Critics Tap Best and Worst High-Def DVDs

High-Def Digest has selected its best and worst next-gen DVD titles for 2006, based on content released in both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD formats. Here are some of the results:

• Best Transfer of a New Release: "King Kong" (HD DVD)

Honorable Mention: "Batman Begins" (HD DVD); "Hulk" (HD DVD); "Kingdom of Heaven" (Blu-ray); "Tears of the Sun" (Blu-ray); "ATL" (Blu-ray); and "Ray" (HD DVD).

• Best Transfer of an Older Title: "Casablanca" (HD DVD)

Honorable Mention: "Grand Prix" (HD DVD); "Reds" (HD DVD and Blu-ray); "Blazing Saddles" (HD DVD and Blu-ray); "Superman: the Movie" (HD DVD and Blu-ray); and "Casino" (HD DVD).

• Best Animated Title: (Tie) "Monster House" (Blu-ray) and "Corpse Bride" (HD DVD and Blu-ray).

Honorable Mention: "Ice Age: The Meltdown" (Blu-ray); "The Polar Express" (HD DVD); and "The Wild" (Blu-ray).

• Best Music Title: "The Phantom of the Opera" (HD DVD and Blu-ray).

Honorable Mention: "Legends of Jazz Showcase" (Blu-ray); "The Last Waltz" (Blu-ray); and "Manilow Live!" (HD DVD).

• Most Overlooked Gem: "The Matador" (HD DVD).

Honorable Mention: "The Descent" (Blu-ray); "Sky High" (Blu-ray); and "The Devil's Rejects" (Blu-ray).