HD-DVD, the first HD video disc format is now on sale in the US and I want one, even to the point of considering importing one. A friend of mine actually did that ($800 including shipping!) and should be getting his player any day now, so I’ll probably be posting some impressions of the format when I get the chance to steal a peek.
What I really want to talk about though, is this report. Not how orgasmic Kong would look in 1080p, but this section:
Universal’s next-gen HD bonus content will fully integrate online interactivity into the movie watching experience, “opening up new promotional opportunities” for studios by allowing HD-DVD users the option to learn more about on-screen items in a movie and even make purchases online.
One example of HD bonus content Kornblau illustrated was for the studio’s upcoming day-and-date release of ‘Fast and the Furious: Toyko Drift’ due later this year. Viewers could connect to the internet via the player, “trick out” a car seen in the film, then reinsert their creation back into the movie. Users could also click on the tire of a car seen in the film, then go online to purchase it and other related products.
They don’t miss an opportunity, do they? It’s pretty low how they force copyright messages and ads at the beginning of DVDs that you’ve paid for, but I sincerely hope this doesn’t mean that when a new car appears on screen you’re going to get a Sky Digital-style “Press the Red Button to Learn More” in the top corner. Or a New York promo in the opening scenes of King Kong.
Not that a new Fast and the Furious is going to have much integrity to speak of (at least it’s not named as absurdly as 2 Fast 2 Furious), but crap like inserting custom promotional content into a movie isn’t a good precedent to set. Just let us pay our money and get the movie we pay for, and if you want to put this stuff in there you’d better be dropping the price of the movies. Which I doubt they will…