HD DVD & Blu-ray Special features…?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Dan Hinson, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. Dan Hinson

    Dan Hinson Stunt Coordinator

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    With all of the talk regarding new HD DVD and Blu-ray releases, I have heard little talk of special features included on the discs. While I understand that there have been only a handful of releases at this point, I am curious to know what special features are included.

    Are we seeing the same special features as on SD DVD counterparts? And, will we see different or even more features on Blu-ray discs, since that format is supposedly capable of holding more data?

    In effect, I am wondering that if a movie on both HD DVD and Blu-ray has the same content, why would I (as a consumer) spend more on a Blu-ray player when the disc content for either format is the same?

    Of course, only a few studios are currently planning to release movies in both formats, so that is also a factor in terms of who will choice which format.
     
  2. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan
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    Dan,

    Right now, it looks like the special features are ported right over from the DVDs. They are even at the DVD resolution.

    I think this will be relatively typical for a while with a slow shift toward special HD extras as the format matures. I believe there are actually some "specific for HD" features being put on some upcomming HD DVDs. But the majority of extras will likely be the same as the SD DVDs for a while. At least, that is the impression I have right now. I hope the shift to more original Hi-Def extras happens sooner rather than later, but I really care most about "just the movie" anyway.

    BDs (Blu-ray Discs) have the "potential for more extras ONCE DUAL LAYER becomes standard. Right now, BD is only single layer, so the inital releases should only have 25Gb as compared to HD DVD's 30Gb. So I'd expect roughly the same amount of extras on both formats.

    Of course, once BD gets dual layer prodiction to be the typical for releases, then it certainly at least has the potential for much more "stuff on the disc". However, I'd imagine that there is a pretty good chance that in reality the studios that release on both formats will basically put the same stuff on each formats' releases. Meaning that right now, studios planing on putting stuff on HD DVD and BD are likely producing stuff with the 25Gb limitation of BD in mind. Once, dual layer BD becomes standard, then I'd imagine it is likely that dual format studios will author discs with the 30Gb limitaton of HD DVD in mind.

    Now, I'm sure there will be exceptions to this. I'd actually be surprised if there were no exceptions. But I think that until one (or both) of these formats really take off, we will see dual format studios doing a "one size fits all" production/authoring job for HD DVD and BD.

    This is the feeling I have for how thing will be for at least the first few years.
     
  3. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Sean has covered it.

    Add to that the need for 50 gigs if you want several hours of *high def* bonus material. Wouldn't you like to watch those fantasic featurettes from those LOTR SE sets in their original hi-def glory???!!!???

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    Personally I think that having bonus material in HD is just overkill.

    Most of the supplemental stuff isn't shot with a quality presentation in mind, so the difference wont be as big. Plus I dont often re-watch supplements, regardless of how good it is. I get the information I need and move on in most cases.

    I just want the film to have the best audio/video quality possible, it's the reason why I purchase these discs. DVD quality supplements are good enough for me.
     
  5. Daniel_TS

    Daniel_TS Stunt Coordinator

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    My only favorite HD DVD / Blu-ray interactivity feature: subtitles update.

    http://img157.imageshack.us/img157/1...ctivity0ac.jpg

    With this feature, greatest films from around the world could be enjoyed.
    And this worldwide subtitles download should be coupled with a region free coding.
     
  6. Dan Hinson

    Dan Hinson Stunt Coordinator

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    Sure. But regardless of what I choose to do and what format I elect to support, I can’t help but look at the market and speculate.

    With Toshiba’s HD-DVD player being less than half the cost of a Blu-Ray player, it makes the Toshiba much more tempting to dive-in.

    And unless Blu-Ray DVDs actually contain more bonus material or High-Def bonus material, why would anyone dig deeper into their wallet for a Blu-Ray player?

    I think it to be likely that titles produced for both formats will (at least initially) have the same content. I can’t imagine the studios that produce material for both formats will go to the trouble to author discs with separate features. As to whether stand-alone Blu-Ray titles will have High-Def bonus material remains to be seen.
     
  7. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Warner has committed to doing "equal" BD/HD DVD releases (same content/codecs). But that's not true for Fox, Sony, MGM, and Disney.

    I hope everyone realizes that the price difference between HD DVD and BD players is only *temporary*. A year into the launch and costs will look about even.

    Also, at that time 50 gig BD will be here and Disney will be making the most of it when it arrives.
     
  8. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    You mean the way they made the most of DVD with their flat letterboxed, featureless DVDs when that format launched? I hope you are correct, and their performance with HD will be better.

    - Walter.
     
  9. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Yes, Disney really dropped the ball early in DVD's life.

    But Disney seems to have turned a new leaf with Blu-ray...at least in their press releases. They've said over and over that it's the 50 gigs of BD that is the crux of their support for the format because they want to use it for special feature content.

    It seems that Disney has learned their lesson with the DVD format and now looks towards HD media to continue the trend of loaded SE sets like are now routine with their A-titles on DVD.
     
  10. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I understand the storage space issue, but the downside of not doing the special features in HD is that they then end up being a little tiny window in the center of the screen. That's not acceptable either.
     
  11. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    true, if they are 4x3.

    Though 16x9 SD bonus items would also fill the screen (but be only 480 in res).
     
  12. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Hm, no, they don't, at least not on my HD-A1. Little box in the middle, and no way to increase them that I've found.
     
  13. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Are those special features really 16x9 or are they 4x3 lbx encoded?

    That could also be a player issue...players could be designed to properly output 16x9 SD content in "full frame" on HD DVD discs or even give users the option to scale to 16x9 for 4x3 lbx material.
     
  14. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Screenwriter

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    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but current HD-DVDs are NOT 30 GB. The 30 GB capacity for HD-DVD is a dual-layer format. Current HD-DVDs are 15 GB and will be 30 when dual layer. Current (well, upcoming) BDs are 25 GB and will be 50 GB in dual layer.
     
  15. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    All HD-DVDs released so far have been dual layer. What we don't know, and probably won't until HD-DVD drives are available, is how much of the 30GB acreage is being used by the current discs. Is it already pushing the boundary, or is it a situation where, like SD-DVD, much of the disc's potential space simply isn't being used? Wait and see, I guess.

    But unlike SD-DVD, which took a while to mature into RSDL, HD-DVD is dual layer right out of the gate.
     
  16. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Yes, that's because HD DVD builds on DVD manufacture and platform design (that's its big selling point...though the cost is more limited capacity).

    BD is a new platform that requires a new learning curve to manufacture (like DVD did the first time around).
     
  17. Jaxon's Dad

    Jaxon's Dad Supporting Actor

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    David asks a very pertinent question. I would expand on this question and request all studios to offer all current/any future 4x3 lbx special features as 16x9 anamorphic. I'm not asking for hi-def, just that the special features fill the entire space of my widescreen display. It shouldn't be too difficult to anamorphically encode these features. For many 2-disc special editions, the menus on disc 2 (often the repository of bonus content) are 16x9, while the features themselves are 4x3 letterboxed. The new hi-def media ought to be set apart from sd DVD in that all content is anamorphic. My $0.02.
     

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