Thursday, March 15, 2007

HD DVD Gains Momentum Across Europe

Hollywood and European Studios Show Broad Support with Nearly 600 Titles Expected in 2007; European Promotional Group Formed

Highlights of the Press Release:
  • Toshiba announced a new HD DVD player for the European market, the HD-EP10. This mid-range model, which features 1080p output, was designed to meet the increasing consumer demand for 1080p HDTVs. The new player, priced at 699 Euros, rounds out Toshiba's product line-up, and will be available in May 2007.
  • Among the more innovative of the world's first class manufacturers that have recently added to the breadth of the HD DVD family are Samsung, Lite-On, Alco, Jiangkui/ED Digital, Meridian, Onkyo, and Shinco.
  • By the end of Q1 2007, more than 100 titles will be available throughout Europe. More than one-third of these titles come from European studios and none of them are currently available on any other high-definition format. The overwhelming majority of the discs are replicated locally. With more than 21 studios and distributors, 14 authoring studios and eight replicators producing HD DVD content and discs throughout the region, the number of titles is expected to increase rapidly throughout the year with an estimated 600 titles expected worldwide by December 2007.
  • Examples of the wide range of content originating in Europe include Stalingrad (Enemy at the Gate), 2 brothers, Les Choristes, La Grande Vadrouille, L'Armee des Ombres, Le Cercle Rouge, Das Parfum, Graf Montenegro, and La Tigre e la Neve.
  • Hollywood studios also made a strong commitment to the market and announcing the release of several great US titles including "Babel," "Casino," "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory," "Dreamgirls," "Happy Feet," "The Holiday," "The Matrix Trilogy," "Ray," and "World Trade Center." All of these titles will feature multiple language tracks allowing seamless viewing in a variety of countries. Studios also announced expansion into a greater number of European countries and are committed to announcing HD DVD titles on the same day and date as DVDs wherever possible.
  • HD DVD titles with advanced interactivity will take advantage of HD DVD's mandatory specifications for network connectivity, secondary video decoders and persistent storage. Titles using player memory as well as the secondary video encoder for picture-in-picture were shipping throughout 2006, and titles using network connectivity are expected to be available in 2007. Using Microsoft's HDi interactive technology, the live demo showed how to download HD trailers and other content from the Internet, synchronized storyboard playback seamlessly switching between full screen mode and story board and subtitle download. To date, HD DVD is the only format delivering titles using true picture-in-picture.

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