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Warner talks HD

HD DVD/Blu-ray

Source: Home Theater Forum

On Monday night, in a live chat with Home Theater Forum, Warner Home Video unveiled some of its plans for the next year, including a considerable amount of material pertaining to HD DVD and Blu-ray. I’ve selected a few of what I consider the most important announcements:

  • Warner’s intention, wherever possible, seems to be to keep bonus content the same across the board for DVD, HD DVD and Blu-ray (although, obviously, DVD releases won’t be able to have In-Movie Experience features).
  • Warner isn’t commenting on New Line’s releases, as they only handle distribution, not content.
  • North by Northwest will not be released until 2009, its 50th anniversary. A new master will be created, since the one used for the DVD release is 1080i only. (Hopefully they won’t go overboard with the DVNR this time, then.)
  • Michael Mann’s Heat is due to be released in 2008.
  • A deluxe Blade Runner box set will be coming out later this year, with comparable extras to the standard definition release (presumably this also means that it will feature an extravaganza of different cuts of the film).
  • Deliverance, Poltergeist and LA Confidential will all be coming out this year, the former as a 35th anniversary edition and the latter as a 10th anniversary edition.
  • Many Kubrick titles, originally expected in 2006, will see the light of day this year.
  • The studio is considering new high definition masters of Hammer films for DVD, HD DVD and Blu-ray.
  • There will be many further high definition announcements in the next few weeks.

By the very nature of these web chats, it’s all still a little sketchy at this stage. Most glaring is the fact that the ongoing Blu-ray interactivity issues (which apparently are causing Warner to hold back a lot of titles with the In-Movie Experience, on both Blu-ray and HD DVD, in order to avoid accusations of “favouritism”) are not discussed, so we’re still no closer to knowing when the big guns like the Matrix trilogy will be seeing the light of day (although a tentative schedule does exist for France, where the local Warner division presumably couldn’t give two hoots about the people whining about “favouritism”). Still, some good titles have been confirmed, and I for one look forward to seeing what else gets announced in the coming weeks.

Posted: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 9:38 AM
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | DVD | HD DVD

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