All right, let’s have more on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from CES 2017, plus a bit of regular Blu-ray announcement news too...

First up, we have reliable word that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is listing Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element for release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format on 7/11. That makes a ton of sense, because Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) arrives in theatres on 7/21 (from STX Entertainment).

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has also just officially set Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk for 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo, and DVD release on 2/14. The 4K release will be presented in full 4K and 60 fps, with HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. It features an exclusive 4K Featurette with Ang Lee and Tim Squyres discussing the film’s groundbreaking frame rate technology. The Blu-ray versions will include delete scenes and 4 featurettes (Into Battle and Onto the Field: Stepping Inside Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Recreating the Halftime Show, The Brotherhood of Combat, and Assembling a Cast). You can see the cover artwork to the left.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

All right, the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show is finally under way in Las Vegas today, with a number of the major CE manufacturers holding big press conferences to announce their product line-ups for the year. In fact, I’ve just now sat through Samsung’s big press event (more on that in a minute). I’ll check back in with more tomorrow, but for now let’s get to what news we have so far concerning 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray at the show...

In terms of new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player hardware, obviously Oppo Digital has just launched their debut player on the format, the UDP-203 (SRP $549). I’ve been testing this unit for about a week now and it’s just tremendous. For a first-generation player, it’s very solid, very fast, and it plays just about everything – Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, DVD-Audio, CD, and SACD, plus a wide variety of digital video and audio formats via network and USB. It’s compatible with HDR-10 right out of the box, and it’s also hardware compatible with Dolby Vision; a firmware update in the months ahead will add full Dolby Vision compatibility (keep in mind that no Dolby Vision UHD BD software is yet available, though software is forthcoming – again, more in a moment – and you can stream it now via Netflix and Vudu). Oppo is also working on an audiophile-upgraded version of this player, the UDP-205 (SRP around $1K), due for release later this year. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Published in My Two Cents

All right, as many of you know, Thursday marks the official 50th Anniversary of the Star Trek franchise. Star Trek: The Original Series debuted on NBC TV way back on September 8, 1966.

As is probably true for many of you, Star Trek’s played an enormous role in my life. It was my first favorite TV show as a very young child, certainly my first exposure to science fiction of any kind, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that my moral compass – the very principles I believe in (a more optimistic future, the idea that we’re stronger working together, that exploration is one of the most noble things Humanity can do, that it’s our differences that make us greater, etc) – all come from classic Star Trek. The series certainly fostered my curious nature and lifelong interests in science, astronomy, writing, and spaceflight technology. Over the past decade, my love of the franchise led to the discovery of Patrick O’Brian’s “Aubrey-Maturin” series of historical novels, which begin with Master and Commander (upon which the 2003 Russell Crowe film was based) – they’re essentially Star Trek stories set in the 19th Century.  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
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