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Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Studios Announce Next-generation DVD Titles

Film studios today released slates of next-generation DVDs due later this year in a move to jump start a multibillion-dollar industry that risks being bogged down by a standards war.

Both Blu-ray (led by Sony) and HD DVD (championed by Toshiba), are expected this spring to launch new high-definition DVD players, offering greater capacity and interactive features, hoping to breathe new life into the sagging home video market.

News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox said it will release 20 Blu-ray films in a first wave this year that will include hits like "Fantastic Four" and "Ice Age." Sony Pictures Home Entertainment said it will release 20 titles on Blu-ray beginning this spring, including The Fifth Element (in multichannel uncompressed audio), Bram Stoker's Dracula, Desperado, For a Few Dollars More, The Guns of Navarone, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, A Knight's Tale, Kung Fu Hustle, The Last Waltz, Legends of the Fall, Resident Evil Apocalypse, Robocop, Sense and Sensibility, Stealth, Species, SWAT and XXX. Black Hawk Down and The Bridge on the River Kwai will also be available on 50 GB, dual-layer Blu-ray Discs in the Summer of 2006.

"Beginning this Spring, SPHE will support the rollout of BD-compatible players, PCs and drives from a variety of consumer electronics and computer companies by offering a wide-breadth of high-definition movies and other promotional materials," said Mr. Feingold, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE).

Warner Bros. said it will announce products tied to both formats at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.

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