According to The Hollywood Reporter, HD DVD, on a roll since a flurry of product announcements during the International Consumer Electronics Show, has received another big boost, this time overseas.

Studio Canal said Friday it intends to release more than 30 of its films on the Toshiba-developed next-generation optical disc format in Europe in 2006. The films will be rolled out when players hit the market, which could be as early as the spring. They will be available in five European countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Studio Canal, a subsidiary of the Canal+ Group, has a library of more than 5,000 French, English and American films.

The studio said it will add "advanced interactivity features" to its titles to take advantage of the high-def format's iHD interactivity layer and will use Microsoft's VC-1 video compression codec, also part of the rival Blu-ray Disc specs.

Brian B.