StudiocanalStudioCanal, not well known in the US but one of the largest distributors of movies in the world will be releasing films on HD DVD, and now we have confirmation from Microsoft's Amir M. that they will be encoded in VC-1 at 24p, theoretically removing any possible barrier for their being played on US HD DVD players. The main benefit of this of course being that StudioCanal holds the European release rights to many movies currently limited to Blu-ray only distributors like Fox here in the U.S. Unless region coding is adopted by HD DVD, it could be very simple for aficionados to obtain copies of their favorite movies simply by importing them, and perhaps put additional pressure on distributors here to go multiformat to avoid losing sales to importers.

We are not aware of any plans yet announced by StudioCanal to release movies on Blu-ray, and with their Vivendi Universal connection plus Blu-ray region coding that may not give US buyers access to Universal content anyway. Of course we have to wait until the titles are actually released and whether or not region coding for HD DVD is finalized, but this could provide a big boost to HD DVD supporters who don't want to be locked out of some of their favorite movies.

[Thanks for the tip Glenn!]

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StudioCanal HD DVD releases encoded at 1080p 24p = easy imports of Blu-ray exclusives?