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News in Brief - september 2013


NIELSEN monitoring said a poll of 2,000 US consumers showed that 38% have used the Netflix streaming service in 2013, up from 31% in 2012, while kiosk firm Redbox reported a record 74 million DVD rentals in July.

A PROLIFIC counterfeiter, Paul Sorren of Penryn (Cornwall), has been jailed for 12 months after ripping off thousands of DVD movies, CDs and computers games following a complaint from a member of the public, angry at the brazen operation being run from his property. More than 7,000 illegal DVDs and CDs were seized together with order books. Discs seized were estimated would have cost local shops over £50,000 in lost revenue.

ROVI Corporation has achieved a significant industry milestone with 1 billion DivX devices shipped worldwide. Representing multiple major consumer electronics brands and over 30,000 unique models, DivX-supported devices include everything from digital TVs and set-top boxes to smartphones and tablets. Rovi has unveiled DivX 10, a consumer software application to enable the free creation and playback of DivX video in the new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265) standard.

FUTURESOURCE Consulting forecasts that full-year sales of Blu-ray discs for 2013, for Western Europe in total, are expected to show a 20% growth over the previous year, reaching 80 million units. The value of the sell-through market is expected to rise by 15% year-on-year, reaching €1.3 billion. Blu-ray player households in Western Europe are expected to increase from 19.3 million in 2012 to 25.2 million by the end of this that. That represents a penetration of 14.4% of total households.

IFA Samsung displayed the world's largest Ultra HD TV to date - the 110inch S9 model (unveiled at CES in January). Also in the non-OLED 4K flat-panel category, the company debuted its new 98-inch UHD screen that has just gone on sale in the UK for £40,000. Featuring the super sharp OLED technology, Samsung showed off its 55-inch 4K - curved - OLED TV priced at $9,000 in the US.

IFA LG unveiled the world's first 77-in curved OLED 4K Ultra HD television. It is a prototype and thus doesn't have a pricetag.

IFA SONYunveiled two 4K TVs in its X850A series - a 55-inch (XBR-55X850A) and 65-inch (XBR-65X850A) models. To provide much needed 4K content, Sony has launched its new Video Unlimited 4K download service, that offers over 70 feature films, movies, short-form videos and TV shows in native 4K Ultra HD resolution. This media can be rented or purchased, and then downloaded to a Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player connected to a compatible 4K Ultra HD TV. A library of more than 100 is expected to become available in 4K Ultra HD before the end of the year, the company said. TV episodes costs $3.99, while films start at $7.99 for a 24-hour rental, or $29.99 for a purchase. The service will also sell UltraViolet copies.

IFA PANASONIC has unveiled the world's first 4K TV which can show pictures at 60 frames per second. The 65-inch 4K Viera TV (L65WT600) is claimed to be the world's first with a HDMI 2.0 input to make it possible. Until now 4K TVs have been limited to 30fps, but the new standard lets TVs get up to 60fps. Sports in particular look clear and crisp at 60fps, while in comparison they appear blurry and slow on a 30fps set. The set is rumored to come with a £ 5,500 pricetag.

IFA PHILIPS' first foray into Ultra High Definition television takes the shape of its 9000 Series - the 65-inch 65PFL9708 (€4,999) and the 84-inch 84PFL9708 (€14,999). One of the touted features is an embedded light sensor that feeds "Micro Dimming Pro" algorithms with information about the ambient light conditions to the television. This allows the TV sets to dynamically adapt the LED backlight intensity to maintain the highest possible contrast. Like other 4K TVs already on the market, to improve on the detail of high-definition films and TV, the Philips models can upscale Blu-ray, DVD, or HD TV channels.

IFA TOSHIBA is displaying one of the smallest 4K prototypes yet seen. The TV has a 50-inch screen size and was on show alongside the company's 58-, 65- and 84-inch 4K televisions, available across Europe this month. There is no launch date for the 50-inch prototype set. The larger TVs cost between roughly $5,000 and $17,000. Toshiba is also launching an upscaling Blu-ray Disc player (the BDX6400). Since the company's 4K TVs already come with built-in 4K upscaling technology, the player's HD-to-4K feature kicks in only when it is connected to another brand of 4K TV.

IFA ROVI announced STM Holdings Limited has chosen DivX Video Service to power its new video-on-demand service in China. As part of the licensing agreement STM will use DivX Plus Streaming, Rovi's advanced adaptive streaming format that brings advanced multimedia features to drive a high-quality, "Blu-ray-like" experience in a streaming environment, as well as its TotalCode, a professional quality video encoding solution. These solutions will initially be deployed to power a new STM service that will offer access to premium video entertainment in over 20,000 internet cafés in Greater China.