Friday, August 11, 2006

HD DVD European Launch Update - August 11 Issue

[August 8, 2006] Originally posted.
[August 12, 2006] Updated with seemingly-convincing rumors on HD DVDs to be released in France and with weblinks to the preliminary cover artwork of the November 20 HD DVDs.

[August 8, 2006] It has been confirmed that details of the European launch for HD DVD format will be made available at the IFA in Berlin. The IFA in Berlin will take place from 1 - 6 September 2006. So the full details of the launch is likely to be announced anytime during these 6 days, so stay tuned.

Studio Canal (Canal+ Group) has already commited roughly 20 titles to the HD DVD format launch in Europe. The full list of titles can be viewed here. The HD DVD release list that is specific to each country in the European region can be viewed here. These titles will have their video encoded using VC-1, and will also feature DTS-HD (Master Audio) lossless audio.

Informal sources have told me that a November launch may be scheduled for UK, and we'll have to wait for the announcements at the IFA to see if this is true.

[August 11, 2006] My European readers Finn and Daniel (Thanks guys!) have e-mailed me that Studio Canal intends to release 10 HD DVD titles in France on November 20, based on this article published by EcranLarge.com (Article is currently pulled off the website for unknown reasons, please see Blogger's note at the bottom of this post). The article mentions the list of titles due on HD DVD in France on November 20 and for the next few months. You can view the preliminary cover artwork, that was removed from the site when the article was pulled, for all of the 10 HD DVD titles at the AVS Forum thread (Thanks to Finn again for sending me the same weblinks to the backups of the cover artwork of those titles).

Summarily, the 10 titles will comprise of:
  • Basic Instinct
  • Elephant Man
  • Fog (John Carpenter's version)
  • King Kong (Not 2005, but 1976 version)
  • La Haine
  • Le Pianiste (The Pianist)
  • Rambo
  • Rambo II
  • Rambo III
  • Total Recall

All should feature HD quality images encoded using VC-1 while DTS-HD lossless may only be applicable for those titles announced back in April. Nothing is confirmed yet with respect to the presentation specs and disc details, so stay tuned for official press release from Studio Canal.

It can also be inferred from this information that HD DVD format's European launch is likely to take place over the month of November. Stay tuned for the full details if I can get my hands on them.

Blogger's Note: The seemingly-convincing information from EcranLarge.com seems to have been pulled off the website for unknown reasons. But from what I understand, Studio Canal has yet to issue an official press release on the information that appeared on that site... So stay tuned for possible further updates on the official information, once I get my hands on them. In the meantime, just treat the information for August 11 update as a piece of rumor.


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