Blu-Ray To Offer 5 Free Movies with Players

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

The battle between competing HD DVD and Blu-ray high-definition disc formats has been quiet for a little while, but the Blu-ray camp has just fired things up again, announcing that as of July 1, consumers who buy a qualifying Blu-ray disc player will be eligible to receive five Blu-ray movies from a list of 20 popular Blu-ray titles—for free.

Dubbed the Blu-ray Disc Promotion, the program will run from July 1 to September 30&mdashand the site will go live when the promotion launches. Consumers who purchase a qualifying Blu-ray player from Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, or Sony—and that apparently includes the Sony PlayStation 3—will be eligible to select five free free titles from a list of new releases and “fan favorites,” including Babel,Black Rain,Blazing Saddles,Chicken Little,The Corpse Bride,The Devil’s Rejects,The Guardian,Hart’s War,Invincible,The Italian Job,Kiss of the Dragon,The Last Waltz,The Omen [2006], Pearl Harbor,The Phantom of the Opera,Resident Evil: Apocalypse,Species,Stealth,Stir of Echoes,The Transporter 2, and Underworld: Evolution.

The Blu-ray Disc promotion is apparently a response to the HD DVD Promotion Group’s offer of five free HD DVD titles with the purchase of qualifying HD DVD players, which runs through July 31. The Blu-ray camp has been calling the high-definition format war all but over, claiming consumers prefer Blu-ray titles to HD DVD when the same content is available in both format. The HD DVD camp points out that sales of HD DVD players are outpacing sales of standalone Blu-ray players…of course, that omits the Blu-ray drives included in Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming console, which itself hasn’t been selling as well as Sony had hoped. However, neither the sales of HD DVD nor Blu-ray titles have been large enough to truly declare a format war is underway, let alone decisively resolved one way or the other.

Expect the Blu-Ray Disc Promotion to be heavily hyped through the coming months: indeed, the main thing the Blu-ray Disc Association seems to want people to know is how much they’ll be advertising this promotion, rather than providing details of what players may qualify for the promotion, and how customers can determine if they’re eligible for free movies. And early adopters of Blu-ray technology—the so-called “true Blu” might not be happy about this latest promotion. After all, early Blu-ray adopters paid top dollar—and didn’t get any free movies—to embrace Blu-ray technology.

In related news, Warner Home Video’s Dan Miron (VP of sales, planning, and operations) informed industry isiders at the Entertainment Supply Chain Academy conferencein Los Angeles that Warner would not be offering titles in its Total HD format until 2008. Originally announced back in January 2007, Warner’s Total HD combines HD DVD and Blu-ray formats on a single disc, offering HD DVD content on one side and Blu-ray content on the other. Warner had initially planned to launch Total HD titles in the second half of 2007, but now says titles won’t launch until 2008, when Warner expects to have 10 to 20 titles available for roll-out. The chance for market success of Warner’s Total HD format is unknown: on one hand, it might appeal to users who can’t make up their minds whether to buy into HD DVD or Blu-ray; on the other hand, it might serve to dilute distinctions between the format, prolonging consumer confusion. Or, as Miron’s announcement may portent, the format may never reach consumers at all.


Old Nvidia graphics cards to get ray tracing support in upcoming driver

Nvidia's RTX ray tracing technology will no longer be limited to RTX graphics cards. An upcoming driver update will add support for low-end ray tracing to GTX 10-series and 16-series graphics cards.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.

Give your discs some extra life by watching DVDs and Blu-rays on Windows 10

Popped a disc into your Windows machine but feel lost without Media Center? You're not alone. But don't fret, with just a few tips you can learn how to watch DVDs and Blu-rays for free in Windows 10 in no time.
Movies & TV

Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark now has a release date

The Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark will star James Gandolfini's son Michael as teenage Tony Soprano, while Goodfellas star Ray Liotta will return to his mob movie roots in an unspecified role.
Movies & TV

Study up for season 8 with the best Game of Thrones theories

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is still on the horizon, meaning there's still time to brush up on the best theories about the show. Whether you're one of the last adherents of the Cleganebowl or a King Aerys truther, here are our top theories.

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Product Review

Simple and reliable, Apple's AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds

Apple’s AirPods wireless headphones have dominated the market essentially since they hit stores in December 2016. Though not without some faults, they cracked the connectivity code to rank among the best fully wireless earbuds you can…

Building a 4K home theater? Grab a discounted Denon A/V receiver from Amazon

Denon makes some of the best 4K A/V receivers on the market, and a handful of Denon’s latest models are on sale on Amazon now. If you’ve been thinking about building a home theater and are looking for a 4K receiver that doesn’t cost…
Home Theater

Apple’s new AirPods bring only minor updates to the much-loved originals

Apple has announced its new AirPods, the much-anticipated follow-up to Apple's wildly popular AirPods. With optional wireless charging and hands-free Siri, it's a minor update, but a welcome one.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Home Theater

ESPN Plus scores the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events

If MMA is your game, then ESPN Plus is now a very important player. The Disney-owned service locked up the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events, a deal that will last through 2025 in the United States.
Home Theater

Dish TV customers can access up to 13 NCAA March Madness games in 4K

If you're a basketball fan looking to get your fix of NCAA Championship action in 4K, Dish TV will be airing up to 13 of the tournament games in the ultra high-def format, starting on Tuesday.
Home Theater

Cheer for your favorite NCAA team and Xfinity will respond with matching lights

Screaming at your favorite team just became a lot more rewarding thanks to Comcast's Xfinity voice remote and some special NCAA commands that set your smart lightbulbs to your favorite team's colors.

Amazon slashes prices on UE Boom and MegaBoom 3 Bluetooth speakers

With just the right combination of great sound, a rugged design, and an overall sleek aesthetic, the UE MegaBoom 3 is our favorite Bluetooth speaker. And Amazon is offering a rare discount on it right now.