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Fox announces first Blu-ray releases: 8 titles, BD-J, MPEG-4 AVC, 50GB

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
August 31, 2006
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Fox has announced they are jumping into the Blu-ray market in a big way this fall, with eight titles scheduled and the debut of many of the advanced features we've been expecting to see from Blu-ray since launch. Slated to launch just ahead of the Playstion 3 in Japan November 10th followed by North America, Europe and Australia release on November 14th, all of the movies will carry an MSRP of $39.98 and appear to be well worth it. Also announced today is the day-and-date with the DVD release of Ice Age: The Meltdown on Blu-ray November 21st. The rundown of the titles and their features is as follows:

  • Behind Enemy Lines: BD-J authored, DTS HD Lossless Master Audio and MPEG-4 compression. Includes several director commentaries and HD trailers for coming BD releases.
  • Fantastic Four: DTS HD Lossless Master Audio, HD Trailers, HDMV authored.

  • Kingdom of Heaven (Directors Cut): 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray disc to accommodate the 3 hour 42 minute movie DTS HD Master Lossless Audio, HDMV authored.

  • Kiss of the Dragon: Director commentaries, HDMV authored, HD Trailers.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: BD-J authored, MPEG-4 AVC compression, special features including search index by actor/character/location and more, a first-person shooter game, up to 99 bookmarks, pop up animated trivia game and HD trailers.
  • The Omen (666): DTS HD Lossless Master Audio, director commentaries plus BD-exclusive pop-up trivia track The Devils Footnotes exploring the history of 666.
  • Speed: BD-J authored, DTS HD Lossless Master Audio, 56 category search index, Speed: Take Down Java game with six play modes and HD trailers.
  • The Transporter: DTS HD Lossless Master Audio, HDMV authored, director commentaries, HD trailers.
Twentieth Century Fox is obviously going the extra mile to show what Blu-ray can do in these initial releases, with features even Sony Pictures has put off until 2007 like BD-J. As the press release states, these titles and features have been chosen specifically to appeal to buyers of the Playstation 3 and Blu-ray early adopters. While you may be familiar with Blu-ray's advanced Blu-ray Java features obviously present in the BD-J authored releases, if you're unfamiliar with HDMV, that is the term for discs authored with simpler menus more reminiscent of traditional DVDs. While HD DVD has undoubtedly outclassed Blu-ray up to this point, it looks like the BDA's first strike back will come in November.


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