Europe's online source of news, data & analysis for professionals involved in packaged media and new delivery technologies

News in Brief - december 2009


LG ELECTRONICS, the world's No. 2 TV brand by revenue, has set an aggressive sales target for 3D televisions, aiming to build a leadership position in an emerging market. LG aims to sell 400,000 3D TVs in 2010 and 3.4 million in 2011, the South Korean company said. It plans to unveil a full line-up of 3D TV models with new technology improvement in the second half of next year, targeting retail consumers. LG currently offers one 47-inch 3D TV, which is sold mostly to businesses.

A 36-YEAR old man from Belfast has been charged with two offences related to counterfeiting after a proactive police operation. Two other men are still being questioned by detectives from the Organised Crime Branch. The police recovered counterfeit CDs and DVDs worth in the region of £50,000 during the operation.

AUDIODEV is now adding functionality that enables testing and verification of the ROM Mark. The ROM Mark is a mandatory watermark and anti-piracy feature that is applied to all BD-ROM media. It is licensed by Sony Corporation, Philips Electronics and Panasonic. The ROM Mark testing is performed by the CATS BD-analyzer and can easily be added to the media manufacturer’s current test procedures. The fact that no external hardware is required is a unique feature, says AudioDev.

THE WORLD'S largest 3D demo with the largest yet 3D screen took place last week at the Dallas Cowboys grid iron football stadium. The 80,000 crowd were given 3D glasses to watch the half-time and second-half of the game as well as replays in 3D. The giant screen was 160 feet in length and 72 feet in height and was the largest video board installation in the world. The technology was provided by HDlogix of Edison, New Jersey.

ACCORDING to third-quarter figures compiled by the Digital Entertainment Group, Blu-ray is on the rise. In 2009, Blu-ray Disc set-top player sales grew 112% over the same period last year and this holiday season consumers are seeing Blu-ray player prices starting around $100. Blu-ray devices top many consumers’ holiday wish lists this year and are projected to be in 15 million U.S. homes by the end of this year.

SONIC Solutions and DivX have announced a partnership to enable the digital distribution of a broad catalogue of high-quality, premium movie titles compatible with DivX Certified consumer electronics devices from all major CE brands. In the initial stage of the partnership, Sonic Solutions will make movies available for download in the DivX format, effective immediately.

PARAMOUNT Pictures is creating an online video clip service that will allow users to search hundreds of feature films on a frame-by-frame basis. Users can log on to ParamountClips.com, search for the exact video wanted and press the checkout button. The price depends on the type of licensing required — Paramount will electronically deliver the selection in the format and resolution desired. Most scenes are available in multiple languages.

INDIA is the fourth largest illegal downloader of online content, according to two reports released by the Motion Picture Distributors Association. According to their findings, India trails only the US, Britain and Canada in online copyright infringement. Envisional's report said online piracy of film and television content in India is mainly through file-sharing networks like BitTorrent and cyberlockers, or web-based file hosts such as RapidShare or HotFile.

US HOUSEHOLDS consumed approximately 3.6 zettabytes of information in 2008, according to the "How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers," released by the University of California, San Diego. One zettabyte is 1,000,000,000 trillion bytes, and total bytes consumed last year were the equivalent of the information in thick paperback novels stacked seven feet high over the entire US, including Alaska.

VIRGIN’s maverick founder Richard Branson has launched a 'geek squad' to help consumers with problems like computers that crash, wireless networks that won't connect or games consoles that refuse to connect with other gear. The group's first new company in Britain for three years will offer free online self-help guides for common problems and a range of automated fixed and video tutorials for £2.99 a month, backed up with phone support and home visits.

RESEARCH by retail security expert Checkpoint Systems found a 3.6% increase in reported thefts from shops in France between July 2008 and July 2009 – representing about 5bn Euros in lost sales. Although high-value, easy-to-resell items such as razor blades, DVDs and bottles of whisky continued to be popular targets for shoplifters, day-to-day items are also creeping up the list.

UK-BASED DVD Blu-ray Duplication in Leicester, UK, a member of The International Disc Duplicating Association (IDDA),has extended its product range in a move to safeguard loss of data and reduce copywriting, theft and piracy. The business now provides copy protection and encryption solutions for USB flash memory drives and DVDs.

RESEARCH revealed by Munich-based msm-studios and the online platform www.bluray-disc.de shows that Blu-ray Disc outdoes the classic DVD when it comes to acoustic experiences – taking away the need to rely on different gadgets to experience the pure pleasure of the music. The Pure Audio Blu-ray in 5.1 DTS-HD Master represents the future of music enjoyment. The system allows multi-channel sound, which turns a home cinema into an acoustic sensation.

MORE US shoppers turned out for Black Friday sales this year –195 million compared to 172 million last year, but the average shopper spent $343.31 this year, $30 less than last year, according to Video Business magazine. Some BD players were sold at rock bottom price. Roku sold its high-end HD-XR players for $69. Walmart sold a Magnavox model for $78. Meijer and Best Buy offered sub-$100 models. Amazon.com was offering a Sony Blu-ray player for $119, down from $199.

THE MOVIE industry has put a bounty on DVD counterfeiters in Los Angeles downtown's Fashion District. The Motion Picture Association of America has teamed up with the Fashion District Business Improvement to offer cash rewards up to $1,000 for information leading to the closure of locations in the Fashion District, in Los Angeles, engaged in the illegal production of DVDs.

TOSHIBA has confirmed that it will be producing a settop box with integrated and recordable Blu-ray and Freeview HD with the service due to arrive in the UK this month. The lack of equipment for Freeview HD – which needs new DVB-T2 tuners – is a concern, although there is expected to be a raft of announcements at CES in January from major manufacturers.

A NEW website has been launched to meet the growing demand of home entertainment, coming just in time for Christmas to help German shoppers make informed choices. The site – www.bluraydisc.de – allows users to navigate their way around the hidef format by placing all Blu-ray information in one place.

SONY Corporation and football’s governing body FIFA have teamed up to allow selected media rights of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in 3D. Up to 25 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa matches will be produced in 3D.

NEWS CORP Chairman Rupert Murdoch, speaking at a US Federal Trade Commission workshop on the future of journalism, said that mobile TV is key to his company's strategy for remaining successful in the age of anytime, anywhere digital journalism. Murdoch pointed out that News Corp was working on a project to use a portion of broadcast spectrum to deliver TV, and perhaps newspapers, to mobile devices.

KOREAN mobile TV operators will introduce interactive services in December. The country's six terrestrial DMB operators will start 'DMB 2.0' services and allow customers to access a range of data services such as e-commerce, stock updates, and personal video recording. Despite the services being available shortly, there are no handsets as yet that support the technology.

OCTOBER set another new record for BBC iPlayer TV requests, racking up 53.2 million TV, according to new more detailed stats released by the public broadcaster. Streaming or downloads to PCs accounted or 7%, 7% went to iPhone or iTouch devices, 7% to Macs, 6% to Playstations and 2% other devices including Wii. Radio requests were steady at 26 million.