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Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Microsoft and Universal Reach Agreement on HD DVD

Microsoft and Universal Studios announced a collaboration to use Microsoft technologies in upcoming HD DVD discs.

The announcement was made at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention in Las Vegas on Monday.

Universal has agreed to use iHD, an interactivity feature for DVDs, in its upcoming titles.It will also use VC-1, a compression protocol recently approved as a standard to be included in HD DVD discs. Both technologies were developed in part by researchers at Microsoft. The Redmond software maker is a strong supporter of the next-generation DVD technology..

VC-1 will allow Universal to offer full 1080p resolution and have enough space on the 30GB HD DVD disc for additional features. iHD will allow for the accessing of interactive features without the need to interrupt playback..

"With plans to release a wide range of HD DVD titles, Universal also needed a flexible interactive layer that can scale to accommodate new features," Universal Studios Home Entertainment President Craig Kornblau said in a statement. "This is a scenario where VC-1 and iHD came out far ahead of other technologies.".

Currently, every major studio with plans to support HD DVD will use VC-1 in their discs.

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