Friday, September 01, 2006

HD DVD's ''Look and Sound of Perfect'' Now Playing in Europe

My IFA 2006 Coverage, as promised...

Exerpts of the press release:

HD DVD Widely Available to European Market Beginning this November

In a press conference today at IFA, the HD DVD Promotion Group, a multinational organization comprised of more than 130 leading consumer electronics, entertainment, software, IT, and disc replication companies, announced that next-generation HD DVD players and high-definition content will be widely available to the European market beginning November 2006. HD DVD will provide consumers with pristine video and stunning surround sound allowing them to take advantage of today's high-definition televisions and home theater systems.

HD DVD Players Announced for European markets

Toshiba Corporation unveiled two new HD DVD players for the European market that will be available in just a few weeks. The first player is a mainstream model priced at 599EURO. A higher-end model will be available in December at 899EURO. Both players offer new, state-of-the-art video processing, support for the latest video and surround-sound formats, and extensive support for advanced navigation and interactive features, along with a new, slimline design. The high-end model adds 1080p output to the Toshiba line-up. This announcement follows the company's launch of AV notebook PC Qosmio G30 with HD DVD-ROM drive this June.

HD DVD Titles from Studio Canal, Warner Home Video, Universal Pictures International, Paramount Home Entertainment International, Pathe Distribution and more to debut in Europe for the launch... pledging strong support for HD DVD.

Studio Canal announced 10 titles that will be available in November followed by an additional 15 titles by March including "The Pianist," "Million Dollar Baby" and "La Haine." Executives from Paramount Home Entertainment International, Universal Pictures International and Warner Home Video announced more than 25 titles including "Apollo 13," "Constantine," "Goodfellas," "Jarhead," "M:i:III" and "Lethal Weapon" will be available in Europe to coincide with the release of the Toshiba players. Together, nearly 40 titles will be available throughout Europe by the end of 2006 and more than 55 in the first quarter of 2007. The studios also pledged strong support for HD DVD in 2007 and highlighted plans to offer current theatrical releases as well as choice selections from their vast catalogs of classics over the next several months.

Pathe Distribution announced that "Renaissance," the French animated science fiction film, will be available in HD DVD at launch, and 2 Entertain has committed to release the highly acclaimed BBC/Sir David Attenborough program "Planet Earth."

Ease of Local HD DVD Production/Replication

"One of the most important aspects of making HD DVD a success in Europe is to make sure that the companies creating or distributing content in the region have access to all of the tools and services necessary to manufacture discs locally," said Rodolphe Buet, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Studio Canal. "Working with MPO enabled us to be able to offer so many titles so quickly and the fact that all of the major players in Europe are already up and running with HD DVD will allow the format to continue to grow rapidly."

About HD DVD...

The first HD DVD player was launched in March 2006, and HD DVD hardware, including players, recorders and PCs, along with a growing library of content software, are now available in the North American and Japanese markets. The initial consumer response has been very positive, both for HD DVD's sound and picture quality as well as its enhanced advanced navigation and interactive features, such as pop-up menu and Picture in Picture with motion video.

HD DVD is the next-generation optical disc system that captures the potential of high-definition images and brings data-rich images and sound to home entertainment, computing and other applications. HD DVD is an open industry standard defined by the DVD Forum, a nearly 220 member strong industry forum that brings together companies from the movie and entertainment, computing, consumer electronics and software businesses to arrive at formats that meet present and future industry and consumer needs. In November 2003, the DVD Forum adopted the HD DVD format as the next-generation, post-DVD standard for high-capacity, high-definition optical discs.

HD DVD discs are based on the same physical disc structure as current DVDs, which enables manufacture of highly reliable hardware and discs at a reasonable cost. The format is supported by cutting-edge blue laser technology. It uses newly developed data processing techniques and takes advantage of leading-edge advanced video compression standards such as MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1, as well as MPEG-2.


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