Be my HD valentine: Blu-ray Day set for February 14

By James Wells

SYDNEY: Roses are red; high-def is Blu; there’s a party for the next generation disc format at Darling Harbour on 14 February; to launch everything new.

The Blu-ray Disc Association sent out invitations today titled: “Do you remember the launch of VHS, CD or DVD?” and asked guests to “fall in love with Blu-ray this Valentine’s Day”.

Attending the official launch of the next generation high definition disc format will be representatives of the Blu-ray Disc Association which includes many of the largest consumer electronics brands in the Australian market – Sony, Panasonic, LG, Samsung, Pioneer, TDK, Sharp, Thomson, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, HP, Dell, Apple and Philips as well as seven of the eight movie studios including: Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, MGM, Lionsgate, Walt Disney, Warner Bros and Universal on the software side.

The competing HD DVD format is supported by DVD’s inventor Toshiba, NEC, Intel and Microsoft as well as on the software side – Warner Bros and Universal.

Although the official launch of the format will be held on 14 February, prior to the introduction of the format’s most important product – the PlayStation3 on 23 March, Blu-ray Disc hardware and software is already available in the marketplace.

In October last year, Panasonic and Samsung both launched Blu-ray Disc players into the Australian market. Samsung has also predicted the launch of a recordable Blu-ray Disc unit by the end of 2007.

Last month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, LG Electronics launched a hybrid Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD player which could arrive in the Australian market as early as April.

“At the Australian (Blu-ray) launch, you will experience the latest offering from major Hollywood studios and local representation from some of the 170 leading consumer electronics, personal computer and gaming companies that have joined forces to support this exciting new format,” the invitation said.

“Come and discover first-hand the latest Australian Blu-ray Disc products in the one room. Blu-ray is the next generation format for high definition (HD) entertainment that will change the way you watch movies, enjoy music, play games, record HD content and store your favourite files.

“DVD red lasers were sharp, but Blu-ray’s blue lasers are even sharper! Find out how Blu-ray technology delivers: 1080p high definition resolution, up to 7.1 surround sound, 50GB of storage.”

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