Dailies

“It’s an amazing accomplishment for a director’s first studio film.” – Action movie authority Eric Lichtenfeld

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of Predator, John McTiernan’s sci-fi/action/horror film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers and Kevin Peter Hall and featuring Saturn Award-winning music, Golden Reel Award-winning sound effects and Academy Award-nominated visual effects. [Read on here...]

All right, the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show is finally under way in Las Vegas today, with a number of the major CE manufacturers holding big press conferences to announce their product line-ups for the year. In fact, I’ve just now sat through Samsung’s big press event (more on that in a minute). I’ll check back in with more tomorrow, but for now let’s get to what news we have so far concerning 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray at the show...

In terms of new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player hardware, obviously Oppo Digital has just launched their debut player on the format, the UDP-203 (SRP $549). I’ve been testing this unit for about a week now and it’s just tremendous. For a first-generation player, it’s very solid, very fast, and it plays just about everything – Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, DVD-Audio, CD, and SACD, plus a wide variety of digital video and audio formats via network and USB. It’s compatible with HDR-10 right out of the box, and it’s also hardware compatible with Dolby Vision; a firmware update in the months ahead will add full Dolby Vision compatibility (keep in mind that no Dolby Vision UHD BD software is yet available, though software is forthcoming – again, more in a moment – and you can stream it now via Netflix and Vudu). Oppo is also working on an audiophile-upgraded version of this player, the UDP-205 (SRP around $1K), due for release later this year. [Read on here…]

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Friday, 24 June 2016 10:59

Pick-Ups for the Week of June 21, 2016

Welcome to a new edition of Pick-Ups!

Thank you for tuning in. I’m back from a break with some new reviews for you. By the way, did you folks go out and see The Conjuring 2? If you haven’t yet, you’re in for a treat. It’s easily one of the best horror films of the year. And if you’re seeing it at the Alamo Drafthouse, like I did, you’re in for a selection of some nice horror shorts. Definitely go out and see it if you can. [Read on here...]

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All right, I’m still working on that 4K coverage. The delay is not from lack of effort, I assure you. Samsung recently updated the UBD-K8500 player’s firmware, so I’ve been working to see what the result is in terms of player performance.

Meanwhile, we do have some great new 4K and Blu-ray news for you today: 20th Century Fox has just officially announced the 6/7 Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Ridley Scott’s The Martian: Extended Edition (the SRP appears to be $39.99 for either BD or 4K).  [Read on here…]

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[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here. And you can help support The Bits by pre-ordering Blu-rays and other items from Amazon through this link.]

All right, this week is going to be all about 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray here at The Bits. I’ve been watching a ton of discs and working on title reviews, as well as making additional notes on my forthcoming Samsung UBD-K8500 player review and also my general thoughts on my experiences this far with the format. I’ll have new reviews each day, and I’m targeting Thursday for the player review and general thoughts. Sarah and I have had family visiting for the past week, so there’s only so much time in the day. And these things do take time.

Nevertheless, we’re kicking things off today with my look at a pair of titles that should be among the first that any new 4K adopter picks up on the Ultra HD format: Lionsgate’s Sicario and Fox’s The Revenant, both in full native 4K. Sicario also includes Dolby Atmos audio. And while The Revenant doesn’t have object-based audio, its 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is demo-quality. More importantly, with its gorgeous Oscar-winning cinematography, it is the single best looking title I’ve seen on the format thus far. It’s a real HDR stunner. Check out my reviews (here and here) for more on all that.  [Read on here…]

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[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here.]

First things first today: Our own Jim Hemphill has just posted a new Blu-ray review, this time featuring a look at Alexander Singer’s 1971 western Captain Apache, now available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

In announcement news today, Universal has set Cary Grant: The Vault Collection for DVD only release on 4/19. Here’s a bit about the collection from the studio’s press site: “Featuring 18 films released between 1932 and 1936, the collection showcases the actor as he perfects his comedic timing and stretches his dramatic skills in a variety of roles alongside such Hollywood legends as Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, Sylvia Sidney, Charles Laughton, Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott and Fredric March. Including his feature film debut, This is the Night, as well as several Pre-Code dramas and comedies plus 5 films never before available to own…” We’ll post the complete list of films as soon as the studio provides it.  [Read on here…]

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[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

The UHD Alliance held their official press event at CES 2016 last evening to begin the official unveiling of “full-featured” Ultra High Definition as an in-home consumer experience here at the convention. The Alliance was formed in part to simplify the UHD experience for consumers by unifying the consumer electronics industry and content creators behind a single standard, thus avoiding the pain of another costly format war.  [Read on here…]

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“Jonathan Harris as Dr. Smith is one of the most original and memorable characters in the history of television—ranking right up there with Barney Fife, Herman Munster, Gilligan and the Fonz.” — Kevin Burns

The Digital Bits commemorates the golden anniversary of the premiere of Lost in Space, the science-fiction/adventure series that originally ran on CBS from 1965 to 1968. The classic series debuted 50 years ago this week, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with one of the show’s biggest fans, Kevin Burns, who offers his recollection of watching the series in its original run as a kid and discusses overseeing the show’s high-definition remastering and Blu-ray release, which arrives in stores this week from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.  [Read more here...]

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to like TheDigitalBits.com page on Facebook for breaking news, site updates on the go, discussion with our staff and other readers, giveaways and more!]

We’ll be back with more later today, but we wanted to quickly chime in here today with additional word on Ultra HD Blu-ray out of IFA in Berlin. We understand now that Samsung’s newly announced 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player is targeted for release in the 1st Quarter of 2016 (we’re hearing late January or February). We’re also hearing that the player’s price is “going to pleasantly surprise people.”  [Read on here…]

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