In Depth

Rounding Up HD News: Black Friday Feels Impact of 2006 HDTV Sales

Black Friday sales increased 8.3% this year, but holiday shoppers spent 3.5% less per person, according to TVPredictions.com. The National Retail Federation reported that 147 million people went to stores on the day after Thanksgiving, a 4.8% increase from last year. The organization believes last year’s numerous sales of HDTV sets ate into individual spending this year, because consumers were looking to buy less expensive items now that they had their TVs. TVPredictions also noted that Comscore said online purchases were up 29% on Thanksgiving and 22% on Black Friday compared with last year.

A High-Def Look at Antarctica
An international team of scientists revealed a new high-definition interactive map of the continent of Antarctica that took eight years to complete, MSNBC reported. The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica is being called the most geographically accurate depiction of Antarctica and it’s being offered free via the Web. “This innovation is like watching high-definition TV in living color versus watching the picture on a grainy black-and-white television,” Robert Bindschadler, chief scientist for the hydrospheric and biospheric sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said in the article. Web users interested in viewing the map can visit lima.usgs.gov or lima.nasa.gov.

Voom HD Earns Two Spirit Award Nominations
Voom HD Networks received two Independent Spirit Award nominations Tuesday for “Starting Out in the Evening,” the first theatrical release from the company’s programming initiative, Voom HD Pictures. The film was nominated in the categories of male lead (Frank Langella) and screenplay.

“We are thrilled that our first theatrical release has received this recognition, and we congratulate Frank Langella on his brilliant performance and Fred Parnes and Andrew Wagner on their engaging, intelligent screenplay,” said Greg Moyer, general manager of Voom HD Networks. “‘Starting Out in the Evening’ is an entertaining, original production that is truly representative of Voom HD’s high-quality niche content.”

“Starting Out in the Evening” is in select theaters now.

Blu-ray Has International Victory
Blu-ray high-definition DVDs have outsold rival HD DVD in Europe this year, according to Reuters. Sales broke 1 million and constituted 73% of all high-def titles sold. It was noted that if Blu-ray gaming discs were taken into account, the total would jump to 21 million units sold. The article said Home Media Research in October reported Blu-ray DVD titles in the United States had outsold HD DVD ones by nearly 2-to-1 in the first nine months of the year. According to Blu-ray, the best-selling films were “300,” “Spider-Man 3” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”

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