Just how great are high definition DVDs?
In a story from Variety, it looks like fans of both "Blu-ray and HD-DVD have told the public to expect incredible things from their new technologies, which use players with far greater computer horsepower and discs with much more storage capacity than conventional DVD. While the bonus features touted to date are far from amazing," it seems there is a lot of potential for viewing experiences in these formats to become more.
In fact, "Universal recently introduced 'Web-enabled' features on the high-def releases of Heroes and Evan Almighty. This functionality allows viewer/users who've connected their HD-DVD players to the Internet to download additional content -- such as movie trailers -- as well as buy shirts worn by Steve Carell in the pic."
In addition to this, Paramount "integrated such Web functionality into its HD-DVD release of Transformers, allowing disc users to access a number of interactive features, including a vidgame-style component that graphically assesses the health of the Decepticons and the Autobots as they wage battle."
"We're looking at the Web-enabled area as a huge opportunity to differentiate HD-DVD from DVD," states Jeff Radoycis, senior VP of worldwide DVD production and technical operations for Paramount Home Entertainment. "We can now deliver new content a year after the title was released if we want to."
As for the Blu-ray Camp, "Sony is making the most of the technology's 50 gigabyte storage capacity on its '30th Anniversary Ultimate' edition of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, cramming three uncompressed versions of the film onto a single disc. A second disc includes interactive components such as picture-in-picture 'storyboard-to-scene comparisons' to go along with a new interview from helmer Steven Spielberg."
However, as great as all this is it really isn't too much different than what consumers can get with Standard DVDs. However, people like Universal Studios Home Entertainment Vice President Ken Graffeo feels that everything is still in its early stages.
"We're targeting the MySpace generation, and we want to look 10 years out," Graffeo offers. "We're looking at the future and how they're interacting online."