Friday, March 30, 2007


Xbox LIVE Movie and TV Roster Grows as Multiple New Partners Bring Premium Content to the Online Games and Entertainment Network A&E Network, ADV Films, National Geographic and sign on to hit service; Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to offer new high-definition content.

REDMOND, Wash., March 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Xbox 360(TM) just keeps getting more entertaining. Microsoft Corp. today announced that TV series and movies from A&E Network, ADV Films, National Geographic and will add to the more than 1,500 hours of downloadable entertainment content already available on Xbox LIVE(R) in the U.S.

Further capitalizing on the success it has seen with Xbox LIVE, one of the leading distributors of high-definition gaming and entertainment content in the living room, Paramount Pictures, for the first time on Xbox LIVE, will offer its feature films for download in high definition.

Available titles will include "Braveheart," "Team America: World Police," "World Trade Center" and "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut." Also, for the first time, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will be releasing its direct-to-video movies exclusively in high definition on Xbox LIVE simultaneous with their availability on DVD, starting with "Sublime" and later "Babylon 5: The Lost Tales." "With more than 300 games expected by year's end, an Xbox LIVE community of more than 6 million people and a growing catalogue of premium content from some of the biggest names in entertainment today, Xbox 360 is an incredible value," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. "Adding partners and content like this helps reinforce the console's position as the center of connected entertainment in the living room."

Downloads on Xbox LIVE have grown in double-digits, month-over-month, with a 400 percent increase since the service began offering TV shows and movies late last year. Xbox LIVE members have also enjoyed free entertainment content, which has been wildly successful. Comedy Central recently offered the first-ever high definition episode of the No. 1 show on its network, "South Park." "Good Times With Weapons," available for a limited time on Xbox LIVE, has been downloaded more than 380,000 times to date. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment offered promotional clips from the blockbuster hit movie "300" that have been downloaded more than 477,000 times. While existing partners continue to increase the amount of content they offer, the list of total partners also continues to grow.

The new partners announced today will bring an array of content to Xbox LIVE Marketplace. From a reality show about a bounty hunter named Dog or an action-heavy, retro-styled mecha series to a TV show about extreme biking in the mountains or a program detailing a war in the desert, there is something for everyone. Examples of television shows and feature films that will be coming to Xbox LIVE include these:

-- A&E Network. "Dog the Bounty Hunter," "King of Cars," "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," "Driving Force" and "Criss Angel Mindfreak"

-- ADV Films. Top offerings from the No. 1 producer-distributor of Japanese animation ("anime") outside Japan

-- National Geographic. The television series "Is It Real?" and "Taboo" as well as programs such as "21 Days to Baghdad" and "Air Force One"

-- A broad action-sports offering including extreme skiing and snowboarding, skateboarding, motocross, surfing and mountain bikini


Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder & Others, Team Up With 103" Plasmas for Live Art Gallery

Panasonic HD Plasma Displays Bring Theater Icon ROBERT WILSON's Groundbreaking 'VOOM PORTRAITS' to Life in Top International Galleries

103-Inch (World's Largest) Plasmas Showcase High Definition Video Portraits in Exhibition Featuring Celebrities Including Brad Pitt, Isabella Rossellini and Mikhail Baryshnikov

SECAUCUS, N.J., March 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VOOM PORTRAITS by ROBERT WILSON, a series of more than 30 high definition video portraits created by one of the most influential contemporary innovators in theater, art and design, recently began a world tour that will bring Wilson's creations to leading museums, galleries and public art spaces. For their critically- acclaimed launch at New York's renowned Phillips de Pury and Paula Cooper galleries, the HD portraits were "hung" on over 50 Panasonic professional high definition plasma displays. For the tour's second leg, now at the prestigious Ace Gallery Los Angeles through April 21, 2007, three 103" Panasonic high definition plasmas -- the largest available plasma displays in the world -- were added to the mix, lending new drama to the exhibition.

The high definition portraits, which run in infinite loops and feature individual soundtracks, capture celebrity subjects such as Brad Pitt, Winona Ryder, Johnny Depp, Monaco's HRH Princess Caroline of Hanover, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Robert Downey, Jr., Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Huppert, Isabella Rossellini, Steve Buscemi, Alan Cumming and Willam Dafoe. Subjects also include ordinary people, including an auto mechanic, and animals such as a snow owl, a black panther, a frog, and a porcupine. The three 103" plasmas are being used for the portraits of Pitt, legendary French actress Jeanne Moreau, and a tight close-up on the face of a Briard dog.

VOOM PORTRAITS by ROBERT WILSON is an ongoing project commissioned and produced by VOOM HD Networks. With 15 nationally-distributed channels in the U.S., and a growing number across the globe, VOOM is the world's largest producer of original HD programming in the arts, sports, music, animation, news, fashion and more. As part of the company's mission to explore the full potential of the new HD medium, VOOM invited Robert Wilson in 2004, to become an Artist in Residence. In addition to the tour, the portraits will be broadcast on VOOM's visual-arts channel, GALLERY HD, in fall 2007, along with a "making-of" documentary on Art In Progress, one of the channel's signature series.

Working with the Wilson team to mount the show, VOOM HD Networks purchased 32 1080p TH-65PF9UK 65" and 22 TH-42PH9UK 42" high definition Panasonic plasma displays to support VOOM PORTRAITS by ROBERT WILSON. According to Al Irizarry, Director of Production Services for VOOM's parent company Rainbow Media, "Plasma was always our only choice, and we chose Panasonic plasmas because our research showed they have the best image in the business -- a photorealistic picture with excellent black levels." Says Robert Wilson, "I'm thrilled with the result. I have been working with video since the 1960s, but with Panasonic's high definition plasma displays, I am finally finding the saturation, vivid colors and images that I have imagined all along. These plasma displays match my vision -- they are just the right medium for this project." He continues, "Beyond the technology, the design of the display is elegant and simple, and provides a perfectly proportioned frame to the image. I am very grateful for the help and support that Panasonic has given to this project, especially in providing their beautiful 103" Plasmas, which bring amazing new power to the portraits."

Source: PRNewswire, VOOM NETWORKS

Panasonics 2007 Plasma Lineup

One of the leaders in Plasma HDTV, Panasonic are sticking to their guns with several new models for 2007. At CES 2007 in Las Vegas, there wasn't another display type in site at Panasonics booth. For the first time EVER, they will be putting the first 42" 1080P plasma out on the market, so withouth further ado, here are some official models and figures released. Accompanied are some atrocious, badly framed pics I took of the Panasonic booth at CES. Please don't ask me what I was doing, as I couldn't tell you. Note that the first set of numbers in the model number are attributed to the displays size. Reviews will follow over the next few weeks:

TH-58PZ750U Limited Distribution: 1920x1080p resolution, Built-in NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners, H.264 (movie playback) on SD, Studio Reference Mode, Pro Setting Mode, 3 HDMI inputs, EZ-Sync, Anti-Reflective (AR) Coating, Gallery Player Release: June 2007
Suggested Retail Price: $5499.95

TH-50PZ750U Limited Distribution: 1920x1080p resolution, Built-in NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners, H.264 (movie playback) on SD, Studio Reference Mode, Pro Setting Mode, 3 HDMI inputs EZ-Sync, Anti-Reflective (AR) Coating, Gallery Player
Release: June 2007
Suggested Retail Price: $3999.95

TH-58PZ700U 1920x1080p resolution, Built-in NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners, SD Memory Card slot, 2 HDMI inputs EZ-Sync, Anti-Reflective (AR) Coating, Gallery Player
Release: April 2007
Suggested Retail Price: $4799.95

TH-50PZ700U 1920x1080p resolution, Built-in NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners, SD Memory Card slot, HDMI inputs EZ-Sync, New Cosmetic, Anti-Reflective (AR) Coating, Gallery Player
Release: April 2007
Suggested Retail Price: $3499.95

TH-50PX77U 1366 x 768 resolution, side firing speakers, SD Memory Card slot, 2 HDMI inputs, EZ-Sync, Anti-Glare coating, Gallery Player
Release: April 2007
Suggested Retail Price: $2799.95

TH-42PZ700 1920x1080p resolution, Built-in NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners, SD Memory Card slot, HDMI inputs EZ-Sync, New Cosmetic, Anti-Reflective (AR) Coating, Gallery Player Release: June 2007
Suggested Retail Price: $2499.95

TH-42PX77U 1024 x 768 resolution, side firing speakers, SD Memory Card slot, 2 HDMI inputs EZ-Sync, Anti-Glare coating, Gallery Player
Release: April 2007
Suggested Retail Price: $1799.95

TH-50PX75U 1366 x 768 resolution, SD Memory Card slot, 2 HDMI inputs EZ-Sync, Gallery Player
Release: March 2007
Suggested Retail Price: $2499.95

TH-42PX75U 1024 x 768 resolution, SD Memory Card slot, 2 HDMI inputs EZ-Sync, Gallery Player
Release: March 2007
Suggested Retail Price: $1599.95

2006 Models now available: TH-65PX600U 1920x1080p resolution, Built-in NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners, CableCARD slot,
SD Memory Card slot, HDMI inputs with HDAVI-Control, TV-Guide Available
Price: $9,999.95

TH-103PZ600U 1920x1080p resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio; 5,000:1 contrast ratio; effective display area of 89.3" x 50.2" Available
Price: $69,999.95

Thursday, March 29, 2007


It was only going to be a matter of time, but the best LCD, and
one of the best flat panels out on the market just got an upgrade. According to a Japanese press release from Sony, the current XBR or "X" series as it's known in Europe and Japan will be receiving some nice addons. The first two big ones are "2" HDMI 1.3 ports, and x.v.Color spacing. Don't know what that is? Read this first. The PS3 was the first and still is one of the few HD devices to feature HDMI 1.3. By pairing it with this new tv, you'll have the best combo possible for picture quality. The use of Billions of colors as opposed to 17Million with regular HDMI will help eliminate picture performance issues such as color-banding, and overall allow for a much more realistic picture. Ever watched an HD source where the peoples faces look like clay? Part of this is due to not having a big enough color-pallette to reproduce a realistic picture. The x.v.Color portion is the standard that allows for the larger color spacing and bigger color range. HDMI version 1.3 is the newer connector/cable that will deliver and support the x.v color spacing standard.

Before I go any further, I have to say that I can't read japanese, however I do have an uncanny talent of being able to interpret pictures. So based on what I can see from the impressions on the Japanese manual, the set will also have the "Sony Motion Flow" feature that addresses a faster response time (for some reason now being marketed on other newer LCD's as a "120 hz Refresh Rate" even when LCD's don't have refresh rates) which will allow for a smoother picture when the camera is panning around.

Sony's proprietary"Internet Video Link HD" connector will also be available which they plan to use for sending upscaled HD internet content from your home network, directly to the TV. The goal is to not need a computer to view popular internet content. Sony have a partnership with AOL, Yahoo, and Grouper Networks, formed specifically for this and possibly also future "Playstation Home" content.

The “X2500 series” as it's called, will be available as follows and starts shipping in Japan from April 25th: 40" “KDL-40X2550”will retail for 420,000 Yen, the 46" “KDL-46X2550” approximately 490,000 Yen, and the 52" "KDL-52X2550” for approximately 720,000 Yen. How this will translate into European and US prices remains to be seen. If I can speculate for a minute, the trend with Sony has been to replace the current models with upgraded technology for the same and sometimes even slightly cheaper prices. I'll give you an update when this monster hits our shores.

I personally saw the 70" version of this model at CES 2007 and can honestly say that I haven't seen a better picture to date on any display type. The 70" version carried all these features and also features Sony's "Advanced Contrast Enhancer" technology to make the best of its 7000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. I would expect that these newer XBR models are basically the smaller iterations of the 70" bohemoth.

But If you can't wait, now would be a great time to take advantage of the current model which has seen an $1,800 price reduction on Amazon since it came out in September 2006:

Sony KDL-40XBR2 40" Bravia XBR 1080p LCD HDTV

Sony KDL-46XBR2 46" Bravia XBR 1080p LCD HDTV

Sony KDL-52XBR2 52" Bravia XBR 1080p LCD HDTV


Have your trigger fingers ready, because at 3pm PST today, Rockstar Games will debut the trailer to the new Grand Theft Auto Game. Grand Theft Auto IV will debut on both the Playstation and for the first time, the Xbox 360 platform. The game is reputed to be set in London, so we'll see how the validity of the picture to the left pans out. It will also be the first time the game was developed in high definition, so it will be optimised for 16:9 screens and look a LOT prettier than last time round. No doubt, Rockstars server are going to be bombarded so don't be surprised if the page won't load. Here is direct link to the trailer.

Update: Looks like a lot of sources and rumors were wrong. Enjoy:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Here are this and next weeks HD releases on both formats. Titles have been linked directly to the Amazon page for you to take advantage of their current sale prices:

March 27, 2007
Children of Men (Combo HD DVD and Standard DVD)
Happy Feet [Blu-ray]
Happy Feet (Combo HD DVD and Standard DVD) [HD DVD]
March of the Penguins [Blu-ray]
March of the Penguins [HD DVD]
National Geographic - Relentless Enemies [Blu-ray]
National Geographic - Relentless Enemies [HD DVD]
The Pursuit of Happyness [Blu-ray]
Warriors of Heaven & Earth [Blu-ray]

April 03, 2007
G.I. Jane [Blu-ray]
The Good Shepherd [HD DVD]
Identity [Blu-ray]
King Arthur - Extended Director's Cut [Blu-ray]
Volver [Blu-ray]

April 09, 2007
Dragon's Lair (Blu-ray)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


As the third and last of the new consoles is released in Europe, there was a lot of internet chatter claiming that the Playstation 3 was not received well in Europe. Microsoft played pranks outside PS3 launch sites, while xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii fans insisted that nobody was interested. But the figures are in. According to official figures released from Chart Track, off the 1 Million systems shipped to the EU, 600,000 units have been sold.

Keeping the comparisons within the UK, the Xbox 360 sold 71,000 upon release, while the Wii sold 105,000. Both companies had limited availability of the console upon release, and every shipment thereafter were snapped up instantly. By contrast, Sonys approach is that they didn't want to have the shortage issue as with the US release. Because of these two facts, it's difficult to draw any real conclusions as to the overall pace of how the PS3 will stack up against the other two systems. It is also far too early to look at figures other than the ones provided at release. But because of it's availabile stock, the PS3 has smashed the UK records for a consoles release.

Time will tell how things turn out. If PS3's keep flying off the shelves at this rate it will push the Blu Ray format even further into the numero uno spot and in the long run may end up pushing HD-DVD out. The Nintendo Wii is dominating in sales at the moment, but whether this is due to the cute/novelty/fad factor, remains to be seen. It's scarce availability even months after it's release indicate that it may not be going the route of the Gamecube, which quickly ended up in the bargain bin for $99 after the excitement of a new Mario and Zelda game had worn off.

Xbox 360 has some very exciting titles coming out and has built up full momentum for 2007. With Halo 3 looming, both Nintendo and Sony may be faced with a huge spike in 360 sales towards the end of this year. But just so that readers don't go jumping on these figures to claim victory, as they've been doing, lets remain objective. Hopefully, the Wii's lack of high defintion and novely factor don't wear off and they are able to keep their audience involved with innovative gameplay. Sony, on the other hand, have their work cut out for them to make up for the delays. The cost of game development is pushing exclusitivity out the window so it's slowly forcing the 3 companies to really "bring it". But based on the latest press releases such as "Home," "Folding @ Home" and now the UK sales figures, it seems that they are on the ball.

No doubt this article will spike a xbox vs PS3 vs Wii debate amongst the kids, as the trend is to read between the lines to make any sentence mean what they want it too. But here, we don't really care who wins. We just want to enjoy ALL the consoles and PC games, and other aspects they each have to offer. More importantly, we want to enjoy the journey and developments are they are revealed, and are only really concerned with the final outcome from an investment standpoint.

Today's deal: Amazon HDTV 1080p Blowout sale: up to $1,800 off original sales price

Cablevision Adds Two Unique and Popular Networks to it's High Defintion Line Up

If Cablevision is your cable provider, there is some great news for you:

Discovery HD Theater And National Geographic Channel HD Bring Travel, Nature, Wildlife And Culture From Across The Globe To iO(R) Digital Cable Customers, With The Superior Picture And Sound Of High-Definition.

BETHPAGE, N.Y., March 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) today announced the addition of Discovery HD Theater and National Geographic HD to the growing list of high-definition channels available to digital cable customers across the company's entire service area, at no additional cost. Discovery HD Theater is available on channel 727 and iO customers will find National Geographic Channel HD on channel 726. Cablevision now offers 23 high-definition programming services including local broadcast stations, the most local sports in HD and a wide variety of entertainment genres. Unlike other providers, Cablevision does not charge an equipment or programming premium for HD programming. "We are pleased to add these unique, high-quality networks to our robust array of high-definition programming, and we plan to build on these additions with a significant expansion of HD channels in the coming months," said Theresa Chillianis, Cablevision's vice president of video product management. "Our high-capacity fiber network gives Cablevision the ability to continually exceed our customers' expectations and deliver additional value through our products, including the best HD programming with no additional fees or charges. We are confident our customers will enjoy Discovery HD Theater and National Geographic HD, in addition to the high-definition programming we already provide, and the new HD channels we plan to offer."

"Having made considerable investments in HD over many years, Discovery offers a vast collection of content to support our distributors' HD business-building efforts and bring viewers the best in HD picture quality and sound," said Clint Stinchcomb, executive vice president and general manager, Discovery Emerging Networks Group. "The launch with Cablevision comes at a particularly opportune time as we premiere Planet Earth, one of our most ambitious HD events ever. We're very pleased that this groundbreaking series will be one of the first programs our new Cablevision viewers will see." "National Geographic is synonymous with spectacular imagery, whether emanating from the bottom of the sea, the most remote rainforest, or the most fascinating cultures anywhere on the planet." said Laureen Ong, President, National Geographic Channel. "NGC HD amplifies the immersive visual experience that continues to draw more viewers to the network every day. We're pleased to join the leading lineup of HD networks that Cablevision is offering its customers." Discovery HD Theater was the first 24-hour high-definition network to broadcast its content in brilliant 1080i and 5.1 digital Surround Sound. A standalone HD network from the Discovery Channel, Discovery HD Theater features high-definition programming in virtually all categories of entertainment from Discovery's family of networks, including wildlife, nature, travel, science, history, geography and more. Discovery HD Theater is committed to bringing viewers top-tier, original HD event programs such as Discovery Atlas HD and Planet Earth, as well as captivating series including Sunrise Earth, Destination HD, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and Risk Takers. National Geographic Channel HD, a simulcast of the six-year-old National Geographic Channel, is the #1 most requested HD channel over the past two years according to Beta Brand Research and showcases such programs as Galapagos, a three-hour special that is the first in-depth, full access film made in over 20 years about the islands and their wondrous array of wildlife.

Favorite original series include Naked Science, MegaStructures, Seconds From Disaster, and Explorer- all presented in stunning HD picture quality and sound. For iO customers with high-definition television sets, Cablevision offers HD-capable converter boxes at no additional cost over the standard box rental fee. In addition to High-definition feeds of premium movie networks are available to all customers who subscribe to the standard-definition version of the networks. High-definition video on demand movie titles are available anytime for $4.95 each, which includes full control over the viewing experience with the ability to pause, fast-forward and rewind. With nearly 2.5 million iO customers, more than 78 percent of Cablevision's cable customers are iO digital cable customers, the highest digital penetration in the nation. iO offers customers access to more than 240 channels, including 50 premium movie channels, 45 channels of commercial- free digital music, more than 1,400 titles available on demand at all times, an interactive programming guide, 23 high-definition programming services and groundbreaking interactive television applications including News 12 Interactive, and subscription games packages.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Dragon's Lair Coming to Blu-ray Disc* in True 1080p HD . Fully interactive on Sony PlayStation 3* and Blu-ray* Movie Players

GORMLEY, Ontario, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- High Definition gaming has arrived! Dragon's Lair continues to revolutionize the video-game industry by becoming the first game title ever to be released for the Blu-ray* Disc High Definition format using BD-J. An instant hit in its 1983 arcade debut, Dragon's Lair has now been digitally restored and enhanced with an all-new 5.1 surround sound mix. The video has been transferred directly from the original film and cleaned
frame by frame by Digital Leisure and authoring studio Infinite HD, creating a truly vibrant image. In addition, Dragon's Lair is the first release to be authored in the Blu-ray Java environment, or BD-J, an advanced format that allows users to enjoy a fully arcade-authentic
experience. "I've seen the newly restored footage and it just looks amazing" says Don Bluth, original creator of Dragon's Lair. "It looks even better than I can remember. The visuals, the 5.1 surround sound audio, all I can say is 'Wow!' Now a whole new generation can enjoy Dragon's Lair all over again."

All the special features on the disc are in full 1080p HD, including brand-new interviews with creators Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and Rick Dyer, and even a full-length visual commentary of the game. Digital Leisure plans to follow up Dragon's Lair Blu-ray with the release of Space Ace and Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp in the Blu-ray format. Dragon's Lair Blu-ray will be available April 9th at software and movie retailers as well as online at Digital Leisure is a leading publisher of interactive video-based
titles. The company remasters video-intensive titles that benefit from the superior video and audio quality of DVD and the newest High Definition formats.



Starting tonight, the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams will be shown in High Definition. Field footage will still be shot in standard definition much as ABC has been doing with their local news programming. Dateline and MSNBC are set to follow in it's footsteps in 2008 although no announcements or dates have been given.

This news may seem very trivial, but as our world turns, these events seems to pass us by without too much attention, then it eventually becomes the norm. In 5 years time, most mainstream programming will be in HD. So now's a good time to acknowledge the changes, as later on, we will reflect and remember the old days when the news was broadcasted in standard definition.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Just as consumers are becoming aquainted with Blu Ray and HD DVD, and enthusiasts are taking sides, another format comes striding along. The format is called HD VMD and stands for "High Definition, Versatile Multilayer Disc." As with the other formats, you need a HD VMD player which like HD DVD is based of current DVD technology. The company behind it is NME inc (New medium Enterprises), and hope to take Sony and Toshiba head-on. The press release below goes into detail about the format, but as far as support, it seems that Bollywood Indian movie studios seem to be the primary supporters. I won't speculate, but I think we all know how we feel about a third HD movie format. Check it out for yourself:

LONDON, March 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- New Medium Enterprises, Inc.
(NME), (OTC Bulletin Board: NMEN) bringing affordable HD home entertainment across the globe, has secured a partnership deal with AP and Eagle Entertainment, two of India's leading content distributors. The deal will enable consumers to be entertained in style with an HD VMD bundle box set to include a unique HD player plus 10 top selling movie titles at a competitive price of $349 to be available from June 2007. At the forefront of HD technology, NME has developed Versatile Multilayer Disc (HD VMD), a proprietary format and technology, which allows true HD content playback using multilayered discs and drives which are fully backward compatible with existing CD and DVD formats. HD VMD is the only HD disc that uses today's DVD infrastructure and its added advantage is that consumers can use their existing DVD film collection and enter into the HD VMD market at their own pace. In this sense, HD VMD is a natural extension of DVD, utilizing the remarkable potential of the DVD industrial

Highly acclaimed films such as Boys, starring Anabe Vaa, Indian, starring Kamal Hashan, Jeans, starring Aishwira Rai and Hanuman and Water are part of the content portfolio between these two companies. "This is a timely and exciting partnership, considering we are launching our products in Mumbai in the summer of this year. The Indian community already demonstrated that they are gadget and technology savvy and we anticipate large interest in our products in terms of our competitive retail price and unique technology," comments Uti Thakkar, Head of the Asian Division. A combination of 494 films were released last year produced from the Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam and Kannada regions making the South Indian film industry a worthy and ready market to receive HD VMD products.

About HD VMD. What you should know about HD VMD.
HD VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) is NME's proprietary High Definition disc format based upon established red laser technology enabling seamless and cost effective manufacturing solutions for High Definition products. NME's patented 2P process succeeded in solving the phenomenon which has limited DVD's to two layers. Thus, multilayering is now possible with HD VMD solution capable of storage capacity of 20 GB (i.e. 4 layers of 5 GB each). HD VMD has also proven to achieve 24, 30, 40 and 48 GB capacity with the 2P process method. Furthermore, HD VMD is a true HD 1080p format and is compatible with all HD-compatible screens and supports every existing disks format including; CD, DVD (DVD5 & DVD9).

HD VMD format is currently being adopted by content providers and distributors in 12 regions worldwide, including Brazil, Central Europe, China, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Scandinavia, Middle East, Russia and the United States. HD VMD is considered as a serious challenger, as it allows access to High Definition at a lower cost than Blu-ray and HD-DVD drives and discs available today on the market. HD VMD prices are very close to DVD current pricing.


Don't forget, if you have Discovery HD, tonight 8pm e/p Planet Earth debuts in High Definition. Imagine this compressed video in pristine High Definition:

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Apple TV, is the companys attempt to expand even more services to its vast number of Apple iTune users, and to encourage those that dont use it, to get on the ball. Ultimately it is a wireless device that streams content from your PC or Mac directly to your HDTV using the new "N" wireless standard which means you can be further away and it can stream more information at any one time than with a "B" or "G" network(what most people have now). Yes, it's the same thing as just hooking up your computer or laptop to your hdtv, but its optimised specifically for this use. If you've ever tried to use your hdtv as a computer monitor, you'll know that there's usually a bit of tweaking involved to get things to look right. However, Apple takes this one step further by offering TV shows, trailers and Movies available for download. Of course you still have the regular iPod functions such as podcasts, photos, and music all streamed with an interactive interface to your HDTV. Cool idea, but it's already been done. Xbox live and Windows Media center are currently it's main competitors and offers this same type of functionality. Content and interface are the only major differences. This fall, Sony will release Playstation Home which eventually plans to offer the same genre of content through the Playstation 3 XMB interface. Apple have a demo which a great visual explanation of how things work. Check it out here.

One thing I didn't like about the iPod's infiltration into society is how Apple left early adopters out in the dust, by rapidly changing their design and functions on newer models. Apple constantly does this and I've learned my lesson after being burnt three times on various Apple products over the years. Also you were, and still are limited, to ONLY using Apple iTunes to interface with the device, and similarly, can only playback files that Apple want you to. This lack of freedom and attempt to lock me in was a huge deterent. This isn't really a problem if you're familiar with how to hack the Apple gadgets, but the vast majority of users aren't in tune with the hacking world. Perhaps the worst problem for HDTV enthusiasts is that the quality of the video available for download is not offered in high defintion. The iTunes store doesn't offer programming in any of the HD formats such as 720p or 1080p, so what you get is less than DVD looking quality on your expensive HDTV. It may be sooner rather than later before Apple address this, but given the price that you pay for this iPod "Home Theatre Edition" it is a bit too little for too much.

Other problems with Apple TV:
  • No audio or video cables included No connections available for older TV's, only component and HDMI for more recent SD and HDTV's (but no HD content!)
  • No built in TV tuner let alone ATSC tuner for HD programming, so there's no chance of watching tv from it. Apple TV, without a TV tuner seems odd.
  • You can't download directly from the device, you have to go to your computer, download the content, then stream it to Apple TV.
  • The hard drive is only 40GB and 7GB of this is taken up by software. So even if HD content does become available, and you already have your photo album and music library on it, there won't be much room for HD movies or shows.

On the plus side, as with most Apple products, it looks very smart. Asethetic design is definitely one of their strong points. The interface is so good that I'd rather look at the interface than the content. Based on this alone, Apple will attract quite a few adopters, but when it comes to content, there's a lot missing. Its' interface may look better than Xbox live and Window Media center (which both offer the same thing) but with the Microsoft products, you get more functionality and most importantly, you're not limited to what THEY want you to watch.


Friday, March 23, 2007


Friday 23rd March 2007 symbolizes the launch date of the Playstation 3 in Europe. But for the first 100 people in Line at the Virgin Megastore on Oxford street, London, it will be a day they won't forget. Not only did people waiting recieve free Coke and coffee, but as a publicity stunt, Sony dished out 46" HDTV's to the first 100 people in line. And all bases really were covered, as Sony also covered the cab fare to get those 100 people home with a huge smile on their face.

Sony stated that this was their way of giving back to gamers for being patient despite the consistent delays. It comes at a good time for European gamers as there are more titles on the market than at the US release, and the novelty of "Folding at Home," and "Home" around the corner gives for a much better pacing than it did here in the US.

The Ps3 has been the subject of many statistical lashes of recent, but most of it stems from the 12-26ish year old crowd who are owners of other consoles such as the xbox 360. At this site, we are really not concerned with childish rants, we deliver facts and deliberate possible outcomes based on them. Almost everything you read today about the PS3 is the same old tiresome story that really is just speculation and favoritsm. Renowed sites like CNN really arent helping either, by adding fuel to the fire with their own fortune telling predictions about how the PS3 is failing. As an owner of both platforms, I've enjoyed both, and spend more time on the Xbox solely because it's been out for a whole year longer and has more content and a lot of the bugs worked out. But believe me, there were "a few" issues when it first came out. Overheating, static download screen, lack of online content, no real next gen games for almost a year, paying for an xbox live account only to have constant online sessions crash when things got too busy, and the worst being the need to spend another $150 to make it wireless and get a Live account. "HDMI" and "1080p" were also hailed as "unnecessary and irrelevant" by Microsoft. I could go on, but you get the point.

A lot has been said about the PS3's cost, so let me remind you how much you spent on your iPod? But people forget, that the PS3 wasn't designed as just another video game console. Sony didn't spend millions on R&D developing a new processor architecture and Blu Ray just so you can have a better looking first-person shooter. A lot of remarks you'll hear today is that Blu Ray shouldn't be forced down people's throats. From the beginning the PS3 was a multimedia device and I think that has been forgotten. My PS3 provides for an amazing high-definition movie experience, runs linux, stores my photo albums, even aids in finding a cure for cancer, and also stores footage from my HD camera because Sony included a suitably sized hard drive. I've even seen people going as far as to say that high-definition is unnecessary! Like it or not, it's the way things are headed, and if you live in the US, you'll be hit first as you don't have a choice; the FCC demand that you get in the digital game. Not being able to see the difference between SD and HD is one thing, but slating a device for having it is another.

This article is a stance to defend Sony for all the "bashing" that I'm seeing on the front page of every news site on a daily basis. I understand that if you can't afford both platforms (I say both because clearly the Nintendo Wii is aimed at another demographic; my nephew already owns mine!) you have to make a choice. But the trend amongst the immature lately has been to hunt down any detrimental, figures, statements, or news they can, in an attempt to denounce the other side. The PS3 barely came out, while the Xbox 360 is already in its second year. Stop jumping on bandwagon news to make wild claims! When the PS3 has had it's chance to get out of the starting blocks, i'm sure there will be a lot worth waiting for. The power of the PS3 hasn't even been witnessed yet, but scientists around the world recognise what it can do and hence we have the Folding at Home program. Playstation Home looks to revolutionise the online experience with unlimited potential. We know of the top titles on their way, but there is also a LOT we do not know that is currently in the works. Another tireless angle on this issue is the loss of exclusive titles. But lets face it, video game development has become so expensive, that for a developer to make a profit on a game, they need to sell over a million copies for it to be worth their while. After spending millions on game development, they want their first quarter earnings after release to reflect similar figures in sales. By branching off onto both platforms, this makes that aspiration a little bit easier and quicker, which is all shareholders want to see.

But stay clear headed, because a firm that has the greatest selling console of all time, and been a key player and leader in the development of video, film, tv broadcasting, home theatre and high defintion, doesn't invest millions on a product without a clear vision and plan.

The final word is that both systems have a lot to offer, you're seeing more premiere content on the xbox now as it's been out longer. I'm only willing to revisit this issue in a years time, when Sony has been given adequate time to build up momentum. If you're a true gamer, get both systems. If you still live at home with Mummy and Daddy, then make a choice, but when you do, don't bash an entire corporation to make yourself feel better about your purchase. Until then, EasyHdtv will only deliver the facts on both systems and enjoy what both have to offer.

In the meantime seeing as the kids hang on the every word of statements being released, here is one for you to consider: The PS3 is selling faster than the xbox 360 did since its respective release date. Ciao.


Thursday, March 22, 2007


The Matrix Trilogy makes it to HD-DVD in the form of two boxsets. Release date is set for May 22nd. The first box set "The Complete Matrix Trilogy" will feature all three movies plus a bonus "The Matrix Revisited" disc. All movies will be given the HD-DVD (IME) exclusive interactive content treatment. The second boxset, "The Ultimate Matrix Collection," will feature the same as above but also include an additional 35 hrs worth of bonus material! Warner Bros plans a Blu Ray release later this year when the "BD-Java environment" feature is ready for distribution.

The martial arts epic, Curse of the Golden Flower will be available on Blu Ray on May 29th. This movie will be displayed in 1080p using mpeg 2 compression and 5.1, uncompresses surround sound.

"Freedom Writers" or "Super Cliche 3" as I like to call it, will be available on May 22nd on both formats. Hilary Swank stars as the teacher that takes on the troubled kids from the hood.

Here are the other upcoming HD releases courtesy of High defintion Digest:

Available now,
March 20, 2007:
Big Fish (Blu-ray)
Chicken Little (Blu-ray)
Eragon (Blu-ray)
Finding Neverland (Blu-ray)
Rocky Balboa (Blu-ray)

March 27, 2007
Children of Men (HD DVD)
Happy Feet (Blu-ray)
Happy Feet (HD DVD)
Incubus: Alive at Red Rocks (Blu-ray)
March of the Penguins (Blu-ray)
March of the Penguins (HD DVD)
National Geographic: Relentless Enemies (Blu-ray)
National Geographic: Relentless Enemies (HD DVD)
The Pursuit of Happyness (Blu-ray)

April 03, 2007
G.I. Jane (Blu-ray)
The Good Shepherd (HD DVD)
Identity (Blu-ray)
King Arthur Director's Cut (Blu-ray)
Me, Myself & Irene (Blu-ray)
Volver (Blu-ray)
Warriors of Heaven and Earth (Blu-ray)

If you haven't bought your HDTV, Blu Ray or HD-DVD player yet and have been holding off all this time, you should check out Amazon's blowout HDTV sale going on right, prices are down to cost! Learn more here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Seattle Mariners Games Now Available in Super Clear High Definition Format on FSN HD

All of FSN's Mariners home telecasts and six road games to be shown on Channel 664, making it the largest package of Mariners games in HD ever available to Comcast customers.

SEATTLE, March 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and FSN Northwest today announced that all of FSN's Seattle Mariners home telecasts and six road games will be available to Comcast customers in super clear high definition format (HDTV), beginning with the Mariners home opener April 2nd against the Oakland Athletics.

HDTV technology provides video and audio that is clearer, sharper and more vibrant than previous video transmission systems. The service is available for customers with an HDTV-capable television set utilizing an HD-enabled digital cable set-top box provided by Comcast. "Our customers tell us that nothing beats watching a Mariners game in person, but they say watching their favorite team in high definition from the comfort of their living room comes pretty close; and, at least with high-definition, they don't have to pay for parking," said Tom Pierce, VP of Marketing and Sales for Comcast.

FSN is the leading provider of sports programming and production in the Northwest, providing viewers a minimum of 120 live events per year in high-definition featuring the Seattle Sonics, Seattle Mariners, Portland Trail Blazers and NCAA football and basketball.
"FSN is continuously looking for ways to enhance the local sports fans' viewing experience on our network and presenting such a significant package of Mariners games on FSN HD is certainly a tremendous example of that effort," said Mark Shuken, FSN Northwest Vice President and General Manager. "We are fortunate to work with progressive teams such as the
Mariners and are proud to partner with them to meet the evolving needs of our fans."


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Amazon HDTV Blowout Sale!

One of the important undertones of this site, is to make sure that consumers are educated about what they're buying and don't get ripped off or conned by marketing slurs. In vain of this, I can honestly say that this deal is a scorcher, I've picked up the 46" LN-S4695D for my bedroom as it was too good to pass up. Here's to hoping the order goes through and that they haven't run out of stock!

Amazon is having an HDTV blowout, several HDTV's have been slashed by over $800. One particular series, the Samsung LN-S4095D 40" 1080p LCD and the LN-S4695D 46" 1080p LCD have been slashed to near resellers listed cost prices. There are many other HDTV's on sale but the one's with the huge discounts will be in limited supply. If you've been holding off on an HDTV, now might be a good time to buy, just before the new models start rolling in. Check it out here. To make the deal even sweeter, they've thrown in FREE SHIPPING!

Regarding the other deals, pay attention to the specs. Some TV's are 720p others are 1080p. Use the information on this site for technical explanations, and feel free to post questions on any particular models you're considering buying.

If you're ONLY interested in 1080p TV's click here

Monday, March 19, 2007


So you bought your 1080p hdtv and kick back knowing that you have a high resolution display. Well you're right, you do. We won't be seeing broadcast or media content over 1080i or 1080p anytime soon. But the facts remain that high end monitors have been able to display past this resolutions for some time now. Resolutions of 2048×1536 are not uncommon amongst 19" or 21" CRT computer monitors. But what about beyond that?

Sony have this $43,000 broadcast monitor which they use when they're actually shooting and editing the movies we watch. In film production and post-production, they can't rely on other display types for perfect replication of film and digital sources. Outside of film production, Apple's 30-inch Cinema HD display ($1,999) can display a resolution of 2560 x 1600. IBM have the T221 monitor 22.2" monitor that can display a 3840x2400 resolution (yours for around $7999). Because of their size, we can hardly use them in our home theatre, but really, what's all this about then? The standard is called QXGA, or Quad/Quantum eXtended Graphics Array. Most displays that carry these types of resolutions are CRT based. But as CRT's don't have native resolutions, these resolutions are the "optimal" settings for these displays. A small handful of LCD's have emerged that are edging into these resolutions, apples 30" is one of them. But most of the pro's and cons of LCD's still stand, even at this price point. To better understand this high resolution standard, check out this table using 1080p as a comparison:
QXGA <><><>2048×1536<><4:3<> 3.1M
QSXGA <><><2560×2048>>>5:4<>>5.2M
QUXGA <><><3200×2400<><4:3<>7.7M
WQUXGA <><>3840×2400<>16:10<9.2m

Those aspect ratio's are correct by the way. But I'm not finished here. There's more. In Japan, they already have the "Ultra High Definition Video" standard with a resolution of 7,680 × 4,320. Truly off the charts! Two hours of footage needs approximately 25 Terabytes of data! By comparison, 2 hours of 1920x1080p (1080P) footage takes up 15-50 Gigabytes depending on the compression used (1000GB= 1TB). For this very reason, UHD is so far away that by the time it comes out, drywall, brick and plaster in your house, will have been replaced by reinforced 200" flat panels. The diagram above shows various resolutions measured against UHD. Also, resolutions above 1080p are not supported by movie companies for commercial distribution. You won't see content in these resolutions for quite some time. By the time we do, you'll already be in the mindset that 1080p looks old school!