Go Blu-Ray

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Following my post yesterday on Blockbuster Videos Blu-Ray support it appears that Blu-Ray are moving in for the kill. Today Starz Entertainment announced their support for the Blu-Ray format. Starz Entertainment now own Anchor Bay Entertainment, a label that is well known for its release of cult film and, in particular, Euro-Cult cinema. They have announced that their first HD release will be the first, and presumably, second season of Masters of Horror. I wonder how long it will be before they release such mouthwatering titles as Halloween (1979), Dawn of the Dead (1978) and The Evil Dead (1981)? The president of Starz stated that if Blu-Ray wins the format war their whole back catalogue will eventually be released on the format! But what is most interesting about this news is that Starz releases will be distributed through MGM. I had heard rumours that the two companies had been working on something a little while back but had no idea it would be on such a big scale.

But, for me, here is the really incredible news. MGM have announced that they will be releasing The Sergio Leone Anthology on Blu-Ray before the end of 2007. This anthology will consist of the following four films:A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and A Fistful of Dynamite (aka Duck, You Sucker) (1971). This is the first major Euro-Cult release on a HD format. What else is there to say apart from that this is a must buy. Leone’s compositions should look amazing in full HD. I really hope that the Blu-Ray camp continue to use the AVC codec, and hopefully VC-1, instead of the archaic MPEG-2 codec.

What conclusions can be determined from this news? It seems that HD-DVD now have their backs against and need to make a move very quickly if they intend to stay in the HD race. All indications now point towards Blu-Ray emerging as victor of the HD format unless HD-DVD has an ace up their sleeve. This is very exciting news and I am now having doubts about purchasing a stand-alone HD-DVD player.

Many thanks to the High-Def Digest for this breaking news. While I may disagree with a number of their disc reviews they certainly come up trumps in regards to HD news.

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