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Project HD: Comcast Teams Up for ‘Dark Knight’ Record Open

The first of an occasional series spotlighting current HD projects underway across various electronic media, this first segment focuses on the HD priorities of Comcast, the nation’s largest cabler.

Derek Harrar, Comcast’s senior vice president and general manager of video services, told HD Notebook the cable company is more pleased than ever that it had struck up a partnership with Warner Bros. over the studio’s release of the latest Batman blockbuster, “The Dark Knight”—a film which went on to break box office records at its opening earlier this month. Harrar said a lot of the bonus material made possible from the partnership is mostly HD, material which is allowing Comcast subscribers to view exclusive behind-the-scenes movie footage, “mini-movies” and several trailers via Comcast’s On Demand service.

He said prior to the film’s release, Comcast provided access to six episodes of exclusive original-content episodes featuring a fictitious show called “Gotham Tonight” with the actors providing commentary (in character) and in a news format, relating the story lines leading up to the newest Batman movie. Along with behind-the-scenes featurettes, Harrar Comcast provided both HD content to its TV digital customers, and included some of the same features on its Web site (since Comcast is a major broadband service provider, as well).

Harrar said Comcast now offers several hundred titles per month with its HD VOD service, and plans to beef it up to about 1,000 HD titles by year’s end. This week’s Top 10 HD-requested titles by Comcast subs, compiled by Rentrak, include some older films that were recently made available in HD:

  1. “Groundhog Day”
  2. “Weeds” (Season 4, Episode 43)
  3. “Army of Darkness”
  4. “Twelve Monkeys”
  5. “Platoon”
  6. “Mad Men” (Episode 106)
  7. “Silent Hill”
  8. “Glory”
  9. “Mission to Mars”
  10. “Mad Men” (Episode 107)