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'Heroes' HD DVD Packed With Interactive Extras

26 Jul, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey

SAN DIEGO — Fans of “Heroes” caught the first public showcase of the interactive extras on the show's first season HD DVD at Comic-Con International July 25.

Robin Cole, group manager for HD DVD consumer technology for Microsoft, showed off the special features for Heroes: Season 1, at the NBC booth on the convention floor, addressing hundreds of people who were wandering this way and that.

“It takes the elements of comic books and puts them on the screen,” Cole said, showing how viewers could single out the famous paintings in the series and use picture-in-picture options.

Sure, this set has the usual fare: deleted and extended scenes (50 in all), a never-aired premiere episode with a commentary by show creator Tim Kring, a making-of featurette, etc., but Cole wanted to talk about the interactive features.

“Interactivity — I know, it's one of those buzz words we use,” she said.

Cole walked the audience through an extra called The Helix Revealed, a guide to the mysterious symbol that keeps popping up in the show, and Character Connections, which allows viewers to follow just the clips of their favorite characters. There's picture-in-picture cast and crew video commentary and a mind-reading feature. Extras such as these make the viewer feel like they are a part of the show, she said.

Sadly, due to the lack of an Internet connection at the booth, “What I can't show you is the networking,” Cole said.

Viewers can take a Heroes' Ability Test, create a profile, upload it to an NBC Web site, and find out via a unique access code what powers they may have. Users can download exclusive content and Heroes updates to their HD DVD player every day.

“This series doesn't end when you buy the disc,” she said.

The people behind HD DVD feel this set is their coming-out party, showing what HD DVD is capable of, with Comic-Con as the venue.

“We really want the consumer to understand the experience they're going to get,” said Ken Graffeo, EVP of marketing for Universal Studios Home Entertainment, which is distributing the HD DVD.

Heroes: Season 1 will street Aug. 28 for $99.98.

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