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Disney Unveils BD Live at Sleeping Beauty Blu-ray Event  Print E-mail
Home Theater News Blu-ray Software News
Written by Bryan Dailey   
Tuesday, 10 June 2008

New Disney Blu-ray discs to feature BD Live technology including "Movie Chat," "Movie Mail,"  "Movie Challenge" and more unique features.

To showcase their next generation of interactive Blu-ray disc technology, Disney held a gala event in Los Angeles featuring the forthcoming release of Sleeping Beauty. 

To showcase their next generation of interactive Blu-ray disc technology, Disney held a gala event in Los Angeles featuring the forthcoming release of Sleeping Beauty. Not slated for release until October 2008, Sleeping Beauty will be the first Disney movie re-released in its original 2.55:1 aspect ratio. It has been painstakingly restored, including remixing of the original audio tracks into a discrete 7.1 mix.

Disney is quite aware of their target market and is adapting their discs to appeal to the shorter attention spans of children and “tweeners” who are very comfortable at multi-tasking, often chatting on the computer or handheld devices while simultaneously watching movies. Users who have a next-generation Blu-ray disc player connected to the Internet will be able to create a BD Live account and chat with their friends and other BD Live account holders with a computer or PDA/Blackberry type device through a protected Disney Network.

Interactive trivia games can be played against other BD Live members, or the users can play with other members of their households. The final and probably smartest part of the BD Live technology is the ability to record video greetings that are layered on top of a scene from the movie that can then be emailed to the user’s friends or family. The person who receives the email will only be able to view their greeting if they own the disc that contains the backing video track. This viral marketing technique will enable an army of young, technologically-savvy children to encourage their friends to buy their own copies of these BD Live-enabled discs.

The chat function may seem excessive and perhaps a waste of time to many, but having it on upcoming discs such as the future editions of the TV show Lost will surely be a hit with the show’s intensely geeky fan base. They can discuss the often complicated and surreal plot twists in real time with their fellow Lost buddies.

Movie purists will most likely care less about the chat, video greeting, trivia and other BD Live features, but they will be thrilled to see the spectacular transfer of Sleeping Beauty in its original theatrical aspect ratio. The rich, vibrant colors and extremely clean print were evident on the 20 to 30 Panasonic LCD and Plasma monitors Disney had on hand to display the film.

One BD Live feature that I believe will appeal to even the most hardcore movie enthusiast is the points system that Disney has implemented. Once a user has earned enough points by playing the games on the discs and participating in various BD Life functions, they will unlock exclusive content. An exclusive cut of the trailer for the upcoming Disney DVD/Blu-ray original film Tinkerbell was shown as an example.

October is a long time to wait for this disc, but from the looks of the demo at last night’s event, it should be a huge hit with both the current and the next generations of Disney film fans.

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