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Some Adult Suppliers See HD DVD as More Supportive Than Blu-ray

24 Jan, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

HD DVD is perceived as more supportive of adult content than Blu-ray Disc.

The adult entertainment industry apparently has found little resistance to releasing titles in high-definition format HD DVD compared to rival Blu-ray Disc.

Wicked Pictures Jan. 2 released the first high-def packaged media adult release Camp Cuddly Pines Power Tool Massacre ($49.95) with Stormy Daniels and Jessica Drake on HD DVD.

A second HD DVD title, Curse Eternal, will be released in February. Future releases will include interactive games that reveal bonus content and picture-in-picture sequences.

Digital Playground, the company that created the acclaimed adult film Pirates, which won 40 industry awards, including 13 at the 2006 AVN Awards, Jan. 16 released four titles in combo high-def format HD DVD and standard DVD.

The titles include Island Fever 3, Jack's Teen America 3, Pirates and Island Fever 4. All are playable on Toshiba's HD DVD players as well as Microsoft's Xbox 360, according to Digital Playground.

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Digital Playground unveiled the HD trailer for Pirates II, which will be released on DVD and HD DVD this year.

Bucking the trend, Vivid Entertainment March 28 will release Debbie Does Dallas … Again on Blu-ray for $39.95.

A Vivid spokesperson said the company has 50 movies shot in HD and will release them in either format depending on market preferences.

Debbie marks the first adult film to be released on Blu-ray, despite Sony reportedly being opposed to the release of adult content on the format and disc replication companies able to handle the format not being forthcoming.

The New York Times reported that Vivid CEO Steven Hirsch spent months finding a Blu-ray replication company willing to take Debbie.

Jackie Ramos, VP of DVD production with Wicked, said the distributor originally preferred Blu-ray, but HD DVD technicians appeared more amenable to train them on how to author a title in the format.

“We didn't get that kind of support from Blu-ray,” Ramos said.

He said both format camps were reluctant to publicly embrace adult content, and all interaction was done behind closed doors. Ramos said Blu-ray technicians eventually proved helpful. But when it came time to recommend a Blu-ray Disc replication service, they were at a loss.

“Our understanding at the time was that Sony owned the licensing on all the lines and wouldn't allow adult content to be replicated,” Ramos said. “It was kind of like a dead end street. Now what do we do?”

Andy Parsons, SVP, industrial solutions business group with Blu-ray backer Pioneer Electronics, said Blu-ray was an open format and that the Blu-ray Disc Association was not trying to dissuade content holders from using the technology for distribution of their product.

He said previous reports suggesting otherwise were erroneous. Parsons said replication companies not willing to produce adult content in Blu-ray likely had contractual issues or corporate policies prohibiting involvement with adult content.

“It's not anything that the BDA is trying to restrict or has any problem with,” Parsons said.

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