Warner Celebrates 85th Anniversary with Announcements

Posted by Dave Cowl on February 7, 2008 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, Format War, HD DVD

warner.thumbnail.jpgSee read over at Video Business and that Warner has made some interesting announcements as part of their 85th Anniversary.

Best Buy and have been designated as Warner’s strategic retail partners for the anniversary promotions, meaning they will support the studio with a healthy level of merchandising and marketing support.

In super news, it appears that some catalog titles will receive 4k restoration and any title receiving this treatment will get a Blu-ray release.

As for titles, there are some expected and some interesting announcements:

On both formats we will see Bonnie and Clyde: Ultimate Collector’s Edition. A Dirty Harry collectors box is scheduled for June and is expected to be Blu-ray only.

In July we have the Batman Anthology and Batman Begins. Rounding out Q3 will be musicals and westerns including Gigi and How the West was Won. Q4 will feature horror and holiday releases.

Other titles expected in 2008 include The Dark Knight, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca, Clash of the Titans, Excalibur, Forbidden Planet, Heat, Grand Prix, The Matrix Trilogy, Mutiny on the Bounty and V for Vendetta. For 2009, expect releases of Ben-Hur, Gone With the Wind, North by Northwest, The Wizard of Oz and Woodstock.

UPDATE: Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits is saying that Dirty Harry will not make the HD DVD deadline and will be Blu-ray only. 

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4 Responses to “Warner Celebrates 85th Anniversary with Announcements”

  1. Segarsj on February 7th, 2008 12:21 pm


    I wonder if that will be one of the 4k restored titles.

  2. Tim on February 7th, 2008 1:29 pm

    First, what is 4k restoration? I’m assuming it’s some sort of remastering. I didn’t see anything about it in the original article.

    Second, this means of course that Warner is doing for Blu-ray what the HD DVD studios ought to be doing if indeed they wish that format to survive. Specifically, they are releasing a their back-catalog, in a similar manner to the way that Nintendo’s Wii Virtual Console has built up a substantial collection of available titles.

    Consumers want a format that they can switch their buying over to entirely, not just for new releases, and this is a step in the right direction.

  3. James Segars on February 7th, 2008 3:00 pm

    4k is the highest possible master quality at this time.

    I’m not quite sure what most films are mastered in for archival purposes, but I’m pretty sure only select few get the 4k treatment at this time. Perhaps the majority get 2k or 1080p.

    Bear in mind, Blu-ray and HD DVD are “limited” to 1080p at this time, so there is no 4k medium, nor are there any native displays, outside of prototypes and some high-end projectors. At the same time though, you should be able to see the difference between 4k masters and 1080p masters, on a 1080p medium. It’s hard to tell how much, but since the film is being scanned at a far higher resolution (

    Hop over to that link to better understand the size difference. It’s quite a big jump.

    As for the back-catalog, it’s great to see that they’re “opening the vault” but many of those titles are available on HD DVD already and have been for quite some time, namely: The Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca, Excalibur, Forbidden Planet, Grand Prix, The Matrix Trilogy, Mutiny on the Bounty, Batman Begins and V for Vendetta.

    Those titles account for a lot of the releases they’ve listed above, so it’s more of a no-brainer than anything else. Of course, I’m not trying to say it’s not great news for Blu-ray fans, but HD DVD owners have had access to some of those films for close to two years.

    Not trying to start any riots, just saying. ;)

  4. Dave Cowl on February 7th, 2008 3:24 pm

    Batman Begins is obviously a big title and it is interesting to read that it might be given better treatment on BD than HD DVD (it sounds like it is an upgraded release). The Matrix is also going to sell units on BD for sure.

    It is interesting that there could be a period of time that HD DVD loses titles just as BD gains them…

    Personally I hope they recode these titles rather than ‘more of the same’ encodes that are on the HD DVDs…

    It is also exciting to hear that Warner is pledging to make lossless audio a standard for their releases.

    BTW, there is more information at Digital Bits and Hollywood in HiDef, which is where some of the additional info is sourced from.

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