CES: First Look at Warner Total Hi Def Packaging, Plus 'Lord of the Rings' in 2007?

Posted Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 12:36 PM PST by
Superman Returns [Total Hi Def Preliminary Packaging]

High-Def has not quite yet gone purple: Warner showed off the packaging concept for its Total Hi Def hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD disc, which looks to be the equivalent of a next-gen 50/50 Bar.

During a press conference held late yesterday, Warner tantalized the CES masses with the first official details of its can't-we-all-just-get-along dual format high-def disc, and demonstrated a working Total Hi Def disc prototype of 'Superman Returns.'

The fine folks over at Engadget HD snapped a picture, as seen here, of disc's preliminary box design, which again appeases both sides with a very rainbow-friendly, dual red/blue box design. Though we're not quite sure about that bland "T HD" logo thing, it's hard to imagine loyalists on either side complaining about the studio's separate-but-equal approach to the packaging.

In addition, we've compiled a few additional nuggets that were revealed at the conference by Warner reps, but not outlined in the studio's concurrent press release:

• The 'Superman Returns' demo played without a hitch on both the Blu-ray and HD DVD sides of the disc
• Manufacturing costs for a Total Hi Def disc will not be "materially more expensive" than standard DVD
• Currently, only Warner and subsidiaries New Line and HBO are onboard
• Other content providers who support Total Hi Def will not have to pay any additional licensing fees to Warner Home Video
• Warner will move to supporting Total Hi Def discs exclusively by the end of the year
• Finally, the studio reps answered the inevitable "When is 'Lord of the Rings' coming out in high-def?" question with the answer, "They (New Line) are working on it now and are determining a release date." In other words, be patient, hobbits!

Note that all of the above statements were made by Warner execs during the press conference, and have yet to be confirmed in any other manner. We'll certainly be looking forward to seeing how this all plays out as Warner begins releasing its first Total Hi Def discs in the second half of 2007.

See what people are saying about this story in our forums area, or check out other recent discussions.

Tags: CES, Warner, High-Def Disc Packaging, Total HD (all tags)