Insert silly saying here, I’ve got no energy to do so, for it’s the day of rest in America.
What can I say, I’m going to sit and watch my butt expand this go round (damn, I’m doing it now), so here we go…
As far as the firmware update goes for the Toshiba HD-DVD players, I did manage to download it last week and throw in Constantine for some scenes, and I’ve gotta say I definitely noticed a change in quality from the Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks. There was mnore active low end fidelity an… more of the effects sounded even clearer than I was expecting. Here’s hoping that it becomes a requisite for newer releases. There’s a bit of a pitfall when it comes to the download, and I’ll say it this way: DO NOT HAVE A DISC IN THE PLAYER WHEN YOU DOWNLOAD! Some people have actually been in that situation, and the next course of action is sending the thing back to Toshiba for service. And since no one bought an extended warranty, I’m betting you’d rather not pay for the cost of postage and service right? So there’s your disclaimer.
There has been quite a bit of news this week, most of it from the Blu-Ray camp, as they look toward the future. However as a geek, let me get the HD-DVD stuff out of the way. Europe will be seeing the Toshiba players come to their shelves, only theirs will have full 1080p and HDMI version 1.3 (which support many of the audio formats the HD and Blu-Ray discs will have for audio components in the future), so big ups to them for that. If the region codes still don’t exist, maybe a buy is in the future. For disc news, Terminator 3 (with another In Movie Experience), The Dirty Dozen, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Grand Prix will be released by Warner, along with Swordfish, The Fugitive, Space Cowboys, House of Wax, Lethal Weapon 2 and (for a BD exclusive) Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.
The Blu-Ray camp has come out swinging in terms of releases for the 4th quarter. Fox will be doing a day and date BR release for Ice Age, while the following will also be part of their blitz; Behind Enemy Lines, Kiss of the Dragon, Fantastic Four, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Speed, The Transporter, the remake of The Omen and lastly, the director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven. Most of these discs will have DTS HD included with them, Speed and LXG will have some Java apps to play on them, and Kingdom of Heaven will be on a 50GB disc to hold the runtime. Now if they can port over all the features from these discs, on a personal level, it would certainly pique my interest to pick up a player, assuming they come down in price before release. In other studio news, MGM will release Rocky as a day and date release with the SE later this year, and expect to see Windtalkers and Bulletproof Monk along with them, not to mention The Usual Suspects. In addition to all of this, Blu-Ray’s Japanese launch will also be interesting to watch, as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Da Vinci Code and Chicken Little, will be among the initial group of titles available for purchase in the land of the rising sun.
At least as we get closer to the 4th quarter, we know things will continue to get more entertaining. So until next week, high definers, keep your brightness set low and your resolution set high!