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Universal Adds HD DVD Features

Universal Studios Home Entertainment said it is further expanding both its catalog of Web-enabled HD DVD titles and their related interactive features powered by the studio’s Internet infrastructure.

The new Web-enabled offerings include a Download Center and U-Shop, which will help Universal “explore the promise of digitally distributed scenarios and infusing movie content with e-commerce and social media capabilities,” the studio said.

The U-Shop is an online store that will launch with the release of “Evan Almighty” on HD DVD. By accessing U-Shop during movie playback, consumers will find online purchase options related to the movie — including featured fashions and movie-themed collectables.

The download center will let viewers scroll over stills of interactive experiences that are already released on HD DVD. Viewers will be able to download exclusive trailers, content and games to their HD DVD player. Consumers can also sign up for newsletters, sweepstakes and partner offers.

Users can also learn how create a Best Buddies list and collect and send movie clips to friends. Users will register their best buddies, whose names will be uploaded to the server, and be accessible through the player. Buddy lists can be managed through the player or the PC to build connected communities.

“HD DVD provides a consistent platform that allows us to go beyond DVD to deliver the best possible next-generation HD experiences and begins to introduce consumers to the infinite potential of Web-enabled content,” said Craig Kornblau, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures digital platforms president. “We’ve just begun to explore HD DVD’s potential and this infrastructure lays the foundation for us to easily evolve with consumer preferences.”

The online component will enable consumers to register and create a personalized experience while taking the first step toward participating in a fan community around their favorite movies or TV shows. Once registered, the account will be recognized by a consumer’s player whenever a new Web-enabled Universal disc is inserted. It can remember user preferences and multiple accounts with different passwords all registered on the same player.

In addition to title-centric experiences, a new Web site,, will serve provide an online destination for PC-based interaction, enabling cross-platform consumer engagement with additional content, fan communities and other features.

Through the site, fans can download bonus scenes and make an online profile, or add new, downloadable experiences.