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HD DVD Community Screening - Two Thumbs WAY Up!

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Mark Booth, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Well-Known Member

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    A group of us over at HDD watched Harry Potter: OOTP tonight via Warner's new Community Screening feature. This is, without a doubt, my favorite HD-exclusive feature to-date!

    How it works: Everyone signs up for a Warner account via their Warner HD DVD and then finish the sign up via computer. One person volunteers to be a host and he/she invites others to join the screening. (The screening can be set up in advance.) When the screening time approaches, everyone simply fires up the Warner HD DVD and selects the Web-Enabled Features to activate the Community Screening. The scheduled screening appears in a menu and you click "Join". Once you've joined the group, you can use the HD DVD player's remote to send various premade comments to the group chat. Or, better yet, you can use a computer (I used my laptop) to join the chat via Warner's site. With a laptop, you simply type your comment and hit return. Each chat comment shows up at the top of everyone's TV display with the sender's nickname next to the comment.

    The chat comments appear very quickly. Pretty much real time. It all works extremely well and very smoothly! You also see the nicknames of viewers announced as they join or leave the screening.

    And, of course, the Community Screening host can pause all players at the same time. Or skip to a different chapter. Or scan forward or backward. It all works flawlessly!

    I can't emphasize enough just how much fun this was! Going in, I was skeptical about how much real-world use I would make of this feature. Well, I'm here to say that I want to watch many many more movies this way! It brings a whole new experience to watching HD DVDs! I've already written to Warner Home Video to encourage them to include this feature on ALL future HD DVDs!

    Mark
     
  2. Adam Gregorich

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    Mark-
    I'm glad you mentioned this. We talked about doing one here, but I amde the mistake of ordering my copy from WB and it hasn't arrived yet. I look forward to getting mine and setting one up for HTF members.
     
  3. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Well-Known Member

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    As if people chatting or texting away on their illuminated phones in a theater wasn't annoying enough. I mean, I got into home theater so I could watch films in peace [​IMG]

    Interesting feature; not sure I will use it for anything other than Rocky Horror, tho.
     
  4. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Well-Known Member

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    This is interesting! Though I agree, my first impression is I want to watch the movie.

    What it reminds me of is the virtual meeting software, whose name I forget. I used it at my last job where people from all over the world could meet via computer at their own offices. The computer is used to view documents or drawings and everyone would be on conference call. Instant messages also was possible on everyone's screens. This is probably the same thing.
     
  5. Averry

    Averry Well-Known Member

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    You could snag one in the Best Buy bogo and either cancel/gift off the WB one.


    But, I have the patience of a wildebeast on crack.
     
  6. Bob_L

    Bob_L Well-Known Member

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    Averry:

    I didn't realize there were still wildebeasts in N.D. (But, then, I also thought alcohol was the wildebeast's drug of choice.) [​IMG]


    Like Felix, I have some apprehensions about encouraging this, but it's undeniably an intriguing use of the technology. The potential next step of the technology, however, is the more fascinating one to me: That is, connecting a USB microphone to the HD DVD player and enabling verbal communication between all the community sites. I can easily imagine having a lot of fun setting up a film screening with my nieces and nephews in Malaysia.
     
  7. Averry

    Averry Well-Known Member

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    The introduction of cheap crack cocaine to the wildebeast population had a major impact.


    This happened after the Lion King came out, and is why Wildebeasts haven't been in the pulblic eye ever since.
     
  8. Adam Gregorich

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    The nice thing about it is for those who want to do it you can, for the movie only people you don't have to. I have enjoyed the movies, but haven't read the books. It would be fun to watch the movie without it and then watch the movie again linked in with a bunch of real HP fans to get their take on it.
     
  9. Paul.S

    Paul.S Well-Known Member

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    I think I might enjoy this as a shorter-term novelty and/or for screening a movie with knowledgeable folks/friends to, as Adam mentioned, get their comments on a film. But I think the text message idiom isn't so conducive to the kind of communication that would facilitate me learning more substantive things from said knowledgeable people. Couldn't we all see the movie in our own due course, then meet at Starbucks and, ya' know, actually interact in three dimensions?

    I think this may have appeal for friends screening a personal/group/cult fave, film students critiquing a pic or for a group of people separated by differing time zones/distance. But beyond that--and I do not mean to thread crap--I think this is something of a(nother) "next gen functionality" gimmick that won't sustain my interest on a long term basis.
     
  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    If I ever use this feature I encourage the vast majority of HTF to come to my house and kick my shins with golf cleats. You will not find a bigger tech enthusiast than me but this seems like a solution in search of a problem. =)

    Seriously tho, if you enjoyed it, great. But that the studios are focusing their development budgets on BS 'features' like this instead of real content on HD disks makes me truly shake my head in disappointment.
     
  11. JediFonger

    JediFonger Well-Known Member

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    ive never tried it via powerdvd, i wonder if web stuff works via hypc
     
  12. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Well-Known Member

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    As I said, I was skeptical too, but found myself feeling pleasantly surprised! It was FUN!

    I do appreciate the feedback from a slew of folks that have never tried it though! [​IMG]

    Mark
     
  13. BrandonJF

    BrandonJF Well-Known Member

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    There is a reason for that. The ability to do something like this has been around for a lonnnnnnnnnnnnng time. If I wanted to pop a DVD into my DVD drive on my PC and ask a friend to do the same, we could chat back and forth over the movie all day long. Or even set up a call where we could talk about the movie while it's playing!

    But, there is a reason why most people probably don't do that or even consider doing it.

    As someone else pointed out, I can also get this experience by going to the movie theater and listening to the 13 year olds 3 seats down adding their own foley effects and commentary.

    But, if at least one person found some enjoyment out of chatting over a movie then WB has done their job. I'd be interested in hearing about what some of the comments being submitted were...
     

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