Category Archives: Blu-ray

The future’s bright, the future’s…green

As if there were no end to the Great Green Revolution, gadgets are now no longer safe from an environmental reform.

Surely the most obvious way to minimise your carbon footprint would be to dispense with the sort of gadgets people didn’t need five years ago, like hair straighteners and satellite navigation systems? No? OK, probably too obvious.

The latest news of change in the way we pick our latest tech is that retailers are going to begin advertising hardware by its ‘Green Index’, essentially displaying on the shelf whether the company that makes it has done so in a ‘green’ way.

According to the BBC
, the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) has uncovered research suggesting this would be favourably adopted by consumers:

“Green is becoming a purchasing factor,” said Steve Koening, director of industry analysts at the CEA, “More than half are willing to pay a little more for ‘green’ and 22% said they were willing to pay up to 15% more for it.” BBC Online

But what does this mean for prices and sales figures? Needless to say people are already tightening their belts and all those other terrible clichés, but if the ‘staying in is the new going out’ mantra catches on, people will increasingly be investing in Blu-Ray and HDTV to get high definition entertainment in their own home.

22% is not even close to a majority, and generally people who are technologically focused aren’t necessarily ‘green’, but that trend is changing as recycling becomes the norm, so much so that it’s almost a social faux pas to throw something in the normal bin which could be recycled.

It’s only a matter of time before we start to see the long term effects of the eco-concious lifestyle, not on the environment itself (that ship sailed decades ago), but on our high streets.

The first day of the rest of your life…

So I’ve had my first week in the land of 21 and already things seem very grown up from the outside looking in.

I’ve been spending my days at Nintendo Wii magazine NGamer, and compared to the week before it’s got a very different atmosphere, more casual and communal.

Here in Bath there’s a whole different feel to things, with upwards of 40 magazines (or so, I haven’t exactly counted) in the building there’s plenty of people around all the time.

Guitar Hero controllers litter the floor all around, interspersed with giant flat-screen televisions and ancient issues of Future (Publishing) mags like Powerstation and Official Playstation 2 Magazine.

There’s been plenty to do and get involved in, and I even managed to get my hands on the brand new issue before subscribers and anyone else will see it! The most reassuring moment was when I thought up an idea for a feature, and then was told it was in the new issue, least it means I’m on track.

Come January it’s time to head back to London for DVD and Blu-Ray Review, here’s hoping it brings another different experience again.

Oh and, Merry Christmas all.

Batman storms onto DVD, but what of Blu-ray?

It feels like a long time since Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece hit cinemas in July this year, but yesterday The Dark Knight hit supermarket shelves nationwide, creating a frenzied hoarde of Bat-fans.

HMV coaxed potential shoppers into pre-ordering the epic for £11.99, and throwing in a graphic novel into the bargain, but then subsequently dropped the in-store price for £9.99 in the first week.

The reason? Other than almost betraying the hard-core fans who pre-ordered back in September, the emphasis has shifted from DVD to Blu-ray.

The ultra-cool format boasts increased capacity, allowing shed-loads of special features and numerous times better picture quality, but we’ve heard this before now, why is it that the shift in marketing has happened now?

Blu-rays war with HDDVD ended earlier this year, with the major film companies who had backed the losing format sheepishly creeping over to Blu-ray, and with Toshiba now having developing new players, the great war is over.

Retailers have waited to strike until Christmas because plenty of people will be forking out on Blu-ray players this year, now that the latest players have the option to connect to the internet to update themselves, and are finally trickling down in price to something affordable.

The Dark Knight was just the vehicle the shops needed to force Blu-ray to the front of people’s minds and is currently the highest selling Blu-ray in the USA and UK. Plus it’s not just an empty vessel, there’s oceans of hot action content and special features to get people’s tongues wagging, particularly the Joker’s altercation with an articulated lorry and the Batmobile’s destruction.

But will it last? DVD is only 10 years old this year and there’s little inducation of it going the way of the dodo already. The trouble is that you have to fork out on expensive full HD TVs and 7.1 sound to make it worthwhile and at £25 or so for the titles themselves, the price will have to drop a fair way before the mass market gets on board.

Public perceptions of the format are still positive, but only in another year or so will it be clear how well the retailers Christmas marketing paid off for them in the long run.

For the time being, I’ll be looking forward to seeing the film on ‘traditional’ DVD.