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News in Brief - august 2011


IN EGYPT, still coming to terms with the people-power protests that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, some expressed bemusement at the actions of London's looters. "Egyptians and Tunisians took revenge for Khaled Said and Bouazizi by peacefully toppling their murdering regimes, not stealing DVD players," Cairo blogger Mosa'ab Elshamy wrote.

A REPORT by market research group Interpret reveals that although Internet-connected devices in the living room have proliferated to over half of US consumers, they remain under-utilised for TV and movie entertainment. As per the study, only 22% of those who own a gaming console connected to the Internet have used it to stream a movie or TV show, and among owners of set-top boxes such as Apple TV or Roku, that number is even lower (18%).

3DTVs account for one in every five TVs sold, says Currys and PC World. According to the largest UK consumer electronics retailer, sales of 3DTVs have risen significantly over the past quarter and are 500 per cent up on three months ago.

PANASONIC is still firmly wedded to its active shutter 3D TV system, and to help overcome criticisms that its 3D spectacles are too heavy – and expensive – when compared to ‘passive’ glasses, Panasonic is introducing a lightweight range of glasses. The so-called TY-EW3D models were released in Japan last week and will migrate to European and US markets soon. And they are lightweight, at 26 grams for small and medium-sized versions, and 27g for the larger size. Usable life is an adequate 3 hours from a 2-minute charge, and 25 hours if charged for 30 minutes.

NEARLY 10 million TV sets were sold in the UK in 2010, almost all of which were HD ready. There were nearly 1 million Internet-enabled TV sales during 2010, and 125,000 sales of TVs with 3D capabilities according to Ofcom research. The UK TV industry collectively generated revenue of £11.7 billion in 2010, a 5.7% increase on 2009, driven by both a recovery in advertising revenue (up by 11.2%) as well as continued increases in subscription revenues (up by 5.3%).

TWENTIETH Century Fox is the first studios that will offer digital downloads of movies be playable on Android devices. Debuting in October, the first title X-Men: First Class will direct owners to a website where they can sideload a digital version. The digital download will come pre-bundled with the Blu-ray disc version of the movie, allowing the video to be copied to either the user’smartphone or to a memory card. While Fox had previously allowed digital downloads for iTunes and Windows Media, Google’s Android platform had previously lacked the copy protection.

TORONTO-based replicator Cinram warned it could default with lenders if discussions to amend its senior secured credit agreements do not succeed, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Cinram, which makes and distributes packaged media for the major studios, said the attempt to rearrange financial covenants follows its business being undercut as physical video game and DVD sales suffer due to industry softness and a shift of entertainment content to digital platforms.

WITH the widespread use of smartphones, tablets and laptops, it seems only natural and fair that we should be allowed to rip our CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs for viewing on these devices. In the UK, this process is currently still illegal. Under copyright reforms proposed by the government, this is set to be dramatically changed. A report by Professor Ian Hargreaves recommends to update what is lawful to copy, including copying for private use and format shifting. He claims the UK economy could get a boost of up to £7.9bn.

ELO Media, a supplier of the DVMatic DVD Rental Kiosks, in partnership with Softland International, will provide the US Navy with DVD rental kiosks in facilities and bases around the world. Twelve machines have already be installed to date. ELO Media offers DVMatic models with DVD capacity of 504, 600, 1010 and a fully weatherized 600 machine.

ELO Media, a supplier of the DVMatic DVD Rental Kiosks, in partnership with Softland International, will provide the US Navy with DVD rental kiosks in facilities and bases around the world. Twelve machines have already be installed to date. ELO Media offers DVMatic models with DVD capacity of 504, 600, 1010 and a fully weatherized 600 machine.

ROVI announced the Canadian launch of the Rovi Smart TV Field Trial Advertising Program, which enables companies to develop and introduce innovative campaigns across HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players, and other Internet-connected devices. As part of the Field Trial introduction, Rovi will work with BMO Bank of Montreal to deploy, manage, and evaluate BMO campaigns across next-generation devices from leading manufacturers and enable the company to engage the rapidly expanding base of consumers that is accessing entertainment via a broadband connection.