Shrek the Halls is coming to town
The holidays are upon us again and the studios are
pulling out their Christmas themed faire. One of the better ones to come around
is from Paramount, ‘Shrek The Halls’. All your favorite characters are back
voiced by the stars that you love. There is the big green guy, Shrek (Mike
Myers), his lovely ogre princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and their faithful
sidekicks Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas). This is
certain to become a new family tradition for everyone to enjoy. There is plenty
of singing, dancing and fun for all.
Just when Shrek thought he could finally sit back,
relax and enjoy his
after with his new family, the most joyous of all holidays arrives. It's
Christmas Eve, and everyone is filled with holiday cheer, except for Shrek. He
isn't exactly the picture of yuletide joy, but for the sake of Fiona and the
kids, he tries to get into the spirit of things as only an ogre can.
Unfortunately, everyone seems to have their own ideas about what Christmas is
all about, so when Donkey, Puss In Boots, Gingy and the whole gang try to join
in on the fun, Shrek's plans for a cozy family celebration end up spiraling into
one truly unforgettable Christmas.
The 22 minute animated film is presented in your
choice of widescreen or full screen formats. Do the art of film a favor and get
the kids to watch the widescreen and get them into seeing things in the aspect
ratio there were intended to have. There are also plenty of extras to keep the
kids busy while you are sneaking around the house hiding their presents.
The Twelve Days of Christmas Sing Along—Join along and
watch the entire Madagascar gang as they celebrate the holidays in style with
their own take on the "Twelve Days of Christmas." Sing along to the
Madagascar-inspired lyrics, including "lemurs leaping, foosas fussing and a
penguin who made a loud squeak!" In classic sing-along style, the words appear
on screen as the characters perform.
Deck The Halls Sing Along—"Deck the halls, it’s time
to party." This is your chance to sing along with everyone’s favorite Penguins
from Madagascar. Join Skipper, Private and Kowalski for their version of the
classic holiday song as they get into the spirit of the season.
Gingy’s Dunking Game—Test your skills at being a
master baker and make sure you have plenty of flour as you try to match the
Gingerbread cookies that come out of the oven with the Gingy that appears on
Shrek Carnival Craze video game demo and cheat code
DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox
This is something every family will cherish for a long
time to come.
Blu-ray Players predicted to drop below $150 on Black
We are observing the Blu-ray player prices since a
couple of weeks very closely and have identified the Samsung BD-P1500 as the
cheapest Blu-ray Player beginning of October. The BD-P1500 sells for $211.73 now
on Amazon.com, which is a price drop of over $30 in 3 weeks. Now the Sylvania
NB500SL9 Blu-ray Player finally got a sales price below $200 with currently
selling for $199.98. I still would by the BD-P1500 though.
The WSJ has published a report about the downward spiral of Blu-ray Players and
cites experts predicting Blu-ray Players falling below $150 on Black Friday.
With the current pricing of Blu-ray Players hovering around $200 it is very much
likely to see decent Blu-ray Players for $150 on the day after Thanksgiving.
We already reported that Sears will have a Sony Blu-ray Player for $179.99 as
doorbuster deal on Black Friday.
Blu-ray still has ways to go. According to Nielsen VideoScan only 4% of movie
disc sales last month have been Blu-ray. For that Blu-ray share to go up the Blu-ray
disc prices need to go down also and of course consumers actually need to have
or buy an HDTV before it even makes sense for them to buy Blu-ray. Blu-ray might
have a short live span if adoption is not going faster as HD video download
services become more feasible nation-wide.
Netflix, Samsung in streaming partnership
Online DVD rental company Netflix Inc said on
Wednesday that some of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's Blu-ray DVD devices can now
play video streamed over the Web from Netflix. The Samsung/Netflix alliance is
the fourth such partnership between Netflix and a consumer electronics company
aimed at delivering movie rentals online rather than through the mail.
Netflix reached a similar deal with Blu-ray DVD player maker LG Electronics and
has deals to stream movies to Microsoft Corp Xbox 360 videogame consoles and to
a $100 set-top box made by Roku Inc. Netflix said customers who already own
Samsung BD-P2550 and BD-P2500 Blu-ray players, priced at around $400 each, can
upgrade these devices at no additional cost to enable instant streaming from
Netflix's streaming service, with a library of more than 12,000 movies and
Netflix, with over 8 million subscribers, has become a staple of home
entertainment for Americans who like the user-friendly Web-ordering system for
DVDs delivered through the mail. Its "Watch Instantly" Web streaming service is
offered free to subscribers, and Netflix has been moving aggressively to extend
that streaming service to TV amid increased challenges in the sector from Web
giants like Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc.
Netflix said its members can visit its website to add movies and TV episodes to
instant queues and will then be able to display these choices on their TVs,
using a wired broadband connection and user interface.
Netflix said its members will be able to stream programs in standard definition
onto Samsung and the other devices involved in these partnerships. It does not
stream videos in the high-definition Blu-ray standard, but does offer Blu-ray
DVDs through its by-mail service and recently began adding $1 to monthly
membership fees to provide unlimited access to high-definition Blu-ray movies.
U.S. consumer awareness about Blu-ray is rising, but adoption of the technology
still faces challenges due to price and customer contentment with standard DVDs,
according to research company NPD Group. Some analysts believe holiday sales of
Blu-ray players could now be hurt by the weak economy. Netflix this week cited
the economy in cutting its current-quarter subscriber and revenue outlook for
the second time in two weeks.
Blu-ray has case of the economic blues
This year, Blu-ray won the war. Now it faces another
battle. Technology analysts say the world's economic roller coaster could mean
consumers will be holding onto their money instead of buying pricey Blu-ray
players and discs - the high-definition DVD format. Analyst Roger Kay predicts a
"dramatic" drop in Blu-ray sales for the fourth quarter and beyond, pushing back
adoption of the technology long enough to allow other forms of video over cable,
satellite and the Internet to shut the window of opportunity for Blu-ray.
"If you can get movies over the wire on demand and have an entire library at
your disposal on the screen a la Netflix, that's the way you're going to go,"
said Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates.
But Andy Parsons, the chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association's U.S. promotions
committee, counters that naysayers also predicted doom for the original DVD
players, which survived a shaky start to become the fastest-selling consumer
electronics device in history, even during the dot-com implosion this decade.
"We're hopeful even though things are getting a little tough out there,
economically speaking," said Parsons, also an executive with Blu-ray backer
Pioneer Electronics. "Everyone thinks of DVD as an overnight success, but it
actually took several years for that overnight success to happen."
Blu-ray DVDs provide sharp, high-definition video and are seen as the next step
up from the standard DVDs that first came on the market in 1997 and eventually
shoved VHS video cassette tapes to the dustbin. Sales of DVD players hit as high
as 20 million per year in the U.S., said Jim Barry, a spokesman for the Consumer
In February, the Sony-backed Blu-ray format became the standard for high-def
DVDs when Toshiba decided to throw in the towel on its rival HD DVD technology.
The format battle held back sales for both sides because consumers were hesitant
about choosing the wrong side in the war. Sony's own PlayStation 3 video game
console, which plays Blu-ray discs, helped swing the tide. With that roadblock
cleared, Blu-ray backers hoped to see the start of an upswing in sales this
year, especially as the holiday shopping season approached. Research firms such
as Parks Associates in Dallas have projected worldwide sales of would jump from
about 800,000 in 2007 to about 40 million by 2012.
But with the global economy in unprecedented turmoil, consumers are now expected
to tighten their purse strings, which is bad news for sellers of premium-priced
electronics like Blu-ray players, which are still mostly selling for $250 or
more, said Russ Crupnick, an analyst with the NPD Group.
So while research shows consumer awareness of Blu-ray's capabilities is growing,
they're still "going to be more selective in their spending," Crupnick said.
"Because of the way they're pricing it, it's still a niche product."
Consumers may be more apt to place a higher priority on game consoles or an HDTV
monitor, especially if they still consider their existing DVD players good
enough for now, he said. Yet while Crupnick believes Blu-ray will have time to
eventually become big, Kay thinks the current economic woes will continue into
2009 and deal an even more serious blow to the format.
While DVD players only had to battle the older VHS format, Blu-ray faces an
oncoming rush of high-definition video challengers, including cable and
satellite channels, video on demand, Internet video streaming and downloading
services, and digital video recorders, Kay said. But Hollywood is still betting
on the format, releasing more home video titles on Blu-ray. Major studios such
as Disney and 20th Century Fox have recently begun releasing Blu-ray discs
enhanced with an interactive feature called BD Live, which allows owners to set
up Internet chats and access more content beyond the disc.
"We've been investing quite a bit of R&D and our future into this business,"
said Sven Davison, director of DVD production for 20th Century Fox Home
Entertainment. "We definitely feel it shows a lot of promise for the future."
And Parsons notes Blu-ray disc sales have already jumped from 5.6 million units
in all of 2007 to 8.8 million by the end of August. In addition, he said the
market penetration for HDTVs in the U.S. continues to grow, priming the desire
to eventually upgrade to a high-resolution video player.
Parson said Blu-ray's window of opportunity will be open for several years, and
compared predictions of an all-digital video market to predictions that offices
would one day become paperless. "Everybody remembers that as a rational,
reasonable prediction that was absolutely wrong," he said.
Netflix Charging Extra for Blu-Ray Rentals
The online movie rental service Netflix has announced today that it will
begin charging extra for Blu-ray disc rentals. In an e-mail sent out to members
today, the rental giant said that since Blu-ray is a more expensive product to
stock, the company will begin charging an extra $1 per month (plus tax) for
access to the Blu-ray discs. The new payment will be automatic unless members
opt out by removing Blu-ray access from their accounts. The new terms go in
effect November 5, so any bills after that date will have your costs go up by a
Paired with the streaming movies that will soon be offered by the New Xbox
Experience, charging extra for the hi-def format (widely associated with the
PlayStation 3) might make the Xbox 360 a more appealing proposition for Netflix
members. Then again, the 360 streaming won't be in high-definition, and a dollar
per month is hardly much to ask for sharper picture and sound.
Iron Man Booming On Blu-ray
Iron Man, the action hit starring Robert Downey Jr., apparently is breaking
all records for sales of Blu-ray high-def discs.
According to Video Business, the Blu-ray Iron Man, which was released on
September 30, is generating roughly 20 percent of all Iron Man sales. However,
some retailers are reporting that 50 percent of its Iron Man disc sales are Blu-ray,
with the rest standard-def DVDs. With past Blu-ray
releases, the high-def disc usually represents only about 8-12 percent of
overall sales. For instance, Video Business reports that the Blu-ray I Am Legend
has generated just nine percent of all disc sales.
Paramount, which released the film, has yet to comment on sales figures for
Iron Man. However, the film director, Jon Favreau, recently gushed to Howard
Stern on the Sirius radio host's program that Iron Man has already outsold all
previous Blu-ray releases.
Video Business says retailers believe that Iron Man is doing better than most
Blu-ray releases because its comic book aspects is appealing to Play Station 3
owners; the video game console has a Blu-ray player inside.
The Blu-ray two-disc edition is also priced at $39.99, the same price as
the standard-def, two-disc version.
“In week-one sales, this is our biggest Blu-ray title ever,” Best Buy spokesman
Brian Lucas told Video Business. "This was a tentpole title for the format. If
you have a Blu-ray player, this is the title that you want to get.”
Sony promotes new Blu-ray players, format
This Christmas is going to Blu, if Sony has any say in it. The company is
about to go all out in promoting Blu-ray as a technology, and will release with
it two new players. The company unveiled the BDP-S350
and the BDP-S550 Blu-ray players this week, and for the first time the company
is offering players that are cheaper than the PlayStation 3. In fact, the
BDP-S350 will only cost AU$449 at retail, while the S550 will cost AU$649.
Sony says it's unveiling a new campaign to promote Blu-ray in the coming months
featuring an Aussie celebrity, and which will be exclusive to Channel 10.
Andrew Gardiner, the head of Video Ezy and Blockbuster said: "As a Scotsman I'm
quite sceptical. I said: 'Let's get one of these Blu-ray things in'… I'm a
pusher and a user, now. I really believe in it."
Both models are capable of displaying BD-Live content, a newly developed Blu-ray
feature that lets you access the internet during a movie to download a variety
of up-to-date content, updated previews, special features like ringtone/wallpaper
downloads, peer-to-peer interactions, live events and gaming.
"BD-Live is like a blank canvas that's ready to be drawn upon, and our players
are ready to take advantage of this technology," said Paul Colley, technology
communications manager at Sony Australia.
A USB port on the players lets you connect USB flash-based memory to store
downloads from BD-Live. The BDP-S550 ships with a 1GB storage device.
Sony's Blu-ray BDP-S350 and BDP-S550 players feature 1080/60p and 24p True
Cinema output. The players also feature 1080p upscaling through an HDMI
connection, potentially improving the picture performance of existing DVDs.
Both models include 7.1 channel DolbyTrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus decoding,
bit-stream output, plus DTS-HD High Resolution Audio and Master Audio bit-stream
output. The BDP-S550 adds DTS-HD High Resolution Audio and DTS-HD Master Audio
decoding, as well as 7.1 channel analog audio output.
The S350 will be released in October, while the S550 is due in November.