Blu-ray &Entertainment &Software Steven Kippel on 20 Aug 2007

Fox to promote BD-Live

Fox to promote BD-Live
As a response to Paramount/DreamWorks, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment fast-tracked a press release emphasizing Blu-ray’s market dominance and BD-Java features. Along with a list of 29 movies from Fox and MGM (Fox distributed MGM to the home video market), Fox has committed to leading Blu-ray in state-of-the-art features. The press release states:

Among the BD industry ‘firsts’ from the Studios’ upcoming global release slate are picture in picture capability, enhanced viewing and surround sound modes with the ability to mix and match picture and sound, direct access to in-movie features through one of the four colored buttons on the BD remote and the most technically vibrant BD-Java interactive multi-player challenge and trivia games to date. The Studios’ slate also takes full advantage of BD-Live functionality this fourth quarter. Internet-connected consumers will enjoy unique, title specific “web-enabled” interactive features and games and “web-exclusive” downloadable content with the ability to connect and interact with other broadband BD users worldwide.

Twentieth Century FoxBD-Live is not currently supported by any Blu-ray player, but the Playstation 3 should allow this functionality. However, Fox’s commitment to BD-Live features may push manufacturers to include ethernet ports on future players. (The Sony BDP-S1, Pioneer BDP-HD1 and BDP-94HD have ethernet ports, so it’s possible firmware updates will enable BD-Live.)

A couple of examples given by Fox/MGM concerning next-gen features include: an “Alien Scavenger Hunt” on Independence Day that allows players to unlock bonus features by identifying the correct number of aliens in select scenes; a “Global Warming Trivia Track” on The Day After Tomorrow; and a pop-up map on Master & Commander: The Other Side of the World with historical and geographical data that tracks Capt. Aubrey and his enemies on select tracks.

Along with the press release is a strong list of exciting titles including Edward Scissorhands, The Fly, Cast Away, the Die Hard series and others. Fox has indicated that the new titles will feature MPEG-4/AVC video compression on the 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray Disc format. I expect many will also include DTS-HD Master Audio as Fox has used on past titles.

Read the full press release: Fox and MGM Unveil Blu-Ray Exclusive Worldwide Releases for 2007

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