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HD DVD at CES: the buzz


Well, CES proper hasn’t actually started yet, but last night the HD DVD camp held a pre-show press event to unveil some important pieces of news regarding the format’s future over the next 12 months. Here’s a quick rundown of the major announcements:

  • No defections or declarations of neutrality on either side, although Lions Gate will be distributing their films in HD online via Microsoft’s Xbox Live Video Marketplace service. As the only Blu-ray-exclusive studio to do this, this bodes well for their future neutrality.
  • Toshiba announces triple-layer 51 GB HD DVD disc, taking the format’s capacity beyond that of Blu-ray. Currently it’s unknown whether this will work in current players (it hasn’t been ruled out, though), or whether any studios will actually consider it worthwhile enough to use, but it does make the format more appealing on paper to those who judge its merits based on pure specs.
  • Several hardware manufacturers will be releasing HD DVD players, including Alco, Jiangkui/ED Digital, Lite-On, Shinco, Meridian and Onkyo.
  • From the more than 41 studios and distributors now supporting HD DVD worldwide, we can expect to see upwards of 300 new titles being released in 2007, including the entire Harry Potter and The Matrix series, Blade Runner and the original episodes of Star Trek. New Line will also begin releasing titles early this year, including both catalogue (Se7en, Austin Powers, Final Destination, etc.) and new day-and-date titles.

All in all it sounds fairly promising. I would have expected more concrete announcements from Universal and Paramount - once again it seems that Warner is carrying most of the weight - but perhaps they’ll say something during the actual show over the next few days.

Stay tuned…

Update, January 8, 2007 12:01 PM: Updated with Lions Gate info.

Posted: Monday, January 08, 2007 at 11:23 AM
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | HD DVD | Technology

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