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News in Brief - july 2010


RUSSIA will be unable to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a timely manner if its government doesn’t take a stronger stance against piracy. “We have made clear to the Russian government repeatedly that intellectual property enforcement has to be strengthened in order for them to enter the WTO,” said Victoria Espinel, U.S. intellectual property enforcement officer. A recent $1.25 billion BitTorrent case initiated by Russia shows president Medvedev is taking a sterner approach against piracy.

NETFLIX, the online movie-rental service, has reported second-quarter profit rose 34%. Net income advanced to $43.5 million from $32.4 million a year earlier. Sales rose 27% to $519.8 million. The combination of streaming and mail-order titles has helped the company reach 15 million subscribers at June 30th, up 42% from a year earlier and 7.4% from the first quarter. The company said 61% of subscribers use its Web service, up from 55% in the first quarter.

DENON is unveiling two 3D BD players (£400 DMP-1611UD and £600 DMP-2011UD) dubbed “universal players”, because not only do they play Blu-ray (3D and regular 2D), DVD and CD, but also SACD or DVD-Audio. With built-in 1GB of internal storage, they also have networking capabilities, features DLNA and USB slot for media playback and BD-Live storage purposes. They have HDMI 1.4 output and the DBP-2011UD has a 7.1 channel analogue output as well as an RS-232C port. Neither model is 3D-ready out of the box, but both will receive a firmware update at the end of the year.

EXAMINING movie-goers’ attitude towards paying a premium to see 3D film in cinemas, BTIG Research discovered that 77% of the 2,600 people asked said the $4 added price tag for 3D movies is too much. Around 37% said they don’t have interest in paying more to see a movie. Despite cost concerns, about 80% said they’ve seen at least one 3D movie. RealD has helped cinemas convert to 3D by offering digital projector upgrades for free, while licensing fees go up between $0.40 and $0.50 per cinema attendee.

3D TV and 3D Blu-ray standalone player revenue in the US has exceeded $55 million in the first three months since the launch of these products in February, according to The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service. One inhibitor to adoption of 3D TV at home is the need to wear special glasses when watching 3D TV. Only 10% of consumers surveyed in The NPD Group’s Analyst Poll of NPD Panelists cited “looking silly” as a main concern of the glasses, whereas 41% cited not having enough glasses on hand for everyone watching the set.

MOST music fans are not interested in using multiple devices to listen to their favourite tracks, according to a US study by Forrester Research, puncturing the notion that the cloud has great appeal. Home computers rank at the top with 41.6% of respondents saying it’s their main source of music, followed by MP3 players at 32.5%, mobile phones at 12.1% and home streaming devices at 11.1%, the report said. Forrester said that just 23% listened to music on both a PC and MP3 player with only 9% using both a PC and mobile phone. A mere 5% of consumers used all four ways to access tracks.

BASED on actual point-of-sale retail data, Media Control GfK International research showed that consumer purchases of Blu-ray titles increased 107% in major markets in Western Europe/Japan during the first half of 2010 while combined DVD/Blu-ray units sold were near par with last year, down 1.2%.

DELUXE Entertainment Services Group has achieved an industry breakthrough with the first 2K real-time uncompressed data file transfer from Los Angeles to London via Deluxe Express, the company's new private, secure global data service. Deluxe Express is exclusively connected to its 10GB network backbone powered by Core180 that includes transatlantic optical connectivity. The entire 2-hour uncompressed 2K data file of 20th Century Fox's A-Team was transferred SAN to SAN from EFILM Hollywood to Deluxe Digital London in just two hours.

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), now in its 14th year, has announced the addition of eight new member companies: A&E Television Networks, Amazon.com, IMAX Corporation, RealD, Samsung Electronics, SRS Labs, Testronics and Verance.

DOWNLOADING illegal digital content is costing the New Zealand film industry $70 million annually says the New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft executive director Tony Eaton. Even downloading US films such as Avatar was hurting New Zealand because companies such as Weta Digital spent years working on that film. There are 22,000 full-time employees in film and TV in the country.