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Tag Archives: Blu-ray

LG HB954TBW Blu-ray Home Theater Combo Includes A Pop-Out iPod Dock

LG HB954TBW (Image courtesy Akihabara News)
By Andrew Liszewski

According to Akihabara News, LG Korea announced this new Blu-ray home theater combo this morning that includes a pop-out iPod dock on the player that will apparently accept all iPod models (I assume that means the iPhone too) allowing you to listen to music stored on the devices. There’s no word on whether or not it can access video content on the iPods, but details are a bit vague at the moment. What is known though is that the HB954TBW will be sold in Korea for just over $1,000.

[ Akihabara News – LG latest Blu-Ray Home-Theater combo iPod friendly ]

Warner Bros. Wants To Exchange Your HD-DVDs For Blu-ray


By Chris Scott Barr

Are you one of the people that was convinced that HD-DVD was going to win in the epic HD format war? I really thought that it had a chance there for a while, but alas, Blu-ray won out. Sure, you can still watch those movies in all of their HD glory, but you still need to keep around an HD-DVD player for it. Well thanks to a new initiative by Warner Bros. you can trade in a few of those obsolete discs for shiny new Blu-ray versions.

That’s right, gather up all of those Warner Bros. HD-DVDs and head over to the Red2Blu site and get yourself all set up. They’re going to ask for shipping and handling, as well as a small fee of $4.95 per disc. I really have to commend Warner Bros. on this. They don’t have any obligation whatsoever to provide an exchange program, but for the sake of their customers they are doing it anyway. I’d definitely get on this while it lasts. That reminds me, I need to hit up the cheap HD-DVD bin at Fry’s next time I’m out that way.

[ Red2Blu ] VIA [ Gearlog ]

T2 Complete Collector’s Set Will Intimidate All The Other DVDs On Your Shelf

T2 Complete Collector's Set (Image courtesy DVDActive)
By Andrew Liszewski

The Ultimate Matrix Collection managed to set a new standard in DVD over-packaging by including a 2-foot detailed model of the Nebuchadnezzar, but the T2 Complete Collector’s Set still manages to one-up it in my eyes. Not only because Terminator 2 didn’t suck, but also because the Complete Collector’s Set comes with a 14-inch T-800 Endoskull with light-up eyes and sound effects from the movie.

It also includes the Skynet Edition Blu-ray copy of the movie, the Extreme and Ultimate Editions on DVD (yep, that’s a lot of editions) and digital copies that are compatible with Windows Media and iTunes. So why settle for just the $29.99 Blu-ray Skynet Edition when you can get the T2 Complete Collector’s Set for just $145 more?

[ DVDActive – T2 Complete Collector’s Set ] VIA [ The Awesomer ]

Blu-ray Zippo Is Definitely Wind-proof

Blu-ray Zippo - It can be done (Images courtesy ROG8811)
By Andrew Liszewski

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and while I’m not 100% sure what inspired Rog8811 to cram a Blu-ray laser diode into a Zippo housing, the results are well worth the effort that went into this mod. He’s provided a pretty detailed step-by-step explanation of how the whole thing was put together on his site, but I’ll warn you, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. I threw in the towel before I even got below-the-fold. But if you manage to pull it off you’ll have a laser-powered Zippo that can not only light a cigar in just a few seconds, but is also capable of providing severe retinal damage if you don’t wear safety glasses whenever you use it. Awesome!

[ Blu-ray Zippo – It can be done ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Slim USB CD/DVD/Blu-ray Player For $99


By Evan Ackerman

It’s probably pretty silly to try and stuff an optical drive (even a small optical drive) into a netbook. But, that doesn’t mean that sometimes, perhaps even frequently, it can be nice to have the option of playing a CD or a DVD. The most convenient way to do it is a slim drive about the size of a disc that operates off of USB bus power so that you only need the one cable. There are quite a few reasonably priced options out there, but this drive from FastMac manages to stuff CD-R/W, DVD±R/W DL, and a Blu-ray reader into one small USB drive for under $100. For $299, you can add a 1x Blu-ray burner, and $399 bumps that up to 4x.

Considering that an external slim USB DVD burner will probably cost you at least $60 or $70, the extra 20 bucks isn’t much at all to throw the additional option of Blu-ray into the mix.

[ FastMac ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

[CES 2009] Panasonic DMP-B15 Portable Blu-Ray Player

Panasonic DMP-B15 Portable Blu-Ray Player (Image property of OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Well, a portable Blu-ray player was inevitable, and it looks like Panasonic will be the first company to get one to the market. But there’s plenty of room for improvement. First of all, the LCD display only has WSVGA or 1024×600 resolution. I know you can argue that cramming a resolution of 1920×1080 into an 8.9-inch display is kind of pointless, but I still want it. The player also isn’t exactly what I’d call tiny, so this isn’t the type of thing you’ll be bringing with you on an airplane (at least this first model) particularly since the built-in rechargeable battery is only good for about 3 hours.

Panasonic DMP B15 Portable Blu-Ray Player (Image property of OhGizmo!)

Panasonic did manage to include BD-live functionality, but the player doesn’t come with wi-fi (probably to max out the battery life) so you’ll need to tether it to a network cable. But it does have an HDMI connection so you can at least hook it up to your home theater and use it as a regular Blu-ray player. The DMP-B15 will be available in late May if you’re the type who has to have everything first, but I would definitely suggest holding off until version 2.

And the full press release is available after the jump.

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OGCC Day 21 – Virtual Fireplace, Now In Blu-ray HD!

HDScape Fireplace: Visions Of Tranquility Blu-ray (Image courtesy HDScape)By Andrew Liszewski

2008 OGCC Day 21 (Image property OhGizmo!)Well, there won’t be any HD-DVD players under the Christmas tree this year. Although, with the price of coal, they could make for a cheap stocking stuffer for all those bad boys and girls… Anyways, Blu-ray won the war, and the fact that you can now get those virtual fireplace videos in hi-def is a sure sign that the format is catching on.

The HDScape Fireplace: Visions Of Tranquility Blu-ray disc features a real roaring fire and your choice of musical accompaniment (like Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata or Pachelbel’s Canon) or the natural sounds of the fire crackling away. According to the HDScape website, the fire was actually shot on film and transferred to HD, but I think this is one of those times where the realistic ‘video-look’ of native HD might have been preferred. But I’m sure it still looks much better than the SD versions of yesteryear.

Fireplace: Visions Of Tranquility is available directly from HDScape for a special sale price (I assume just for the holidays) of $11.99.

[ HDScape Fireplace: Visions Of Tranquility Blu-ray ]

Netflix Sees Half A Million Blu-ray Subscribers

By Luke Anderson

The battle of the HD formats ended quite some time ago with Blu-ray coming out on top, but how well is it doing? Well we recently learned that Netflix was going to begin charging a $1 per month premium to all Blu-ray subscribers due to high costs and a lower demand than expected. Well the online rental giant has released figures on just how many users are taking advantage of their Blu-ray offerings.

It seems that over 500,000 customers are getting HD movies delivered to their mailboxes on a regular basis, which accounts for around 5.7 percent of their 8.7 million subscribers. I suppose that isn’t too bad of a figure, though it shows us that DVDs aren’t going anywhere for quite some time.

VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Netflix To Charge $1 Premium For Renting Blu-ray Titles

By Luke Anderson

I still haven’t upgraded my movie collection to Blu-ray, for several reasons. First, only in the last year or so have I finally rid myself of every last VHS tape in the house, and don’t really feel like moving on to a new format. Second, Blu-ray players are still too expensive to justify the purchase of one (I have no desire for a PS3). Finally, I’m happy paying less per disc when I go to purchase a new movie. One alternative to skirt around the last issue has been to just rent movies from Netflix and avoid the premium. However, now it seems that you’ll need to pony up some extra cash every month for that privilege.

Netflix has begun sending users who rent Blu-ray titles an email stating that they will be imposing a fee of $1 (plus applicable taxes) per month. No, that extra dollar isn’t going to break the bank, but it is a sign that Neflix hasn’t made back their investment into the format. Recently, Netflix CEO Barry McCarthy stated that only a fraction of subscribers rent Blu-ray titles. Sounds like I’m not the only one that’s holding out on upgrading.

VIA [ Ars ]