Article: The Future of Interactivity
Should the main focus of next generation media be the film itself, or connectivity/interactivity? The debate rages on throughout forums across the world whether or not Blu-ray or HD DVD has their priorities correctly aligned in order to capture the attention of the mass market. However, amidst all of the insanity, there is a rising star, a relatively unknown company that has taken it upon themselves to reinvent the way we, and studios for that matter, will come to interact with our disc media.
Dynamic HD is nothing short of impressive, and the people behind the magic, Imagion AG, seem to have a very ambitious outlook for what the future has in store for us as consumers. Hailing from Germany, the technology utilizes an integrated content navigator that promises a number of advanced features ranging from the simplistic to the complex. However, it is some of the simplest features that stand to make the biggest difference, and really allow Dynamic HD to shine. For example, the discs are all pressed Germany, and therefore there is the chance that the disc itself won’t contain your subtitles, or even audio track, of choice. For many importers out there, this would be an instant turn off, but for those discs that bear the Dynamic HD logo, it is entirely possible that the subtitle track you were hoping for will be available for download, directly to your HD DVD player. So you could care less about importing, eh? Subtitles aren’t an issue for you? What if you had the option to download an alternate audio stream, director/crew/cast commentary, alternate endings, featurettes, or retrospective interviews years after the discs release? All of these features and more are well within the realm of possibility with Dynamic HD, and it’s only the beginning.
Of course, the downloadable features are only a single facet of Dynamic HD. Through TuneHD.net, users can register and join an online community of film enthusiasts directly from the comfort of their living room, instantly allowing the consumer to collect and share their favorite scenes, compile and share playlists, post comments, create and share your own artwork, rate episodes or movies, take part in polls, share film recommendations, and even unlock exclusive bonus content designed for TuneHD.net members.
It doesn’t end there either. Dynamic HD also promises to expand the possibilities for cross promotion/convergence, and online merchandising between the various studios/content providers and the end user. Warner was the first to offer up mobile downloads via their 300 disc, but Universal was the first studio to dip their toes into the online merchandising world through their U-Shop feature, found on the Evan Almighty HD DVD. Dynamic HD takes the concept a couple steps further, offering studios opportunities to sell film related merchandise, showcase musical artists associated with the film/TV show, or even offer the film soundtrack as a direct download to your player. Downloading trailers and other film related media for your cell phone is also a possibility, while still leaving room for advertisers to promote specific tie-in promotions ranging from featured car advertisements to the latest fast food film-themed incarnations. The possibilities are limitless in this regard, and it will likely only be a matter of time before the Hollywood studios either expand their current offerings to match Dynamic HD, or they work to incorporate Dynamic HD interactivity into their future titles.
At the end of the day, it’s the consumer who will stand to benefit the most from Dynamic HD. The unprecedented ability to upgrade your copy of Terminator 2, or Deathproof will be a huge incentive to many film collectors and viewers alike, and while it won’t necessarily prevent studios from releasing an “Ultimate Edition” years down the road, we think it would be unrealistic to expect studios not to cash in on multiple disc collector’s sets, among other variations. The benefits are clear, the potential for greatness is undeniable, and the advanced interactivity/connectivity is only available on HD DVD.
As for the tired argument between fans of both formats, it would seem that the HD DVD crowd has just been given a significant amount of ammo against the competition as these features would not only require the finalized standard profile 1.1 for Blu-ray, but also the 2.0 specification in order to achieve any of the aforementioned features.
While we can understand how some people might not be crazy about PiP, but we have a hard time imagining any film lover who wouldn’t want to have access to any of the above features, let alone the ability to update their HD library.
Either way you stack it, Dynamic HD is proof that consumers can have their cake and eat it too.
For more information, follow the links below:
Available/forthcoming Dynamic HD titles, here.
Register link for TuneHD.net newsletter, here.
Imagion AG Homepage, here.
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