At NAB2005, Warner Bros. Studios and Microsoft Corp. announced their plans to collaborate on the release of a broad range of next-generation HD DVD discs using Windows Media Video 9 (VC-1)
Microsoft's implementation of VC-1, the proposed Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) standard approved by the DVD Forum for HD DVD. Warner Home Video currently plans to release titles in the fourth quarter of 2005. HD DVD represents the first major push to deliver high-definition content to consumers on optical media in the U.S.
The collaboration signifies Warner Bros.' continued commitment to providing new digital entertainment experiences for consumers using the best digital media solutions available. Microsoft will collaborate with Warner Bros. to ensure that the video quality of HD DVD titles is unmatched, enabling true home theater experiences.
"Warner Bros. has evaluated the video quality of VC-1 and found it to be outstanding, making it an ideal format for the delivery of high-definition content," said Chris Cookson, chief technology officer at Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. "By releasing a wide range of titles in VC-1, we are creating great new opportunities to bring high-definition video to consumers."
"Warner Bros.' plan to use VC-1 for the release of HD DVDs presents consumers with exciting new options for watching high-definition content," said Blair Westlake, corporate vice president of the Media/Entertainment & Technology Convergence Group at Microsoft. "As a technology provider, Microsoft is encouraged by the industry's efforts to deliver next-generation high-definition video experiences for consumers, and we see the Warner Bros. collaboration as a significant milestone."
Warner Bros. has one of the largest libraries of any motion picture studio with over 6,500 feature films, 40,000 TV episodes and 14,000 animated titles (including more than 1,500 classic animated shorts). The library includes such world-renowned franchises as "Superman," "Batman," "Friends," "E.R." and "The West Wing," as well as such contemporary theatrical hits as "Ocean's Eleven," "Mystic River" and "The Last Samurai." The studio is expected to announce the release of an increasing amount of its content on HD DVD as its involvement with the format continues.