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HTF EVENT COVERAGE: 2010 BLU-CON WITH COVERAGE UPDATES ALL WEEK

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Welcome to Blu-con 2000


    We are going to try something experimental today by attempting to provide as much live coverage of the day-long event as we can. Check back as Adam Gregorich and Ron Epstein provide the latest information coming out of Blu-con including as many photos as we can upload on short notice. Check back during the latter course of the week for video footage.




    Ron Sanders, President Warner Home Entertainment delivers opening remarks




    Bill Carr, Vice President of Music and Video Amazon.com reports that driving the prices down on Blu-ray

    titles will certainly stimulate growth. Customers are placing high values on the combo packs.




    James Cameron and Jon Landau show us extra scenes from the upcoming Avatar

    Collector's Edition Blu-ray




    Cameron talks about creating his digital environment




    Avatar Producer Jon Landau




    James Cameron talks about Earth Day and preserving the planet




    James Cameron encourages studios to do more quality 3D films as the format is here to stay




    Studio Presidents Forum Panel
     
  2. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Well-Known Member

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    I really like the programme that is scheduled.


    Looking forward to hear all about James Cameron & Avatar.
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

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    Bill Carr remarks:


    Customers love BD and sales are increasing, but there are some barriers to growth:


    Availability. More titles are needed.

    • Today there are 150,000 titles available on DVD, only 4000 on Blu-ray. Blu-ray releases are lagging behind DVD releases.
    • After 5 years there were almost 25000 DVD titles, after 5 years, there are fewer than 5000 Blu-ray titles.



    Pricing. Reducing the price gap is important.

    • When there is a price difference of $10, 45% of sales are Blu-ray.
    • For every 10% difference in pricing BD sales drop 4%
    • When there is no pricing difference 95% of sales are BD
    Firmware issues.

    • There are a lot of complaints about movies that don't play that are tied to FW issues.

    Combo packs increase BD sales by up to 55%


    Need more titles, competitive pricing and the customer experience needs to improve.


    Pictures coming
     
  4. Adam Gregorich

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    Avatar CE:

    3 versions of the film: Original, +9 minutes, +16 minutes all via branching


    An addition 47 minutes of deleted scenes available. They weren't able to be finished to the "film quality" they were finished up to a "template level". It takes 50-100 hours of rendering time (x2 for 3D) to take template footage to the level of finished footage.


    Scenes weren't ready for the initial BD release. They were finished for this release. They were not finished when the film was in theaters or the BD was released. These scenes cost up to $1 million/minute


    The added in scenes look as good as the original footage. New 4-5 minute opening on the 16 minute version that starts on earth.


    17 featurettes on topics like stunts, motion capture, etc.


    There is a PIP "motion capture" track that is available for about an hour of the film that lets you see the motion capture footage in a PIP window.


    After the official session I asked Jon Landau if it was a different experience watching Avatar at home in 3D vs in the theater in 3D. He said that it actually is a different experience. Because of the brighter picture available at home there is actually more detail visible at home (some 3D theaters were 3.5ft/L).


    Sources are telling HTF that a 3D version of Avatar won't be available for retail sale until late 2013.
     
  5. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    Any chance someone from Universal will be there? And if they are could someone tell them to stop with the DNR and EE on their catalog titles?
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Speaking with representative of a company called BluFocus who

    is working with THX to ensure the most stringent quality standards

    for the format. It is his feeling that the first and second generation

    3D displays need small improvements and that the technology will
    not be perfected until the 3rd generation displays are released. It is

    at that time that he most recommends consumer purchase.





    3D Panel now in progress.


    DeamWorks making all future content in 3D.

    Warner will have 7 new 3D titles out by the end of the year.


    Studios feel bundling is important to drive more hardware sales.

    In order to drive more people to purchasing 3D hardware there is

    a concerned effort being made to bring more broadcast 3D to the

    airwaves.


    Studios also making an added effort to make certain that movie

    packaging has prominent 3D labeling on the cover and spine so

    that the consumers are aware that the Blu-ray they are purchasing

    is indeed 3D.


    Studios have sales forces going out to retailers like Best Buy,
    Costco and the like to train salespeople on 3D so that the format

    can be properly represented to consumers looking to purchase.

    It is very important for consumers to be properly educated -- to

    be able to know bad 3D vs. good 3D so that they can confidently

    go out and spend their money in purchasing the technology.


    Better glasses on the way from companies like Oakley and

    Gucci that will be smaller, more lightweight and available in

    adult and kid sizes. Industry desperately trying to smooth

    out the negative opinions on wearing glasses for 3D and make

    it positive.


    Speaking of glasses, prices are on their way down and there

    is a definite increase in performance. Overall, for the naysayers,

    the studios feel that the experience is improving. There is also

    an effort underway to standardize eyewear.
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Andy Parsons, Chair, U.S. Promotions Committee, BDA reports 20% penetration rate in the U.S. and growing.

    19 BD 3D Players are currently available including the PS3. Predicts that 3D technology for the home is here

    to stay.
     
  8. Adam Gregorich

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    DEG is declaring November 16th "Blu-ray 3D day" There will be 10 non-bundled titles released for sale:

    Warner $44.95 each MSRP:

    Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Clash of the Titans, The Polar Express, IMAX Deep Sea 3D, IMAX Under the Sea 3D, IMAX Space Station 3D

    Sony:

    Open Season

    Disney:

    Christmas Carol

    Best Buy Exclusive:

    Last Airbender


    Kudos to Kris Brown VP of Worldwide High Def Market Expansion, Warner Home Video. He raised several valid points. Its fine to bundle content, but there needs to be more content available, so that content needs to also be available outside of the bundles. He also said that endcaps or retail displays in the store should be allowed to show unbundled content for a wider variety of demos. Having the same three demos playing only re-enforces the idea that there is a lack of content.


    There are some challenges. Kris feels that 3D sets are not selling as well as expected, and there needs to be more positive things said about the glasses: they are lighter now, more sizes available, etc. Jim Mainard, Head of Production Technology for Dreamworks SKG feels that not meeting display sales numbers are an expectation problem---how many sets can you sell without content?


    Jim also said that Dreamworks SKG's current 3D Blu-ray plans are not about "moving units", but about setting consumer expectations for what the home experience should be. He went on to say that Blu-ray is not historically a big part of Dreamworks business, but that 3D will invigorate the category for their audience (families).
     
  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Bill Hunt, The Digital Bits takes the stage to Moderate the Restoration Panel




    Restoration Panel discussion moderated by Bill Hunt. One of the problems getting many catalog films to
    Blu-ray is that some of the Directors still have not familiarized themselves with all the new Blu-ray tools
    that will help them best bring their work to release.

    Studios evaluate pending catalog releases based on their marketing viability. What is their artistic merits?

    Then they look at the film elements to see what shape they are in what sort of restoration is involved. One

    of the big challenges with classic titles is that the original elements usually need extensive work done to them.
    With Bridge on the River Kwai, for example, there had always been a camera problem where the film was not

    registering properly in the gate. The studio needed to work hard to address that matter before considering the

    film for release. Studios start with original negative then scan it at high resolution.

    What do you do about some of these fans that have the highest expectations for their favorite classics

    when it comes to how they look (film grain, etc.)? The studios feel that sometimes they have to ignore

    their toughest critics when taking into consideration the tools that they are using to restore these classics

    alongside the film's director who puts their personal stamp on the transfer. The studios are always striving

    to be as true to the filmmaker's vision as possible.

    By the way, Bill Hunt sends his best to all our readers.
     
  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Finally have the video uploaded!


    From earlier this morning we present James
    Cameron and Jon Landau talking about the

    upcoming release of AVATAR Collector's Edition.


    Our apologies: We wanted to throw this up for you

    you to see as soon as possible so there was no
    editing done in advance.


    [​IMG]

    Jon Landau talking with Home Theater Forum's Adam Gregorich
     
  11. Adam Gregorich

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    Andy Parsons gave a brief "state of the union" speech on behalf of the BDA. Video will be posted later today or tomorrow. He mentioned that the adoption rate of Blu-ray is closing mirroring that of DVD over the first five years:

     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Question posed: How many users use BD LIVE?

    The studios are able to track the statistics and are

    reporting that though they cannot disclose a specific

    number they do feel that there is an appetite for the

    content.


    Some of the more popular BD live features include

    that of THE OFFICE whereas the day after the television
    airing the episode can be watched. Additionally,
    trailer downloads seem to be things that are actively

    sought.

    Thus far the studios have decided not to give WiFi

    as an option to connecting to BD LIVE content citing

    that signal drops would pose a problem to the stream.


    The studios are committed to working with the manufacturers

    to make certain that their discs play in all players, and are

    looking to be compatible with new features being made available

    in new hardware.
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    That's all for now. Will have continued updates later today

    and over the next couple days. Please check back.
     
  14. Neil Middlemiss

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    Outstanding coverage!
     
  15. Adam Gregorich

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  16. Adam Gregorich

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    Here is the video from the panel Film Classics: New Opportunities for Blu-ray Catalog


    Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound make it the ideal medium for archiving treasured film classics. This panel highlighted some of the latest BD restoration projects and examined the marketing opportunities for rejuvenating catalog sales.

    Panelists: Jeff Baker, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Theatrical Catalog, Warner Home Video
    Rita Belda, Director, Asset Management, Film Restoration and Digital Mastering, Sony Pictures Entertainment
    Bob Buchi, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment

    Dave Shaw, Senior Vice President Marketing, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

    Moderator: Bill Hunt, Editor, The Digital Bits


     
  17. Captain Spaulding

    Captain Spaulding Well-Known Member

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    So Bill Carr says, "...Reducing the price gap is important..." And then we see the following: "DEG is declaring November 16th "Blu-ray 3D day" There will be 10 non-bundled titles released for sale:

    Warner $44.95 each MSRP.

    $44.95! That's a ridiculous MSRP. Sure, the titles will be available at the usual discounts through multiple vendors, but in my opinion, the beginning price is much too high.
     
  18. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Well-Known Member

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    So if SONY has transfer all their catalog title to HD why have then only released about a dozen titles so far?



    Shelf space????? at Best Buy???? are they kidding???? ever since Best Buy put the other brick and mortar video stores out of business they stopped carrying catalog titles - they only place left to find catalog titles is through Amazon ( or on-line with Barnes and Noble)
     
  19. Adam Gregorich

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    No disagreement from me. I can see a $44.95 as a MSRP for a BD, 3D BD, DVD and digital copy combo pack (expecting to pay about $35 at retail), but not for standalone IMAX releases.
     
  20. Adam Gregorich

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    They have released a lot more than 12 catalog titles on Blu-ray. An issue that a lot of the studios have found is that just because they transferred their titles to HD, doesn't mean they don't have to to it again since the technology has improved so much. Sony knows that better than anyone after their intitial release of The Fifth Element.
     

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