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While there are some technological advances which have given us the benefits we expected, what about the ones we didn’t expect? The following are some of the things which have gotten better in recent years without us even really noticing all that much.

Taking, Editing and Sharing Photos

For some people taking photos has always been fun but modern technology has moved it on a whole new level. For a start, most of us now walk about with the sort of quality camera on our phone which takes great photos effortlessly. It is then a real pleasure to edit them and share them with friends online. Can you imagine the difference if we now had to go back to the old days of using a big, bulky camera and only getting to see the finished version of the photos once the film was developed? It seems safe to say that it would be a lot less fun for most of us. Don’t forget that we can also take high quality videos wherever we go and instantly share them as well. This means that we can share our experiences almost as soon as they happen these days, which is a wonderful ability if you think about it.

Playing Bingo

What would people have thought a decade or so ago if you had said that bingo would be as popular with such a wide group of people as it is now. It is now a game which is widely advertised on TV and at sporting events, with people of all age groups enjoying the odd game. It wasn’t always like this though. The arrival of the internet and the software which makes online playing possible has elevated this classic game to previously un-thought of popularity. Sites like https://www.gamevillage.com/ provide a good example of the sort of place where you can play a lot of different internet games and even have a wager into the bargain. The popularity of gaming sites like this shows no sign of slowing down, with mobile access now letting even more people join them no matter where they are and what else they are doing.

Sightseeing

Going on a trip to a lovely city and having a look around it has always been one of the great pleasures of life. However, it is now even more exciting for a number of reasons associated with technology. Even before you leave home you can look up Google Maps and see what the place is like, as well as learn some of the language online and find out about the best places to see. Once you are there you can use your phone or tablet for a variety of things. Perhaps the most interesting of all is the type of augmented reality app which really brings cities to life for visitors. With the number of these apps expected to grow in number over the coming years, we can all expect to be able to see the hidden treasures and secret stories of the places we visit.

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The world of baby scans has come on leaps and bounds in the last decade or so. The introduction of 3D scans, a few years ago, and now the development of 4D scans have blown parents minds.

If you are a parent, you are going to be excited about the prospect of your first scan. It will be the first time you get to meet your baby, so to speak. The traditional 2D scan is the one that every Mum will have done in the hospital, and even though this can be good, some images still come out all blurry and grey. If you do get a picture, where you can’t tell the baby’s head from its feet, then it is not the ideal way to see your baby for the first time. It often leaves a sour taste in prospective mother’s mouths. The traditional 2D scan will also only show you the outline of your baby, and the image will portray all of the baby’s internal organs too.

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(Thank you to Tess Watson for this amazing 3D scan image, via Flickr)

However, with the technological advances in the sciences and scans, the 3D and 4D scan is available so you can see your baby, and all their features. With a 3D or 4D scan you will be able to see baby’s skin, the shape of your baby’s nose, mouth and ears, as well as their little fingers and toes. You may also see your baby stick out their tongue or suck their thumb. The possibilities are endless, and have had new Mums very excited.

However, there is a catch as 3D and 4D scans are not available on the NHS, and are only available through private companies. This means that you will have to pay a few between £100 and £300 depending on what package you want. You can also request a DVD of your baby’s 3D or 4D scan, which you can play back for family and friends, and embarrass the little one when they grow up.

The people who work within sonography jobs will help you throughout your process at the clinic.

The technology that allows these 3D and 4D scans are expensive, and there are no clear benefits to Mum, baby or medical practitioner, so many experts conclude that these scans will not replace 2D scans or become a free preferred option.

Like the traditional 2D scan, there is a ‘best time’ to have your 3D or 4D scan. That time is between 26 weeks and 30 weeks. However, each pregnancy is different and you may be best to wait until 28 weeks if the placenta is at the front of the uterus. It may be best to ask your GP or midwife when is best to book yourself in for a 3D or 4D scan.

If you attend your 3D or 4D scan and the baby is facing the other way, or is in a difficult position to get a clear image, then the sonographer may ask you to move around a little to try and get the baby to switch positions. This is not guaranteed to work, but it is worth a try. If nothing has come, and you cannot get a clear image of your baby’s face then you may have to settle for fingers and toes.

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Over the last few years, Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) has really developed, and is now being used in more elements of business than ever before.

But what does this mean for the more traditional photography industry?

In truth, CGI has been making inroads into the more traditional, commercial photography industry for the last couple of years. CGI allows for the creation of an image without having to take a single photograph. The image can be as complex or as simple as the business requires it to be. Ikea have led the way, in a commercial sense, as all of the product images that feature online and within the catalogue were created on the computer using CGI.

With anything new, businesses like to dip their toe in the water before deciding what to do with elements of their marketing. This is why product images are very popular amongst new CGI adopters. However, it is these product images that make up the conventional photography ‘bread and butter’. Now that they are losing their ‘bread and butter’ some photography studios are in real danger of shutting and never opening again.

If change is embraced, and CGI is invested in, then the studios can go from strength to strength. However, the investment in CGI software and training is an expensive one and there is no guarantee that a CGI image will ever be as realistic as using traditional photography.

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(Image by Thor, via Flickr)

The initial setup cost of CGI could actually cost more to the client initially. This is because it takes longer to set up to produce a studio product shot. The real savings come a little later as more images are created. The more images the bigger the potential savings.

The easiest way to think about how CGI could save you money is to think logically. If you had a physical product that needed to be photographed you would have to consider:

-          Number of products to be located and shipped

-          Time spent in the studio

-          Retouching and any other expenses

With traditional photography there are certain elements that the studio have limited control over. For example, shadows falling or lack of full depth focus. With CGI, none of these examples are a problem. There are no reshoots for CGI, compared to traditional photography, as the only cost is the replacement of the elements within the CGI scene and the CGI rendering.

All the above really points to the extermination of photographers. However, this will never happen, especially for individuals and within certain industries. For example, the food and fashion industry really are not ready for CGI, they require a human element both behind the camera and in-front of it.

So, who wins in this battle between CGI and Photography?

There is no winner, or they are both winners. Whilst CGI has taken some work away from more traditional photographers, we are living in a world where they can work better together than against each other. For business owners it is very much about getting the right mix for your audience.

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Wherever we go and whatever we do, it is likely that we will be filmed at some time in our day. Technology had advanced so fast over the last decade that it is now possible to record at higher quality and more cheaply than ever before. The invention of hard disc recorders means that terabytes of recordings can be made before the storage media needs to be overwritten. Well, we can’t fight it, and it is adding to our security and peacekeeping, so maybe it is a good thing.

Video cameras are now smaller and lighter than ever too. Some may still use tapes, but they are being overtaken in popularity by solid state flash drive technology. Since prices have plummeted over the last few years, the case for owning a personal video camera of some kind is compelling.

Here are some reasons why you should go out and buy one or more cameras yourself before you regret the time wasted without one.

Be a Director

Movies such as The Blair Witch Project are en vogue still. Armed with a script and a high definition video camera, anyone can make their own movie if they are wise. The aforementioned movie, for example, used no special effects at all; simply natural surroundings.

Wildlife

By placing cameras in the woods, or even your back garden, you will be able to see what critters move around at night. By using the best bird box cameras, which are incredible pieces of technology, you will be able to watch parents rear their young in real time. You will probably catch foxes roaming at night, and, if you are lucky, badgers. More commonly though will be hedgehogs and cats. Still, it is great fun viewing the tapes with the children and getting them interested in wildlife.

Security

We are filmed on the streets, and if you feel insecure at home, you can be filmed there too. Video camera systems come in kits that are easily installed in and around the home. Despite what you may read, the evidence from these camera systems can be submitted in a court of law. To be on the safe side, you should always place a warning sign on the outside of your property to inform intruders that they are being filmed. That always seems a bit ridiculous to me but, as they say, the law is an ass.

Memories

Filming your family is, arguably, the number one reason for owning a video camera. Lives move on, and it is heartwarming to be able to revisit old times and see how we once were. It is too easy to forget how beautiful the children were at a young age, and a video camera is a magical solution to this. Everyone groans when dad turns the camera on, but they are all glad he did years later when they look back nostalgically.

Of course, in the memories section, there will be big occasions to film, such as weddings and birthdays. All of these occasions need to be recorded for prosperity. The video camera is a perfect tool for this. Everyone loves to see their nan drunk!

Are you convinced yet that the argument for owning a camera is sufficiently strong to make you go out and buy one? If not, you soon will be now that your curiosity is aroused.

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Home entertainment, today, is unrecognisable compared to what it was only twenty years ago. The birth of the digital age signalled a new era for our way of lives. We are now in contact with the rest of the world at the push of a button in so many ways.

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Twenty years ago, we were restricted in home entertainment to watching four or five television channels, listening to the radio, or playing DVDs and vinyl records. No-one could imagine the wonders that were about to hit our homes and senses.

Here are some of the ways today, that we can be entertained with movies, sometimes from the other side of the globe, without leaving our living rooms.

DVD

The Digital Versatile Disc was a great leap ahead of the video tapes that dominated home entertainment at that time. The quality of the picture and sound was near perfect compared to the tape. Scenes can be easily skipped forwards or backwards, and pausing leaves a clear image.

During the years of the DVD, soundtrack technology has advanced until now it is standard that a movie will have 5.1 sound encoded. This amount of information was impossible to store on a VHS tape. The quality of the sound is beauty to the ears. It can make one feel as if they were in the movie itself.

Streaming

If a person is in the mood to watch Grand Masti at a time that is convenient for them, then it is easy to do with the latest movie streaming services online. We have an unbelievable library available at little or no cost. With a smart television or a computer connected, movies are at our fingertips 24 hours a day. In order to stream movies successfully, a broadband connection of reasonable speed is needed. This often doesn’t present a problem, however, as this facility is in most homes these days.

Blu-Ray

Technology advanced once more with the advent of the Blu-Ray disc, so called because of the colour of the laser used to read the information. Blu-Ray discs can hold more than twice the information of a standard dual-layer DVD and so movies can be shown in higher definition than ever before. Bl-Ray machines were initially very expensive, as were the televisions that could show the movies in the highest definition. Time marched on, however, and now that the televisions have become cheaper, Blu-Ray players are becoming a standard piece of kit. The introduction of these players had caused the cost of an ordinary DVD player to drop below twenty pounds in some cases.

Hard Drives and Memory Sticks

It is now a simple matter to store movies digitally. Memory sticks have a large amount of storage for saving movies in any format, and whole libraries can be stored on hard drives. Soon enough all televisions will have USB ports; many do already, so the stored movies can be directly accessed.

Technology has come so far in the last thirty years that it boggles the mind. What do the next thirty years have in store for us? Well, we will have to wait and see. Hopefully, it will not create a society like that in George Orwell’s 1984, who knows? Maybe it is best that we remain on our guard.

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SEO tools can be a bit hit and miss: there are some out there that can save you loads of time and effort, while others are complete waste of time and money. It can be hard to differentiate between the two at first though, as they are all marketed to sound so good! To help you decide what tools to get this year, I’ve made a list of some of the most awesome SEO tools ever. These tools will all save you time and help you with your projects every single day – you won’t be able to live without them!

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Image Author

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

This is a very popular crawl tool – one of my personal favourites! It’s an amazing tool for SEO’s, site managers, and developers. What does it do? You can probably guess; it crawls a site just like any search engine spider would! It’s an amazing tool to audit a site from a technical viewpoint, and will quickly gather up all of the information you need to improve a site. The other great thing about it is that it’ll run quietly in the background of your Mac without disturbing your work. Although this is a great tool for professionals, if you just need a simple SEO audit, you’re better off getting a free website SEO analysis.

Integrity for Mac

You can easily find annoying broken links on your site with this great tool. As you probably already know, broken links are a huge waste of link strength, and even give the user a bad experience while on the site.The tool is free and is amazing for checking small sites when they’re finished. You’ll even be able to see your pages that are most linked to and just how many links they have!

SEMRUsh

This tool can do so much for busy marketers and SEO’s…for example:

  • Let you see the keywords that look popular in your niche.

  • Let you see related keywords, phrases, and terms that you could consider putting in your content.

  • Let’s you see top ranking sites competing for the same keywords.

  • Let’s you see how much on average a keywords would be worth in Google Adwords.

  • And more!

Majestic SEO and Link Research Tools

The best link building tool available could well be Majestic SEO. You can use it for so many different things, including:

  • To find any obvious shortcuts you could take advantage of.

  • Find out the competitors that are really spamming and getting away with it.

  • Find ideas about post for a clients site.

  • Pick out links from quality, respected sites that you may usually have problems getting.

  • Learn exactly how other sites have got where they are today.

  • Give you ideas you might not have thought of.

There are many tools out there that can help with your SEO, but these are the most awesome by a mile. Some tools make work for you that didn’t work for me, so feel free to try them out and let me know how it went in the comments!

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Cruises are a popular way for people to holiday. Whilst many people prefer to fly to various destinations around the world, there isn’t much to do on a crowded and stuffy plane, and don’t forget that there are some folks that would not step foot on a plane even if you paid them to!

For those that seek a relaxing holiday from start to finish, going on cruises is definitely one way of holidaying that ticks all the boxes! Cruise ships have a wide range of activities for people of all ages to get involved with, and they are so luxurious you would wonder why people bother with alternative ways of going on holiday!

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But as with any other type of holiday, the experience can be somewhat enhanced by getting a helping hand from technology. On that note, here are some of 2014’s best travel gadgets that cruise-goers can get their hands on.

SteriPEN Adventurer Opti UV Water Purifier

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Although you might be used to having access to clean drinking water on a daily basis, if your cruise ship docks at some far-flung corner of the globe that you want to go out and investigate for the day, and the drinking water on land is somewhat questionable, you need to take a SteriPEN Adventurer Opti UV Water Purifier with you!

You simply hold the device in your cup of water for approximately 48 seconds and it purifies it for you; extremely simple and easy to use by anyone!

USB & Wind-Up Dynamo Torch

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Sometimes when you are on land, you might end up travelling to a dimly-lit part of town. If that’s the case, you should make sure that you are fully prepared by lighting up the way with this handy USB & Wind-Up Dynamo Torch!

It has five LED lights and be operated by using the winder (a minute’s worth of winding is the equivalent of 15 minutes worth of light), but if you’ve got your laptop on your cruise ship with you or there are USB chargers on board, you can get 6 hours worth of light from a single charge via USB!

Apple iPad Air

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Although you might have booked an awesome cruise through Cruise1st.ie, for example, and there is plenty for you to see, do and take part in on your cruise adventure, there are times where you might want to just sit back and relax.

At this point, many people might read a book or even use an ebook reader, but I’d recommend using an Apple iPad Air instead. Why? Because Apple’s latest tablet incarnation is extremely lightweight, especially in comparison to its predecessors, and not only can you read books, in colour, on the iPad Air, but you can also use your favourite apps, check your email and go online via the cruise ship’s Wi-Fi.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40

Let’s face it; everybody wants to have some photos of their cruise adventures, and what better way is there to accomplish this task than to use the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 digital camera!

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Over the last five or six years, there has been a revolution in the way the general public get hold of their reading material. Previously, most people would have headed down to see their local seller or purchased bulky paperback and hardback editions online. While some do obviously prefer this state of affairs, it’s one that’s dying out relatively quickly and being replaced by eReaders and digital downloads. In fact, one of the largest booksellers in the world announced last year they’d managed to accumulate more sales via this means than the traditional solution. This is precisely why I thought it might be time to release an article looking at the pros and cons of this new literature purchasing technique, and hopefully determine if it’s really all it’s cracked up to be.

So, take a quick read through all the points I’ve made below, and hopefully you’ll find out whether you should purchase a physical copy of the new Terry Pratchett novel, or whether you too should move with the times.

The Pros Of Downloading Digital Books To Your eReader:

  • Convenience – Although most of us weren’t complaining about the hassles of carrying a paperback book around with us, having an eReader filled with digital titles means you’re never far away from every single book you own. Also, the weight of these devices is steadily decreasing with every new release, so at some point in the near future, it shouldn’t be any heavier than a single paperback publication.

  • Selection – You might think your local bookseller has a good selection, but is this really the case? When downloading books online, almost every single publication ever released is at your fingertips. So, regardless of whether you want to read “The Art of War” or something as obscure as “Cat out of Hell”, you’re guaranteed to find it in seconds when looking online.

  • Cost – After speaking to a few people about this issue, I’ve found it’s actually one of the main reasons why most bookworms have decided to convert to digital. The price of the average eBook is somewhere between £2 and £7, meaning they’re a lot less expensive than a decent sized new paperback. Also, thanks to the self-publishing revolution, there are millions and millions of titles available for less than £1.

The Cons Of Downloading Digital Books To Your eReader:

  • Internet Connection Required – Let’s presume you’ve already read through everything on your eReader. Well, if you want to download more titles, you’re going to need an internet connection. Whilst this isn’t too much of a pain, it does contrast the way in which you’re able to simply pick up a paperback.

  • No Physical Goods –  A lot of people worry that if their eReader breaks, they’ll lose all their purchased books. This isn’t the case in most situations, as most suppliers let you re-download the titles from your account indefinitely. However, it is true that you aren’t getting any physical goods for your money, and understandably, some people class this as a negative point.

Well folks, you should be able to see from that information that, in this situation anyway, the pros far outweigh the cons. It’s unsurprising then, that eBook sales continue to increase month by month, and paperbacks slide in the opposite direction.

Whatever you decide to get stuck into over the next few months, I sincerely hope you give eBooks a try.

Catch you on the rebound!

cloud

One of the most obvious and immediate benefits that cloud computing IT support, London or otherwise based, brings to a business is increased efficiency.  This is a result of services and applications are delivered and are ready to use in much less time, often hours and minutes over the more traditional weeks and months.  Besides the increase in efficiency however, there are many other benefits that we will discuss in the following article.

Increased Business Agility

Cloud computing helps get the computer resources you need at the time you need them which helps shorten the length of time different IT projects take.  It also helps deliver cheaper, faster results of better quality that could give a business the edge over their competition.

Easier To New Business Models

Readily available cloud computing services and solutions have meant that it is much easier to start business innovation initiatives.  By using these or combining them it can give a business innovative and new business models, producing new streams of revenue.  Many companies nowadays are building the entirety of their business models using cloud solutions.

There Are Less Or No Operational Issues

By using standardised services a company can reduce errors and issues.  This in turn can increase the continuity of a business’s operations and the things that really matter, rather than spending too much time on operational issues.  Cloud computing allows a company to use the same service or group of services repeatedly, producing the same results each and every time.

It Results In Better Use Of Resources

Along with all of the above, there is also the benefit of not having to spend less time on operational issues and much more efficient and effective projects means that a company’s employees have more time to spend on more useful activities that would add to the value of the business.  Though this benefit is much harder to quantify and would be different for each and every different organisation, people are the biggest asset to companies and this benefit of cloud computing allows a company the chance to utilise their assets in a much better way.

Another way the better use of resources benefits a company is based on the principle “economies of scale” Generally cloud service providers utilize physical resources more efficiently and reduce the energy consumption of a company.

There Is Less Capital Expense Overall

Although there is some debate about how valuable it is to exchange a CapEx or capital expense model for an OpEx or operational expense model.  The general consensus is that when it comes to short term and midterm projects, an operational expense is far more attractive because there isn’t a long term financial commitment required.  With an OpEx model there is no upfront investment required, which means that companies can start projects quicker, but also can end them just as easily without losing any investment in their cloud services.

Hopefully, this article has shown you that there are far more benefits for a business to gain from cloud services besides the increased efficiency.

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With home cinema systems becoming cheaper, and with the advent of BluRay and 4K, watching films at home has come to replace a night at the movies. For the following five flicks, the term blockbuster is an understatement; between them, they shifted close to 9 million Blu-ray discs in 2013. Let’s recall just why that was.

At number 5 is…

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
which sold 1,253,554 BluRays and made $829,685,377 at the Box Office.

Vampyric romance fantasy and the conclusion of 2011’s Part 1, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 sees the star crossed lovers from the previous movies having to gather other vampire clans to fight for them and protect their half-breed newborn.

Over 5000 actors auditioned for the lead role of Edward Cullen, losing out ultimately to 21 year old Robert Pattinson. Though Pattinson has since implied in interviews that he’s far from a Twihard (the official term for Twilight fans), and has even mocked Twilight Author Stephenie Meyer; speculating that she might be in love with her characters.

Meyer can’t be attributed every plot point in the film though, the epic battle between the Cullen family and the Volturi in the climax of the movie wasn’t even in any of the books, and was added to the script for dramatic effect. Can you imagine the film without it?

Interestingly the censors required that the wolves on screen have no genitalia at all, although the character of head werewolf Jacob Black, allowed actor Taylor Lautner to land himself the Best Shirtless Performance MTV Movie Award. These are just some of the factors that made this film the highest grossing of the whole franchise, and sell enough units to become fifth best movie enjoyed at home in 2013.

At number 4 is…
Django Unchained
which sold 1,258,540 BluRays and made $425,368,238 at the Box Office.

Another masterpiece from Quentin Tarantino, this pre-Civil War Spaghetti Western (or ‘Southern’ according to the prolific director) blew away audiences last year, at home and at the movie theatres, with its horribly funny, yet poignant and compelling underdog story of violent retribution.

Can you believe Tarantino had had another actor in mind for the role of Django, as he wrote the script? We very nearly might have witnessed an entirely different spectacle if the originally intended Will Smith had been strutting his stuff on the screen, kitted out in Foxx’s unmistakable Gainsborough Blue Boy outfit.

Massive inevitable controversy obviously arose as a result of the subject matter, and hard not to understand why considering the N word is used over a hundred times, not to mention the scene in the movie known as the ‘Mandingo fight’- you should watch out in that bit for villain Calvin Candie using Red Apple Tobacco; Red Apple Cigarettes are one of Tarantino’s director trademarks and can be spotted in his other films.

One can only imagine how much levity the crew had to allow themselves between takes on a project so heavy. While filming in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Tarantino reportedly rented out a local theatre to screen Samurai and Western films from his personal collection. Someone else who brought his own stuff was Jamie Foxx; who brought his own horse, Cheetah, to play Django’s horse. Apparently Cheetah was quite the diva, refusing to drink anything but spring water flown in from Sri Lanka. Apparently you can lead a horse to tap water but you can’t make it drink.

At number 3 is…
Wreck-it Ralph
which sold 1,734,413 BluRays and made $471,222,889 at the Box Office.

The 52nd animated Disney feature, and nostalgic family comedy, finally dropped in 2013 after brewing in the studios since the 1980’s when it originally started development under the moniker ‘High Score’. The tale entertained kids and parents equally with loveable titular character and anti-hero Wreck-it Ralph, voiced by comic star John C. Reilly.

There were innumerable references to aspects of real life culture from the past several decades littered throughout the film, not limited to myriad Street Fighter characters appearing, graffiti paying homage to games Final Fantasy VII and Zero Wing, Skrillex DJing a party, Bowser from the Super Mario world, Sonic The Hedgehog, even Pacman!

In fact the movie ended up containing over 180 characters from across the Disney and Nintendo universe, voiced in most part by their original actors. All except Mario and Luigi, who I’m imagining were out of even Disney’s galactic price-range. Keep a close eye out for Mickey Mouse though, who makes a sneaky appearance more than once…

At number 2 is…
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
which sold 2,255,991 BluRays and made $1,017,003,568 at the Box Office.

Epic adventure and first instalment of what will be a three part film adaptation, The Hobbit rocked audiences around the planet, and was especially important to home cinema in being the first 48 frames per second feature film.

In addition to achieving second place on this list, it was also the number one most pirated movie of the year. Even with all that business lost, Peter Jackson still became the third director ever to have made 2 films that grossed over a billion dollars worldwide, after Christopher Nolan and James Cameron.

Despite several hiccups and obstacles during production, The Hobbit franchise so far has made more money than the entire Lord of The Rings trilogy; actor Ian McKellen got so frustrated with having to so often address greenscreens during filming, that he burst into tears on set, and had to be cheered up with gifts by the crew. Another thing that will have been no advantage to Jackson and his team is when all of the gold paint in New Zealand was depleted preparing The Dragon Smaug’s lair.

All of these films however, seem to pale in comparison to the number one home movie film of 2013, the highest grossing film in the UK, the highest grossing film in its series, the 8th highest grossing film of all time…

At number 1 is…
Skyfall
which sold 2,299,722 BluRays and made $1,108,561,013 at the Box Office.

Grossing $100million it its first week, and winning all kinds of Oscars, BAFTAs, and Golden Globes, the 23rd Bond Film, Skyfall, was released on the 50th anniversary of the 1st Bond Film, Dr. No.

The producers toyed with various name options, including ‘A Killing Moon’, ‘Silver Bullet’, and ‘Once Upon a Spy’, and almost didn’t make the movie at all until Heineken provided $45million. No wonder Daniel Craig gets drunk more than any previous Bond. Clearly that level of capital was necessitated though; in weapons training alone the cast went through 200,000 round of ammo.

Skyfall was:

  • The second Bond film to have 007 appear with a beard at some point.
  • The second Bond film where Bond openly cries.
  • The first Bond film in which the villain completes his main objective (no spoilers).
  • The first Bond film in 50 years to have our hero sustain a gunshot wound.
  • The first Bond film where the traditional Bond car, The Aston Martin DB5, explodes.

One can only imagine what treats 2014 will deliver to our home cinema screens. With any luck, half of these monolithic movies will get sequels…

Written by Peter Hall