Heralding the beginning of the high-definition home entertainment era, major consumer electronics and IT companies, disc replicators and Hollywood studios each announced plans — at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas — to produce, market and sell HD DVD hardware and content beginning in Q4 2005.
Toshiba Corporation was joined in the announcement by representatives from companies who have pledged to support HD DVD including NEC and SANYO as well as Hollywood’s HBO Video, New Line Home Entertainment, Paramount Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Home Video.
Disc replicator Memory-Tech announced that it has been operating six HD DVD-DVD compatible mass production lines since May 2004 and currently stands ready to produce up to 50 million HD DVD discs per year.
Additionally, leading disc replicator Cinram International Inc. announced the company will offer a single optical disc — HD/DVD 9 — capable of storing data in both DVD and HD DVD formats.
A representative from Microsoft Corporation also discussed the company’s contribution to this advanced medium.
In addition, Thomson representatives joined the event to express the company’s support for the HD DVD platform. In December, the company announced it would provide HD DVD players under the Thomson and RCA brands and HD DVD disc replication by Technicolor.
Hardware Availability in Q4 2005
Several companies announced plans to release HD DVD hardware and content by the end of 2005. Toshiba told attendees that it would begin delivering HD DVD players and notebook PCs with HD DVD drives in the fourth quarter of this year. NEC announced that it would deliver HD DVD ROM drives in September 2005. SANYO also announced that it would deliver HD DVD players in Q4 2005.
The event was highlighted by an HD DVD demonstration featuring a montage of theatrical HD DVD titles expected to be released from major Hollywood studios.
Some of the titles being released on HD DVD include:
Paramount Picture’s The Manchurian Candidate; Mission Impossible II and Forrest Gump; Universal Pictures’ The Chronicles of Riddick, Van Helsing and The Bourne Supremacy; and Warner Bros.’ The Polar Express and Ocean’s Twelve as well as the upcoming Batman Begins and Constantine