Posted Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:55 AM PST by
Only days after online retailer IndiePix announced a new pay service that will allow consumers to download independent films and burn them on a DVD, The New York Times reports that Amazon is in advanced negotiations with major studios Warner, Paramount and Universal for a similar, broader, service.Continue Reading
Amazon's move comes at pivotal time for both the studios and online retailers. Both industries are making a mad dash to entice tech-saavy consumers with instant access to their products, amid a dizzying array of new internet and on-demand services and technologies.
Although the studios have been experimenting with video-on-demand services such as MovieBeam and MovieLink, and making select television shows available for download on Apple's iTunes, none offer the ability for consumers to burn purchases to a DVD disc and then play them on any DVD-compatible device.
If talks between Amazon and the studios are successful, the launch of such a service would send shock waves through the industry. With the online retail giant's huge reach -- and a hybrid approach that would allow consumers the instant satisfaction of a download, coupled with the ability to continue to watch movies on DVD -- Amazon could quickly bring movie downloads to the masses.
Posted Wed Feb 1, 2006 at 05:59 AM PST by
Warner has officially become the first studio to aggressively push catalog titles on high-def DVD. At a press event held in Los Angeles yesterday afternoon, the studio announced that they plan to release over two hundred catalog titles in 2006 (up from 181 in 2005, and a record for the studio), and that they will issue a key number of those titles on HD-DVD, day-and-date with their standard DVD counterparts. The studio also reiterated their pledge to support Blu-Ray when that format launches later this year.Continue Reading
Although Warner made no announcements of what supplementary content, if any, will be included on its initial high-def DVD offerings, it did give tantalizing hints at the studio's overall gameplan. “Some high-def titles will have features not available in standard DVD, but not all of them,” said Warner senior VP and general manager of theatrical catalog, Jeff Baker. “Some [standard DVD bonus features] will carry over [to the HD DVD editions]. And some [HD DVD versions] will add material from [initial releases].”
A sampling of the initial titles Warner announced for HD-DVD include a two-disc double dip of the John Wayne classic 'The Searchers,' the Stanley Kubrick faves '2001,' 'The Shining,' 'Clockwork Orange' and an unrated 'Eyes Wide Shut,' and the 14-disc 'Superman: Ultimate Collector's Edition,' which reportedly will include the new extended cut of 'Superman II' director Richard Donner revealed in an interview yesterday. Blu-Ray announcements will be forthcoming with the official launch of that format.
Posted Thu Jan 5, 2006 at 07:59 AM PST by
Blu-Ray may have fired the first salvo in the high-def format war at yesterday's CES 2006, but the HD-DVD camp is not backing down from the fight. Universal, Warner, New Line and HBO unveiled their initial HD-DVD offerings today, which appeared to trump Blu-Ray in terms of diversity, day-and-date with DVD support and speed to market, with the first titles expected by mid-March.Continue Reading
While all of the studios supporting either high-def DVD format unveiled about 10 to 20 titles apiece, initial impressions give HD-DVD the edge. The obvious catalog action blockbusters like 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Matrix' trilogies are there, but so is comedic fare like 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin.' Combine that with strong same-day-as-DVD titles as 'Superman Reborn' and 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,' and it makes for a strong opening blitzkrieg. Having HBO under the Warner umbrella also means TV DVD will be better represented than it has been with Blu-Ray, with HBO pledging such top shows as 'The Sopranos' and 'Deadwood' by year end.
HD-DVD's showing was also boosted by the first genuine surprise of CES 2006: the newly-formed Weinstein Co. announced exclusive HD-DVD support. With an upcoming lineup of titles including 'The Matador,' 'Scary Movie 4,' 'Young Hannibal,' 'The Passion of the Clerks,' that's nothing to scoff at.
However, Blu-Ray has a counterpunch of its own still left for CES 2006. Disney will unveil their exclusive plans for the Sony-backed format with a gala event tonight, which could tip the scales back in the Blu-Ray's favor.
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