Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Universal Studios Take HD DVD's Web-enabled Interactivity To A New Level

The Guaranteed Internet Connection in Every HD DVD Player Allows Movie-Specific Access to Content, Community Building and Online Purchases

Today, Universal Studios Home Entertainment raised the bar on HD DVD’s unique web-enabled experiences by unveiling an Internet infrastructure that allows it to take advantage of the guaranteed Internet connection in every HD DVD player and deliver compelling, title specific features. Heroes: Season 1 on HD DVD was the first title to take advantage of web-enabled capabilities, but with the forthcoming availability of Evan Almighty on HD DVD, Universal is setting the stage for new home entertainment experiences with web-enabled features such as the Download Center, U-Shop, and much more. Taking advantage of the infinite possibilities of web-enabled experiences, Universal is utilizing HD DVD to explore the promise of digitally distributed scenarios and infusing movie content with e-commerce and social media capabilities.

In addition to title-centric experiences available through any HD DVD player, a new website, http://www.universalhidef.com/ , will serve as an online destination for PC-based interaction, enabling cross platform consumer engagement with additional content, fan communities and much more. The site also establishes a cross-platform integration point to take advantage of the growing web properties already in place across NBC Universal.

This new infrastructure augments all the great features available through recent HD DVD releases, such as Heroes: Season 1, Knocked Up and the forthcoming Evan Almighty. Fans can download bonus scenes and make an online profile, or even add new, downloadable experiences long after a title leaves the store shelf. The interface allows consumers to register and create a personalized experience, while taking the first step toward participating in a fan community around their favorite movies or TV shows. Once registered, the account will be recognized by a consumer’s player whenever a new web-enabled Universal disc is inserted. It can remember user preferences and multiple accounts with different passwords all registered on the same player.

An overview of some of the features coming to future Universal HD DVD titles and on UniversalHiDef.com includes:

  • U-Shop

    The first functionality of U-Shop will be enabled with HD DVD release of Evan Almighty. With Universal U-Shop, viewers have the opportunity to shop for items from the movie right from their living room. Consumers can access the entire store from their HD DVD player and start purchasing exclusive items from titles that offer this feature.

  • Features/Download Center

    Users will be able to scroll over numerous stills of the many interactive experiences that are already released on HD DVD. Web-enabled features allow consumers the opportunity to download exclusive trailers, content and games right to their HD DVD player, allowing one-click access to the Download Center. Consumers can also sign up for newsletters, sweepstakes and partner offers.

  • Best Buddies/My Scenes

    Users will learn how create a Best Buddies list and collect and send their favorite movie clips to friends. Here, users will register their best buddies, who will be uploaded to the server and then accessible from their HD DVD player. Users can manage their buddy list using the HD DVD playback experience or via the PC to build a connected community of friends and movie fans.

  • Customer Support

    The support section features instructions in the “screen grabs” format for easy step-by-step instructions. A list of error codes will also be provided to help identify any issues, along with links to customer support sites for Xbox and Toshiba are also available.

In addition to the current web-enabled titles of Heroes: Season 1, Knocked Up and soon Evan Almighty, experiences on Universal HD DVD titles and UniversalHiDef.com will continue to grow and evolve with the fan community, offering synched live events, user-generated content, user commentaries, 360 experiences, and more. The possibilities are endless with HD DVD’s guaranteed web capabilities on every player regardless of make, model or price.



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