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

News in Brief

THE BRITISH Video Association announced that the annual BVA Awards extravaganza will return to the Old Billingsgate venue next year on Thursday 2 May 2013. Anyone wishing to pursue one of the many opportunities to be an award or entertainment sponsor should contact Julie Harriss.

UK SUPERMARKET giant Tesco and technology partner Tribeka are trialling disc manufacturing-on-demand (MOD) kiosks at two Tesco Extra hypermarkets. The Tribeka vending machines enable Tesco customers to select predominantly back catalogue music, TV and movie content, as well as audio books and PC software titles from a digital catalogue. Discs are manufactured in-store complete with original artwork and inlay sleeve; priced from £2.97 for music CDs and £5.97 for DVDs. Once ordered through the kiosk, discs can be picked up by customers shortly after at the in-store counsumer electronics counter.

NATIONAL Film Development Corporation Malaysia Sabah (FINAS) seized 5,980 DVDs worth RM86,690 (€7,000) in several raids around the state and Federal Territory of Labuan. Among the DVDs seized, 3,150 copies were Malay movies, including the latest shows being played in cinemas. The raids were made to preserve the local film industry and fight piracy activities, says FINAS.

TOP MEDIA, a disc replicator, has become the 93rd manufacturer to join the One-Blue patent pool since the licensee programme?s inception in July 2011. One-Blue is the one-stop shop for Blu-ray Disc product patents.

30 YEARS ago, on 1 October 1982, Sony shipped the world's first CD player, the CDP-101, after years of research and an intense period of collaboration with Philips.

US researchers say new technology has produced an improved optical disc, five to10 of which could hold the entire print collection of the Library of Congress. The discs can hold between 1 to 2 terabytes of data - equivalent of 1,000 to 2,000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The new disks write data in dozens of layers. Only slight adjustments to a standard disc reader would enable it to probe and read the data on the multiple layers of the news discs, the researchers said.

WARNER Bros. Home Entertainment Group has gained exclusive rights to Blu-ray and DVD distribution of more than 600 Paramount catalogue titles in a three-year deal, which takes effect 1 January and covers the US and Canada. The studio also will make Paramount's UltraViolet offerings available on a non-exclusive basis through Flixster, Warner's movie streaming and discovery service. The agreement also grants Warner Bros. manufacturing, on-demand rights and the right to include an UltraViolet digital copy bundled with packaged media. Paramount retains digital rights for their titles, including electronic sell-through, VOD and subscription video-on-demand.

NEUSTAR, a provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications and entertainment industries, which also delivers guidance via consumer-initiated interactions on the Web, over the phone and at the point of sale, has joined the membership of the Digital Entertainment Group Europe (DEG Europe), an industry body for the home entertainment sector in Europe comprised of content owners and the industry at large.

PARIS-based 3D technology provider Volfoni has received the CineAwards 2012 for its SmartCrystal Pro, a unique polarisation modulator for 3D projection in the post-production process. It turns 3D projectors of any type (DPL, DILA, SXDR, LCD) into passive 3D projectors. It makes it possible, for example, to use high-end JVC projector for colour calibration in a passive 3D mode. The award was given by Bavarian Minister Martin Zeil in a reception in Munich.

"WHAT will be the next development? I think it will be television in color. And what after color? Stereoscopic relief, so that the picture stands out in three dimensions, is not outside practicability." J L Baird (inventor of television) circa 1938.

EUTELSAT satellite operator is backing the emerging Ultra-HDTV. Eutelsat is shooting its own 4000-line 'test footage' ahead of starting a demo channel that points to commercial deployments expected around 2015. Michel Chabrol, who heads up Eutelsat's Digital Cinema initiative, says that despite the investment needed for broadcasters (and the public, via new 4K displays) the new technology will be a success offering "an unprecedented viewing experience to viewers." Further standards needs development beyond the HDMI 1.4b spec (which can handle 4K up to 30 frames/second) and to an HDMI version 2.0 which would be good for 50/60 fps.

THOSE who possess illegally downloaded of music or films in Japan can face prison term of up to two years and fines of nearly ¥2 million ($25,650), according to a new law which takes effect immediately. The move is aimed at stopping falling music sales in the world's second largest music market, where industry officials estimate only one in 10 downloads are legally purchased.