Artisan, Microsoft unveil high-definition DVD
Film studio Artisan Entertainment Inc and Microsoft Corp unveiled the first DVD to be released especially for digital high-definition PC and TV monitors.business Updated: May 02, 2003 11:50 IST
When "Terminator" star Arnold Schwarzenegger uttered his famous movie line "I'll be back," he likely had no idea it would be in digital form.
Film studio Artisan Entertainment Inc and software giant Microsoft Corp unveiled the first DVD to be released especially for digital high-definition computer and television monitors, "T2: Extreme DVD"
The two-disc DVD contains one standard DVD of hit 1991 Schwarzenegger movie, "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," for playback in a normal DVD player.
The second disc, however, contains a high-definition version of the movie to be played on a computer DVD ROM drive and high-end monitors.
People who own home theater systems with the correct cabling and high-definition TV monitors, too, can view the special version of "T2."
"There are a lot of high-def capable systems out there, but not a lot of pre-recorded content to enjoy," said Randy Wells, executive brand director for Artisan Home Entertainment. "When you see a great movie on DVD in high-def ... you notice things you didn't notice before."
For years, electronics manufacturers have touted the super-sharp picture quality that high-definition monitors can bring film and TV viewers, but due to many technological and financial reasons, Hollywood has yet to deliver much content aimed for owners of "high-def" equipment.
Slowly, that is changing and the major TV networks will sometimes broadcast top-rated shows, such as professional football's Super Bowl, in high-definition.
However, the massive amounts of digital data needed to format a movie into a high-definition version had prohibited the making of high-def DVDs.
Microsoft's new Windows Media 9 software solved data compression issues, said Erin Cullen, product manager with Microsoft's Windows Digital Media division.
Cullen admitted the computer system requirement for playing the high-def DVD is high, but added that equipment prices are dropping quickly. She said in some cases a system that could play the high-def DVD can be bought for less than $1,000.
Artisan's Wells, too, said that the high-def DVD is targeted to a small market of users, but that there "truly is a viable market out there" that it is growing rapidly.
Both the high-def and standard DVDs contain additional features including 16 minutes of additional film, director James Cameron's commentary, and behind-the-scenes footage.
With a suggested retail price of $29.98, the two-disc set hits stores on June 3, about a month ahead of Schwarzenegger's new movie "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines".