Saturday, March 29, 2008

April - The Month HD DVD Reached Consumers

As the month of April arrives in a few days time and with Toshiba pulling out of the high-definition format battle, we would like to take this opportunity to talk about HD DVDs' past 2 years.

Over the course of next two weekends, we'll be posting snippets of HD DVD's past including pictures and possibly other interesting tidbits/rumors about HD DVD which you may have missed if you've entered the high-definition marketplace much later.

This blog will not be updated after April 15, 2008 - the 2nd anniversary of the day HD DVD players (HD-XA1 and HD-A1) and discs were first introduced to retail in the United States.

So stay tuned for further postings on this blog...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bandai Visual To Release 'FREEDOM' Vol. 6 HD DVD this June

[North America]

Bandai Visual has announced that FREEDOM Vol. 6 will be available to own in high-definition exclusively on HD DVD, come June 24, for $39.99 SRP a copy. The studio has also mentioned that it intends to released the 7th volume (last one of this anime series) on HD DVD in August.

  • One Single-sided disc (HD DVD/DVD Twin Format Disc*) / $39.99 SRP
  • Main feature on the HD DVD layer will be presented in
    - 1080p High Definition Widescreen 16x9 / VC-1 Encode
    - Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1 (Japanese) & L-PCM 2.0 (Japanese) audio options
    - English subtitle option
  • Bonus material present on both the HD DVD and DVD layers:
    - Next Episode Trailer
  • Bonus contents present exclusively on the HD DVD layer:
    - FREEDOM 5 Digest (Internet connection required^)
    - FREEDOM 6 TV Commercial Flash (Internet connection required^)

* The HD DVD/DVD Twin format disc is a single-sided disc with both the high-definition and standard definition versions of the main feature on one side. When the disc is inserted into an HD DVD player, you may select the version you would like to watch. On a DVD player, it will just play back the standard definition version stored on the DVD layer of the disc. The DVD side of this HD DVD/DVD Twin format disc is region-free... Same for the FREEDOM Vol 1 - 3 HD DVD/DVD Twin format discs released previously.

^ Every HD DVD player released to date is fully equipped to take advantage of these web-enabled features, so all that is needed is an Internet connection to the player via the Ethernet port. It is also important to ensure that the firmware currently installed on your HD DVD player is updated to the latest version.


Full Details of 'UFO: Showtime' HD DVD

UFO: Showtime HD DVD (April 8, 2008 - U.S./Can & $29.97 SRP)

Main feature presentation
  • 1080p High-Definition 16x9
  • Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English)
    dts-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English)
    Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1 & 2.0 (English)

Special Features - Presented in 480p Standard Definition with Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1/2.0 audio and English subtitles - Includes:

  • True Picture-in-Picture Presentation of Various Interviews
  • 'On-the-fly' Menus
  • Making Of DVD.
  • Slideshow.
  • Discography.
  • Making Of Studio Songs.
  • Rockboat (Doku).
  • USA 2004 (Doku).
  • History (Interviews).
  • Bonus Statements (Interviews).
  • Credits

Labels: ,

Monday, March 10, 2008

Full Details of 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day' Ultimate HD DVD


As promised earlier, we now have the complete details of the German HD DVD release of James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The newly restored high-definition transfer of the Director's Cut will be available to own in high-definition exclusively on the Ultimate HD DVD, come March 20, 2008. This HD DVD release will also feature a special steelbook packaging. The preview artwork of the packaging is provided below.

The video trailer of this upcoming HD DVD release is available via this link. It contains various snippets of what to expect while viewing the movie in high-definition via HD DVD.

Main feature will be presented in

  • 1080/24p Full High-Definition 2.35:1
  • dts-HD 7.1 (English & German)
    Dolby Headphone-surround (English & German)
  • German & Turkish subtitle options

Special Features include:

  • Interactive Features: Picture in Picture (storyboards and script - both in English - running concurrently with the main feature)
  • Personal Bookmarking feature
  • Photo galleries
  • Various viewing modes:
    - Quiz Mode
    - Spy Mode
    - Inside T2 Mode
  • Integrated online functionality with access to more features (via dynamic HD)
  • Making-of documentary/featurettes
  • Two audio commentaries
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trailer
  • Detailed Biography/Filmographies
  • Hidden Features/Easter Eggs

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Latest Updates On HD DVD Titles Around The World... (Updated Jan 13)

Although we try to be as accurate as possible with the disc specifications posted for the international HD DVD releases, please note that it is still possible that the final product may differ from the disc specifications listed on this blog.

Please note: Should you need any further information for a specific title, you could use the Blogger search toolbar located at the top of this page. Just type in the title between a pair of inverted commas (it should look like this: "your title") and click on 'Search Blog' button.

Highlights Among Some of the Overseas HD DVD Titles Available Now...

Dutch HD DVD Releases (Updated March 10)

  • 1408 will be available to own on HD DVD, come January 22, 2008, for 29.99 Euros. The main feature will be presented in 1080p High-Definition 16x9 2.35:1 (Definitely MPEG-4/AVC or VC-1 encode)... plus dts-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English). Full details here.
  • Newly Added! Dutch FilmWorks has announced that the films, Home Of The Brave, Hero, The Messengers, Rescue Dawn and Tristan & Isolde will be available to own in high-definition on HD DVD, come February 19, 2008. The video on these releases will definitely be encoded with MPEG-4/AVC or VC-1 codecs at 1080p full HD resolutions, using proper HD masters. Complete details here.

German HD DVD Releases (Updated March 10)

Italian HD DVD Releases (Updated Dec 27)

  • Hairspray & In the Land of Women on HD DVD in Italy soon. Details here.

  • Il mio nome è Nessuno/Lonesome Gun (1973) & Per qualche dollaro in più/For a Few Dollars More (1965) will also be available on HD DVD soon.

Japanese HD DVD Releases (Updated Jan 24)

  • Japanese HD DVD release of Sahara (1080p MPEG-4/AVC encode), U-571 (1080p MPEG-4/AVC encode) & Underworld - Theatrical (1080p MPEG-4/AVC encode), reportedly contains Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English) audio track, will be available own come February 1, 2008, for 4,935 each.

  • New! Anime mini-series Afro Samurai (2007 / 112 minutes) will be available to own on HD DVD, come February 20, 2008 for 6,090 Yen. Expect Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and dts-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio tracks to accompany the main feature... Full details coming soon.

  • Kenneth Branagh's Adaptation of The Magic Flute On HD DVD in Japan, come January 25. Full details here.

Spanish HD DVD Releases (Updated Jan 24)

  • La última legión/The Last Legion (2007) will also be available to own in high-definition exclusively on HD DVD, come January 30 (instead of Dec 5 or Jan 9). Full details here.

U.K. HD DVD Releases (Updated Jan 24)

  • In the Shadow of the Moon HD DVD - March 3, 2008 (Instead of Feb 25)
  • Sexy Beast (2000) HD DVD - March 31, 2008 (Instead of Feb 18)
  • East is East (1999) HD DVD - March 31, 2008
  • The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) HD DVD - March 31, 2008
  • Touching the Void (2003) HD DVD - March 31, 2008

Click on the following links for information on other HD DVD titles currently available in various countries.

Australian HD DVD Releases
Dutch HD DVD Releases

French HD DVD Releases
German HD DVD Releases

Italian HD DVD Releases
Japanese HD DVD Releases

Polish HD DVD Releases
Spanish HD DVD Releases
U.K. HD DVD Releases

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Paramount's & Universal Studios' Last HD DVD Releases...

Following the announcement by Toshiba, the company largely behind HD DVD format's creation, to stop all HD DVD production by April 2008, Paramount Home Entertainment and Universal Studios' Home Entertainment have now confirmed their final HD DVD releases.

Paramount/DreamWorks Home Entertainment's HD DVD support will end with the release of Into the Wild and Things We Lost in the Fire HD DVDs on March 4 while Universal Studios Home Entertainment's HD DVD support will end with the release of Atonement HD DVD on March 18.

Warner Home Video has continued to announce HD DVD releases but will stop releasing its films on HD DVD after May 2008.

Internationally, Kinowelt Home Entertainment will end its support of HD DVD with the HD DVD release of Terminator II and Premonition on March 20.

On a side note, both me and my co-blogger would like to take this opportunity to thank all the studios worldwide who have continued to release on HD DVD over the past 2 years so that we can enjoy those films in high-definition at the comfort of our homes. Not forgetting all the improved interactivity like Universal's U-Control, Paramount's Transformers' Heads-Up Display and Imagion's DynamicHD online experience found on Kinowelt's HD DVDs too... that the respective studios have taken the time and money to create and put on the discs.