HD DVD Format Taps Into Online Access

Packaged content for the Universal Studios movie “Evan Almighty” being released this week will be the first HD DVD title to have an Internet shopping option, as the rush to include a growing array of extended next-gen features available from both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc accelerates with the holiday season looming just ahead.

The new disc will contain a Web browser targeted only to Universal’s online store, which will feature products generally related to the movie’s subject matter (a modern-day retelling of Noah’s Ark, sort of)—such as rain barrels and umbrellas.

Since most consumers would probably have a hard time distinguishing one new disc format from the other, tapping into additional new features among both formats (beyond the special features content available on standard DVD) takes on added importance, especially as the crucial sales months of November and December approach, according to the Associated Press.

It’s the main reason why virtually all models of HD DVD players made by the format’s chief proponent, Toshiba, include connections for online broadband—which is not the case yet with all Blu-ray players manufactured by chief proponent Sony and others. Both formats had not included Internet-enhanced features on most of their early titles.