Warner Home Video has announced full specs for the next-gen releases of 'The Departed' on February 13, including news of the studio's inaugural support of uncompressed audio on Blu-ray.
The studio has released a number of titles on HD DVD with lossless Dolby TrueHD audio tracks, but until now has only offered standard Dolby Digital tracks on its Blu-ray counterparts. While this was said to be due to "technical hurdles" in authoring TrueHD-encoded titles on Blu-ray, persistent negative response from early adopters over the audio inequities between the studio's Blu-ray and HD DVD titles has apparently at last prompted Warner to start trying to bridge the gap.
Originally announced for release on both Blu-ray and HD DVD two weeks ago at the Consumer Electronics Show, 'The Departed' will hit HD DVD with the expected Dolby TrueHD track, while the Blu-ray version will feature an uncompressed PCM 5.1 surround track. Though technically this still leaves a disparity between the two versions, we've been impressed by the quality of all the lossless and uncompressed audio formats currently supported on the next-gen formats (Dolby TrueHD, uncompressed PCM and DTS-HD Master Lossless Audio), so it is hard to see this as anything but a positive move by Warner.
Other specs identical to both releases include 1080p video transfers (codec not yet known), two featurettes, nine deleted scenes with an introduction by Martin Scorsese, and the film's theatrical trailer. The HD DVD version will be presented as a double-sided HD DVD/DVD combo disc, while while the Blu-ray gets the full BD-50 dual-layer treatment.
Warner has set a $38.95 list price for the Blu-ray version, and $39.95 for the HD DVD/DVD combo.