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When Disney announced last August that they would be bringing Sleeping Beauty and Finding Nemo to the Blu-ray disc format in 2008, it signaled to fans of their movies that the format was ready for the Platinum titles in their vault.
Additionally, the news brought with it some leadership from the house of Mouse. Their press release mentioned that Sleeping Beauty would feature both Picture-in-Picture functionality via the Bonus View feature (then called Profile 1.1) of Blu-ray and also special interactivity in the form of a "virtual castle and multi-player activities" utilizing Blu-ray's BD-Live feature. This information was refined in Disney's January pre-CES announcement of their upcoming Blu-ray lineup.
That information alone, aside from what other movie studios have announced in regards to using Bonus View and BD-Live, was reason enough for me to believe that any Blu-ray player not capable of those two additional features was not worth buying. Here we are 9 months later, and there is only one piece of hardware capable of playing both Bonus View and BD-Live features; the PlayStation 3, Sony's flagship $400 game console that also provides Blu-ray playback capability and othe media playback features.
In a recent article by USA Today, Disney has provided some additional details about the Sleeping Beauty Blu-ray release, which is still targeted for October 7, 2008.
Using a new technology known as BD Live — which connects to the Internet — viewers will pop in the disc and get a customized version of the famed castle that serves as a backdrop for the menu. The sky will reflect weather conditions in the viewer's hometown.
Once viewers begin watching, they'll be able to chat with friends right on the movie screen, using a laptop, BlackBerry or other PDA, through Disney's protected network. They'll be able to insert customized video messages anywhere in the movie and send them to friends or family members via a "movie mail" feature.
They'll be able to play trivia games with fellow viewers across the country. And when they're done, they can get a constant supply of new trailers, plus trade in "reward" points, collected by using many of these features, for ringtones and wallpaper.
Sleeping Beauty "will revolutionize the way people will interact with and view movies in the home," says Bob Chapek, president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. "We pulled out all the stops in launching this technology."
Click the Read link below to read the full article.
I've said it before, and I'll repeat it here. Unless you want to try to explain to your kids why they can't access these cool new features on Disney movies, like Sleeping Beauty, you'll want to make sure that the player you buy supports both Bonus View and BD-Live functionality.
Along with great picture and great sound, the Blu-ray format (like the HD DVD format before it) also packs some incredible potential for content on discs the likes of which we have never seen. Not many discs are taking advantage of those capabilities yet, but rest assured, they will! Buying the right player will ensure that you're ready when they do, and you haven't spent a significant amount on the wrong Blu-ray player.
If you're interested in pre-ordering this disc, please use the following link for pricing and availability from Amazon.com:
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