Blu-ray Player and Discs To Launch 5/23

Dave Zatz —  February 27, 2006 — 7 Comments

Well folks, we have a date for both Blu-ray hardware and media. I can’t say I’m overly excited about the initial titles, though they’re an improvement over Charlie’s Angels. Lion’s Gate is listing newer titles at $39.99 a pop and classics (I use that term lightly) at $29.99. Let the format war begin!

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) is targeting May 23 to deliver the first wave of Blu-ray Disc (BD) titles at retail, it was announced today. Delivery will coincide with the launch that day of the first commercially available BD player from Samsung Electronics, which will be followed shortly by BD players from Pioneer and Sony along with a BD compatible VAIO PC from Sony.

SPHE and MGM Home Entertainment will first release eight BD titles, with another eight following shortly June 13. Benjamin S. Feingold, president, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, made the announcement.

The first Blu-ray Disc titles from SPHE and MGM Home Entertainment will include: 50 First Dates, The Fifth Element, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, A Knight’s Tale, The Last Waltz (MGM), Resident Evil Apocalypse and XXX.

BD titles streeting June 13 include: Kung Fu Hustle, Legends of the Fall, Robocop (MGM), Stealth, Species (MGM), SWAT and Terminator (MGM). Underworld Evolution will debut in early Summer day and date with the DVD.

“We are primed to ensure that a variety of Blu-ray Disc content is available at retail to support the introduction of the first BD players from Samsung Electronics and Pioneer, as well as the first BD player and compatible VAIO computer from Sony,” said Mr. Feingold. “Sony Pictures further intends to provide additional titles to coincide with the launch of BD products from other manufacturers. We’re thrilled that the Blu-ray Disc era is about to begin.”

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7 responses to Blu-ray Player and Discs To Launch 5/23

  1. Wake me up when it’s over….it’s really a shame we have to sit through another Beta-versus-VHS war.

    In the meantime, I’ll keep watching my old-fangled DVD collection.

  2. Agreed… I’ll be sitting on the sidelines for some time. 480p movies look damn good. Not to mention my HD tuner is a DVD player, as is my primary TiVo — so I’m in no rush to mothball those guys or add extra boxes.

  3. Yes, I also think 480p looks real good. On my 32-inch LCD at least, it’s so good that you could likely fool the casual viewer into believing its HD. I can tell the difference, but it’s still closer than you think.

    Plus, lots of classic TV shows on DVD are all SD, and will not benefit at all from a high-def DVD format. Will my “Muppet Show” collection look better on blu-ray? probably not.

  4. When they get all the seasons of the X-Files on one disc, high-def and 16×9, then I’ll get into BD or HDVD or whatever.

    Unless they come out with BD-R, then I’m diving in. How many GB does it hold again?

  5. 12cm: Single Layer: 23.3/25/27 GB
    12cm: Double Layer: 46.6/50/54 GB

    …introduction of a clear polymer coating that gives Blu-ray discs unprecedented scratch resistance.

  6. Capacities of 100 GB and 200 GB, using four and eight layers respectively, are currently being researched; TDK has already announced a prototype four-layer 100 GB disc

  7. I used to care but am now going to wait it out. Just bought an Oppo upconverting DVD player & have a PT-AE700 720P projecter with an 80″ screen. I could POSITIVELY see a difference with an HD feed or Blu-Ray. But so what? The performance I already get is, in a word, fantastic. Add to that DVD-Audio surround and stereo (same sound quality as both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD) and I can wait another 2 years for the war to end and content to catch up.

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