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'Sleeping Beauty' to Alert Viewers to BD Live

10 Jun, 2008 By: Stephanie Prange

BD Live enables viewers to record personalized video messages, superimpose them in a clip of the film and send that clip to family and friends.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is launching Web-connected BD Live on all of its upcoming Disney-branded Blu-ray Disc releases beginning in the fourth quarter.

The studio plans to “reinvent the experience of watching movies in the home … by laying in a level of interactivity and connectivity that has never before been attempted in any format,” said Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment president Bob Chapek during a presentation Monday night to introduce the studio's first BD Live title, an elaborate, remastered 50th anniversary edition release of Sleeping Beauty, due Oct. 7. “This interactive connectivity will help us to connect families all across the country and help make the family room relevant again.”

To show consumers the advantages of Blu-ray, Disney also is including a standard DVD with the release to make it easy for them to see the difference between the two formats.

The release also inaugurates a live, onscreen chat function with an IM-like window that allows viewers to converse with fellow viewers watching the Blu-ray Disc at the same time. Viewers use their Blackberries or other PDAs to type in their end of the conversation, which then appears on the screen, as the movie rolls.

“The idea of my little girl being able to experience the movie and chat in real time with her grandparents across the country is very exciting to me,” Chapek said. “We are introducing this important feature on Sleeping Beauty, but imagine the possibilities of extending this to other titles such as High School Musical or, eventually, ABC's hit show ‘Lost.' Can you imagine the level of excitement that will create with the tweens or the rabid fan base of ‘Lost'?”

Through video messaging, or “Disney Movie Mail,” a video message can be inserted into a movie, at any point, at the viewer's discretion, and then sent to another viewer, for playback the next time the movie is watched.

“Theoretically, it takes a greeting card and puts it on steroids,” Chapek said. “Imagine the possibilities beyond dad on a business trip. People being given the opportunity to use clips of their favorite Disney films to create movie mail messages will surely appeal to old, young and everyone in between.”

Through BD Live functions, Chapek said, viewers also can also “reward points” and be able to tap into a newly created Disney BD Live Network.

“Here, Blu-ray owners will be able to acquire studio updates, download new trailers, and use their accumulated reward points to obtain wallpapers, ringtones, avatars and many other new exciting possibilities,” he said.

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