Pleasantville A total of 4


A total of 4 million Blu-ray players have now been sold. Redbox president Mitch Lowe said the kiosk company would likely bow Blu-ray Disc rentals at 50 a night, a premium over the chains traditional 1-a-night DVD rental. Blu-rays will start appearing in Redbox kiosks within the next few months, he said. Lowe said 9% of Redbox customers own a Blu-ray player and that he believes Redboxs 23% share of the rental market will help drive Blu-ray adoption. He added that consumer awareness of Redbox hit 72% in April, compared to 17% in February 200 Citing NPD Group data, Lowe noted 20% of Redbox customers say they would not have bought or rented a certain DVD if it were not available at Redbox. He also noted 41% of Redbox customers rent before they choose to buy a certain title, with 9% of those rentals resulting in a sale. Redbox rents nearly 40 million DVDs a month and recently passed the 750 million number for total rentals. Note that Redbox, like Netflix, recently reached agreements with studios Universal, Fox and Warner that will not allow the chain to offer new release movies until 28 days after theyve come out in retail stores and Blockbuster stores. Those deals will also apply to the Blu-ray discs. Any Redbox fans here on the blog? Have you been waiting for the kiosks to go Blu? UPDATE: The Redbox public relations people noticed this post and contacted me with some updated info on their Blu-ray plans. Apparently Pleasantville company is currently testing Blu-ray in some of its kiosks, and the 50 price is a test price. A final price will be announced when the full rollout happens in the second half of this year. I would guess that 50 does end up being the final price since thats what the Redbox president said, but again, it has not been officially confirmed. I was having a discussion with some co-workers just now about whether we ever watch the deleted scenes, directors commentary and other additional content that ships on all DVD and Blu-ray discs these days, as that might be one reason discs are more popular than video-on-demand services that dont include those Pleasantville items. I almost never watch any of the extras sometimes the deleted scenes, but my colleague said she and her daughter always watch the deleted scenes. My theory is that the extras are almost universally ignored people just want to watch the movie, but lets find out. Its not a total disaster and hell, Ill probably still buy it, but the boys at High-Def Digest fairly eviscerate the high-def box set of The Lord of the Rings trilogy being released April Mushy video quality, lame extras and of course no extended edition. After years of waiting, The Lord of the Rings is on Blu-ray, and fans are going to be pissed off. Theatrical cuts, with no extended editions plus video qualities that have been excessively DNRed have dampened much of the anticipation. A weak supplements package doesnt help matters. The audio is superb, to say the least, and is a selling point often forgotten in the outrage over the shortcomings in the video. Yet, as much as it pains me to say it, this set is still a must own, flawed as it is. The wait for the extended editions will be long, much longer than the films themselves and thats a difficult task. Critics will state proudly that theyll stick with their DVD editions, and will claim there is no difference between an upscale and this release, but there is more exaggeration than truth in such a statement. Swallow your pride, throw down your hard earned cash, and put The Lord of the Rings in your Blu-ray collection. One can readily and easily upgrade to the extended cuts whenever they decide to arrive on high-def. That last part is the rub. Id bet were at least a year away from the extended editions on Blu-ray, and even in their bastardized form, the Blu-ray discs do seem to be upgrades from the original DVDs. So yeah, Im probably going to cave, grumble, and then also buy the extended editions or super box sets with the eventual Blu-ray releases of The Hobbit and The Hobbit The signature technology of CES this year is 3D. And the signature 3D demo is James Camerons Avatar. The movie is everywhere at the show. Almost every major TV maker is using clips from the blockbuster to showcase their 3D displays. When Avatar comes out on 3D Blu-ray later this year, it will likely be one of the defining moments for 3D televisions and Blu-ray players. Either the movie will spur scores of reluctant buyers to go ahead and make the upgrade and the consumer electronics industry truly will crown James Cameron king of the world or it will be proof that even Camerons billion-dollar monster isnt enough to get people to wear goofy glasses in their living rooms. But I wonder how many people still do actually buy the more expensive Blu-ray films versus just renting them. I very occasionally buy Blu-ray discs now, but Ive realized that there are only a handful of movies Ill ever actually watch more than once or twice. While a lot of DVDs are priced so low that you basically get your moneys worth from a single viewing, its harder to justify paying 15/20/30 to buy a Blu-ray movie when I can just watch it on Netflix and reorder it later if I ever feel like seeing it again. What do you do? Direct link to the poll here for those of you on non-Flash enabled platforms.

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