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National Geographic Bows First Hi-Def DVDs

20 Feb, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Seeking to expand its high definition programming, National Geographic Home Entertainment March 27 will release its first title in both next generation optical media formats, HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

The title Relentless Enemies, a 90-minute documentary that showcases the “deadly ballet” between herds of specialized lions and buffalo living in Botswana's Duba Plains in Africa, will retail for $34.99 in either format and $19.98 for standard DVD.

Bonus material including a 25-minute feature, “Cheetah Chase,” and commentaries from Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, is available in all three formats.

Warner Home Video distributes all National Geographic DVDs.

Narrated by Jeremy Irons, Relentless, which was filmed over a two-year period, was the highest-rated natural history program to air on the National Geographic Channel.

Last year, National Geographic Channel launched an HD channel, which is available to 50 million homes, according to the channel.

The channel is a joint venture between National Geographic Television & Film and 20th Century Fox Cable Networks.

Patricia Najda, VP, National Geographic Domestic Home Entertainment, said the packaged-media releases offer an extension of the HD channel, whose wildlife programming lends itself to HD DVD and Blu-ray technology.

“For decades, audiences have been drawn to National Geographic programming for its captivating stories and superb cinematography and audio that give viewers a front-row seat to undersea dives, high-altitude climbs and authentic animal behavior,” said Najda. “As such, we're in a unique position to deliver the kind of material that caters to the HD/Blu-ray format and its audience, and will be looking for more opportunities to do so as the technology grows in popularity.”

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