My Two Cents
Thursday, 20 April 2017 14:02

Samsung & Amazon bow HDR10“+” to compete with Dolby Vision, plus Belko Experiment, Warner Archive sale today & more

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All right, there’s not a lot of news today, but there are a couple things worth mentioning, so let’s get to it...

First, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Orion Pictures (a division of MGM) have announced the Blu-ray release of Greg McLean’s The Belko Experiment on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/27, with the Digital HD release expected on 6/13. Extras will include a pair of featurettes (Rules of the Game: The Secrets Behind The Belko Experiment and Lee Hardcastle’s Survival Tips), deleted scenes, and an image gallery. The film was written and produced by James Gunn (he of Guardians of the Galaxy fame). [Read on here…]

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RLJ Entertainment has announced their June slate of Blu-ray and DVD titles. Due on 6/6 are Acorn’s Wentworth: Season 3 (DVD only – SRP $59.99) and the sci-fi thriller Prisoner X (DVD only – SRP $27.97). And following on 6/27 are Acorn’s Midsomer Murders: Series 19, Part 1 (Blu-ray and DVD – SRP $34.99 each) and Striking Out: Series 1 (DVD only – SRP $39.99).

Today only, the Warner Archive is holding a 30% of sale good on any of its May Blu-ray titles, which include Vision Quest (1985), The Loved One (1965), The Accidental Tourist (1988), and Seven Days in May (1965). Use the code ARCHIVE at checkout. Note that the day ends tonight at 11:59pm PST. Visit this link.

Also today, Momentum Pictures has set The Shadow Effect for release on DVD and Digital HD only on 5/2.

Shout! Factory has detailed the extras you’ll find on their forthcoming Billy Jack: The Complete Collection Blu-ray and DVD sets, due on 7/25. Each of the four films in the set – Born Losers, Billy Jack, Trial of Billy Jack, and Billy Jack Goes to Washington – will include audio commentary with Tom Laughlin and Delores Taylor, a second commentary with Laughlin, Taylor, and Frank Laughlin, the film’s theatrical trailer, and a still gallery.

Shout! Factory has also set The Bat People (1974) for release on Blu-ray on 7/18.

Well Go USA has set Mine, starring Armie Hammer and Annabelle Wallis, for release on Blu-ray/DVD Combo and DVD on 6/13.

And Paramount and Comedy Central will release Inside Amy Schumer: Season Four on DVD only on 5/9.

Finally today, Samsung and Amazon have fired a new shot in the High Dynamic Range war with Dolby Vision. They’ve announced a new HDR format, HDR10+, that builds on the current (and open) HDR10 standard. As with Dolby Vision, it employs dynamic metadata pre-encoded into movie content to adjust screen brightness scene by scene and frame by frame. Samsung is updating all its 2017 displays to incorporate the technology, and will firmware update all of its 2016 models to incorporate it as well, which suggests that it doesn’t require special processors. Amazon has also promised to roll out 4K streaming content later this year featuring HDR10+ encoding. Now, HDR10+ is still 10-bit color, as opposed to Dolby Vision’s 12-bit, but it carries no license fee – literally any manufacturer that wishes to can incorporate it into their 4K hardware, which could make it an attractive alternative. Anyway, you can read Samsung’s official press release here, and there’s a good story on Engadget about today’s announcement as well.

Now then, it’s back to working on those hardware reviews for me. Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt


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