Tagged With dvd

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Panasonic this morning showed off their latest Blu-ray hardware, including two new Blu-ray recorders, a couple of Blu-ray players (BD Profile 2.0 FTW) and a portable Blu-ray player with the power to solve world hunger. Okay, maybe not, but it's still pretty cool.

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According to a report by Lara Sinclair in the Australian this morning, you could soon be downloading video on demand movies the same day as they are released on DVD. The information comes from Franchise Entertainment Group director Paul Uniacke, who says an unnamed studio is planning to offer On Demand movies from Foxtel, BigPond and TiVo on the same day as DVD releases by March next year.

At the moment, Apple currently offers movies from most studios the same day as the DVD release (and unless I'm mistaken, sometimes even earlier). But adding the release window to PayTV and TiVo is a good idea - I for one haven't visited my local video store for almost two years. Hopefully all the studios will run with this idea - I don't see how they would really lose any money this way.

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Converting your old VHS tapes to DVD can be as exciting as watching grass grow, but Kaiser Bass has just released solution that aims at making the whole process simple. The Video to DVD Maker plugs into your PC or Mac and has composite and S-Video inputs for your VHS player (or any other video source like a video camera or iPod) and uses Cyberlink video editing software (or iMovie '08 for Mac-users) to convert the video file to a digital format that can be burnt to DVD, or encoded for watching on your iPod, PSP or uploaded to YouTube. It's $80, which sounds like a pretty good deal for anyone with the entire collection of Walker: Texas Ranger on tape in their garage - You need to get that on DVD sooner rather than later, my friend.

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Considering that Netflix doesn't operate in Australia, it's hardly surprising that LG has dumped the Netflix support from its local version of the BD300 Blu-ray player. Instead, they're offering a bonus BigPond DVD rentals promotion, which includes four months worth of DVD (or Blu-ray) rentals from BigPond's Netflix-like store (we're talking physical media here, in case anyone's confused).

The unit's priced at $499, which looks like it's going to be the sweet spot for Blu-ray players this Christmas. On top of being a BD Profile 2.0 machine, it also plays back DivX discs and JPEG, MP3 and WMA files from a USB stick, plus supports the latest HD audio codecs.

Of course, there's no word on whether or not it will ever support the BigPond Movies download service, but we've got our fingers crossed.

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It's tough to decide whether Toshiba is being incredibly intelligent or incredibly stubborn in their decision to back upconverting DVD technology instead of Blu-ray. I mean, they were certainly burnt - badly - by Blu-ray with that whole HD DVD format war, but is their decision to stick to DVD smart?

Take their latest DVD player, the XD-E500 DVD upscaler. It's marketed on the fact that it can take your vanilla old DVDs and upscale them to HD-like quality with 1080p output. That sounds pretty good (although the press release says that standard def DVDs are 480p - not in Australia, Toshiba!). But then there's the price: $199.

Sure, the Toshy's got some pretty catchy-sounding tech on board (XDE Technology, anyone?) for upscaling, plus DivX playback, HDMI CEC connectivity and a host of connections, but is it worth $200 bucks? Sony's latest Blu-ray player has an RRP of $449, but you can pick it up for $380 online, and it will not only upscale your DVDs, but playback Blu-ray movies as well. Even at $150 for the Toshy, don't most people already own a DVD player?

Still, if the infinite format war takes Blu-ray as its next victim, Toshiba will probably be the company laughing all the way to the bank.

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The casual consumer has little idea what they're getting with a Blu-ray movie. Sometimes it's great, with restored picture and lots of brand new special features. Other times, it's just the same scratched up print and SD extras crapped out from DVD to Blu-ray. So Sound & Vision decided to name names and called out studios who have been half-assing Blu-ray releases to make a buck in the Blu-ray Report Card.

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All you need is the Homebrew Channel to add your Wii to the hundreds-long list of devices in your house that can play DVDs. Previous DVD hacks required a modded console, but now you can grab a .DOL file and install a DVD-capable version of mplayer without opening the hood. It should also play video files off of an SD card, although this is still experimental. We haven't tested yet, but if you do, let us know if it works.

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The Blu-ray version of Iron Man has been available for preorder on Amazon for quite a while now, but no one knew exactly what they were buying (other than, you know, the movie itself). Now we know that the Ultimate Edition will be released September 30 and contain two discs packed with all sorts of good stuff, including the ability to check out Iron Man's full suit in crazy-explicit detail:

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Today is June 24 and, for Futurama fans, that can only mean one thing: the latest offering from Matt Groening and Co. is out today. Beast With A Billion Backs is a "depraved, yet sensuous" episode that, according to head writer and producer David X. Cohen, refers to as "disturbing." (Yay!) "There is certainly more of an adult theme in this film than the average Futurama episode" he adds. With David Cross voicing the Beast (everyone's favourite gymnophobic, Dr Tobias F√ľnke), Beast With a Billion Backs welcomes back a whole bunch of familiar faces—and voices, which include Professor Stephen Hawking. Trailer is below.

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These gigantic Japanese nerds just rigged up an R2-D2 DVD Projector into a server monitoring system that alerts them whenever a system is down. R2's got Nagios, a monitoring app, an IR controller, and the ability to project what's wrong for the people to see. The video illustrates how it works in a dramatically geeky manner. These should be standard issue in every server farm around the world.

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When most DVDs are released, production studios put up some posters and run a few television spots. However, when ThunderCats Season 2 hits store shelves...lets just say Lion-O isn't settling for an afternoon at Kinko's. Instead, he boldly emblazons the ThunderCats signal onto London's Houses of Parliament. While some surely see the stunt as a subversion to a great tradition of government, others will realise that during the global fight against terror, nothing instills fear into our enemies like occasional real world manifestations of 1980s cartoon superheroes.

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They say smoking and squalor can kill a human, but that's turning out to be equally true for the Nintendo Wii. The hardware's disc-reading laser seems incapable of cutting through the grit, grime and second-hand smoke that accumulates on its lens' glassy veneer. The issue first appeared with Super Smash Bros. Brawl double-layer DVD, and now reports about the launch of Mario Kart Wii this month in Japan show that game is no different. Nintendo will clean your Wii for free, but that will mean a week or so without it.