Warner Home Video Set to Deliver First HD DVD Titles
By: César A. Berardini – "Cesar"
Mar. 17th, 2006
Warner Home Video (WHV), which distributes the largest film library of any studio, announced today that it will launch its first HD DVD titles on April 18.
The three initial movies will be Clint Eastwood’s four-time Academy Award winning, Best Picture of 2004, "Million Dollar Baby"; "The Last Samurai" starring Tom Cruise and "The Phantom of the Opera," Joel Schumacher’s vibrant movie adaptation of Broadway’s longest running show. Each of these titles will be available for $28.99 SRP.
17 additional titles will be released in the coming weeks including "Batman Begins," "Constantine," "Training Day" and "The Matrix."
These movies will have six times the resolution of standard definition DVDs in addition to crisp surround sound up to 7.1 channels. These movies will also have interactive menu-bar that allows viewers to enjoy features and settings without leaving or interrupting the film.
NOTE: This is a slight delay from Warned Brothers original April 11 release date, and also a fair reduction in initial titles.
Following suit, Toshiba (creator of HD format and DVD Player hardware) has announced it too will delay wide release of their DVD Player hardware as well. Also from teamxbox.com:
Toshiba originally planned to roll out the first HD DVD players on mid March but due to the lack of movie titles, the creator of the HD DVD format has decided now to release its upcoming HD-A1 and HD-XA1 players in April.
"We’re not saying exactly when," said Jodi Sally, vp digital A/V marketing at Toshiba. "We are ready to ship, but we feel it’s really best for the launch of HD DVD that we synchronize our hardware with our software at retail."
Toshiba avoided mentioning Warner Brothers’ decision to release its first HD DVD titles on April as the cause of the delay and instead preferred to issue a pr-friendly statement:
"Toshiba is currently working with major studios and major retailers to finalize sales dates of our players," the company stated. "In order to ensure maximum launch of HD DVD, we intend to synchronize launch of players with title releases from Hollywood studios."