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Warner Eyes Winter Holiday BD Live Launch

By Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 18 Jun 2008

Warner Bros. is looking to launch Web-enabled Blu-ray titles with BD Live as early as the winter holidays, according to a senior official.

In a keynote address June 18 at the Entertainment Supply Chain Academy conference, Darcy Antonellis, president of Warner Bros. Technical Operations, said the unnamed titles will include real-time viewing, library tools, a search engine, a recommendation tool with e-mail reminders, ringtones and wallpapers.

Antonellis said picture-in-picture, ringtones, deleted scenes, screeners and related online exclusives were originally earmarked for HD DVD.

She said studios will be dialed into consumer habits based in large part on the information they submit during the registration process included with each Blu-ray title.

The executive believes consumer adoption of BD Live will be faster than it was for enhanced features on standard DVD due to the heightened awareness of interactive video games.

“I think it has the ability to compete [with MySpace and YouTube] for a user's time because you are taking them online and you're able to create a community that we have never been able to do before,” she said. “That's huge for us.”

The executive envisions in the near future being able to harness the online chat room activity surrounding the upcoming “Batman” movie, The Dark Knight.

“Think about what we could do with Batman Begins,” Antonellis said.

The executive said BD Live removes numerous challenges studios face attempting to bring a movie to home entertainment, including enhanced content, navigation and creative clearances.

She said the format allows Warner to create templates in advance that can be added to the disc with future content derived directly from the Internet.

“That's a game changer as it relates to the supply chain, production of our titles,” Antonellis said.

She said Warner would use BD Live to send out notices to consumers about special online events, where talent would be available at a specific date and time.

“These are exclusive opportunities that can be offered through this small community that is created with these [Profile 2.0] players,” Antonellis said. “We are no longer limited by finite capacity on the disc.”

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