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Black Friday Sales Begin With Blu-Ray

It’s almost Thanksgiving in the States, which means it’s also the start of the holiday shopping season.

News broke a few weeks ago that the majority of the latest Apple laptops are devoid of any optical disc drive, suspiciously pointing to Mac’s subtle intention to do away with the technology. Though Apple may be moving away from hard disc storage in favor of USB or cloud-based storage (or maybe they just decided to sacrifice disc drives in order to make the Macbooks even sleeker and slimmer), it’s not impossible or even difficult to still play CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays on these driveless Macs.

All it takes is an external disc drive. For those die-hard DVD or Blu-Ray fans, you’ll still want a way to play your discs on a new Mac, and this year on Black Friday, there are a slew of sales that will surely help you find that special piece of technology you’ve been looking for. While Apple retails their external disc drives for around $79, other brands offer a better deal.

We’ve tracked down one great Black Friday deal so far that will allow any new generation Mac user to play their collection of Blu-Ray:

Click on the ad to be taken to the site.

Macgo is offering a special discount for their Mac Blu-Ray Player up until November 25th. The Macgo Blu-Ray Player will be available for $39.95, a 33% markdown from the regular $59.95. The same price discount applies for the Windows Blu-Ray Player for PCs. Also, the Blu-Ray Suite for both Mac and PC is marked down from $119.99 to $54.95. Who doesn’t love Black Friday deals you can buy online? You don’t have to worry about long lines or pushy soccer moms to get this great deal.

This year, the Blu-Ray Association authorized Macgo, a leading multimedia company, to become an official Blu-Ray product manufacturer. Macgo’s Mac Blu-Ray Player is the first Blu-Ray player for Mac OS, supporting versions 10.5 up to the latest 10.8. The newly upgraded version of this player allows Blu-Ray streaming from a Mac computer to Apple mobile devices like an iPhone or iPad and it also has a built-in wireless AirX function. Just plug in the USB from the Blu-Ray Player to your Mac and watch high-quality Blu-Ray without any frame loss. There is also a function to recommend movies on Facebook or Twitter.

You’ll also need free Blu-Ray player software, which is available for free online. And why not pick up some blank Blu-Ray discs to record your favorite memories and maybe even get started on that holiday slideshow you’ve been salivating over?

Happy Black Friday!

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Apple Tries To Phase Out CDs With New Line Of Macs

Blu-ray Media, CD-R, DVD-R, TechnologyNancy Woo30 October 2012

Talk of the end has been happening for a few years now – no, not just the end of the world, but the end of the familiar data storage devices known as CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs. With more digital downloads, virtual space creation, mp3 players and storage in the cloud, rumors have been spreading that the inevitable end of CDs is just around the corner. Vinyl and cassette tapes have faced their inevitable demise, so are CDs going down the same path?

Apple plays no small part in the shift from optical disc drives to alternative storage. Since 2008, Apple has been starting to phase out optical disc drives in their computers, but it has generally been slow and gradual. CDs are still a primary method of information transference for many people.

However, just a few days ago Apple announced their newest line-up of computers, and only two out of a slew of new computers contained a drive for discs. One of the reasons for this is that Apple is somewhat like a beauty pageant princess going for the gold – their computers just keep getting slimmer and slimmer, and the Macbook Air has long been too thin to contain room for a disc drive. But except for the Mac Pro and Macbook Pro without a Retina display, all other lines of Apple products, including the iMac, Macbook Air and Macbook Pro with Retina displays, all astonishingly lacked an optical disc drive.

The sleeker, slimmer models come at a price – there is no convenient way to use CDs, DVDs or Blu-Ray. While it’s true that other types of data are available, many people own collections of musical CDs, DVDs or Blu-Ray discs. And what about when professional data discs need to be accessed? If the end of the CD is in fact headed our way, the time has not come yet.

It’s not, though, impossible to access discs with any of the new Macs. All you would have to do is buy an external disc drive. Apple sells their USB SuperDrive for $79 and other brands are even cheaper. Is the transition to sleek worth the hassle? Many will think so, but the CD isn’t out of sight yet – Apple is just making us work a little harder for it now.

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New Macs Rumored To Lack DVD Drive

Blu-ray Media, DVD-R, TechnologyNancy Woo22 August 2012

Though uncertain, some recent rumors have been floating around that Apple’s newest iMac and Macbook Pro will lack something that every computer nowadays has: a DVD drive. It may seem shocking, but remember the bygone days of the floppy disc? Will the DVD go the way of the dinosaur, VHS and the floppy, eventually fading into a distant technological memory?

Some clues this might be happening:

  • Not yet released desktop Apple computers, iMac and Mac Pro, have model numbers that are listed on retailer websites under the “non-disc” categories.
  • AppleInsider notes that newer Macs will be equipped with USB drives for reboot and recovery, with no mention of the traditional CD/DVD reboot and recovery drives.
  • Newer Mac Mini and Macbook Air models are also listed under the “non-disc” categories.
  • Apple has a business model based on the iCloud, encouraging a move toward cloud-based storage.

It doesn’t seem out of the question that Apple may forego the familiar DVD drive in favor of ramping up USB or Cloud opportunities, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the DVD is dead. PCs will surely still have DVD drives for a long time to come, and with HD technology still high on the priority list of videophiles, there is still great incentive to have access to DVD drives. Plus, if a shift will happen, it will be in slow phases, as the technology curve is slow to reach those on the lower-income side of the scale.

If technology is moving forward and leaving DVDs behind, we’ll all have plenty of time to prepare, and until then, it’s still just a rumor. Still, disc-printing technology is one of the most affordable and accessible ways to duplicate information, not to mention that Netflix and other video sharing organizations supplement their Internet streaming capabilities with a physical DVD, and DVDs are undoubtedly more functional than the obsolete floppy. Also, an optical disc drive encompasses more than just a back up DVD – cutting out this drive also cuts out the possibility for CDs, Blu-ray and HD DVDs. It might just be a good idea to have both DVDs and USBs on hand, since each have their advantages and disadvantages.

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Highlights from CES 2012

The Consumer Electronics Show is an annual gathering of companies unveiling their latest techno-gadgets for all consumers to enjoy. With 140,000 visitors and 2,700 exhibitors in the flashiest place on the planet, Las Vegas, it’s nothing less than a 4-day long spectacle, a giant toy room and a zoo full of the latest and greatest.

Here are some of the most interesting highlights:

1. Earbuds that Monitor Heart Rate:

Gym fanatics and runners are going to love this one. Instead of having to deal with all the extra weight and wires that come with carrying a heart rate monitor around the chest or arm, plus an iPod tucked into an arm strap with headphones, a company called Valencell demoed some of their 2-in-1 earbuds this year. The earbuds would monitor heart rate without the need for additional equipment. Talk about being light on your feet! And cyclists note: only one earbud is needed to check pulse, so you can still listen for traffic. Let’s hope the demo went over well so we can see these available for purchase soon.

2. Microphone USB:

As gadgets get more and more streamlined, here’s one to add to the list. Rather than using recording technology and then transferring it over to the computer, Blue Microphones propose using their handy dandy microphone USB. It plugs right into the computer so you can record and then plug in with one single motion. The company touts the Tiki device as having as-good human voice recognition through voice isolation and noise-cancelling technologies. Tiki goes for $59 on the consumer marketplace.

3. A Projector for iPhone Photos and Video:

Epson, the leader in printing technologies, now adds iPhone projectors to its long list of technological advancements. White it’s great to look at photos and watch videos wherever you are by powering up the iPhone or other Apple devices, it’s even better to watch them in full big screen glory. Now you can share photos and videos with friends by popping your iPhone into the Epson MultiPlex, which has a dock for Apple products and can also be connected to any laptop or Blu-ray player. Then you just need to find a nice big white surface, and voila! Instant projection of your favorite media. These bad boys retail between $599 and $699.

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Year End Wrap Up for Blank Media Trends in 2011

Blu-ray Media, Electronics, Epson, TechnologyNancy Woo30 December 2011

As technology continues to move forward at a relentless pace, new gadgets arise and some old ones fade away. To conclude 2011, let’s recap some of the major topics from the GotMedia blog in the past year as we anticipate all the fascinating advancements of 2012:

  • Recordable Blu-ray: Verbatim announced a new nationwide supply of rewritable double layer blu-ray discs.
    • The wrap up: Whoever said Blu-ray would fade into obscurity was wrong. Even though DVD is still the primary form of media-watching technology, Blu-ray fans know the advantages of watching films on Blu-ray: higher quality audio and video, 3-D imaging, high definition compatibility, gaming, Internet connectivity and all sorts of extras. When you can record films onto your own Blu-ray discs, it’s even better.
  • The tiniest USB device ever: In August 2011, Verbatim released the smallest USB thumb drives the world has ever known. More aptly called “penny drives” because they are roughly the size and thickness of a penny, the Verbatim Tuff’N’Tiny are water resistant, durable and guaranteed to last a lifetime.
    • The wrap up: Technology keeps getting tinier and tinier! These Tuff’N’Tiny USB devices are the answer to any tech geek who misplaces things because it fits neatly onto a keychain – just don’t lose the keys. You never know when you’ll need to transfer files on a dime.
  • The rise of archival discs: This year, the holographic discs touted to last thousands of years gained more prominence. The Millenial Archival M-disc is at the forefront of the game, with a tagline of “Write Once, Read Forever.”
    • The wrap up: Do we really need data discs to last for 3,000 years? Who knows what Earth will be like then? But still, the idea of permanence is fascinating. And these discs have been proven to be virtually indestructible.
  • New devices revealed at Korea’s Electronic Show: The 42nd annual Korean technological convention featured major names like Samsung, LG, Mach and Taiyo Yuden all showcasing their new gadgets for the theme “Be Smart,” which focused on smartphone technology.
    • The wrap up: Who knows all that 2012 will have in store, but smartphones getting even smarter is a sure thing on the list. Some of the wild devices revealed were “smart” vacuum cleaners, “smart” washing machines and “smart” fridges that do the shopping themselves. Here we come, Jetsons!
  • Moverio revealed the world’s first 3-D mounted head display: Powered by Android technology, this crazy little device is essentially a headband that allows the user to see two fields of vision at the same time, whatever is in front of him and a streaming 3-D video in surround vision and sound.
    • The wrap up: Seeing double isn’t just for drunk Uncle Harry anymore, but the question is: will it confuse the brain, or pave new pathways for even greater multi-tasking? With the world’s information overdrive hitting full speed, let’s hope it’s the latter.

We also covered important how-to’s like:

  • How to choose a conversion cable
  • How to compare DVD media
  • How to choose the right media for different projects
  • How to prep master discs
  • How to utilize technology to master any presentation
  • How to determine the right printer

Some of the other topics touched upon include:

  • Lightscribe disc labeling
  • Trends in disc packaging and disposal
  • The issue of piracy under federal law
  • New printers and label makers from Epson
  • Faster disc reproduction technology
  • Verbatim pocket CDs
  • The Android iPrint app
  • A consideration of DVD vs. Blu-ray
  • Easy to make holiday gift ideas

So as you can see, we’ve had a busy year in 2011. Stay tuned for more great media news updates and techie information in 2012!

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DVD Vs. Blu-Ray: All Factors Considered

Blu-ray Media, DVD-R, ElectronicsNancy Woo03 November 2011

For those out there who still boggle over what Blu-Ray actually means, this short little VS. battle will help clarify some of the main features of a Blu-Ray disc, compared side by side to the familiar DVD. Price, picture, sound, accessibility and future changes to technology will all be taken into account to give a fairly full picture of which disc trumps the other in which ways. The true winner is whichever one you decide to buy.

For those with a “classic DVD” collection, the thought of Blu-Ray may be as foreign as eating upside down. Why bother upgrading when I can let my classic DVD library augment my classic vinyl collection? I already have it, so why would I switch over to something new?

But for those sitting on the edge of their seats anticipating the best and brightest new gadgets to hit the market, a Blu-ray player is probably already a permanent fixture within the HDTV home entertainment system. Owning a Blu-Ray system doesn’t mean DVDs are dinosaurs, but it does mean that Blu-Ray will be able to do certain things DVDs cannot.

Let’s take a look at the differences:

VS.

Affordability

DVD: A physical DVD now costs around $10 to $15 a pop, sometimes even less for “bargain” films (which are usually a bad idea in the first place, but oh so tempting at $6.99). DVD players are so common these days that any number of them will go for under $50.

Vs.

Blu-Ray: Films on Blu-Ray typically cost about $10 more than its counterpart in DVD. So that’s more like $20 to $25 per movie, a significant increase. That’s a quarter of a Benjamin. And in order to play that sucker, you must have a Blu-Ray player, which costs around $250-$300, though they can go up into the thousands.

Winner: DVD

Picture Quality

DVD: We all know what a DVD picture looks like. Pretty good, much better than VHS, right? No more fuzzy skipping or snow. The picture is fairly clear at 420p sharpness.

Vs.

Blu-Ray: At 1080p, Blu-Ray picture is more than twice as sharp as DVD. The higher pixel number means that two and a half times more information is being shown on the screen, giving a sharper, cleaner, more detailed picture. As most films are being shot in High Definition digital, the higher quality appears much more obviously on the screen.

Winner: Blu-Ray

Audio Quality

DVD: The DVD sound is as good as can be… for 1995. For typical singe television, the DVD sound is fine, matching the picture quality. No complaints.

Vs.

Blu-Ray: With a home entertainment system, Blu-Ray discs provide stunning sound, most equipped with 7.1 channel surround sound. This means the Blu-Ray disc was built with the capability to distribute its sound through various different channels, i.e. the many speakers surrounding a home theater. The sound comes from all around, specifically the way the movie was made, mimicking true theaters.

Winner: Blu-Ray

Content Selection

DVD: Pretty much anything you want to watch comes on DVD. VHS? Not so much. Basically, every movie ever made has been converted from VHS or its original version to DVD. DVD is the standard for all movies, and you will be hard pressed to find a movie that does not have a DVD form. Plus, your movie collection is probably already in DVD form in the first place.

Vs.

Blu-Ray: Simply put, there’s no guarantee that the movie you want will be made on Blu-Ray. Because Blu-Ray serves a smaller consumer base, only the really popular or in demand movies will be converted to Blu-Ray.

Winner: DVD

Ease of use

DVD: Most people are familiar with the way DVD players work. They’re not that different from the old VHS players, and they’ve been around so long that the technology is reliable. Play, pause, stop, skip ahead, skip backwards, eject. It’s easy, simple and the hook ups are usually straightforward.

Vs.

Blu-Ray: Since Blu-Ray is a still-developing technology, there are sometimes kink in playback, skipping or longer load times. The newer technology means the first few generations are not as reliable as tried-and-true DVDs.

Winner: DVD

Extra Features

DVD: As most people know, DVDs offer many more features than the ancient VHS, such as scene selection, deleted scenes, director’s commentary, trailers etc. The main menu offers some extra goodies after the movie is over.

Vs.

Blu-Ray: Blu-Ray goes a few steps further. On top of all the extra features that DVD offers, Blu-Ray allows the user to bookmark favorite scenes and access the menu without leaving the current scene. There is better capacity for special features like commentary, animated menus and pop-up tracks. Plus, BD-Live allows the user to access the Internet straight from the screen and even play video games associated with the film. The Blu-Ray system can act as a multi-purpose Internet and gaming console, and it is a great piece for a thoroughly constructed home entertainment system.

Winner: Blu-Ray

Playback Capacity

DVD: Typical DVDs hold between 5 and 10 GB of data, or enough for one film and extras. DVD players can play CDs and DVDs.

Vs.

Blu-Ray: Blu-Ray discs are made with technology much newer than DVD, and as we know, things keep getting smaller, faster and full of more room for data. Dual layer Blu-Ray discs can generally hold about 50 GB of data, or 5-10 times as much as DVD. Blu-Ray discs are also smaller, easier on packing and less cumbersome. Furthermore, a Blu-Ray player can play all media types: CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray.

Winner: Blu-Ray

Outlook for the Future

DVD: DVDs have been around for a decade now, and they are still going strong. Most films come in DVD format, and it’s much easier to build up a DVD collection than trying to begin anew with Blu-Ray. As technology advances, media will either eventually move to a mostly digital format or there will be something even better to replace Blu-Ray. In that respect, it makes more sense to stick with the DVD system until the next widespread format takes over.

Vs.

Blu-Ray: Blu-Ray is technologically superior to DVD, but what happens when movies become completely digital, or a new format hits the mainstream market? Blu-Ray may be a treat for the time being, but plainly put, it’s a niche market and probably will not become widespread. The majority of people will be looking back on today fondly remembering the days of DVD, not Blu-Ray. Once all media becomes digital, both DVD and Blu-Ray will be obsolete. So why not just stick with DVD until then? Blu-Ray may just be a minor stopping point before the next big wave.

Winner: DVD

Who will triumph in the battle between DVD and Blu-Ray?

Final Tally

DVD wins: 4

Blu-Ray wins: 4

Well, there you have it. Each media format comes with its pros and cons, evening out so that the real winner is the one that fits you best. DVD is more affordable, more reliable, has a greater selection and makes more sense to hang onto until the next technological revolution. Blu-Ray has picture and audio quality that is significantly superior to DVD, a greater selection of features and the capacity to store much more data on the disc. Hopefully this side-by-side comparison laid out some of the major advantages and disadvantages to each. Now it’s just up to you to pick your poison.

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Verbatim Announces Nationwide Shipment of Blu-ray Re-writabie Double Layer Discs

Blu-ray Media, DVD DL, VerbatimHawksM29 March 2011

THE BD-RE DL discs from Verbatim are now available for shipment across the country to be used by replicators and duplicators from coast to coast in standard Blu-ray players and recorders.

The rewritable discs can be re-written up to 1,000 times and can record as much as 50GB of data – twice as much as a single-layer disc – for multiple audio formats and data as large as 1080p resolution videos.

With the proprietary HardCoat technology from Verbatim, these discs are durable, protecting against smudges, scratches, prints, and dust build up. This protective coat also helps cut down on playback and recording errors.

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Vinpower Digital Introduces Blu-ray Duplication with the BDXL Duplicators

Blu-ray MediaHawksM22 March 2011

Vinpower Digital Introduces their Latest Innovations in Blu-ray Duplication with the BDXL Duplicators

Using the Pioneer BDR-206MBK BD writer drives, Vinpower Digital is able to offer duplication for the BDXL media in up to 15 drives at once.

“Blu-ray as a format has already opened the doors to greater storage capability for all aspects of digital storage, yet innovations in fields such as 3-D video content and archival storage have created a need for even higher capacity”

Los Angeles, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) March 22, 2011
Vinpower Digital announced today the availability of their latest Blu-ray Disc duplicator lines with the ability to copy the amazingly large capacity BDXL media, which offers capacities up to 128GB per disc. Using the Pioneer’s BDR-206MBK Blu-ray Disc writer drive(s) combined with the exceptional performance of the Vinpower manufactured line of manual tower and autoloader duplicator series, provides reliable high quality copies of Blu-ray master disc(s) for projects requiring higher capacity than the standard 25GB BD-R or even 50GB BD-R DL.

“Blu-ray as a format has already opened the doors to greater storage capability for all aspects of digital storage, yet innovations in fields such as 3-D video content and archival storage have created a need for even higher capacity,” explains Vinpower Digital C.E.O., Calvin Chang. “So, the introduction of the BDXL media opens the door to greater creativity and development across all content creation, especially in the field of filmmaking. That’s why it was critical that Vinpower offer duplication equipment with the Pioneer BDR-206MBK drive, which is capable of reliably copying this new higher capacity media format.”
Using the Vinpower Digital Blu-ray duplicator with BDXL media, will allow the user to store up to 128GB of information on a single write once disc, which can be stored and protected from the elements or human error for many years. This is especially useful in the medical, financial, judicial, law enforcement, and legal fields, as well as any other field where important content needs to be kept safely on file for an extended period.
“The new BDR-206MBK represents Pioneer’s continuing effort to be the first to develop and market next generation technology within the optical disc drive field. We’re very pleased that Vinpower Digital has followed suit in adopting this new drive as an essential element of their new product line,” said Andy Parsons, Senior Vice President of New Product Development at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

Vinpower Digital’s lines of standalone Blu-ray Disc duplication towers are available in multiple drive configurations, from one up to an astounding 15 Blu-ray disc writer drives in a single duplicator. In addition, Vinpower’s line of autoloaders also boasts impressive drive and disc capacity for reliable unattended mass duplication. Vinpower Digital developed the new line of BDXL capable duplicators to enable users to make exact digital copies of their original Blu-ray, DVD, and/or CD masters. The BDXL Disc duplicators come standard with a massive hard drive for ample storage of multiple high capacity video or data files in the BDXL Disc format. Additionally, Vinpower offers USB (3.0/2.0), eSATA, and Ethernet/LAN connections to enable fast reliable transfer of content from a computer onto the duplicator’s HDD or to a writer drive to produce the master disc, which enables the duplication process.
Vinpower Digital has teamed with the Optical Quantum line of Blu-ray Disc recordable media to ensure the highest quality Blu-ray Disc duplication. Optical Quantum offers an assortment of recordable Blu-ray Disc media, which has proven to be extremely reliable in high-speed duplication as well as in playback compatibility, especially when burned in the Vinpower Digital line of duplicators.

About Vinpower Digital
Vinpower Digital is the leading manufacturer of standalone optical disc duplication equipment. With our corporate office in Los Angeles, California, USA, as well as production and sales offices in Taiwan and Germany, we have the ability to deliver the most advanced and reliable standalone optical disc and flash duplication controllers, manual towers, and robotic autoloaders anywhere in the world. As a true manufacture, Vinpower Digital has the ability to OEM/ODM customized applications and equipment for qualified vendors on a number of levels. Never satisfied with good enough, Vinpower Digital constantly pushes the envelope to develop new features and enhance their existing product to stay in tune with the customers’ needs and expectations.
For further information on any or all of Vinpower Digital’s line of duplicators, please visit our website at vinpowerdigital

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New Aleratec Blu-ray Duplicators Hit Market with LIghtScribe

With 12x write speed and a built-in 1TB hard drive, the new DVD duplicator line from Aleratec represents a step into the next generation of disc replication.

“As the prices for Blu-ray media and equipment continue to drop due to increasing demand, our customers find Blu-ray an increasingly attractive option for data distribution,” said Perry Solomon, president and CEO of Aleratec. “In designing these products, we wanted to make sure that they would be relevant for years to come.”

The new pair of professional grade Blu-ray duplicators can burn up to three or seven Blu-ray DVD or CDs at a time, using four “Fast Keys” to command basic functionality. In addition to maximum storage and write capacity, the two units can complete laser-etched labels using LightScribe technology and avoiding inks or ribbons.

With USB 2.0 connectivity, operation is quick and easy whether burning from the hard drive or separate source disc. And there’s no sacrifice of functionality and speed when running print jobs; disc label jobs can be dragged and dropped into the duplicator while duplicator makes disc copies.

This line of Aleratec products features two models: the 1:3 Blu-ray/DVD/CD LightScribe Duplicator SA for $1,399 and the 1:7 Blu-ray/DVD/CD Tower Publisher SLS for $2,699, which are both available now for shipment through dedicated resellers and distribution partners.

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Affordable Blu-ray Recorders May Be in Your Future

Blu-ray MediaHawksM02 December 2010

Panasonic has just announced production of a new Blu-ray recorder, one that may not actually make a huge dip in your wallet. Capable of storing up to 100GB of content on a single BDXL disc, the Panasonic DMR-BR585 is one of the greatest-value Blu-ray recorders on the market at $780.

Thinking about getting into the Blu-ray replication business or just looking for a personal investment, Panasonic may have just answered your prayers. While the DMR-BR585 may be small on price, it’s big on capacity with a 320GB HDD built in. The device also allows for content to be copied from hard disc to Blu-ray and vice versa and comes with an HDMI interface, a USB port, and Ethernet.

Panasonic has yet to announce when distribution will open internationally, but the company will produce 48,000 units monthly — a significant number for Blu-ray technology. As of Nov. 25, units became available to the general public in Japan.

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