Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 08, 2009 0 comments
Is the disc doomed? It isn't good news for hard-copy video formats when a chain the size of Walmart announces that it will devote less space on the sales floor to both DVDs and Blu-ray discs.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 30, 2008 0 comments
Wouldn't it be convenient if all satellite radio--meaning Sirius XM--receivers also handled over-the-air HD Radio? A bill in Congress would mandate this pairing. The Federal Communications Commission is also considering it as an outgrowth of its approval for the Sirius XM merger.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 07, 2006 0 comments
Have the big telcos brought next-generation IPTV to your household yet? They haven't? Well, don't worry. Market research firm iSuppli says IPTV will increase from 2.4 million subscribers in 2005 to 63 million in 2010. But if you can't wait till 2010, move to Monroe, Oregon, where the Monroe Telephone Co. is delivering Internet-protocol television to 50 homes in its 950-home service area. A planned marketing push may raise the total to 200. The price is about the same as a satellite subscription. "The rural areas have surpassed the cities largely because of nimbler local telecom companies that have taken matters into their own hands," says a story in The Wall Street Journal. Among other advantages, they can get loans from the Agriculture Department's Rural Utilities Division. Monroe Telephone was founded in 1912 and acquired by John Dillard in 1956 for $5000. When growing up, John Jr. dug holes for telephone poles and manually punched through calls on a patch bay. His words of consolation for you IPTV-less folks in the big cities: "It won't be too long before the bigger markets follow."
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 15, 2006 2 comments
A successful format needs both hardware and software. Unfortunately for HD DVD, the software expected for the format's official March 28 launch date has just turned to vaporware. Warner Home Video announced that titles won't make it to the church on time due to unnamed technical problems. The delay may be only a week or two—"we just don't know." One possible explanation would be a delay with the content security system used, in some form, by both HD DVD and Blu-ray. The rumor mill said it hadn't gotten completed on time. A subsequent report said an interim agreement would let both formats move forward. And now—well, who knows? Though Paramount and Universal have also announced HD DVD titles, they’ve never provided a hard date. How this will affect Blu-ray's May 23 software launch remains unclear. Oh, one more thing—Disney is hinting it may support both formats, which would be welcome news in the HD DVD camp.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 13, 2010 0 comments
Warner is sweetening its DVD2Blu program, which lets you exchange your old DVDs for new Blu-ray discs. The price per exchange has dropped from $7.95 to $4.95.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 04, 2008 0 comments
Warner Bros. -- which until now has released titles on both Blu-ray and HD DVD -- will go Blu-ray-only, Reuters reported today.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 21, 2009 0 comments
All new theatrical titles from Warner Home Video will include both Blu-ray discs and DVDs in a single Combo Pack. The packages will also include Digital Copy, which allows the content to be bumped to various devices.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 24, 2009 0 comments
Warner Bros. is launching an on-demand DVD release program that will vastly expand the number of titles available on disc.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 09, 2011 0 comments
Warner Bros. will distribute movies through Facebook, the studio revealed this week. The first movie to hit the social networking site will be The Dark Knight.

The move is experimental. It comes on the heels of another unorthodox movie-distribution move, in which the studio offered two movies as Apple Store apps for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 26, 2006 2 comments
The engineers at Warner have been busy lately. Their latest quest: Why can't Blu-ray and HD DVD just get along? According to the NewScientist news service, Alan Bell and Lewis Ostrover have filed a patent for a disc that plays both of the nascent high-def formats as well as standard-def DVD. Getting the existing DVD format onto the disc was a cinch—it's simply the second side of a dual-sided disc. But how did they manage to get Blu-ray and HD DVD together onto the other layer? Two things worked in their favor. First, Blu-ray reads the disc at a relatively shallow 0.1mm, while HD DVD (like regular DVD) reads at a deeper 0.6mm. Second, they found a way to make the shallower Blu-ray layer act as a two-way mirror. It reflects enough light back to the laser to make the Blu-ray layer's data readable, but at the same time, lets through enough light to penetrate to the deeper HD DVD layer. Yet to be determined: How much will this three-format disc cost to manufacture? Will the hardware makers go for it, even assuming that the Blu-ray and HD DVD licensing powers allow them? And finally, and most crucial, will the studios and video retailers go for it? For the latter in particular, this could be the solution to the triple-inventory nightmare that threatens to strangle both Blu-ray and HD DVD.

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