Saturday, April 14, 2007

HD DVD Format - One Year On...

Late last month was the 1st anniversary of HD DVD's worldwide launch, which started in Japan. Today is the 1st anniversary of HD DVD's North American launch.

Back then, we reported that early adopters getting their HD-A1s at some retail stores over the weekend of April 15/16, 2006 before the official launch date on April 18.

And we also provided the first details to HD DVDs first released when the player was available at retail. Serenity, Phantom of the Opera, Million Dollar Baby, The Last Samurai... Remember, how street dates were broken at some stores for these titles then...

Some HD DVD highlights of the past year...
  • Phantom of the Opera being the first title on any high-definition format with Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless audio.
  • The Bourne Supremacy is the first title on any high-definition format to feature Picture-in-Picture video commentary, "Bourne Instant Access" Presented by Toshiba.
  • Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio output capabilitites were added to the HD-XA1, HD-A1, HD-D1, and the RCA HD DVD players via Version 2.0 firmware update. Initially, Dolby TrueHD audio could only be enjoyed via the 2.0-channel output, without the external compatible receiver.
  • Mission: Impossible 3 being the first 2-disc HD DVD set released.
  • Advanced interactive features such as Picture-in-Picture video commentary/PiP access to bonus footages (Termed In-Movie Experience! from Warner Home Video & U-Control from Universal Studios Home Entertainment) only available on HD DVD titles released:
    - Titles from Warner (These titles are currently HD DVD-exclusive): Constantine, Dukes of Hazzard (Unrated), Troy, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, V For Vendetta, Smallville - The Complete Fifth Season.
    - Titles from Universal Studios (Studio is HD DVD-exclusive): The Bourne Supremacy, The Fast and the Furious, Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Break-Up, Accepted, King Kong - 2005 Theatrical Cut, Miami Vice, Children of Men and The Good Shepherd.
  • Sept 14 last year, 2nd-generation HD DVD players were announced, HD-A2 and the HD-XA2. With the HD-XA2 being the first HD DVD player to have 1080p video output for both HD and SD content (via HDMI).
  • Last Sept, Toshiba had also announced HD-E1/HD-XE1 to be available in Europe late 2006.
  • Microsoft Announced Xbox 360 HD DVD Player Add-on to be available in November 2006 and every player sold is bundled with a King Kong (2005) HD DVD.

Happy First Birthday to HD DVD format! I do hope the next few years will be one that's filled with exciting high-definition content on HD DVD.

Oh, please note that the blog will not be updated over the next few weeks, both J.Z. and I will be back only in the first week of May.

So please contribute whatever news (please provide the source too) related to HD DVD, during this period, to us via e-mail (hd_dvd_format AT yahoo DOT com) so that we can "catch up" with the latest updates in HD DVD world.



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