avatar-3d-blu-ray-thumb.jpg3D film fans will finally be able to own James Cameron's epic Avatar on 3D Blu-ray. Fox just announced the Avatar Blu-ray 3D Collector's Edition will debut globally October 15th, with a release in North America following on October 16th.

Until this announcement, Avatar's 3D Blu-ray release had been part of an exclusivity deal which saw the movie bundled in with Panasonic 3D Blu-ray player hardware and 3DTVs. That exclusivity deal has now ended, meaning that all fans can now grab the 3D version if they've the right gear to play it with.

The 2D version of the Blu-ray has been widely available since April 2010, with the rarity of the 3D edition leading to it being sold for extortionate prices on eBay.

"3D television is the future of home entertainment," said James Cameron, the movie's Oscar winning Director.

"I'm a huge proponent of the technology and very pleased that AVATAR can be viewed in the living room the way it is meant to be seen."

"As the number of homes with 3D televisions continues to grow, we thought it was important to bring the biggest 3D film ever right into your living room," continued Jon Landau, producer.

"This is the only way fans should experience the world of Pandora and this release offers the highest picture quality possible. "

Enjoy the best television in style this Christmas

theofficechristmasspecials.jpgSponsored post

Christmas television is as much a staple of the festive diet as crackers, eating too much and board games with the family.

The viewing is often nothing short of an absolute treat for the eyes and ears as programme makers and schedulers up their game to draw in the biggest audiences.

In previous years, televisions around the country flickered in unison as millions willed Tim and Dawn together in the memorable Christmas specials of The Office or watched Del Boy and Rodney finally make their million and many more viewers still turn on for the Queen's speech after stuffing themselves with turkey.

Tesco Direct Logo.jpgOther unforgettable moments in Christmas TV past include Smithy's race to the altar in Gavin and Stacey while both Only Fools and Horses and The Royle Family have shared a number of poignant, as well as hilarious, moments.

Of course, no holiday schedule would be complete without fireworks in Soapland and the likes of EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks look to make each year more sensational than the last.

This year looks set to be another visual and aural feast of entertainment, comedy and drama. For the first time ever, the phenomenally successful Downton Abbey will be on our screens over Yuletide. Those involved have remained tight-lipped over the content but it's sure to be a hit with fans. Elsewhere, the Dr Who specials have become essential viewing following the revival of the franchise at the hands of Russell T. Davies, while plenty of laughs are guaranteed with the ever-present Have I Got News For You.

Christmas television is the perfect excuse to splash out on a new television set for your viewing pleasure. After all, the best programmes deserve to be enjoyed in the best possible surroundings. If you haven't already, now more than ever is the time to upgrade to a high definition television (HDTV). You can take advantage of holiday prices and improve what you watch for an extremely reasonable price.

What with the congested fixture calendar from the Premier League being one of the sports fan's highlights of the holiday season, enjoying some classic clashes on the perfect screen will see them in heaven. The Christmas to New Year period frequently produces some of the most memorable, exciting and surprising encounters of any given season and deserved to be viewed in the best possible quality. With the European Championships looming next summer as well, it's an investment with long-term entertainment in mind.

In fact, why not push the entire boat out and scour the market for a 3D television? Though only a minority of programmes are currently broadcast using such a format, that number is continually increasing. Of the current shows, it is again sport that seems the most impressive though with more programmes being made with such techniques in mind, that trend is surely set to spread.

samsung-3d-tv-monster.jpgOf course, one area where 3D technology has already made huge inroads is in films and cinema. Many of the 3D films released this year are available to purchase for Christmas on blu ray and make for perfect presents or family entertainment. The technology to bring 3D television into homes is improving all the time and with more content available every week, many people are eager to experience the next level of home entertainment. If you would prefer to wait however, perhaps until most content is available in 3D, HDTV is still at the forefront of the current level of home entertainment.

It's also important to remember that, no matter what your choice of television set, it simply must be digital, otherwise at some point you will be left tuning in to a blank screen. Analogue broadcasting has been almost entirely phased out and now Freeview is the most basic package required in order to enjoy your favourite shows.

The best television programmes deserve the best platform on which to be broadcast. This year, enjoy everything that's great about Christmas television on the sets that do them justice.

Onkyo BD-SP809 Blu-ray player revealed

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£500 may be a lot to spend on a Blu-ray player in this age of sub-£100 decks, but Onkyo's latest BD-SP809 high-def disc spinner is crammed full of so many high-end features that you'll be looking under the sofa for every penny you can find to nab it.

Using Qdeo visual processing technology from Marvell, the BD-SP809 promises to squeeze the very best out of even your aging DVD collection, with full 1080p upscaling, noise reduction and slick interlacing.

A universal player, the BD-SP809 plays nicely with all types of Blu-ray, DVD and CD discs, recognising DivX HD, Mp3 and WMA files saved to discs, USB drive on the rear, over a home network or using the DLNA 1.5 standard.

Audio is equally well served, with both DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD lossless audio formats supported, as well as separate video and audio circuitry being employed to reduce digital noise issues.

Two HDMI ports for quick source changing round off an impressive package.

Keep an eye out for the BD-SP809, heading your way for the princely sum of £499.99.

bds-700-top.jpgName: BDS 700 (Harman Kardon)

Type: Blu-ray deck and 5.1 home cinema combo

Specs: Click here for full specs

Price: £1099.99 direct from Harman Kardon

The convenience of one-box home cinema set-ups often make them the first port of call for budding home theatre enthusiasts. Combining a Blu-ray deck with 5.1 surround speakers, Harman Kardon's BDS 700 set is a stylishly designed premium AV solution. But can the sparse feature list do enough to justify its hefty price tag?


As the introduction suggests, in the box you're getting a Blu-ray player which also acts as a simple receiver for an included set of 5.1 home cinema speakers with the BDS 700. For the sake of simplicity, we're going to focus on both aspects individually, starting with the Blu-ray player.

The deck in question is the BDS 5SO. It's chunkier than your average player (as it needs to house all of the 5.1 audio connections) but is in no way lacking in the looks department. A mixture of gloss black with brushed aluminium accents, the large volume knob with its backlight adds a Tron-like air to proceedings, married with a clear blue dot matrix display. The slot-in rather than pop-out disc drive also allows the kit's smooth lines and curved front edges to be maintained, though we're always a bit fearful of what would happen if a disc ever got stuck inside.

In terms of connectivity, the deck has a single HDMI output, a USB port for media playback, an Ethernet port for BD Live functions and an array of speaker terminals backed by two optical digital inputs, two analog RCA stereo audio inputs and a coaxial digital input. You'll also be able to play files directly from an iPod or iPhone via an optional Harman Kardon Bridge IIIP dock (not included).

Despite being a premium bit of kit, we were disappointed to see how underused the Ethernet port is here. Solely for BD Live content, you can't access files stored on your home network, nor any media portals or web video services familiar to owners of Samsung or Sony decks. USB playback fares a little better (compatible with MPEG, DiVX-AVI files, MP4 in HD and even temperamental MKV files with the H.264 codec, as well as MP3, WMA , AAC and FLAC audio files) but shoots its usability in the foot by being limited to drives formatted in FAT32, leaving you with only 4GB of storage to play around with.
Thankfully, Blu-ray playback image quality is very good. We popped in the stalwart Casino Royale disc and were welcomed by sharp images and smooth-moving action scenes, crisp textures and vibrant colour reproduction. Even murkier scenes, such as when Bond is captured and tied up, retained visual clarity, highlighting minute details in the darkened dungeon room and making the purple-y bruises on Bond's face look all the more painful. Boot-times were fast too, taking just 14 seconds to get Bond going. Remember however, that you wont be able to play 3D discs here; another feature now quite regularly found in more reasonably priced sets.

DVD upscaling was equally impressive, pushing our Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back DVD to 1080p. Colours were natural and overall images were sharpened up nicely without any smeary artifacting. The only real weak spot was during the opening yellow-scrolling introductory text, looking a little shakey with slight colour bleeding over the black space backdrop.

On then to the BDS-700's sound capabilities, which are overall very good. In the box you'll find a 200W 353mm x 267mm x 267mm down-firing subwoofer, four 167mm x 100mm x 92mm 80W satellites, and a 120W 102mm x 241mm x 92mm dual-driver central channel. Compatible with Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital and DTS-HD / DTS-HD Master Audio formats, it delivered crisp audio, consistently well spaced across the soundscape.

A quick jump to Avatar's massive tree-felling battle sequence really saw the subwoofer working a treat, booming with a ground-shakingly resonate sound every time an explosion went off, easily tweaked with the rear volume knob if it's a little overpowering. The central channel too did very well to keep dialogue clear over noisy action scenes, while the rear speakers blended in with subtle ambient sounds remarkably naturally. Our one complaint with the satellites is they at times felt a little bright, but tended to settle down once they'd warmed up a little.


If you've neither a Blu-ray player nor 5.1 system to accompany your HD TV, the BDS 700 kit isn't a bad shout at all, providing you've got the dough. It looks and sounds great, with sharp HD images from Blu-ray discs too. However, buying a separate Blu-ray deck and 5.1 set up from other brands for the same combined value as the BDS-700 would open you up to far more fully-featured products. Convenient, but not necessarily good vale for money



lovers-guide.jpgGet the tissues ready; the Lover's Guide is making a return to TV screens twenty years after the original's release. You're getting a bit more bang for your buck this time around though, as The Lover's Guide 3D - Igniting Desire: How To Have The Best Sex of Your Life, as the name suggests, will now be in full stereoscopic 3D on Blu-ray. Phwooooooar...

All the action will be coming straight out of your TV and into your living room, offering a "never-before-seen sense of intimacy and massively richer viewpoint". The voices of Gemma Bissix (Eastenders, Hollyoaks, Dancing on Ice) and Jeremy Edwards (Hollyoaks, Holby City) talk us through the, erm, moves in what we can only guess is painstaking detail.

It's only has a 65 minute running time though. We were hoping it would be a bit longer. Oh, the list of these jokes is nearly endless.

It's out on February 7th priced £15.99 on DVD and £24.99 for the 3D Blu-ray delights. Just in time for Valentine's Day then, though you might want to run this one past your loved one first before purchasing; it's not quite the same as getting a box of Quality Streets, is it?

samsung-lovefilm.JPGAre you an owner of a Samsung Blu-ray deck? Then you'll be happy to hear that your system now has the ability to pump the entire LOVEFiLM movie streaming catalogue directly into your player.

The service has already been available to certain models of Sammy's TVs and BD players, but now the entire range of web-connected high-def disk players gets access to the massive film library.

"Adding the LOVEFiLM streaming service to all Samsung Blu-ray players and Blu-ray Home Theatre Systems is great news for us at Samsung as we're dedicated to providing our customers with relevant and exciting content, all from the comfort of their own home," Andy Griffiths, Vice President, Consumer Electronics, Samsung UK.

"The Internet@TV service offers viewers a gateway to access great content in an exciting new way, unlocking the full potential of our connected devices. Services like LOVEFiLM will offer our customers more variety, choice and entertainment from our innovative products."

A £5.99 a month subscription charge is needed to access the service, with Samsung promising more apps will make it onto their Internet@TV platform following the success of their Application Developer Day.

Sharp Quattron 3D.jpg

Sharp's range of Quattron 3D TVs have been unveiled. Taking in the same four pixel colour technology as seen in the standard Quattron range (which adds a yellow sub-pixel to the red, green and blue of traditional TVs), the 3D TVs are set to launch in Asian territories in July.

Four sizes will be available at the launch of the LV series of 3D TVs, sized up at 40, 46, 52 and a whopping 60 inches. Each 3.9 cm thick LED backlit screen will require AN-3DG10 glasses to view 3D content, which will be available in silver, red or blue. Though a pair will be supplied with the TV, they will also be available separately for around £75.

There's an interesting function thrown in that also allows you to convert 3D content to 2D. A little strange you may think for anyone who has splashed the cash on impressive 3D tech, but once 3D broadcasts become the norm it may prove a godsend in a house full of TV watchers with only two pairs of glasses between them.

The 3D Quattron TVs will this time also feature networking capabilities, missing from the 2D sets, with the introduction of Wi-Fi support and USB hard-drive recording.

Sharp also unveiled two new 3D Blu-ray players to complement the TVs. The Sharp Aquos BD-HDW700 and BD-HDW70 will come with 2TB and 1TB hard drives respectively. Fully networked, they will also deliver content wirelessly to any other Sharp Aquos TV set you may have in the house.

No news yet on when these TVs will hit the UK, but we've been assured that the line is set to go global. We'll update you when we learn anything new.

Via: AV Watch

LG HB965TZ Blu-ray home cinema.jpgLG have just announced the launch of a brand new Blu-ray home cinema package, the HB965TZ. Slim enough to be discretely wall mounted, this 5.1 set still has enough punch to output 1110 watts of audio oomph.

With two HDMI inputs, audio expert Mark Levinson has lent his skills to the product to ensure the home cinema set "retains every detail of even the richest soundscapes", according to the LG press release.

The built-in LG Sound Gallery presets offer fine-tuned audio options for various playback situations, including Natural Plus, Game Equalizer, Night Mode, Clear Voice, Bass Blast, MP3 Up-Scaling and VSM Plus to ensure that you can choose the best sound for what you're watching.

Wirelessly connected to the web, the HB965TZ Blu-ray player also allows its owners to stream content from YouTube and web photo albums, as well as connecting to DLNA devices for mp3, image and video playback of files stored on your home network. The online options also open up the BD-Live features of your Blu-ray collection.

With a port to connect up to an iPod or iPhone for charging and media playback, the home cinema set can also connect to external hard-drives via a USB port and play HD-quality DivX and MKV files.

"LG's HB965TZ home cinema looks are designed to blend in and its features are designed to stand out," said Stephen Gater, Head of Marketing, Home Entertainment, LG UK. "Its possibilities are limitless with the ability to wirelessly connect to content on the internet or on a home network. It also has an integrated iDock for playing and charging your iPod or iPhone for even easier access to your complete digital library."

The HB965TZ Blu-ray home cinema package is out now.

LG BD570.jpgLG have today unveiled their latest Blu-ray player, the BD570. Featuring built-in Wi-Fi, it has a host of web-connected tricks up its sleeve to push it beyond mere Blu-ray playback.

"People shouldn't be restricted to watching movies that come on discs," said Stephen Gater, Head of Marketing, LG Home Entertainment Company. "We have included wireless connectivity on the BD570 that allows consumers to access content from other DLNA devices and NetCast too."

Once connected up to your home Wi-Fi network, the BD570's Netcast features include access to YouTube, Picasa and Accuweather forecasts. DLNA compatibility means the player can also stream video, music and photo albums stored elsewhere on your network, but if you don't have another DLNA compliant device, the player also features support for direct USB connection to external hard-drives. It also wont have any problem playing back HD quality DivX and MKV file types.

As well as the 1080p playback of Blu-ray discs, the BD570 will also upscale your DVDs to a 1080p resolution.

In stores now, LG's latest Blu-ray player will set you back around £180.

m500.jpgKaleidescape are today updating their range of media servers by adding two players with Blu-ray capabilities, the M500 and the M300. While both have Blu-ray playback capabilities, the M500 also has the ability to import high-def movies from Blu-ray discs straight onto the media server.

Loading the discs onto the Kaleidescape server allows the films to be watched on any number of Kaleidescape players you may have dotted around the house. However, at £2,995 and £1,995 for the M500 and M300 respectively, that looks to be a feature only really open to the super-rich.

You get plenty of bang for your buck though. The Kaleidescape range include support for
1080p video with 24 frames per second and bitstream pass-through of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, as well as having one of the most comprehensive UI's available, with a movie guide covering detailed information on 135,000 titles.

Annoyingly though, due to copyright restrictions, playback of Blu-ray films from the server can only be accessed if the retail Blu-ray disc is present in at least one player. It's a problem Kaleidescape are said to be working on, with a disc-loader in the works, but it kind of undermines the whole point of a Blu-ray server as it stands.

You can pre-order the players here, to be shipped out on May 18th.

panasonic_bt735-728-75.jpgPanasonic has launched its latest range of Home Theatre kit with which to tempt the pounds from your pockets. The SC-BT735, BT330, BT230 and BT222 home cinema kits are touted as having the most "realistic" cinema surround experience outside of your local multiplex.

This "realistic" experience is achieved by using a mixture of both real and virtual speakers to throw audio at the viewer from all manner of angles. PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus is standard across the entire range too, making for more accurate colour reproduction on screen.

The BT375 features "Pure Direct Sound" speakers at the front and "Advanced Bamboo" cone units for the front and surround speakers. There is also a slim-type speaker box included which "reduces unwanted reflection from the baffle and brings out high quality pure direct sound."

The SC-BT330, BT230 and BT222 also feature the Advanced Bamboo cone speakers as central speakers.

All kits except the BT222 are wireless ready for the rear speaker units, and feature DLNA capability, BD-Live, VieraCast and wireless LAN functionality. YouTube videos and Picasa photos can all be accessed through VieraCast.

Panasonic also announced its Full HD 3D Blu-ray Disc Home Cinema System. It will also feature Pure Direct Sound Speakers and will include Full HD 3D playback with 1920x1080 frame-sequential method, VieraCast, and BD-Live. It is expected to launch in the Autumn.

Pick up the BT375 here for £698 once it become available in the UK shortly.

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Sony have unleashed two brand new Blu-ray players, both of which will be fully 3D compatible. The Sony BDP-S570 model will be 3D ready straight out of the box, while those opting for the cheaper BDP-S470 player will get 3D visuals through a software update.

With a "Monolithic" design style, both players will send 1080p 3D images to your eyes, providing you have a compatible 3D TV and Active Shutter glasses set up.

Hooking up to the internet via either built-in Wi-Fi on the BDP-S570 model or over an Ethernet cable with the BDP-S470 unit (an additional Sony Wi-Fi dongle can be bought for the S470), owners will be able to access Sony's new Bravia Internet Video Service. This new on demand platform will let you stream content from YouTube, LOVEFiLM and BBC's iPlayer without the need for any additional media boxes.

DLNA networking is also available across both Blu-ray players, which have also the nifty feature of being able to be controlled by an iPod Touch or iPhone.

Though prices are still to be confirmed, you'll be able to pick both 3D Blu-ray players up from shops by the end of the month.

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bluraylogo.jpgThinking Blu-ray discs were just starting to get affordable? Think again. It looks like Blu-ray disc prices are about to rise as the cost of polycarbonate is set to increase.

Polycarbonate is a major material in the production of not only Blu-ray discs, but everything from water bottles to CDs too. Any price increase on the material would certainly have an adverse affect on Blu-ray disc prices, just as they were starting to hit pocket-money prices.

Measures are in place to address the balance here however. Taiwanese manufacturers have begun stockpiling discs in an attempt to bolster resources before what seems to be an all but certain rise. If all goes well, consumers may not have to face the extra costs for a little while yet.

Dig out those bargains while you can.

Via: DigiTimes

onkyo bd-sp907.jpgWhen it comes to high specs (and high prices) Onkyo always deliver with their home cinema kit. This new range of THX-certified gear looks should get cinephiles slaivating as much per usual.

First up is the BD-SP807 Blu-ray player. The player can render detailed, sharp high-def images thanks to 287Mhz/12-bit video DAC from Analog Devices and Noise Shaped Video processing. Your old DVDs will also polish up a treat thanks to 10-bit processing from the onboard Anchor Bay ABT1030 chip. Audio looks to be solid too, with all audio channels benefiting from 182kHz/24-bit DACs, with bit stream output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential Soundtracks.

Next up is the PA-MC5500 THX Ultra 2-certified 9-channel amplifier. Designed with a focus on minimising interference, the 26 kg flagship model will deliver a massive 220w (into 6 ohms) and an SACD-friendly frequency response that hits 100kHz.

Last in the set of devices (optimised to together) is the PR-SC5507 THX Ultra 2-certified 9.2-channel A/V Network Controller. With seven HDMI, three component and six S-Video/composite inputs, it's a thorough networking solution, delivering studio-quality upscaled video streams and decoding and processing all major home cinema audio formats.

The PR-SC5507 A/V Network Controller is available now, priced £1800. The BD-SP807 and PA-MC5500 will be available in February and March respectively, with no pricing details available yet. But you can bet they'll be a pretty penny.

3D Blu-ray WILL be compatible with the PS3

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3D blu ray.jpgThe Blu-ray disc association have decided which codec it's going to use to display 3D Blu-ray, and PS3 owners can breathe a sigh of relief.

Multiview Video Coding is the codec agreed upon, which will only need 50% more storage space per film compared to 2D its 2D counterparts, despite offering two seperate 1080p frames, one for each eye. All new 3D discs are going to be backwards compatible too, meaning the 2D versions of each film will be viewable on older Blu-ray players with the new 3D discs.

And finally, confirmation for Playstation fans; your PS3 WILL be fully compatible with the new 3D format. You'll still need a new 3D-capable TV with IR emitters and a set of 3D shutter shades, but at least PS3 owners wont have to upgrade to a pricey new blu-ray player.

Via: Engadget HD

lord of the rings trilogy.jpgThose looking to trek back to Middle Earth's Mount Doom in high definition will finally be able to do so next spring. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Blu-ray boxset has been given a release date of April 10th 2010, priced at £74.99.

It's a mammoth nine disk set, that will contain a seven hour assortment of as-yet-unannounced featurettes, as well as digital copies of the films.

If you were waiting for the excellent extended editions however, it looks like you are going to have to wait a fair bit longer; this Blu-ray boxset will only include the theatrical cuts of Peter Jackson's epic adventure.

Technical Specs

  • 9-Disc Set

  • Theatrical versions

  • Digital Copies

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/TBA

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 2.35:1

Audio Formats

  • English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround Sound


  • English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Latvian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian


  • Featurettes

  • Documentaries

  • Music video

  • Trailers

  • TV spots

  • Exclusive HD Content

  • Digital copies

bdp7500 crop.jpgIf you are looking for high-end features in a Blu-ray player, but are working on a reasonably tight budget, then the Philips BDP7500 player may be just what you are looking for.

Philips have been pretty generous with the amount of top-of-the-line features they are packing in for just £249. Featuring 1080p 24fps Full HD images, with support for 7.1 lossless formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio as well as 1GB of internal storage for BD-Live content, the BDP7500 is a budget player that gives more expensive options a real run for their money.

Lots of video and audio formats are supported by the BDP7500. DivX Ultra, H.264, VC-1, JPEG and MP3 are all supported, and can be accessed easily via a USB stick thanks to the player's front mounted USB drive.

For a cheaper player, it has a pretty attractive design too. An aluminium build, it gives off a blue glow whilst in use and has illuminated, touch sensitive buttons.

Definately worth considering if you are looking for a reasonably priced Blu-ray player, and a great entry point into the market for newcomers.

You can pick up the BDP7500 right now, direct from .

Nvidia hint at 3D Blu-ray coming in 2010

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3d nvidia.JPGNvidia's Ben Berraondo has announced that 3D Blu-ray movies may be hitting stores as early as summer 2010.

The Nvidia PR manager for the UK and Northern Europe confirmed that after months of discussion, the Blu-ray Association had finally settled on "proper parameters [for] what constitutes a 3D Blu-ray" and stated that movie fans would be able to pick up the 3D flicks "towards the end of Summer 2010".

Nvidia's 3D Vision Technology will be one way of viewing the newly agreed upon standard, with Berraondo stating that bit rates of around 60Mbits will be used in the new flicks. HDMI 1.3 should be capable of smooth playback, with the MVC-AVC format used for encoding.

However, Berraonodo did hint that many people may have to upgrade their existing hardware to be able to watch the new 3D flicks. A 120 Hz TV would be necessary to view the films (double the 60 Hz standard widely available now) and also a Blu-ray drive capable of reading at 2x speed.

PS3 owners may stand to be the best prepared for viewing 3D Blu-ray content. Thanks to the console's discrete Nvidia GPU (based on the GeForce 7800), a mere firmware upgrade may be all that's necessary to go 3D. They'll still have to shell out for Nvidia's dorky shutter glasses however.

Via: PC Pro

blu-ray round up december 7th.jpgWith Christmas just around the corner, there are some festive treats released by Warner Brothers on Blu-ray this week. The Polar Express hits Blu-ray this week, complete with 3D glasses. Those looking to get a bit more surreal can also get a Blu-ray copy of The Wizard of Oz, which I personally find grows ever creepier with each successive viewing. Both The Polar Express and The Wizard of Oz come as part combo-pack releases which also feature the DVD format versions.

January 18th see the Blu-ray release of Vietnam flick The Green Berets. Starring John Wayne, it was Hollywood's first go at committing the Vietnam war to celluloid. A Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack and a ton of "making of" featurettes bolster the package.

The multiple Oscar-winning Mystic River has also been given a Blu-ray release date. Trailers, interviews and a featurette on how the book was adapted for the big screen are just a few of the extras set for inclusion. You can pick Mystic River up from February 8th.

warner_bd.jpgIn a bid to boost sales of the Blu-ray format, Warner Bros. are setting up an exchange scheme allowing US consumers to swap DVD versions of Warner Bros. published films for high-def Blu-ray copies.

The DVD2Blu website states "Upgrade your Warner Bros. DVD titles for new industry-leading Blu-ray discs and unleash the power of your HDTV through the DVD2Blu program."

It isn't a free service however. Each DVD mailed off to be upgraded costs $7.95, plus an additional $4.95 in shipping fees. The total cost when totalled together is not far off the regular retail price of a Blu-Ray disc. However, bulk orders over $25 are sent out for free, which goes some way to making the service worthwhile.

So far there is no UK or European equivalent service announced by Warner Bros. , but expect similar services to reach our shores as the film studios push to boost the popularity of the Blu-ray format in these credit-crunching times.

You can try the service for yourself at .

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