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Home Theater Forum Goes to Hollywood: Universal

By Home Theater Forum | Posted: October 21, 2008

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Universal Studios graciously treated our large group to breakfast, and kicked off the BD demo with trailers from upcoming Universal BD releases, such as Wanted and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. The main course was exploring a wealth of features from the Oct. 21 release of The Incredible Hulk on Blu-ray Disc. The BD demo included exploring U-Control featurettes, which promises to provide a revealing look into the behind-the-scenes creative process of the film, with distinctive streams of content (such as storyboards, CGI animation sequences, live-action filmed sequences minus the CGI, and a comic book adaptation that follows the film’s plot and is in step with the audio).

Next came the BD Live demo from The Incredible Hulk BD that focused on My Chat, which allows for chatting with up to five friends online while the film is synced up and playing for all the My Chat participants for a communal film-watching experience. Each friend would be required to purchase the Blu-ray Disc to join in on the fun on a BD 2.0 capable player for online participation. For the demo a PS3 with Bluetooth keyboard was used for the typing functionality.

Questions from the group ranged from a plea for menu-driven U-Control, porting over all the features from older DVD releases and HD DVD releases if at all possible onto the BD releases, and ambitious requests for more BD Live innovations (such as audio chatting during a synced up viewing of BD titles offering My Chat). Besides tentpole BD title releases that focused on a younger demographic who were familiar with online chatting during video game play, there was interest expressed by those yearning for older classic catalog BD titles, and the BD Live features would be welcomed by them as well, as these titles have withstood the test of time and would reignite discussion of a high-definition exploration of such films, enticing fans to rediscover and see old favorites with more clarity and interactivity that is only available through the Blu-ray experience.

—Patrick Sun, Home Theater Forum

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