning in July.
And no, no word of Transformers just yet; I just hope they don't hold off until Transformers 2 which will be released in July 2009.
PC multimedia specialist Compro Technology has come forward today with a new TV/FM tuner card dubbed the VideoMate Vista E800F. This is a PCI-e based model which is of hybrid design with support for both analog and digital signals, as well as the inclusion of a real-time hardware MPEG-2 decoder chip.
The bundled remote is Windows Media Center certified and also controls the ComproDTV 4 software. Furthermore, there is the ability to set up convenient S5/S4/S3 mode Power Up Scheduled Recording.
To learn more about the new VideoMate Vista E800F, grab the official announcement here folks.
What kind of TV card can meet your needs in the digital age? Compro Technology, an innovative leading manufacturer and developer of PC multimedia products, delivers the VideoMate Vista E800F, which is an advanced hybrid PCIe interface DVB-T and analog TV/FM tuner card with a powerful real-time hardware MPEG-2 encoder. With the VideoMate Vista E800F, you can enjoy viewing DVB-T digital TV or analog TV. The built-in hardware MPEG-2 encoder provides excellent video quality with minimum CPU usage.
We just got back from visiting CyberLink HQ here in Taiwan for an interview about HD on HTPC concerns and issues and one of the things we discussed was its new movie social networking website called MoovieLive.com. They've just officially launched it to the world after our visit.
It works in conjunction with the new PowerDVD 8 to offer a whole new experience out of what we have traditionally known as just a software movie player. MoovieLive.com instantly reminds us of IMDB with its database of movies showing global user ratings, your rating and reviews as well as show movie info such as director, cast info, languages, rating, aspect ratio and which type of audio soundtrack mix it uses. It goes much deeper, though.
A nifty feature built into PowerDVD 8 is the "Movie Remix" features which allows users to easily (yep - we tried it out just before!) modify movies (but they must own the original disc due to digital rights management issues).
You can strip out all original audio and add your own and you can dynamically add in text and image and animation effects (many are included, such as the clown hats, which could be quite funny). Once you are done with your remix, you save it and have the option of uploading it to MoovieLive.com for others to watch in PowerDVD 8.
We got a little crazy at the CyberLink office earlier today and here is what we came up with in a matter of seconds.
MoovieLive.com and Movie Remix might not be for everyone but it's certainly a fun addition to PowerDVD which is clearly now much more than just a movie player.
Blu-ray just can't get a win. Just at the end of a multi-year fight for survival against rival Toshiba's HD-DVD format, Blu-ray has another battle to fight.
By a 56 year old Female professor.
It seems that almost 15 years ago, a patent was handed to Prof. Gertrude F. Neumark Rothschild of Columbia University, against the manufacturing of Blue laser diodes, the heart of Blu-ray technology. If the Judge preceding on the patent infringement decides the 30 companies named in the infringement are guilty... things could get expensive.
One side note, I can't even get my Girlfriend interested in Blu-ray, yet the creator is, seemingly, a female. I don't get it.
Check out BetaNews for the full run down.
The long awaited Blu-ray version of Batman Begins is being readied for a release in the US on July 8th, in two flavours; a standard Blu-ray version, with all of the features of the best selling HD-DVD version and a limited edition collectors gift set featuring a lenticular motion badge, and a host of printed material including script pages, photos and storyboards.
Warner Brothers held out releasing the film pointing to the lack of Blu-ray support for picture in picture decoding, even though it could have been achieved utilising a separate encode of the film on a 50GB disc. The real reason however was Warners' initial favour for the now deceased format.
New Media Enterprises (NME) is not a name you would have heard of, but it is a name that's going to be well known pretty soon. These guys have made a startling announcement that they are releasing the new HD format, offering "True HD" for high definition systems. The technology according to a New York Times report is the same quality as Blu-Ray, but not as expensive to develop. The new format will be known as HD Versatile Multilayer Disc (VMD), and the New York Times states that the Media players are cheaper too.
They also say it is incompatible with Blu-ray which works on blue light lasers, apparently an inferior frequency for HD movies, but more compatible to high density disks. The new VMD layered technology however overcomes this limitation, and brings things up to speed at red light frequencies.
NME has managed to manufacture the new DVD player so that it can play all existing DVD formats as well. The bonus of this new format is as mentioned that it uses the already frequently used "Red laser" technology, thus keeping things simple and cheaper for manufacturers, but offering multi-layered complexity to the standard DVD. The HD VMD can contain up to 100 GB of storage due to the 20 layers it is capable of storing on one disk, but the disk is exactly the same dimensions as current DVDs. There are a whole heap of movies available on the new format, and it seems some will be bundled with the product too.
The week just gone has been the biggest batch of releases for some time, so things would be amiss if I didn't mention them.
Twentieth Century Fox released Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Ronin, Pathfinder: Unrated, Robocop and Master And Commander.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released Catch and release, Good Luck Chuck, Rent, Resident Evil: Extinction and Welcome To The Jungle.
Buena Vista Home Entertainment released Cars, Ratatouille, Dark Water and Chicago.
Sony have released firmware upgrades for all existing Blu-ray players, BDP-S1, BDP-S300 and BDP-S500.
Whilst the upgrade notes offer no other enhancements than BD Java improvements, owners of the BDP-S300 have a small surprise in store; the unit now (unadvertised) will decode Dolby TrueHD audio tracks, and output as PCM, to a compatible amplifier. Note, that all units still fail to decode DTS HD-MA.
The firmware upgrades can be found at Sonys FTP server here.
Now that Blu-ray Disc has reigned supreme from the drawn out format war, we're beginning to see much more confidence in companies embracing the format.
Lite-On/Phillips is one of them, having just introduced the first external Blu-ray Disc Drive which is set to arrive during Q2 2008. HTPC's or laptops are the main targets for the device. Connected via USB 2.0 this allows one the ability to read/playback Blu-ray Disc media at 4X, also supporting single-layer DVD at 12X, dual-layer DVD at 8X, and CD media at 32X maximums.
Dailytech have the scoop.
With Blu-ray Disc now the clear victor in the high-definition format war, those cautious about buying hardware can spend with ease. Those with home theater PCs or laptops will be pleased to learn that Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions (PLDS) will be soon releasing its first USB external BD-ROM drive in Q2 2008.
As mentioned in our previous article, HD-DVD is flagging in its endeavors to become the next high definition standard. With all the focus on the furor around Sony's Blu-ray signing up with some of the big names in the Film industry during the first few days of 2008, a move which has to some degree snubbed HD-DVD efforts to do the same.
We stumbled across a rather amusing Youtube video which combines comedy and wit to make a point far more clearly than anything we could write about on this epic battle between the industry Giants.
You will not be disappointed.
PROLINK has just further expanded upon their PixelView PlayTV range of TV tuner products with the new "PixelView PlayTV Box6". This standalone TV box supports a 1860x1050 resolution and is ideally suited to the purpose of doubling up your PC's LCD monitor as an LCD TV. It will still function as a TV to the LCD even when the computer is turned off and has multiple video ports to connect up a DVD player/VCR/Console etc. as well.
You can learn more about the new PlayTV Box6 within the official PR here folks.
Taipei, Taiwan (techmessenger.com) -- World leading VGA & Multimedia manufacturer, PROLINK Microsystems Corporation today announces "PixelView PlayTV Box6". The high-definition standalone TV box supports 1680X1050 LCD and matches 16:9, 16:10 wide-screen. When desktop PC is turned off, you still can enjoy watching TV program on LCD monitor through global analog TV system. Turns your LCD monitor into LCD TV and makes your life fun.
Leadtek have just extended their WinFast range of TV tuner cards with yet another addition, this being the "WinFast PxDTV2300 H".
This is a PCI-E based Hybrid TV capture card with support for both analog and digital reception. You can get the full rundown on its feature-set within the official PR here folks.
Taipei, Taiwan, December 7th, 2007: With users demands constantly in mind, Leadtek Research Inc., a world leader in multimedia technology, today announced the launch of its high performance hybrid TV capture card with the latest PCI Express interface-WinFast PxDTV2300 H. Now, no matter what you're are looking for, be it digital, analog or digital and analog reception support, inbuilt MPEG-2 or universal or regional reception, Leadtek offers a complete range of TV tuner products with PCI Express interface to meet your varying demands and bring you true PCTV enjoyment.
LG has done its bit in helping bridge the HD format wars by releasing the Super Multi Blue GGCH20L ROM drive which is capable of reading both HD-DVD and Blu-ray disks!
On top of that, it will also read regular CD's and DVD's and burn DVD+R at 16x. Being a new drive, naturally is utilizes the much more future-proofed Serial ATA interface and includes 4MB cache buffer.
Google Products is listing it between roughly $300 - $360 USD with one store offering it up for a tad under $300. It's a fair bit more expensive than the cheaper Blu-ray readers but given that it is also able to read HD-DVD disks, it's really a rather impressive price.
If you're a HD enthusiast and building a new Home Theater PC over the holidays, you wouldn't be blamed for putting the LG GGCH20L ROM drive near the top of the shopping list. You can find a full list of the specifications of the drive at this website.
Palit have launched both HD 3850 and HD 3870 cards this week, and although the 3870 offering appears to be just a bog stock offering, Palit's 3850 on the other hand isn't; it uses a superior heatsink/fan combo which is said to lower temperatures noticably whilsts also dropping noise levels. Not only this, but there looks to be native HDMI on the card as well, dismissing the need for one of those annoying dongles.
These qualities would make Palit's 3850 most appealing for those looking to whack one of these new ATI cards into their home theatre box. Not to mention Palit are reknowned for their very aggressive pricing too.
For further information, grab the announcement here.
Palit Microsystems, the leading graphics card manufacturer, today excitingly announces Palit Redeon™ 3800 series graphics processor: Palit Radeon™ HD 3850 and HD 3870 which are AMD's first series of products support PCIe 2.0 technology and are both based on 55nm process technology allows to provide full performance with lower power consumption. For Palit's own design HD 3850, we provides something more and above the reference design.
Fujitsu has just announced its latest notebook in Australia, the LifeBook N6460 and this baby packs some serious hardware. Starting from the top, well, of the spec sheet at least that is, it comes with a Core 2 Duo T7700 processor which is clocked at 2.4GHz and has 4MB of L2 cache. This is just about as good as it gets when it comes to mobile processors at the moment, although there are a couple of faster models, but we're not going to be that picky now and they would've made this notebook even more expensive.
The N6460 also comes with 2GB of DDR2 667MHz RAM, although it supports up to 4GB. Fujitsu has also fitted a 1GB Intel Turbo Memory module to the system and it has no less than two 250GB 2.5-inch SATA drives, although sadly these are most likely only 4,200rpm drives. However, the Australian Fujitsu site doesn't list the drive speeds, so we can only go with what's available on the US site.
A Blu-ray drive is also part of the package and again we have to rely in the specs from the US website which lists the drive as a single speed Blu-ray burner that will write to both BD-R, BD-R DL, BD-RE and BD-RE DL media as well as DVD+/-R at 8x and 4x for the re-writeable versions and 2x for dual layer media. Finally it will also write to CD-R at 8x and oddly enough to CD-RW at 10x, but our guess is that the CD-R writing speed is wrong. It will of course read all those format as well.
But the features don't end there as it has a 17-inch widescreen LCD, but sadly it only supports 1,440x900 resolution which is the only real downside to this otherwise nicely specified notebook, as it means you won't be able to watch all those Blu-ray movies in 1080p. Luckily it has an HDMI port, so as long as you have a TV that supports higher resolution, you can still watch the movies in 1080p.
Graphics power comes from a Mobility Radeon HD 2600, although Fujitsu only lists it as having 512MB of HyperMemory, but we'd dare to guess that this is a 256MB part. It also offers S-Video and composite video out and there's even a set of stereo audio RCA outputs as well as an optical S/PDIF. The notebook itself features a pair of stereo speakers as well as a small "subwoofer".
Other features include both a PC Card slot and an ExpressCard 54 slot, as well as a multi-format memory card reader that accepts all standard formats bar CompactFlash. It does of course have the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi standard onboard and there's also wired Gigabit Ethernet and an old fashioned dial-up modem for those that need that. The biggest downside is the retail price of AU$5,299 incl GST which puts it out of reach for most of us.
You can find the full specifications here
Three new TV tuners make their way into ATI's TV Wonder series today, each of these bringing HDTV to the PC. These new models comprise the ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo USB, ATI TV Wonder 600 PCI and ATI TV Wonder 600 PCI Express; the 650 Combo is the priciest and most feature-packed of the three, coming in at $149, whilst the other two will show up with RRPs of $99.
For full details on the new lineup of HDTV ready TV Wonders, head over to the Dailytech.
ATI announced three new TV tuners today that enable HDTV on the PC. The tuners are called the ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo USB, TV wonder 600 PCI Express and the TV Wonder 600 PCI.
The TV wonder 650 Combo USB carries an MSRP of $149 and has two TV tuners inside allowing for users to watch one channel of over-the-air TV/HDTV and record another. This is the USB version of the PCI Express tuner launched in July. The USB tuner is also capable of recording unencrypted digital TV (ClearQAM).
Leadtek have recently expanded their WinFast DTV series of digital TV tuner cards with the new DTV1000 S, an affordable choice with support for high-definition TV/AC3 audio and DVB-T radio sources.
Recording/capturing video content from digital TV/VCR/camcorders/DvD players etc. is also made possible.
For the full scoop on it grab Leadtek's announcement here folks.
Taipei, Taiwan, October 1st, 2007: Leadtek Research Inc., a world leader in the manufacture of multimedia products, has been dedicated to offering value added premium TV tuner products to users for more than two decades. Leadtek's newly released WinFast DTV1000 S digital TV card is no exception - a brilliant digital TV experience and a real bargain that turns your home PC into an all-function digital TV and DVR. Never miss out on live games and TV shows again!