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News in Brief

DELUXE Digital Studios has registered over 100 million BD-Live disc inserts and forecasts this number to nearly double by the end of the year. The actual usage data of the BD-Live disc inserts shows 60% were from North America, 35% from Europe, and 5% from the rest of the world. Read report of Frankfurt’s Blu-ray Disc Academy presentation by Todd Collart, Deluxe’s Senior VP New Media.

SONY Pictures Home Entertainment’s Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is the first Blu-ray 3D title to be sold individually in the US. The disc, mastered at Colorworks and authored at Sony Digital Authoring Center, also contains early development scenes and extended scenes, progression reels with introductions by visual FX supervisor Rob Bredow, and music video by Miranda Cosgrove, Raining Sunshine.

ZOO Digital, the provider of software-led services, especially its automated authoring tools, reported preliminary result of $15.1m for the year ending 31 March – up 33% over 2009 revenue of $11.3m. It produced gross earnings of $1.6m compared to a loss of $0.1m the previous year. ZOO also announced a strategic investment of $1.2m and partnership with Multi Packaging Solutions, Inc., a value-added print-based packaging solutions company enabling expansion of ZOO’s business into new markets.

GLOBAL demand for Blu-ray BD-R discs will keep growing to 310 million discs in 2012, while that for CD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW discs will be on the decline, Taiwan-based optical disc makers have cited projections by the Japan Recording-media Industries Association (JRIA) as indicating.

MICROSOFT’s Applied Sciences Group has demonstrated a stereoscopic 3D display that projects different images to a viewer’s left and right eyes, and doesn’t require glasses. The display uses a viewer-tracking system, which consists of a camera that tracks viewers’ eyes and a lens that steers light directly into the viewers’ eyes by switching LEDs along its bottom edge on and off.

SONIC Solutions announced a strategic alliance to develop and release new consumer solutions for the home creation, publishing and playback of personal 3D video content. As part of the collaboration, Sonic is integrating the propriety stereoscopic RealD Format into its RoxioNow premium entertainment platform. Once titles become available for online distribution, the RealD Format will be used to deliver stereoscopic 3D entertainment directly to a broad range of connected consumer electronics devices.

JAPANESE porn stars Mika Kayama and Yuma Asami, working for adult-movie publisher S1 No.1Style, will star in the country’s first DVDs for the 3-D format TVs, providing content says can trigger the success of the new sets. “Adult videos will likely be an incentive for consumers to buy a 3D TV,” said analyst Yuji Fujimori at Barclays Capital in Tokyo. “It’s worth paying attention to the move because it’s lack of content that’s hindering expansion.”

TOSHIBA announced it will be the first manufacturer to release a new 3D-capable Blu-ray Disc notebook to the consumer market. The Toshiba Dynabook TX/98MBL, which is scheduled for release late next month in Japan, utilizes the Nvidia “3D Vision” platform. The use of active-shutter 3D glasses is required, with a custom transmitter sending signals between the video card’s software and the glasses.

PANASONIC has established a 3D Innovation Center in Japan to accelerate the development of its 3D business. This center will serve as a contact point for customers related to the 3D business by coordinating the various departments within the Panasonic Group, in order to provide said customers with optimum solutions in this business.

SONIC Solutions is to acquire DivX Inc, in a $326 million stock and cash deal. The DivX technologies - encoders for formatting video, decoders for playback, and digital rights management for content protection – are expected to give Sonic a more extensive solution for Internet video delivery including the dominant tools for content preparation in "the cloud," video playback, and Hollywood-approved DRM.

JEFFREY Katzenberg, Dreamworks CEO and Avatar director James Cameron, reported by Multichannel News, warned that inferior 3D experiences could turn off viewers to the value of 3D. Speaking at the 'All Things Digital' conference, they suggested sports and games, rather than movies, will initially build 3D market. In the rush to make 3D movies, Cameron feared low-quality productions wil lead to customer turn-off.

OPTICAL disc maker CMC Magnetics will raise prices in July, with the upward price trend expected to continue through the end of the year to reflect the rising costs of polycarbonate, a key material for making its products, according to the company. CMC has hiked its prices 5-10% for June, and so far this year CMC has increased its quotes by 36%, with the cumulative hike for the whole year likely to exceed 50%. CMC is running at full capacity and expects the full utilization to remain until the end of 2010.

MPO in France has become the first European replicator to be licensed to produce the JakeBox. This eco-friendly pop-up packaging concept for discs is best known for collectors’ editions for Simple Minds and The Rolling Stones and exclusive promotional issues for companies like Lamborghini. JakeBox is widely considered as one of the most eco-friendly packages available, as it is 100% FSC standard board, and varnishes, and will contribute to strengthening MPO's eco-friendly image.

DELUXE Digital Studios’ headquarters in Burbank, CA, along with the Bangalore, India and London, England locations have successfully completed the Content Delivery and Storage Association content security auditing programme.“We believe our successful Content Protection and Security accreditations further differentiate Deluxe from our competitors in the post-production, authoring and digital services sectors,” said Joel Bigley, senior vice president of Deluxe Digital Studios’ Worldwide Operations and Business Execution.