Friday, June 15, 2007

Weekly Roundup - June 15

I wasn't able to do the "Weekly Roundup" column last week, so I've decided to do it early, before the weekend arrives. Should there be any updates during the weekend, you are likely to see it updated in this blogpost.

HD DVD News of the Past 2 Weeks

  • The Coming Soon List has been updated with The Shawshank Redemption and Twister (Link) which may be expected soon... Just imagine how cool it would be if Warner included 7.1-ch lossless audio for Twister HD DVD. Twister DVD has always been one of my favourite demo discs because of the audio.
  • Updates on Upcoming HD DVD titles Plus New Announcements from Paramount and Warner (Link)
  • Toshiba Corp Announces New HDD/HD DVD Recorders in Japan (Link)
  • World's First HD DVD Featuring 7.1-ch Lossless Audio from nixbu Entertainment... (Link)
  • 'Le Labyrinthe de Pan' or 'Pan's Labyrinth' on HD DVD... (Updated with higher-res menu screens) Details here.
  • Toshiba Brings World’s First Slim HD DVD Rewritable Drive to Laptops (Link)
  • Toshiba (Japan) Issues v1.6 Firmware Update for HD-XA2 & HD-XF2 (Link)
  • Warner Announced TMNT, Out for Justice and Purple Rain on HD DVD. Details here.
  • Warner Plans More High-Def Documentary Releases (Link)
  • Studio Canal Announced Babel on HD DVD with lossless audio (Link)
  • HD DVDs To Be Released on June 12 (Link)
  • Silicon Optix HD HQV Benchmark HD DVD Now Available (Link)


Other HD DVD News

It seems that now Toshiba (Australia) has officially taken over the promotion and distribution of its products from Castel Electronics.

Our readers currently residing in Australia should see Toshiba (Australia) reintroduce HD DVD there with the debut of 2 "new" HD DVD player models - HD-E1KY ($899 RRP includes GST) and HD-XE1KY ($1,599 RRP includes GST) - probably in July/August. Prices are in Australian dollars.

The physical appearance and specs of both are expected to be similar to the HD-E1 and HD-XE1 released in various regions in the European continent. Toshiba (Australia) has listed Harvey Norman, Myer, and Clive Peeters as some of those retailers which will carry Toshiba's products including the HD DVD players. Toshiba (Australia) AV team has mentioned that it will strongly support its High Definition products and technologies, including the HD DVD format.

The Australian online DVD retailer EzyDVD has introduced a promotional offer for every purchase of HD-E1KY. They are selling the HD-E1KY (shipped from July 4) at $979 but with 8 free HD DVD titles. Choose any 8 out of the nearly 50 choices, including Batman Begins, The Mummy, Poseidon, Tokyo Drift, King Kong, Troy, etc. So if you're interested in HD DVD, the HD DVD-exclusive titles like Batman Begins & King Kong to name a few, and advanced interactivity on HD DVDs such as Tokyo Drift, you might want to check out the offer. (Limited to Australian customers only)


The June 2007 issue (no 132) of Les Années Laser, a french home theater magazine, contains a complimentary copy of the Le Labyrinthe de Pan demonstration/preview disc. This disc will be a HD DVD/DVD Combo. Content present on both sides includes the theatrical trailer, the DVD trailer, the 26 minutes making-of exclusive featurette, THX Optimiser and The HD DVD Experience featurette.


  • 3 Clips of the Main Feature Presented in 1080p High Definition (VC-1 Encoded) video with DTS-HD Master Audio (Spanish) & DTS-HD High Resolution Audio (French) tracks.
  • Theatrical trailer

DVD Side

  • 3 Clips of the Main Feature Presented in 480p video with DTS 5.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1 audio options.
  • 3 Clips in WMV HD (1080p or 720p) format playable on compatible PCs.

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