Photo: HBO Home Entertainment
Winter is coming. Again.
The popular HBO series Game of Thrones is getting a home video do-over thanks to a hefty packaging upgrade.
USA Today reports that medieval masterpiece is getting the steelbook treatment, popular with some of the more hardcore home entertainment collectors. The packaging upgrade will also include magnetic sigils for the fictional houses, as well as new box art design by Elastic, the design studio that created the show opening.
Maybe you don’t own a megahit DVD franchise, but a lesson can still be learned from this for any business owner. Upgraded packaging means repackaging, or even rebranding. It can give an old product a new lease on life. In fact, in an article from the New York Times, Paco Underhill, Author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, points to upgraded packaging as a way to catch consumers that may have previously passed on a product.
So is your product due for some upgraded packaging?
If so, you may not need a clunky steelbook to do the job. Custom media kits can impress the same visual impact, complete with all the bells and whistles. Velcro and magnet latches can be applied to your customized packaging, adding that extra wow factor. Who doesn’t love magnets, right? Your upgraded packaging can now include handles for easy carrying–try that Game of Thrones! Digital offset printing will give your box or package that sharper appearance.
In any case, upgraded packaging might just be that breath of fresh air your product needs.
At Sunrise Packaging, and the rest of Minnesota, we are experiencing record low temperatures in almost 20 years! And it is days like today when people are stuck inside that they take an extra special look at their DVD collections to pass the time. Sure, Netflix and other sources are great entertainers, but your own DVD, even VHS collection comes with a dose of nostalgia. After all, these are the movies and tv series that were chosen for you or by you. Looking through my collection, I noticed that in the variety of DVDs, the cases vary as much as the disc. All injection molded cases, I have multi disc cases with flip trays, slim cases in black and clear, and of course single disc black cases.
As DVD packaging and Blu-ray packaging continues to evolve, much is put into custom packaging to create a splash and increase sales. Traditional DVD cases and Blu-ray cases are still the standard, but as we take a look at a few examples, we find that companies are customizing the packaging to target their audience and make their releases stand out.
Last winter, Toy Story 3 shattered box office records and is due out on DVD and Blu-ray on November 2, just in time for the holidays. Pixar recently showed what they have in store for collectors by revealing the custom packaging for their Toy Story Ultimate Toy Box Collection. The collection will include Blu-rays, regular DVDs and digital copies of all three Toy Story movies- a total of 10 discs.
The packaging features a square box on the outside with a Toy Story character on each side. On the inside, an original wagon toy box holds all of the discs. By going the extra mile with exclusive custom packaging, Pixar is hoping to attract both collectors and youth to the box set that is retailing on Amazon for $65.99.
Not only big budget film releases like Toy Story merit custom DVD packaging. This example of DVD packaging comes from the Gutek Film Company who’s celebrating their 15th Anniversary by paying homage to the artistic Italian cinematography of Michelangelo Antonioni. This collection features eight classics targeting film art lovers (lovers of multi-level sophisticated film art that is difficult to perceive).
Package design for the project is simple containing two boxes. The main “grand box” holds a smaller box inside where the DVD discs and booklet are held. The book jacket is made of black cardboard and has a logo cutout. On one side of the disc holder sheet is information relating to Antonioni’s works while the other side features specially shaped envelopes that holds the DVD discs.
Plextor, pioneers of reliable CD, DVD and digital video solutions recently unveiled their newest Blu-ray drive, the PX-B120U. The beauty of this drive? It’s USB powered and plugs right into your computer. This is a huge advantage for Blu-ray enthusiasts on the go, not having to carry around an additional AC cable. The brand new Blu-ray device can not only read Blu-ray discs but it also acts as a CD or DVD disc burner. The downfall is that it doesn’t burn Blu-ray discs- just plays them.
The PX-B120U Blu-ray drive can also be converted to a living room player by hooking it up to the PlexMedia player.
Sunrise Packaging offers great prices on Blu-ray media cases.
The Blu-ray Disc Association is shifting its focus on data backup and recording of high-definition broadcast content while stepping away from movie distribution. The recent release of the latest Blu-ray disc format called BDXL offers storage capacity of up to 128GB.
The new format uses more storage layers doubling the storage capacity of existing Blu-ray discs which offer 50GB of storage. The 128GB BDXL discs are write-once while a re-writable format will also be available allowing for 100GB of storage capacity.
BDXL recorders will be used as set-top boxes to record broadcast TV and archive sensitive data, video, and images. While millions of Blu-ray players have been sold on the market, the new format is not compatible with the existing devices. It will require the purchase of new hardware. Such was the case with the evolution of DVD format in the early 2000s.
The existing storage capacity of 50GB Blu-ray discs is large enough to fit most high-definition movies and 3D movies based on the Blu-ray 3D format. The BDXL format addresses the need for high capacity discs to back up data in case of hard drive failure.
Further down the line, you can expect the development of BDXL drives for laptops and computers. No time frame on the release of BDXL hardware has been identified.
It’s Father’s Day this weekend and everyone has their shopping done right? If not, here are some cool gift ideas for different types of dads:
The Traveling Dad
Corsair Padlock 2- This is a really unique USB drive with an excellent security feature. The thumb drive is perfect for transporting sensitive business and personal information. Without the correct PIN number, the computer that the flash drive is connected to won’t recognize it and the data can’t be accessed. The PIN number is user chosen and can be four to ten digits long.
D’Aosta Vintage Luggage- For the traveling dads with style. This is a super cool vintage line of luggage that is very distinctive. There are several styles and each one come in “Carry on” size and full size. Eco luggage tags would be a nice compliment. I’m just sayin’….
The Lounging Dad
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player- Rated as the top Blu-ray player on CNET, this is an outstanding universal disc player with excellent Blu-ray and DVD performance plus lightning-fast operational speed. It is a bit pricy though.
New Blu-ray and DVD Releases- Looking at a few Blu-rays that are new to store shelves in recent weeks.
*Book of Eli– Action & Adventure starring Denzel Washington
*Shutter Island- Thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio (Saw this in the theatre- really great movie!)
The Eco Dad
Solio Charger- Plug into the sun with the Solio Classic portable solar charger. It is eco-friendly and works with over 3,200 devices from cell phones, GPS, cameras, and mp3 players. It also features an optional wall charger for hybrid versatility.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
It’s the release of one of the most successful movies in history, Avatar. Some industry analysts think this movie will push Blu-ray sales in the same fashion that The Matrix pushed DVD sales. You can imagine how quickly the Blu-ray version has been flying off of stores shelves since its April 20th release. As sales have been through the roof, a little controversy has surfaced regarding the Avatar Blu-ray release.
1. The Packaging: Part of Avatar’s focus has been on environmental awareness. Choosing its release on Earth Day (April 20) the creators hoped to drive the message further. Even the film’s director James Cameron has been on Capital Hill recently talking about how his movie is a “Call to action” to protect the planet. Many bloggers and writers are finding the irony of Avatar’s Blu-ray and DVD releases not featuring eco-friendly packaging.
Further, there are two additional releases of the film scheduled on Blu-ray in the next year. One coming up during the holiday season that will be loaded with extras and special features and a 3-D version slated for early 2011. Critics are citing the waste that these three different versions will produce.
2. Required firmware updates: Avatar is not playing in every Blu-ray player. Why? The player needs a firmware update. So don’t run back to the store for a disc exchange. It’s actually quite common. According to a Best Buy service rep, the Avatar Blu-ray version would not work in 70% of the in-store Blu-ray players before the update.
So how are consumers reacting? Well, many are annoyed. After all of the anticipation, consumers brought their new disc home to realize that it wasn’t as simple as popping it in and pressing play. Some Sony Vaio® computer customers are experiencing the annoyance to a greater degree. Not only was the disc not playing, there was no update at the time so the customer had to wait it out. Sony released this statement back in April:
It has been discovered that the movie “AVATAR” in Blu-ray Disc™ format cannot be played on certain VAIO® computers. The issue is caused by an incompatibility between the WinDVD BD application by the Corel Corporation and the BD Plus encryption technology used on the AVATAR Blu-ray Disc™. We are actively working on a solution and apologize for any inconvenience. Please check back soon
There is some confusion out there about the spelling of Blu-ray. Is it Blueray? How about Blue-ray? Blu-ray?
It was a choice made by the Blu-ray disc association to remove the “e” from blue-ray to be able to have a trademark on it. Around 50% of all Blu-ray searches in Google are done with the “e” in blue. How does this effect consumers that are searching for Blu-ray? Are they going to find what they’re looking for?
There are so many misspellings of Blu-ray from websites themselves that searching the right term, Blu-ray, is actually going to be limited. For example, if a site uses the spelling “Blueray” and you search for the right term in Google, you’re not going to find that page.
Google and the other search engines can make the translation between Blue-ray and Blu-ray but it’s going to hurt the search results. Usually the “Did you mean” function on the search engines can help with any confusions regarding search terms but since writers on so many different websites are spelling Blu-ray wrong, there are plenty of results for Blue-ray with an “e”. Thus, “Did you mean” doesn’t pop up.
So, the correct spelling is Blu-ray. Go ahead and make a mental note. Is your head spinning yet?
Do you need replacement Blu-ray or Playstation 3 cases? Click here.
*Blu-ray sales in the US in the first quarter of 2010 were $331.31 million, 68.5% more than in the same period of 2009. (Blu-ray.com)
According to the New York Times, many studio companies are now using DVD cases that are smaller and lighter in weight to reduce their environmental impact, as well as save on costs.
Warner Home Video, the largest distributor of DVD entertainment, just started releasing all of its new and library titles in cases with 20 percent less plastic. Some feature a thin layer of plastic, while others have cutouts in the walls. One of the main forces is to lessen the load on the environment; it will reduce Warner’s home entertainment division’s carbon emissions by 31 percent. Not only do these improvements help the environment, but they also cut costs for companies by using less raw materials and by spending less on shipping. Companies are looking to save money wherever they can, especially in this struggling economy.
Warner is not the only studio making changes in DVD packaging. Just last month, Sony Pictures Entertainment released their own 20 percent reduced DVD cases. Walt Disney Company is also coming up with their own green home entertainment ideas. And don’t forget that Disney, Century Fox, and Sony were the ones to really push the shift to Blu-Ray discs, in which cases have a 30 percent smaller impact on the environment.
Using lighter DVD packaging helps the environment by reducing waste and carbon emissions, while still storing and protecting your DVDs. And don’t forget about the money you’ll be saving on raw materials and shipping! Lighter DVD packaging could include DVD cases with cutouts in the walls, Blu-Ray cases, slim DVD cases, c-shells or square-shells.
There have been doubts about whether or not the high-quality Blu-ray format would succeed like DVDs did in the past. With the high costs of the technology and the worries of the shaky economy, many did not think that people would want to pay the price to switch over to Blu-ray.
The numbers show differently, as revealed by Adams Media Research. Blu-ray sales so far in 2009 have nearly doubled the amount of Blu-ray sales from the same time last year. Q1 sales are around 9 million in 2009, compared to 4.8 million for Q1 of 2008. To go along with that, there is an estimated total of 10.5 million Blu-ray households to date.
People know the value of the much better quality that the Blu-ray format provides, as it shows in the sales. They are willing to spend a little more for this, despite the struggling economy. Blu-ray discs need to stand out on the shelf and be differentiated from the standard DVDs. With high-quality Blu-ray cases, customers know that they are getting what they pay for–superior technology.