The Pianist has been released in Japan on HD DVD. It is a Studio Canal film distributed by Toshiba. The video is encoded with MPEG-4AVC for the feature and MPEG-2 for the supplements. Feature is 1080i according to the package. Sound is DD Plus with both English and Japanese 5.1 tracks. Like early Warner releases in USA, the sound is at least 10db lower than normal. There are optional Japanese subtitles. Run time is listed as 149 minutes for the feature with total content at 202 minutes. Toshiba player used has latest 2.0 firmware installed from Toshiba using the LAN connection and DSL. The picture displays very natural muted colors with the excellent detail expected from HD DVD. When projected onto 8 ft screen using Marantz VP-12S2 progector, I did note what appeared to be minor edge enhancement in many scenes. (Can someone else confirm). Shadow detail is excellent and black level is satisfactory. Interior scenes look very natural with occasional grain noted. In a scene near the end when the piano is played in a cold room one can see the breath vapor from the pianist. I do not recall this detail on the SD DVD. PQ is a big step up from the SD DVD but the apparent EE renders a digital look to distant scenes. There is no region code marking and it is my understanding that early HD DVDs are not region coded. I also read that if and when codes are established Japan and Korea will be in same region as North America. Packaging is in standard DVD Keepcase rather than the scaled down size used in USA.