Thursday 21 June 2012

Warner Brothers Welcomes Bloggers - London

This article was first published on The Vegetarian Experience on 24th April 2012

Last week we were invited along to Warner Brothers to find out about their new online media services and view some of their new gaming releases.

Our family is very into technology, owning several different gaming platforms and hubby who blogs over at Two Little Gamers has ensured that his gaming prowess has started to rub off onto the girls. They already love their Leapster Explorer and Leap Pad and they are now discovering the wonders of the Nintendo DS, PS Vita and the Kinect. Eldest absolutely loves the Kinect - Disneyland Adventures and Once upon a Monster are her favourite games at the moment.

New game releases were available to view at Warner Brothers including Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (age 7 Plus) which looked fantastic played on a projector screen and Lego Harry Potter (age 5-7) which I demoed on the PS Vita and found really captivating. The graphics in the game looked really vibrant on the PS Vita screen and definitely made me want to play the game more. I suspect that eldest would love it.

Youngest with Batma
As well as looking at games, I also had the chance to view some new online services offering a glimpse into the future of viewing media through the internet. Much as the popularlity of MP3's has begun to blight the sale of cd's, the days of watching films and TV via DVD for some are starting to fade as people start to explore different platforms upon which to access media. The internet is now starting to become a predominant way for people to watch TV, purchase programmes and stream different forms of media. Technology is constantly moving forward as people begin to store media on their media centres or via online storage space rather than on a DVD on a shelf.

Our family are apparently in the 10% of the population who already view most of their media via online means. Having a hubby in IT means that we are have been using the internet to stream content through different devices for a number of years. We use either free or paid online services via our TV or the Internet to stream media through our TV, PC and handheld devices. It is fantastic for when we want to watch more than one thing, or we are out and about on the go and the kids want to watch something.

As the Internet and Digital TV becomes prevalent within more and more homes throughout the UK and beyond, streaming media through the internet is now becoming more main stream. There are currently several companies presenting services on different platforms which offer access to online media for purchase or rental.

When Netflix arrived in the UK recently we took advantage of their free trial and subscribed for a month to see what the service was like. We thought that Netflix was a fantastic service with lots of great features including US TV episodes and a variety of films. The only downside to Netflix is that you have to pay a monthly subscription. When you have kids and/or a busy life like we do, we didn't actually end up using the service as much as we thought that we would even though if we had the time we would have definitely subscribed.

At the Warner Brothers event I was introduced to BlinkBox. Blinkbox offers the latest blockbuster movies for rental released on the same day as the DVD. As well as the latest movies, there are over 10,000 movie and TV titles to choose from - ten times more than NetFlix and double the amount of LoveFilm. Blinkbox differs to other online services as they offer "pay per watch" rather than requesting a monthly subscription. If like me you are time limited, then this works out as a good option rather than worrying about getting your moneys worth from a service each month. When you rent a title through Blinkbox, you have 30 days to watch the title you have rented, and a 48 hour window in which to watch your media from the times you first start watching it. Blinkbox services are available via smart TV, PC, Games consoles and tablets. Blink Box is great if you just want to access media on a pay per watch basis. Additionally, Blinkbox have also teamed up with Tesco to offer access to online streaming of a film title when you purchase the same title on DVD. By entering a code found within the DVD into the BlinkBox website, you will be able to watch the film title you have purchases through the internet and mobile devices as well as via DVD. This service offers more flexibility and opens up different options for places to watch. This is really handy if you have kids as you can occupy them when travelling or in other situations by letting them watch a title via your smartphone or tablet.

A similar service now being offered is KnowHow Movies. Again a "pay per watch" service, Knowhow offers its users the capacity to purchase or rent titles on the same day they are released on DVD or Blueray. Knowhow also allows you to watch movies on the go via TV, PC, Laptop, smartphones, tablets,  hand-held devices and gaming consoles. Is is also the only service in the UK which enables users to download films to a PC in full HD.

Another relatively new service is Ultra Violet - available via BlueRay through Flixter. To promote the value of ownership, film studios are offering the chance to own a digital copy of films that you purchase as well as a physical copy on Blue Ray. By purchasing a BlueRay Triple Play pack and redeeming your code on the Flixter website, you will be able to download and watch the movie on whichever device you would like to. Flixter also allows three different devices to show the film at the same time - great for watching TV on the go or for kids who want to watch a copy of the film each!. A digital copy of the film you have purchased is stored in your online personal library so that you can access it whenever you would like to.

Microsoft Xbox and Sony are also offering movies and TV for purchase via their online market place which can be stored on your games device. With all of these different options to access programs, the way that we view media is definitely starting to change. Retailers & Film Studios are embracing new technologies and creating platforms to offer them to their audiences, now its just up to everyone to start moving with it!

We had a lovely time finding out about all of these new technologies available at our finger tips. Many Thanks to Warner Brothers for inviting us!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event and received a goody bad as a Thank You

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