Lord of the double-dips
The first details regarding the upcoming high definition releases of The Lord of the Rings trilogy have begun to trickle out. Annoyingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, the initial releases will be the theatrical versions rather than the longer (and, in most cases, superior) extended editions. New Line, who, like their parent company, Warner, seem to be committed to supporting both formats equally, will be releasing both HD DVD and Blu-ray versions, although it remains unconfirmed whether these will be separate releases or a dual-sided Total HD disc. Both will be encoded with VC1 and will be the first titles to feature Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio.
Nothing has been confirmed about the extras, apart from the news that, due to “bandwidth constraints”, there will be no In-Movie Experience features. This strikes me as somewhat suspect. If they had said “disc space constraints” then I would have found it more plausible, but what exactly is it about The Lord of the Rings that sucks up so much bandwidth as to prevent an IME stream from being included? Smells suspiciously like double-dip territory to me. Actually, for people who bought both the theatrical and extended editions on DVD and plan to do the same for the high definition versions, this is going to be a quadruple dip. For myself, I’ll wait until the extended editions come out in high definition (unless of course I can get the theatrical cuts for review): Peter Jackson’s interpretation of the book is flawed enough without the massive chunks of essential material missing from the theatrical versions.
Posted: Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 5:27 PM
| HD DVD
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