Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Toshiba (Japan) Announces HD-XA2 and HD-XF2

Toshiba Corporation today announced the launch of its second generation HD DVD players in the Japanese market. The company will roll out two new players, HD-XF2 and HD-XA2, from late December. The HD-XF2 seems to be the renamed HD-A2 and/or HD-E1 due for the North American and European markets respectively. Rear view of HD-XA2 / Rear view of HD-XF2

Main differences between the 2 models HD-XF2 and HD-XA2:
  • SD Upscale to HD resolution via HDMI:
    - HD-XF2 (up to 1080i)
    - HD-XA2 (up to 1080p)
  • HD output resolutions:
    - HD-XF2 (720p, 1080i)
    - HD-XA2 (720p, 1080i, 1080p)
  • 297MHz/12bit Video DAC (HD-XA2 only)
  • HDMI connection supported:
    - HD-XF2 (HDMI 1.2a)
    - HD-XA2 (HDMI 1.3: Deep Colour feature supported but requires compatible display compliant with this feature)
  • Audio connections:
    - HD-XF2 (2-ch analog, Digital Optical)
    - HD-XA2 (2-ch analog, 5.1-ch analog, Digital Coaxial, Digital Optical)


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Full Details of Feb 6 HD DVDs

Hollywoodland (HD DVD/DVD Combo)
Release Date: 6 February 2006
Disc Type: HD DVD/DVD Combo Format (Single-Disc, Dual-Sided)

Side A - HD DVD: Feature Film Presentation Specs

  • 1080p High Definition Widescreen 1.85:1
  • Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1 (English & French)
  • English [SDH] & French subtitles

Side A - HD DVD Supplemental Materials

Presented in 480i/p Standard Definition with Dolby Digital sound.
No HD DVD exclusive extras.
No subtitles.

  • The confirmed list is coming soon...

Side B - DVD: Feature Film Presentation Specs

  • Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 (English & French)
  • English [SDH], French & Spanish subtitles

Side B - DVD Supplemental Materials

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Recreating Old Hollywood - In this piece, the production team demonstrates how they re-created the glamour of the Hollywood of yesteryear. Interviews include ones with the film's production designer, set decorator, costume designer, make-up artists and hair stylists.
  • Behind the Headlines - Director Allen Coulter, screenwriter Paul Bernbaum, and other members of the creative team reveal which elements of the film story are based on fact, and what creative liberties they had to take in order to tell the story of the unsolved mystery surrounding George Reeves' death.
  • Hollywood Then and Now - With help from historians, filmmakers, actors and other experts, explore how Hollywood has changed in the last 60 years, as the similarities and difference between "classic" Hollywood and today's big city are examined.
  • Feature Commentary with Director Allen Coulter


Saturday, November 11, 2006

HD DVD Titles Release List Updated / Some News Updates...

  • All Weinstein HD DVDs that were originally expected to due on Dec 5 are now shifted to Dec 19.
  • All 3 Image Entertainment's Concert HD DVD titles originally scheduled for release on Nov 14 has now been postponed till Dec 12.
  • All changes has now been reflected in our HD DVD Titles Release List
  • Warner's A Christmas Story and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation are both scheduled for release on HD DVD, this Dec 5.

Just in case you didn't know, the $199 Xbox 360 HD DVD Player is now available at retail and every player sold will be bundled with the King Kong (2005) HD DVD, for a limited period...

We will be back to our normal blogging schedule from the first week of December...


Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Break From Blogging...

A few months ago, I mentioned that I wasn't going to post as frequently as before due to other things needing more attention and time... and that my pal, the other contributor on this blog, will continue to blog almost on a frequent basis. But now, we will both be taking a break from posting altogether and will be back on the first week of December.

J.Z. will be taking a break overseas - he will be on vacation until the end of this month while my hands will be pretty occupied during these few weeks leading up to December. I will try to keep the HD DVD Release List updated whenever possible, so you may want to bookmark the page.

Thank you for your continued support of this blog...

See you soon.

Wild Bear


International HD DVD Launch Update...

[For the European Launch] Some informal sources have informed us that the European release of King Kong HD DVD may not feature the U-Control interactive home entertainment experience package that was confirmed for the North American release. Hence, Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is likely to be the first HD DVD title released in Europe that will include the U-Control interactive experience package.

And yes, it has been confirmed that the European release of Tokyo Drift HD DVD will include U-Control.

On a side note, U-Control on the North American release of Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift HD DVD has set the bar on what to expect from HD DVD in terms of interactivity.

So, what is "U-Control"? With U-Control, you view video commentary, behind-the-scenes clips, interactive trivia/fact tracks and play with various studio-customised movie-related interactivity all while you watch the movie. (The contents of the interactive experience package varies from title to title). These are reportedly a small portion of what to expect with regards to interactivity on HD DVD...

[For the Australian Launch] It seems that the Australian debut of Toshiba's HD-E1 (Mid-Dec, Aus$1,099) and HD-XE1 (Feb 2007, Aus$1,599) will not be a totally quiet one. Australian DVD websites are indicating that every HD DVD player sold will come bundled with a free copy of Apollo 13 HD DVD.

Universal Pictures Australia has also announced that Apollo 13, Doom, King Kong, Serenity, Jarhead, Van Helsing, Bourne Supremacy HD DVDs are all scheduled for release in December, to coincide with HD DVD's Australian launch.

Warner Home Video (Australia) has also planned the following titles for HD DVD's launch. All of them are due to arrive at retail on December 6.
  • The Fugitive
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  • Lethal Weapon
  • Lethal Weapon 2
  • Superman Returns
  • Unforgiven
  • Under Siege
  • V for Vendetta
If you reside in Australia and is interested in HD DVD launch/future releases, these few websites seem rather useful: DVDown Under and Michael D's Region 4 DVD Page. All of the information on HD DVD's Australian launch have been sourced from these 2 sites...


Friday, November 03, 2006

Blog Updates - HD DVD Release List

Our HD DVD Release List (North America) has been updated with all the recent announcements...

Still no Harry Potter or The Matrix... however, I believe we can still expect both or at least one of these two to be ready for retail in December. After all, Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire HD DVD has been announced for HD DVD Format's European launch, so it is expected to be available at retail before the year is out.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Paramount Indicates HD DVD Titles Due in 2007...

Some distribution and retail sources have indicated that Paramount Home Entertainment is expected to release Black Rain (1989) and Failure To Launch on HD DVD, January 23 and February 6 respectively. At the present moment, they are both priced at $29.99 SRP (No HD DVD/DVD Combos) and is likely to be single-disc sets.

Based on this pricing it seems that the North American release of Black Rain (1989) on HD DVD will be a single-disc set and will not be the same the 2-disc HD DVD set planned for the Japanese market on November 17... I've posted more details of the Japanese 2-disc set earlier, if you're interested, you can check it out by clicking here.