Netflix has announced that it will only buy Blu-ray discs and phase out HD by the end of the year. We suspect that is because four of the six major studios have gone the same way. While this looks to be the end of the war, we are just not ready to go out and purchase a new player right away. We hope that Sony finally feels karma for their failed Betamax. We also discovered that Netflix will be only sending out standard DVDs by the end of this month.
Read More | Reuters
Netflix subscribers on unlimited rental plans are now allowed endless streaming of movies on their PCs. Previously, the company offered a limited amount of viewing depending on a subscription rate, but it seems that now that it has a library of over 90,000 titles, this is their time to shine over the competition. If you now are on the $4.99 singular DVD Plan or 2 a month option, you will still receive two hours of instant streaming per month. It remains to be seen just how the competition will react to the news, not to mention the dwindling supply of local neighborhood video stores.
Read More | Netflix
Westinghouse will soon be revealing the first integrated HDTV. The display features Pulse~LINK’s integrated CWave UWB HDMI technology that will stream audio and video content from DVRs, Blu-ray or HD-DVD players using its JPEG2000 video codec.
Bruce Watkins, Pulse~LINK President and CEO says, “Watching this Westinghouse Digital HDTV – with no antennas or dongles or anything coming out of it except the power cord and a vibrant High Definition image – is an experience much like watching true High Definition for the first time. As soon as they see it, people will want this Wireless HDMI HDTV in their living room.”
Appearing at the CES next week, we will see if the masses are as impressed as Mr. Watkins.
Read More | Pulse~LINK
Talk about great free advertising. DirectTV has decided to endow the newly designed International Space Station’s Harmony module with an HD makeover. If NASA agrees, the company will include access to all channels, a DVR, and a 42-inch flat screen HDTV. An engineer to install the equipment comes with the offer. For the rest of us, DirectTV is offering such online subscription goodies as a $10.00 a month savings over the next year with a free Visa worth $50.00, and 3 months of HBO, Cinemax, Starz, and Showtime with certain packages.
Read More | Forbes
Chances are, you caught an airing of the holiday neo-classic “A Christmas Story” during the annual marathon on TBS—or like us, already know the movie by heart. Either way, you certainly recognize the iconic Leg Lamp pictured, a “major award” won by Ralphie’s clueless dad. If you’d like one of your own, here’s your chance! The ultra-tacky lamp comes in 2 sizes: 20 inches ($40 USD), and 40 inches ($200 USD), the latter being the same size as the original. A 3-way switch lights the leg, lamp or both. It’s never too early to plan for Christmas ‘08, people!
Read More | The Wireless Catalog
Bluedot plans to release its BDP-1725 DVD Player next month in Japan. At a size of 190×142×29mm and a weight of 740g, the portable device features a 480 x 234p, 7-inch display with LED backlight, supports DVD±R/RW, CD-R/RW, and MP3 and JPEG files. The player will run for five hours of play and can take on an SD memory card. Its functions include zoom, bookmark playback, AB repeat, and search, and you can hook it up to your TV once you get home. Look for a price of ~JPY 23,000 (~$206.00.)
If you finally got that surround sound system you wanted and would like to turn it into a home theater, Mitsubishi is offering you the chance. Their HC4900 Projector with 1080p (1920 x 1080) features 15,000:1 contrast, 1000 ANSI lumen brightness, a 7500:1 contrast ratio, and can handle both HD and Blu-ray. Knowing about a $500.00 rebate they are offering through January 31, we wandered over to Circuit City online where they listed it for $2,999.99, marked it down $700.00, and with the mail-in rebate you end up with a not too shabby price of $1,799.99.
Read More | Electronic House
A new survey conducted by Harris Interactive with 2,455 U.S. adults concluded that about 65% of them have watched a video on YouTube, compared to only 42% last year. Forty two percent of viewers said that they visit the site frequently, a rise of 33% from last year. Forty three percent say they have seen videos on a TV network while less view them on news sites and search engines. Frankly, we are wondering why they even bothered to conduct the survey, and instead should realize that, as the survey also determined, there will be more TV and movie watching online when the networks and studios get a clue.
Read More | stuff
Apparently, the office of the USPS Inspector General is not happy because the mailers that Netxflix uses have to be sorted by hand. They estimate that it is costing them about $21 million a year and have suggested that the company include a 17 cent surcharge from now on. Tony Wible, a Citigroup analyst who wrote the report, says that the income that Netflix receives per subscriber would fall from $1.05 to 35 cents. We know that Netxflix, which mails out about 1.6 million movies a day, is clever enough to create a redesigned mailer sometime soon.
Read More | The New York Times
AOL has decided to give up its pay-for-download service and allow Amazon to sell the movies via its Unbox service. Although AOL’s service has only been around a year, it let everyone know last Friday when it displayed a banner for Unbox after a click on its movie tab. We are certain that Amazon is thrilled that it has one more coup and AOL must be relieved to be following in the footsteps of Google, who discontinued the same service in August to concentrate on its baby, YouTube.
Read More | Post-Bulletin