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Sony Joins the BD-Live Bandwagon

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Technology is evolving faster than cars circle the Indianapolis Speedway. In their BD-Live Experience at Sony Studios this week, Sony execs unveiled that they are now on board with BD-Live, a newly developed Blu-ray feature that enables users to access content via their internet-connected Blu-ray player.

Referring to some of the Neanderthals slow to get with the program, President Sony Pictures Home Entertainment President David Bishop said, “We’re just in the Pong stage of BD-Live.”

The opportunities for interface on BD-Live are endless. Currently, when a consumer selects the BD-Live button on a player that’s properly connected to the internet, the player will access the BD-Live site and download the latest version of the BD-Live application. From the menu are selections that include: ringtones/wallpaper downloads, peer to peer interactions, live events, make-your-own-video selections and gaming activities.

“There is no denying that the demand for high quality entertainment is here to stay,” Bishop said. “Today the home entertainment industry has become a $50 billion a year business worldwide. And in a recent story Time magazine reported that over the next decade, Blu-ray is the best way to view movies at home. BD-Live allows consumers to access and enjoy a new world of inner activity.”

While the current features on BD-Live probably won’t interest hard-core gamers at this point, Facebook and Twitter are proving there is an audience who wants to be “connected” to someone somewhere every moment of the day.

“To date Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has delivered more BD-Live able content than any other studio,” said Lexine Wong, Sony Senior Executive VP of Worldwide Marketing. “Since June of last year BD-Live has been available on every Sony Pictures Blu-ray release. As consumers have become more familiar with the BD-Live experience, Sony Pictures has been offering even more dynamic features to support our key releases.”

Even though nearly 3.5 million consumers have already accessed at least one Sony BD-Live screen, Bishop admitted the BD-Live feature faced some challenges; mainly that most consumers often don’t have their internet access in the same room as their TV. Sony will take care of that with the mid-July release of their BDP-S560, the company’s first built-in wireless set-top that will help link to broadband even if connections are located away from home theater setups.

Sony is optimistic and excited about Blu-ray and BD-Live expanding even more into the consumer market.

“Blu-Ray hardware sales have increased more than 400 percent over the past year,” said Chris Fawcett, VP General Manager of Sony Electronics. “Blu-ray compatible devices are now found in 10.5 million U.S. homes, and when you consider all of this has been achieved in the midst of the worst recession in a half century, Blu-ray is performing exceptionally well.”

New information about Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Blu-ray releases and titles with BD-Live capabilities can be found at their site.

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About Diana Saenger