IFA 2007 – The party is over!

September 20, 2007 by

14 BLOGGERS from UK, France, Spain, Italy, Benelux, Sweden & Germany were invited to attend IFA in Berlin as guests of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Sony Electronics.

More pictures from Luca Conti & David MacKenzie.

luca-conti.jpg david-mckenzie.jpg


We got an awful lot out of the show… It was a great experience and we really enjoyed it. What’s more, my hits have skyrocketed with people searching for IFA so everybody’s happy.”
Pete Cullen

“For me, the event was the highlight of my entire IFA visit. I always appreciate being able to talk to people closely involved with HD video. Also, being able to map human faces to names from the ominous-sounding BDA will certainly be beneficial to journalists like us, as well as to Sony and the BDA themselves, who, in the online community, seem to have retained the reputation of the force to be wary of (which I suppose is a side-effect of being the opposing side to any underdog). As a lover of HD movies, no matter what sort of optical disc they’re pressed onto, I really appreciated the insight gained and once again have to thank Sony for their hospitality in organising our visit.”
David Mackenzie

“Anyway, apart from the products presented by Sony at IFA, I am wondering if the main innovation was not the fact that the company took the unusual initiative to invite bloggers to cover the event and I have to say in quite excellent conditions.
It seems that everyone at Sony understands that the buzz around a brand is also (or exclusively) made by blogs, whose independence and a less formal tone (or the idea we have of it) can bring a little bit more credibility.”
Eric Dupin

“I was told that I will face a marketing war between the two HD format discs, the Blu-ray and the HD-DVD. I was very surprised not to see much of HD-DVD but instead every stand I have visited had a Blu-ray logo….”
Henri Labarre


Blu-ray @ IFA 2007 – Check out the video

September 6, 2007 by

IFA 2007 & Blogger cocktail party


Interview with Rich Marty & Don Eklund


Blu-ray Blogger Cocktail party @ Red Lounge (IFA 2007)

August 31, 2007 by


Live video streaming from the event from 6pm to 8pm (CET) today.


August 30, 2007 by




BERLIN, IFA (August 30, 2007)Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) today announced that the company’s Blu-ray Disc sales across Europe have reached 250,000 while sales in North America are nearing the one million mark approaching the fourth quarter with the Blu-ray launch of the highly anticipated blockbuster SPIDER-MAN 3 and Steven Spielberg’s CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND.

These benchmarks follow last week’s announcement that sales of the high-definition format in six emerging markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Eastern Europe, South Africa and the Middle East now account for 10 percent of SPHE’s total business in the growing regions.


Said David Bishop, President, Worldwide, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment: “These sales milestones across the world illuminate the positive reception from retailers and consumers alike for Blu-ray. Our strong fourth quarter line-up will underscore the confidence in this format.”


Since the European launch of the PS3 in March, weekly sales of Blu-ray Disc titles have averaged between two- and five-times the amount of HD DVD sales week over week.**


Blu-ray™ High-Def software now accounts for 69% of the total high-definition market in Europe, with SPHE titles making up more than 47% of the total European Blu-ray market. SPHE also holds the #1 best selling high-definition title in Europe – Casino Royale.


Simon McDowell, Senior Vice President, Europe, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment added: “With the breadth of titles already available on Blu-ray, the format is out-selling HD-DVD by more than 2:1 in Europe. Going into Q4, SPHE has a strong slate on deck and support from retailers, which should further propel momentum for Blu-ray.”

As part of the company’s fourth quarter Blu-ray Disc line-up, Spider-Man will be making his way to Blu-ray with the much anticipated release of Spider-Man 3™ in Europe from 15 October*. Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 will also be exclusively available for the first time on Blu-ray™ High-Def in the Spider-Man High Definition Trilogy Set.


Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind will be released in Europe on Blu-ray Disc from 12 November. All three versions of the film are included on one 50GB disc through seamless branching.



* release dates vary by territory

** Media-Control GFK International, ytd 12th August, 2007.


Blu-ray Disc™ titles for Q4

August 30, 2007 by

Blu-ray Logo

SPHE was the first studio to release Blu-ray titles in Europe and SPHE has released a broad selection of Blu-ray Disc titles since the format’s initial launch including Casino Royale and Black Hawk Down. To date SPHE has released more than 40 Blu-ray™ High-Def titles across Europe, with more than 30 titles scheduled for release between now and Christmas in Europe.


The Spider-Man High Definition Trilogy is a three-pack release of all three films on Blu-ray™ High-Def allowing fans an exclusive opportunity to collect both Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 in high definition, along with Spider-Man 3 and the branching elements from Spider-Man 2.1 extended cut. Spider-Man 3 will also be available as a stand-alone two-disc release on Blu-ray™ High-Def, with the feature presented on a 50GB dual-layer disc and more than six hours of all-new bonus materials, including a trio of featurettes spotlighting the cinematic creation of the web crawler’s greatest nemeses, on a second 25GB disc. Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, and Topher Grace, Spider-Man 3 smashed box office records and grossed more than $885 million worldwide during its theatrical run.


Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed classic, will be released on Blu-ray Disc™ from 12 November. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of this motion picture, the set incorporates all three versions of the film, including the first-ever home video release of the 1977 Original Theatrical edition, as well as the re-edited 1980 theatrical Special Edition and Spielberg’s definitive Director’s Cut (released in 1998 as the Collector’s Edition). This marks the first classic Spielberg film ever to be released on a pre-recorded high definition disc format.

The stunning high definition presentation of Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition contains all three cinematic versions on just one 50 GB Blu-ray Disc™, with bonus material included on a second disc. All three versions are included on one disc through a process known as “seamless branching,” made possible with the added interactivity of Blu-ray’s software and the robust processing power of the players. This process identifies the differences between each version of the film and segments the footage accordingly. These segments are then encoded and assembled into three unique playlists, thus allowing footage used in all three films to be included on the Blu-ray Disc™ only once. Based on the viewer’s selection of the Original Version, Special Edition or definitive Director’s Cut, each film will be presented seamlessly in its original form by use of its respective playlist.

Added value materials on the Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30thAnniversary Ultimate Edition high definition Blu-ray Disc™ include an exclusive interview with Spielberg created specifically for this release, all-new “Storyboard-to-Scene Comparisons,” the original 1977 “Watch The Skies” featurette and an original theatrical preview.

SURF’S UP – from 10 December

Surf’s Up goes behind the scenes of the high-octane world of competitive penguin surfing with the vocal talents of Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel and Jon Heder. Inspired by his hero, the legendary wave rider Big Z, Cody Maverick leaves his family and his town of Shiverpool, Antarctica to travel to Pen Gu Island for the Big Z Memorial Surf Off – Cody’s first pro competition. Cody believes that winning will bring him the admiration and respect he deserves. But when he unexpectedly comes face to face with Geek, a washed up old surfer, Cody begins to understand that the greatest champion isn’t always the one who comes in first.

The Surf’s Up Blu-ray Disc™ will include the all-new animated short “The ChubbChubbs Save XMAS,” (featuring the characters from the Academy Award®-winning short film) as well as three exciting interactive games – “Create Your Own Surfboard,” “Lava Surf,” and “Whale Hopping,” a three-part documentary about the technical achievements in making the movie, filmmakers’ commentary and much more!

A FEW GOOD MEN – from 3 December

The acclaimed drama about the dangerous dichotomy between following orders and following one’s conscience, A Few Good Men features Tom Cruise as a brash Navy lawyer who’s teamed with a gung-ho litigator, played by Demi Moore, in a politically explosive murder case. Charged with defending two Marines accused of killing a fellow soldier, the two lawyers are confronted with the complex issues of loyalty and honor, including its most sacred code and its most formidable warrior, played by Jack Nicholson. Special bonus features on the 50GB Blu-ray Disc include Director’s Commentary with Rob Reiner as well as two featurettes: “Code of Conduct” and “From Stage to Screen.”

MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA – from 25 September (rights vary across European territories- excludes UK)

A Cinderella story like no other, Memoirs of a Geisha stars Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li in a romantic epic about a house servant blossoming against all odds to become the most captivating geisha of her day. The Blu-ray High-Def version of the film features an extensive array of bonus features on a 50GB disc, including an enhanced high-definition photo gallery, indexing and bookmark capabilities, audio commentary by Rob Marshall and John DeLuca, Audio Commentary, AV pop-up menus, an enhanced Blu-meter™ and 11 featurettes: “Sayuri’s Journey – From the Novel to the Screen,” “The Road to Japan,” “Geisha Bootcamp,” “Building the Hanamachi,” “The Look of Geisha,” “The Music of ‘Memoirs,’” “A Geisha’s Dance,” “The World of the Geisha,” “The Way of the Sumo,” “Rob Marshall,” and “A Day With Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.”

UNDERWORLD – from 17 September (rights vary across European territories – excludes UK)

Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman star in Underworld, a futuristic, action-packed tale of ruthless intrigue and forbidden passion set against the dazzling backdrop of a timeless, Gothic metropolis. The 50GB Underworld Blu-ray Disc offers an assortment of added-value features, including Director and Cast Commentary, a blooper reel, storyboard comparisons, a Finch “Worms of the Earth” music video and eight featurettes: “Fang vs. Fiction,” “Making-of ‘Underworld,’” “The Visual Effects of ‘Underworld,’” “Creature Effects,” “Stunts,” “Designing ‘Underworld,’” “The Look of ‘Underworld,’” and “Sights and Sounds of ‘Underworld.’”

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA – from 22 October

Academy Award®-winning director Francis Ford Coppola’s gothic epic Bram Stoker’s Dracula, featuring a sensational all-star ensemble with Academy Award-winner Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, and Cary Elwes arrives on a 50GB Blu-ray Disc™ starting 1 October, with never-before-seen special features. For the first time, Francis Ford Coppola provides a video introduction and audio commentary for his modern horror classic. Also among the brand-new extras are deleted scenes and four new featurettes: “The Blood is the Life – The Making of Dracula,” “The Costumes Are the Sets – The Design of Eiko Ishioka,” “In-Camera – The Naïve Visual Effects of Dracula” and “Method and Madness – Visualizing Dracula.”

Cocktail Party at IFA

August 24, 2007 by

Next week we will be hosting a cocktail party at IFA for bloggers and online press from across Europe. During this event guest will have the opportunity to mingle with some of the top executives from Sony Electronics and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in order to talk about Blu-ray and High Definition, while enjoying a drink. There will be a live webcam streaming the event on this blog, so be sure to log on. Here are the details:

Friday 31st August

18.00 – 20.00 (17.00 – 19.00 GMT)

We will also be posting videos and photos after the event for those of you that can’t be there.

First Edition of IFA International magazine!

August 24, 2007 by

International is a daily news magazine published throughout the duration of IFA, making it a “must have” for IFA’s highly numerous visitors from around the globe.

This first version, in PDF format only, is a foretaste, including IFA and industry news highlights and interviews with industry leaders.

Each daily edition during the show will also be made available in PDF format for your convenience.

As an added feature, IFA International PDF version comes complete with audio and video podcasts of selected interviews. Just click on the corresponding button next to the interview and you get the same in podcast version!

Download here:


Blu-ray @ IFA 2007

August 22, 2007 by

Welcome to our Blu-ray blog!