BD Live Showcased at Pixar Event16 Oct, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey
EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Most of the BD Live examples offered here Oct. 15 were familiar, however, a panel of studio representatives and software experts agreed: the industry is just starting to find out what BD Live can do.
The Producers Guild of America organized the event, and Pixar Animation hosted, with members of the public getting advance looks at upcoming Blu-ray Disc features, and a quick history of BD Live.
“BD Live is such a huge evolution,” said Sven Davison, VP of product development and production for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
He showed off the playlist feature on Fox’s Shine a Light Blu-ray: choose the Rolling Stones songs you really want, e-mail the list to yourself, and an iTunes playlist for purchase is ready and waiting for you.
Ole Lütjens, co-owner and creative director of MX, which specializes in Blu-ray production, showed off perhaps the most interesting BD Live features of the evening, for a “Neil Young Archives” set, a 10-disc release still in the works.
“[Young] wanted the quality and interactivity that wasn’t available before [on DVD],” Lütjens said. So much information — from music and video clips to posters and other archived material — is available that not all of it will fit on the set. Any time Young wants to add more bonus content for the set, BD Live allows users to download them.
“If we ever do get to the point where Neil adds 60 million songs, you can manage and delete content,” Lütjens said.
“It’s brand new, it’s wide open, and it is such a great time to dig into this medium and see what it can do,” said Zane Vella, CEO of Related Content Database, which offers software and services for network-connected Blu-ray Discs and players. “We saw this coming a long time ago: you can never fit everything on the disc.”
Bill Sheppard, chief digital media officer for Sun Microsystem’s Java Software Group, said the BD-Java platform for Blu-ray eventually will allow studios to offer bonus features via video on demand and other electronic delivery outlets. “When you think about the content available on Blu-ray Disc, increasingly the studios are going to [experiment more],” he said.
David Jessen, VP of Blu-ray and DVD creative production for Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment said they have just scratched the surface.
“The future is so Blu,” he said.
He threw the Sleeping Beauty Blu-ray “living menu” on the screen, which automatically shows the local time and weather, and can show the conditions of other cities worldwide.
The panelists said user-generated content would play a big part in BD Live down the line, and expressed excitement over the rumor that Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s Dec. 16 Mama Mia! release would allow for Web-cam reviews while the movie is playing.
“User-generated content and putting yourself in the movie,” Davison said. “That’s what we’re working on.”