Universal Going MPEG-4?

Posted Thu Oct 26, 2006 at 12:25 AM PDT by
The Interpreter [HD DVD Box Art]

With no fanfare, Universal Studios Home Entertainment has quietly brought its first AVC MPEG-4-encoded HD DVD title to the market with the release this week of 'The Interpreter.'

The news comes as a bit of surprise, as the studio has so far used the Microsoft-developed VC-1 compression codec exclusively for all of its HD DVD releases.

Is 'The Interpreter' a sign of things to come from the studio? Though Universal has not issued any public statement on the matter, when contacted for comment a studio representative told High-Def Digest that they "currently have no plans" to abandon VC-1, and that 'The Interpreter' is their lone MPEG-4 title.

Should the studio begin to use MPEG-4 more regularly on future titles, the response may likely be mixed. The lone other AVC MPEG-4 HD DVD currently on the market, Paramount's 'U2 Rattle and Hum,' has been met largely with negative response from early adopters. High-Def Digest also recently reviewed 'The Interpreter,' and our findings were also rather iffy on the disc's video quality.

We'll certainly keep you posted on future developments in this story, and of any new announcements of MPEG-4-encoded HD DVD titles.

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Tags: Universal, Industry Trends (all tags)