In another high-def first, Warner says it plans to utilize web-enabled features on its upcoming HD DVD edition of '300' to sell film-themed ringtones and cellphone wallpaper to the movie's next-gen fans.
As we've previously reported, Warner plans to release two separate-but-unequal next-gen editions of '300' on July 31st. While both the Blu-ray and the HD DVD editions will feature a wealth of supplements, the HD DVD will boast several exclusive interactive and web-enabled features, including the ability to re-edit and share versions of the film via a studio-hosted server.
Now comes word that another web-enabled feature on the '300' HD DVD will enable Warner to sell film-related merchandise via a disc for the first time.
The studio demo'd the new feature last week at the Home Media Expo in Las Vegas as part of a larger session focused on the studio's push into interactive features on high-def disc.
According to an account by Video Business, consumers will be able to use their HD DVD player remote to type in their cell phone number, which will then be sent instructions for how to access '300'-themed wallpaper and ringtones for $1.99 each.
Considering the fact that the purchase takes place on the phone (and not the disc itself), this one seems like a bit of a cheat to us, but it does represent another step forward for web-enabled interactivity via high-def disc.
The HD DVD camp appears to angling to make web-enabled features the next battlefront in the high-def format wars. Pointing out that Blu-ray players "don’t have the consistency in their machines to be able to handle this," Universal Studios VP Ken Graffeo announced plans late last week to begin including web-enabled features in all Universal HD DVD releases, beginning in late August with 'Heroes: Season One'.