New features coming for Blu-ray DVD format

The death of HD DVD will not mean automatic victory for Blu-ray, says Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director at JupiterResearch, the New York-based IT research firm. "With high-quality and cheap 'upscaling' DVD players at one end and HD downloads more common, the Blu-ray folks will need to work hard to win the hearts, minds and wallets of consumers to adopt."

All kinds of features

Consumers who purchase the newer Blu-ray machines should keep in mind that the Blu-ray discs themselves must also support advanced features such as BD-Live and BonusView.

Lionsgate's horror sequel Saw IV is heralded as the first BD-Live-ready Blu-ray disc. It contains an interactive feature called MoLog (short for movie blog), where viewers can share their own audio or video content or join an online discussion using an onscreen keyboard. While the disc came out in January, the online BD-Live features will have to wait until the Profile 2.0 standard is here.

Fox's Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, available on Blu-ray April 15, will include a BonusView picture-in-picture reference guide called Weyland-Yutani Archives, letting viewers hack into the movie-based corporation's secret computer to read about "all things Alien and Predator," says Fox. The franchise's first BD-Live content won't be available until later this year when Fox reissues the original Alien vs. Predator on Blu-ray with a multiplayer online game called Alien vs. Predator vs. You, demonstrated at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Disney's first BD-Live title will be a Blu-ray Platinum Edition of Sleeping Beauty, scheduled for October release.

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