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Writer, director, musician, and multimedia junkie. www.felixemartinez.com © 2008-2009 F.E.M.

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    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Sony Music Blu-ray Contest/Survey

    I just came across this contest/survey. The questions are clearly focused on music on Blu-ray, with a few inquiries into hi-res audio, music in surround, and SACD/DVD-Audio. Upon completion of the survey, participants can enter a drawing to win 12 Blu-ray titles.

    2 Blu-ray Movies For $30 At Amazon

    Looks like Amazon is following Best Buy's lead with their own "2 For $30" sale. Check it out.

    Thursday, May 15, 2008

    The Godfather and Indiana Jones on Blu-ray in 2008?

    A few days ago, Spanish website 1080b reported that both The Godfather: The Francis Ford Coppola Restoration and The Indiana Jones Quadrilogy would hit the Blu-ray format on October 29, and posted samples of artwork. However, The Digital Bits put a call into Paramount and revealed that the artwork was fake. Nonetheless, the studio did not have information on the release of these titles on Blu-ray. As Bill Hunt at The Bits states, Paramount issued "a non-denial denial."

    1080b then updated their site and included the following explanation in English:
    "..we were told that Paramount was already working on The Godfather and Indy series. Yes. We were astonished too, so we published the information because we thought it was reliable and it made sense, even no official announcement had been made, and no official press document had been released to the media. About the artwork: Some claim it’s fake. Well, of course it is. It was just a decoration for the news, never intended to pass for the real thing."

    I'll tell ya - without a full denial from Paramount, I'm not willing to write off that 10/29 date just yet...

    Monday, May 12, 2008

    2 Blu-ray Movies For $30 At Best Buy

    Not sure how long this sale will last, so check it out. In store pick-up option seems to also work.

    Sunday, May 4, 2008

    Status of King Crimson Catalog In 5.1 Surround, Part 1

    Not exactly fresh news, but earlier this year it was announced that Porcupine Tree's manager, Andy Leff, is now managing King Crimson and that perhaps we may see the KC catalog in 5.1 surround, mixed by Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson.

    I've known Andy for a few years now, since he set up my interview with SW when Deadwing was released on DVD-Audio, so I dropped him a note to check the status of KC in surround. Alas, they're still trying to see if it's possible, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    If there's a band I want to hear in hi-res surround, it's King Crimson. And if there's someone I want to see mixing KC in surround, it's Steven Wilson.

    Paramount Is Back In; Blu-ray Wins Or Woes?

    The news of the week was that Paramount returned to Blu. While I'm really looking forward to There Will Be Blood and Cloverfield in Blu, I'm hopeful that an announcement of an HD re-release of Zodiac on the format is around the corner. I'm also crossing fingers that the Indiana Jones films will find their way to Blu before year-end to coincide with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on standard def home video.

    And the Blu news keeps coming, but frankly, some of the pundits are all over the place.  HDTVUK reports Bernstein Research analyst Michael Nathanson saying, "quarter of U.S. homes to have Blu-ray players by 2011," and yet almost in the same breath questions consumers' willingness to upgrade their catalog software titles. I recall this argument back in 1997 when most everyone was sure that DVD would never eat into the VHS market share.  After all, DVD was the successor to laserdisc and at that time considered a niche format. Who would want Caddyshack on DVD with versions already existing on VHS and laserdisc? Hookay...

    In the same week, HDTVUK asks, "Is Blu-ray in trouble or is it still just very early days?" and references an ABI research report that states, "the Blu-ray player market is not all that encouraging" and relies on the PS3, which is a "cause for concern." While I agree with that hardware observation and can now only recommend the Panasonic BD-30 and upcoming BD-50 standalone players because of their build, firmware, software compatibility, and customer support, I would have added "currently" to that statement. Rather than a cause for concern, it is a huge opportunity for growth given the recent Blu-ray software sales upswing. Now that the HD disc format war is over, hardware manufacturers are hard at work and profile 2.0 players will be on store shelves well before the 2008 holiday season. Methinks this will be a Blu, rather than white, Christmas.

    © 2008 Felix E. Martinez