Just as you were admiring that HUGE DVD collection you have managed to put together Hollywood is ready to force you to make a decision whether you will be upgrading yet again as the high-definition home entertainment era is set to begin Quarter 4 of 2005.
Plans have been announced by major consumer electronics and IT companies, disc replicators and Hollywood studios at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to produce, market and sell HD DVD hardware and content beginning in Q4 2005.
HD DVD is the newly developed high-definition DVD disc standard being developed at the DVD Forum, which represents more than 230 consumer electronics, information technology and content companies. HD DVD innovations include higher resolution video and audio along with advanced navigation, player web/network connectivity and new, robust consumer options. HD DVD supports such essential features as advanced content access and content security technology. A single, dual-layer HD DVD ROM disc, which has a 30-gigabyte capacity, is able to hold as much as eight hours of high-quality, high-definition movie content. You can compare this to those dual-layered discs you currently own, which often times have to span two discs for longer films with high-quality audio such as Gangs of New York and Schindler’s List.
HD DVD is based on the same physical disc structure as the DVD, which ensures easy backward compatibility with today’s DVD, and enables the manufacturing of highly reliable hardware and discs at a reasonable cost, which is certainly the best news of all considering DVD player prices have dropped considerably and a new component to entertainment centers might not be the first thing people want to rush out and buy.
As far as replacing your current collection or purchasing HD DVDs instead of the standard DVD format seems like it might be a faster replacement process than the current VHS to DVD transition some people are still going through.
Hollywood has always tried to keep up with technology and often times light years ahead and the new DVD formats are no exception as several studios have already announced release plans for several titles.
Among the studios already announcing titles are Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, New Line, HBO Video and Warner Bros.
Universal has announced plans to release the high-profile films Van Helsing, The Bourne Supremacy and The Chronicles of Riddick. In addition to such catalog titles as: Apollo 13, U-571, 12 Monkeys, Dune, The Thing, End of Days, Backdraft, Waterworld, The Bone Collector, Spy Game, Pitch Black, Conan the Barbarian and Dante’s Peak.
As for New Line, HBO Video and Warner Bros., Warner Home Video has plans to release Oceanâ€™s Twelve, The Polar Express, and The Phantom of the Opera as well as titles from the hugely successful Matrix and Harry Potter franchises.
Henry McGee, President, HBO Video. said, “We are backing the launch of HD DVD with a line-up of releases from HBOâ€™s highlyacclaimed programming including the first season of The Sopranos and the mini series Angels in America and From the Earth to the Moon.” The studio is expected to announce the release of an increasing amount of its content on HD DVD as its involvement with the format continues.
Paramount Home Entertainment announced that more than 20 titles from the studioâ€™s renowned library are planned for release on the next-generation HD DVD format beginning in Q4 2005. The list includes the recent films The Manchurian Candidate, SpongeBob SquarePants, Elizabethtown, Coach Carter, Italian Job, School of Rock and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. On top of that they also have scheduled such catalog titles as Forrest Gump, Braveheart, Ghost, Grease, Mission: Impossible 2, Black Rain, Save the Last Dance, Sleepy Hollow, U2 Rattle and Hum, Vanilla Sky, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Star Trek: First Contact and We Were Soldiers.
On top of title announcements, several companies announced plans to release HD DVD hardware and content by the end of 2005. Toshiba told attendees that it would begin delivering HD DVD players and notebook PCs with HD DVD drives in the fourth quarter of this year. NEC announced that it would deliver HD DVD ROM drives in September 2005. SANYO also announced that it would deliver HD DVD players in Q4 2005.
For an example of one of Samsung’s HD DVD players and a look at the HD process click here.
Whether you want to make the switch or not it will sooner or later become a must for those that want to stay in the game of high end home entertainment. The only real decision that will have to be made is when you decide to play.