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 â€˜firstsâ€™ from the Studiosâ€™ 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 Studiosâ€™ slate also takes full advantage of BD-Live functionality this fourth quarter. Internet-connected consumers will enjoy unique, title specific â€œweb-enabledâ€ interactive features and games and â€œweb-exclusiveâ€ downloadable content with the ability to connect and interact with other broadband BD users worldwide.
BD-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