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News in Brief

ITALIAN replicator Decibel Trading Service has purchased a complete BLULINE BD manufacturing line from Singulus. Decibel currently produces CD, CD-ROM and DVD in its production facilities in Linate near Milano, as well as providing ancillary production services, such as DVD authoring. Singulus reports that it is the global market leader in Blu-ray lines, with over 85 systems in operation worldwide.

UNIVERSAL Pictures International Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment International announced that they have reached an agreement for UPIE to distribute Paramount product for home entertainment in Italy. Under the five-year agreement beginning in April 2011, Universal Pictures Italy will distribute Paramount’s home entertainment product in the country, including film and TV releases on DVD and Blu-ray. The agreement covers the operations, finance, sales and marketing functions.

SAMSUNG is showcasing at CES in Las Vegas a 3DTV display that viewers can watch wearing theatrical 3D glasses in a development with RealD Inc. that uses RDZ 3D technology. “RDZ 3D displays deliver a full resolution high-definition 3D experience through an active switching LCD panel that can be viewed with the same eyewear used in RealD-equipped theatres and do not compromise 2D image quality,” said RealD Consumer Electronics President Bob Mayson.

AMAZON, which already owns 42% of LOVEFiLM, is said to be closer to owning 100% of the UK DVD rental and movie streaming company. According to the Sunday Times, Amazon is “carrying out due diligence on the business that is expected to lead to a takeover in the next few months”. Amazon folded its European rental operation into LOVEFiLM in 2008 and was reported to interested in acquiring the rest of the company just as the management, led by Simon Calver, LOVEFiLM’s CEO, began considering a stock market flotation.

ACCORDING to Screen Digest, retail sales of Blu-ray HD movies rose 64.2% year to year, as disc rentals ballooned 105.5%. The overall DVD market declined 3.8% primarily due to a 15.6% drop in retail DVD sales amounting to $1.5 billion. DVD rentals declined 12.4%, or $749 million. Internet delivery of movies is expected to continue to hurt DVDs. Revenue from all types of electronic delivery rose by 21.9% in 2010 which marks a milestone by exceeding 10 percent of total market revenue for the first time.

PIONEER Electronics rolled out a high-definition BDXL internal Blu-ray disc drive that more than doubles current maximum BD storage capacity, providing up to 128 GB of data. The BDR-206MBK writer is the first BDXL drive to read and write using the new quadruple-layer recordable BD disc format. Last month, a Pioneer DBC-206MBK Blu-ray writer can be purchased for about £190.