Blu-Ray & HD DVD News Round-up

Well, the cease-fire may have been signed, but it’ll be a few months yet before all the troops return home. There’ll still be a few more market share reports and the like. And, of course, in the future there will still be Blu-ray news. Hopefully we’ll be able to focus on newer, better machines, new software, and lower prices.

For the week ending 2/17, the last week before Toshiba pulled the plug on HD DVD, HD DVD managed to jump back to a 27% share, with Blu-ray at 73%. That put them at 76:24 for the year, and 65:35 since inception. It was clear Toshiba’s efforts were not working, with HD DVD only clawing back to roughly 3:1, from the previous week’s 4:1, which is still a big drop from the 2:1 split it held for most of 2007. Something I found interesting. During the war, Home Media Magazine usually had the BD/HD DVD split graphs right on the cover – this week they’re on page 40. There is also a dedicated Blu-ray supplement on this issue, which includes a list of currently announced 2088 releases through May. And a little article entitled “Format War’s End Kills Bloggers Main Topic“.

Onkyo, which had previously suspended HD DVD player production, has now officially killed their HD DVD players permanently. Since they used Toshiba components it is hardly surprising. They are instead turning to Blu-ray. Development of an Onkyo Blu-ray player has been underway, but no specific announcement has yet been made. Though it seems likely we’ll see it later this year, almost certainly before the holidays. Via

sofatronic’s announces Kaleidoscope software, which makes authoring BD-J applications easier by allowing authors to create applications via a GUI editor. EngadgetHD has a press release from sofatronic about the release. Using the tool, authors can create interacting Blu-ray menus and applications without having to write any Java code. The tool will create the Java code for BD-J automatically. This is exactly the kind of thing I like to see, and hope to see more of. The easier it is for designers and authors to exploit the power of BD-J, the more use it will get.

The release:

sofatronic releases Kaleidoscope

Hamburg/Los Angeles, Feb 22, 2008 – Commercial Release of Kaleidoscope

sofatronic is releasing Kaleidoscope, a software platform for creating interactive applications on Blu-ray Discs. Working in a visual authoring environment, users can create user interfaces and advanced interactive features using the format’s unique capabilities without having to write Java code.

Kaleidoscope’s application framework supports all available Blu-ray player models and automatically handles performance differences and compatibility issues, two of the main concerns for Blu-ray authors today .

“The sofatronic team is extremely proud of today’s release of Kaleidoscope not merely for having succeeded in providing a technical solution to the various issues facing the HD industry, but in fact exceeding all expectations of what is possible with the platform. Without a shred of programming knowledge, the in-house designers at movie studios and authoring facilities can create an exciting palette of applications for the entire range of Blu-ray players – and bring it in under budget and on time.”
Rouven Malecki, CTO sofatronic.

sofatronic’s partners receive regular updates and access to new features via the company’s Developer Portal. Newly developed Application Modules are also published here, which make use of the advanced features of the Blu-ray platform, such as internet connectivity. All this and extensive technical support can be found at

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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