Full Specs in for Warner's Sept 26 Lineup; Studio to Go VC-1 for Blu-ray?

Posted Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 12:20 AM PDT by
The Corpse Bride [Blu-ray Box Art] Only a day after Warner announced an unprecedented single-day release of ten high-def titles, the studio has unveiled full specs and box art for the complete lineup, which may include the studio's first-ever VC-1-encoded Blu-ray discs.

As first reported yesterday, Warner Home Video is set to debut ten high-def disc titles simultaneously on September 26. Four will be exclusive to HD DVD, including 'The Dirty Dozen,' 'Grand Prix,' 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines' and 'The Adventures of Robin Hood', with the remaining six -- 'Tim Burton's Corpse Bride,' 'Swordfish,' 'Space Cowboys,' 'The Fugitive,' 'Lethal Weapon 2' and 'House of Wax' -- headed for Blu-ray.

Like all of Warner's previous HD DVD and Blu-ray releases, supplemental content on each title will be identical to those featured on their standard DVD counterparts.

'Terminator 3' will be the only one of the entire batch to also include exclusive HD bonus features, with an "In-Movie Experience" enhanced video commentary hosted by the film's director, Jonathan Mostow.

All ten titles will be presented in full 1080p video, with the HD DVD releases featuring Dolby Digital-Plus tracks (except 'The Adventures of Robin Hood,' which will be in Mono only, and sorry, no Dolby TrueHD at all this time around), while the Blu-ray discs will include standard Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks

As for disc types, Warner will again offer up HD-30 dual-layer discs for the HD DVD titles, and BD-25 single-layer discs for the Blu-ray releases.

However, despite the more limited storage space on the Blu-ray discs, we've received word from sources at Warner that these upcoming Blu-ray titles will be the format's first to utilize the VC-1 compression codec. So far, all Blu-ray disc releases (regardless of studio) have used the more space-hungry MPEG-2, so by switching to VC-1, Warner can conceivably pack a lot more content onto the same size disc. An especially attractive proposition, given the fact that production of more roomy BD-50 dual-layer platters is not expected to be market-ready until the end of 2006 at the earliest.

Taking a look at the feature-packed specs for these latest Warner Blu-ray titles, the signs certainly seem to indicate that they will indeed utilize the more space-saving VC-1 codec. However, we are still awaiting an official confirmation from Warner on the issue -- and we'll certainly post their final answer as soon as it comes in.

In the meantime, complete specs for Warner's entire September 26 wave, including box art, have now been added to our HD DVD Release Schedule and Blu-ray Release Schedule.

Tags: Warner, Disc Announcements (all tags)