Xbox Partners With Taco Bell to Give Away Xbox One X Consoles

Taco Bell is partnering with Xbox to give fans in the United States the chance to win limited-edition Xbox One X consoles each time they buy a $5 double chalupa box, Xbox announced.

The promotion lasts from Oct. 18 through Nov. 21.

The exclusive platinum-colored console features Taco Bell’s “ring” when powered on (exclusive to the limited-edition consoles); a white, special-edition Xbox Elite wireless controller; and three months of Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold.

An Xbox One X will be rewarded every 10 minutes throughout the promotion and it will be delivered to fans 72 hours after being declared a winner, according to Xbox.

The Xbox One S and Xbox One X both feature a built-in 4K UHD Blu-ray player and Dolby Atmos support.

IHS Markit: TV Shipments to Grow 3.6% in 2018 With UHD Models to Account for More Than Half of Shipments in 2019

After declining unit-shipment volumes in 2017, global TV shipments are forecast to grow 3.6% year over year in 2018, with additional 1.4% growth in 2019, according to a new report from research firm IHS Markit.

Of the 226 million TVs expected to ship in 2019, more than half will be ultra-high-definition (UHD) models, the majority of which are 4K. However, 8K TVs from major global TV brands will launch toward the end of 2018, kicking off the next wave of resolution transition, according to the report.

“Growth in the TV market typically is the result of more attractive retail prices for large-screen sizes and the continued commoditization of 4K resolution, driving TV replacements and upgrades,” said IHS research and analysis executive director Paul Gagnon in a statement. “However, this growth through price compression has a negative effect on profits, so TV brands are actively looking for more growth from advanced TV models to improve earnings.”
Technologies such as 8K, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and quantum dot (QD) carry substantial premiums, and 4K TVs still carry premiums of more than 35 percent at screen sizes where 1080p resolution is still an option, such as 40-inch to 49-inch TVs, according to IHS.

IHS Markit forecasts that the 8K TV market will grow from less than 20,000 units in 2018 to more than 430,000 in 2019 — eventually approaching 2 million units by 2020. All of this growth will be centered on 60-inch and larger screen sizes, with 65-inch TVs accounting for more than half of the volume.

OLED TV is expected to grow more than 40% in 2019, rising to 3.6 million units. This growth is in line with previous forecasts, because demand is essentially matching industry production capacity, according to IHS. The size mix still favors 55-inch TVs, based on current prices, but it will transition to mostly 65-inch TVs by 2020, when new production capacity is optimized for larger screen sizes, and when substantial growth is expected in the OLED TV category.

Quantum dot LCD TV shipments are now forecast to exceed 4 million units in 2019, based on more aggressive pricing and the introduction of transitional quantum-dot-equipped LCD TV models, according to IHS.
“The high-end prices of non-QD-equipped LCD TV models and the prices of the low end QD-equipped LCD TV models have moved closer together,” Gagnon said in a statement. “This extension of the quantum dot LCD TV lineup into more moderate price ranges effectively reduces the quantum dot premium to less than 100 percent at mid-range sizes, opening up the category to a larger addressable market of consumers.”

Imax’s ‘A Beautiful Planet’ and ‘Journey to the South Pacific’ in 4K and Complete ‘The Shield’ Series on Blu-ray Coming Dec. 11 from Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment will release two Imax-film 4K Combo Packs and the complete series of “The Shield” on Blu-ray Dec. 11.

Narrated by Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence and coming in a 4K Combo Pack, A Beautiful Planet is an Imax portrait of Earth from space, providing a unique perspective and increased understanding of our planet and galaxy as never seen before. Made in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the film features stunning footage of the blue planet — and the effects humanity has had on it over time — captured by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Narrated by Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and also coming in a 4K Combo Pack, Journey to the South Pacific takes moviegoers on an Imax adventure to the lush tropical islands of remote West Papua, where life flourishes above and below the sea. Viewers join Jawi, a young island boy as he takes us on a journey of discovery, encountering whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays and other iconic creatures of the sea. Home to more than 2,000 species of sea life, this exotic locale features the most diverse marine ecosystem on Earth.

Newly remastered in 4K and available for the first time on Blu-ray comes the complete series of the controversial and critically acclaimed “The Shield.” The series reinvented the police genre and featured an iconic television antihero, Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis), a corrupt cop who runs his elite Strike Team under his own set of rules. New special features include a 2018 cast reunion with creator Shawn Ryan; a writers panel from the ATX Festival featuring Ryan, Kurt Sutter, Glen Mazzara, Scott Rosenbaum and Charles Eglee; and the “Beyond the Badge” retrospective. The set also includes previously released extras, including more than 10 hours of behind-the-scenes featurettes; cast and crew commentary on select episodes; and deleted scenes.

Futuresource: 4K to Move Mainstream in 2018

2018 will be the year 4K UHD moves mainstream, accounting for nearly 50% of all TVs shipped worldwide by year end, according to a market tracking report from Futuresource Consulting.

The report, which includes TVs, broadcast coverage, STB installed base, Blu-ray players, Blu-ray software, digital transactional video and digital subscriptions, focuses on the latest key developments and future consumer trends in 4K UHD.

“As with HD before it, 4K UHD is being driven by TV display purchases,” said Tristan Veale, market analyst at Futuresource. “It’s a thriving segment, and by 2022 the installed base of 4K UHD TVs will be three times larger than today, achieving 37% global household penetration.”

Although there is a content gap, that gap is being filled, according to Futuresource. The amount of 4K UHD content available to consumers has grown significantly over the first half of 2018, with broadcast content helped along by a range of international sporting events with worldwide appeal, according to the consulting firm.

“February’s Winter Olympics in South Korea was broadcast in 4K UHD, thanks to the efforts of the Olympic Broadcasting Services and Japanese broadcaster NHK,” Veale said. “Over in Russia, all FIFA World Cup games were also shot in 4K UHD, delivered via satellite, cable, IP and OTT. These two sporting events proved to be ideal test beds for broadcasting the format and demonstrating its benefits.”

Beyond broadcast, 4K UHD presents a window of opportunity for Blu-ray, with up to 30 4K UHD Blu-ray discs released every month and player prices dropping into the sweet spot, according to the consulting firm. “Despite this, consumer uptake of 4K UHD Blu-ray players is slow, perhaps due to a lack of vendor initiatives and retailer support beyond the USA and Canada,” the firm stated.

The availability of 4K UHD content on SVoD services reinforces consumer perceptions that this delivery mechanism is at the cutting edge of entertainment technology, according to Futuresource.

“However, there is a very small, if any, additional cost for UHD via SVoD services which is contrary to positioning this as a premium product,” the firm stated.

Digital transactional models for 4K UHD are also experiencing “a period of turbulent pricing,” according to Futuresource.

“Service providers and rights holders alike are experimenting extensively with price points, content bundles and delivery mechanisms, creating a customer journey that could become disjointed and fragmented,” according to the firm.

Although UHD Blu-ray prices remains largely consistent, with a premium price, digital services are significantly undercutting this in an attempt to invigorate the format and drive a digital ownership mentality.

“With digital UHD it’s all about capturing a big slice of the audience as quickly as possible, attracting eyeballs and locking people in for the long-term,” Veale said. “As a result, we’re seeing some aggressive promotions out there, with 4K UHD content available to buy at prices in line with the purchase price of HD movies. However, companies need to keep an eye firmly fixed on consistency, ensuring confusion remains at a minimum.”

View Futuresource reports here.

‘The Big Lebowski’ to Abide With Release on 4K UHD Oct. 16 From Universal

The Big Lebowski 20th Anniversary Limited Edition will come out in a 4K Ultra combo pack that also includes Blu-ray and digital (including Movies Anywhere) Oct. 16 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The Coen brothers crime-comedy, starring Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart, True Grit), John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane, Argo), Julianne Moore (The Hours, Still Alice), Steve Buscemi (Fargo, Ghost World), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master, Capote) and John Turturro (Barton Fink, Fading Gigolo), will be released in a set that includes a collectible bag, bowling ball pencil holder, polishing cloth and sweater packaging.

Bonus features include “The Dude’s Life,” in which Bridges, Goodman, Moore, Buscemi and Turturro take a look back at their performances and how their delivery of the Coen brothers’ dialog became classic movie lines; “The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later,” a conversation with the cast about the film’s decade-long reign as a cult classic; “Making of The Big Lebowski”; “The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story,” an in-depth look at the annual Lebowski Fest, a celebration of The Dude and his world, attended by thousands each year; “Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of The Dude,” a look at some of the Dude’s trippiest fantasies so fans can learn for the first time how these  scenes were created; an interactive map of the locations of The Big Lebowski, then and now; “Jeff Bridges Photo Book,” in which Bridges presents a portfolio of shots taken on the set of The Big Lebowski; and a photo gallery.

Report: 4K Set-Top Box Global Installed Base Reached 31M units in 2017

4K UHD content available on pay-TV and broadcast may be limited, but that has stopped proliferation of 4K-compatible set-top devices by pay-TV operators.

According to new research from Dataxis, the global installed base for 4K set- top boxes has grown more than 900% to 31 million units, at the end of 2017, compared to only 3 million units in 2015. Operators around the world are deploying 4K boxes in response to sales of 4K-compatible televisions, which is reflecting in the global numbers, according to the report.

Notably, Europe is growing at the fastest rate accounting for 52% of the total 4K boxes in 2017, followed by Asia-Pacific excluding China (32%), North and Latin America (5%), Middle-East (4%) and Africa (1%).

Filmmaker Christopher Nolan to Receive DEG’s Vanguard Award

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group will present its inaugural Vanguard Award to Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Christopher Nolan.

The award presentation will take place during a reception at the 4K Ultra HD Summit to be held Nov. 6 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

The DEG Vanguard Award is in recognition of Nolan’s place at the forefront of filmmakers using groundbreaking technology to deliver increased scale and resolution, enhanced color and immersive audio to film audiences both in cinemas and in the home theater environment. Nolan has been a longtime advocate of the best home viewing experience available to consumers.

The director, writer and producer most recently earned dual Academy Award nominations, for Best Director and Best Picture, for Dunkirk, which in July 2017 received the largest 70mm release in the last quarter century. His filmography also includes InterstellarInception, The Dark Knight TrilogyThe Prestige, and Memento, for which he received his first Oscar nomination, for Best Original Screenplay.

With the December 2017 release of the seven film “The Christopher Nolan Collection” in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Nolan became the filmmaker with the largest number of films available in the most advanced home-based viewing format, according to the DEG.

The 4K Ultra HD Summit, presented by the DEG and the Ultra HD Alliance, will advocate and educate about the benefits of 4K Ultra HD televisions and content while highlighting the changes to all things 4K. The goal of the Summit is to help consumers understand the benefits of 4K UHD with HDR and provide information about new hardware and software products for the holiday buying season.

The program will focus on advancements in 4K UHD technology, increasing affordability of the technology, and widening availability of content.

For information about attending The 4K Ultra HD Summit, email Shannon@degonline.org.
For sponsorship opportunities, email Andi@degonline.org.
For speaking opportunities, email Marcy@degonline.org.

Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Due on Digital Oct. 23, Disc Nov. 6 From Universal

BlacKkKlansman, director Spike Lee’s film of the true story of Ron Stallwortth, an African-American police officer who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan, will arrive on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Oct. 23 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Nov. 6 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Based on the book Black Klansman by Stallworth, BlacKkKlansman stars John David Washington (“Ballers,” Malcolm X), Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force AwakensLogan Lucky), Topher Grace (Interstellar, “That 70’s Show”), Laura Harrier (Spider-Man: HomecomingThe Last Five Years), Alec Baldwin (“Saturday Night Live,” Mission Impossible – Fallout), Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta ComptonKong: Skull Island), Ryan Eggold (“The Blacklist,” “Sons of Liberty”) and Paul Walter Hauser (I, TonyaSuper Troopers 2).
In the early 1970s Stallworth (Washington) becomes the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department where he sets out to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. He recruits a seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Driver), into the undercover investigation.

Special features on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital include “A Spike Lee Joint,” in which producer Jordan Peele, cast and film subject Ron Stallworth discuss working with Lee, and the extended trailer featuring Prince’s “Mary Don’t You Weep.”

BlacKkKlansman will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-ray version, all in 4K resolution.

Fox to Release ‘X-Men’ Trilogy on 4K Ultra HD Sept. 25

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the first three films in the “X-Men” series, starring Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry, on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc on Sept. 25.

The three-film collection includes X-Men, X2: X-Men Unite and X-Men: The Last Stand. The trilogy follows the group of mutant outcasts as they learn to control their powers, join forces with their enemies to save all mutants and face the discovery of a “cure” for the mutation that starts a war.

Special features include audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, deleted/extended scenes, “The Mutant Watch,” animatics, and character and production design stills.

‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ Due on Digital Oct. 16, Disc Oct. 30

The comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me, starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon, arrives on digital Oct. 16 and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD, and on demand Oct. 30 from Lionsgate.

The comedic action film earned $33.3 million in theaters.

In the film, Audrey (Kunis) and Morgan (McKinnon), two thirty-year-old best friends in Los Angeles, are thrust unexpectedly into an international conspiracy when Audrey’s ex-boyfriend shows up at their apartment with a team of deadly assassins on his trail. Also starring in the film are Justin Theroux (The Girl on the Train, TV’s “The Leftovers”), Hasan Minhaj (TV’s “The Daily Show”) and Sam Heughan (TV’s “Outlander”).

Special features include deleted scenes, outtakes and four making-of featurettes. The 4K release includes Dolby Vision HDR. The release also features Dolby Atmos sound.