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News in Brief

WARNER Bros has stopped supplying discs of its latest releases to Blockbuster after the DVD rental chain refused to agree to a 28-day delay between the films going on sale and their availability to rent. The move is the first step taken by Warner to stimulate retail sales and make owning film content more appealing to consumers. It will be followed by efforts to expand similar release windows already in place with other movie rental services, such as Netflix and Redbox.

DRESDEN’s general state prosecutor’s office filed charges against the first of the suspected operators of for copyright infringement in over a million cases. The defendant is accused of being an accessory to the illegal file-hoster portal system. The charges are the result of an international raid on led by the Integrated Investigation Unit of Saxony. The officers seized the domain and the servers of several stream hosters, and arrested 13 people. Six of the suspects are still in custody, including the present defendant.

JVC KENWOOD, a leading developer and manufacturer of audio, video and wireless communications products, has joined the One-Blue product licensing programme as a licensor. The company has been an important contributor to the development of the Blu-ray Disc standard and joins current licensors Cyberlink, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips and Sony. One-Blue administers the licensing programme for patents essential to Blu-ray Disc products and is the joint licensing agent of its licensors.

BLU-FOCUS, the DVD, Blu-ray Disc testing and QA certification facility, has formed the BluFocus App Testing Division to meet the growing demands in the App industry sector. “The colossal growth of the App industry is causing a significant increase in competition, which, in turn, means that more attention and focus is needed on creating better quality apps and casual games,” said Paulette Pantoja, BluFocus CEO and founder. “Our consulting expertise, in addition to our highly skilled testing abilities, enables us to work with our clients’ development teams to ensure that their applications are of the highest caliber before they reach the market.”

IN SEPTEMBER 2011, the UK Internet population made over 785 million visits to online video websites – an increase of 36% year-on-year, according to analysis from competitive intelligence firm Experian Hitwise. YouTube dominates with 70 per cent of all visits to online video sites. Every month, UK Internet users spend 184 million hours watching YouTube content, with an average session time of 20 minutes.

SIXTY French internet users could have their connection cut for a month after ignoring letters telling them to stop infringing copyright. They are the first to reach the end of the ‘Hadopi’ process France operates to tackle pirates. About 650,000 people have received one warning and a further 44,000 are on their second warning. A government advisor is set to visit the 60 people who have ignored warnings to find out more about their circumstances. Those convicted have to pay a fine of €1,500 or have their net link disconnected for up to a month.

PANASONIC, the official partner for the 2012 London Olympic Games, says it will be installing the world’s largest-ever TV screen for the event. Screen sizes in the pre-Games tests will range from 14 metres to a massive 52 metres for the London 2012 Olympics. Panasonic say that their abundance of plasma displays including the huge 152in TH-152UX1 4K2K plasma ‘the world’s largest TV’ plus numerous 103in TH-103VX200 plasmas and 3D production equipment including the AG-3DP1, the latest Panasonic Full-HD 3D camera recorder are also being supplied.

GLOBAL Blu-ray Disc market is forecast to reach 6.6 billion units by 2017, according to new report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

BRITAIN's BT is to offer superfast broadband speeds at up to 300 megabits per second to both its retail customers and rivals from next spring in a move that will transform speeds across the country. BT made the announcement as it launched a fibre to the premises (FTTP) service offering 110 Mbps on Wednesday. BT is investing £2.5 billion to make fibre broadband services available to two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015.

iPONT International, an innovator and technology partner in the glasses-free 3D market, will be working with the content provider of Penthouse-branded product, to demonstrate its glasses-free display screen product at the Penthouse booth at MIPCOM. iPONT’s glasses-free 3D ‘iPORN’ experience with Penthouse’s premium branded 3D adult content “will set a new standard in realism for immersive adult 3D entertainment,” says the company.

THE BBC is firmly behind 3DTV. Jo Sermon, BBC Worldwide’s director of content, told MIPCOM delegates that a recent research study for the BBC showed that public interest in various 3D genres was high, with film (44%) being highest, Natural History (40%), Music (21%), Entertainment (21%) as well as reasonable interest in 3D for comedy, soaps and entertainment. The BBC is also capturing an episode of its top rated Strictly Come Dancing format in 3D and is rumoured to be planning to try 3D within the Doctor Who drama series.