After yesterday's free-pizza minidebacle (make sure to read my final update to learn how to get a free order of Cinnastix), I thought I'd shift gears and find deals designed to entertain your brain rather than tickle your tastebuds:DVD: Amazon has "Firefly - The Complete Series" on sale for $19.99 shipped. This is one of my all-time favorite shows. And check out the five-star ratings from nearly 3,000 reviewers! Game: Like first-person shooters? Newegg has Prey (PC) for $5.99 shipped. It has a lot of action, but very story-driven. Highly recommended. Music: … Read more
On Monday, Netflix announced that the privilege to rent Blu-ray titles would be going up in price, beginning April 26. Citing the significant increase in the number of titles releasing on Blu-ray and the high cost of the discs over traditional DVDs, that comes out to a raise of anywhere from $1 to an additional $8 over what users were previously paying, for a total of $9 a month extra for its heavy renters.
According to the Official Netflix blog, it amounts to about an extra dollar per tier of the plan you're on, as opposed to the previous system, which simply tacked on an extra dollar. That amounts to:
1 DVD out at-a-time (2 DVDs a month) Monthly plan cost: $4.99 Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $1 Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $5.99
1 DVD out at-a-time (Unlimited) Monthly plan cost: $8.99 Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $2 Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $10.99
2 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited) Monthly plan cost: $13.99 Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $3 Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $16.99
3 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited) Monthly plan cost: $16.99 Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray access on this plan: $4 Monthly plan cost with Blu-ray access: $20.99… Read more
This performance from the Tower Theater in Philadelphia is loaded with hits. Musicianship is impeccable, but that's pretty much always the case with Simon, the guy's a real perfectionist. It's a rather laid-back show, and the Philly concert has a more intimate feel than the Simon & Garfunkle DVDs like "The Concert in Central Park."
"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" has a terrific groove, but for me the sparser songs, like the "The Boxer" work best. The mix of hope and regret running through "American Tune" is a … Read more
Updated at 9:15 a.m. PDT with background on the DVD format wars.
Research firm In-Stat has declared a "winner" in the DVD format wars between Blu-ray and HD DVD. And the winner is...
In-Stat, in a research report released Wednesday, noted that the Blu-ray and HD DVD format war ended in the early part of the year, and that Blu-ray recorder and player sales are expected to reach 5 million by the end of the year.
With the death of HD DVD earlier this year, some took it a step further, saying Blu-ray's top-dog … Read more
UPDATE:To include quotes from NPD Group analyst Russ Crupnick
DVD sales are flat but the drop doesn't have anything to do with movie downloads, according to the NPD Group.
The research group reported Tuesday that, on average, consumers spent 41 percent of the money budgeted for movies and other video content by purchasing DVDs of films. Movie rentals on DVD were the next biggest category with 29 percent. Consumers spent 11 percent purchasing TV shows on DVD. About 18 percent went to theater tickets, according to the report.
Here's the kicker for Internet video: only 0.5 … Read more
Updated at 2:17 p.m. PDT with number of downloads currently available on CinemaNow.
Dell is out with a new external drive that lets you expand your home movie library (legally) by burning downloads to DVD.
"Two of the key things holding consumers back in their willingness to purchase movies electronically are worries about long-term ownership and portability of the downloaded file," Tom Adams, … Read more
The CD may be on its way out, but music and concert DVDs are doing just fine, thank you very much! Late last year I wrote a feature for Home Entertainment magazine running down some of my favorite music DVDs of all time. They were all "live" recordings--there wasn't a single MTV style "music video" in the bunch. This is an abridged version of the article, check the Home Entertainment website to check out the complete article. Oh, and I've added a few DVDs that didn't make the article.
With a … Read more
Internet-based copyright infringement is pretty much the only way people can keep track of TV and movies from abroad in Beijing. It's hard to even find legal DVDs, and if there aren't even illegal DVDs to buy, it's often trivially easy to find entire movies on Youku or Tudou.
Yesterday, a Chinese public-security ministry official asked for international help in copyright enforcement, noting that many infringers use Web sites hosted outside Chinese jurisdiction.
"Copyright infringements, by their very nature, are international crimes. To effectively curb such activities, (we) need enhanced international cooperation on law enforcement," … Read more
So you bit the high-def bullet and popped for a Blu-ray player--or an HD DVD player. Either way, it's time to start building your movie library.
What's the selection like? Better than you might expect. Available titles include 300, The Departed, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Ocean's Thirteen. (There are a couple turkeys, of course, like I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Are We Done Yet?.) Interestingly, all the Blu-ray flicks sell for $29.… Read more
Slowly but surely, prices are inching down on Blu-ray and HD DVD players. Today's deal to beat: Amazon has the Toshiba HD-A3 for $218.60 and the Samsung BD-P1400 for $269.98. The latter entitles you to five free movies, while the Toshiba nets you 10. Both players qualify for free shipping.
For the video purists out there, it's worth noting that the Toshiba player tops out at 1080i, while the Samsung can blast 1080p. My eyes can't tell a difference, but that's just me.
So, back to the big question: Is it time to pull … Read more