Next generation HD DVD based music distribution and marketing platform launched

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11 May, 2007 Share

Next generation HD DVD based music distribution and marketing platform launched
I was forwarded this info ahead of the press so I guess it will interest more than one on here. nixbu Entertainment will announce the immediate start of the MuNa initiative, a next generation HD DVD based music distribution and marketing platform. This very complex project represents the most advanced HD DVD project so far, including even new online features.

In order to run a demo, two parties were approached, Robbie Willaims (EMI) and Plastic Noise Experience (Alfa Matrix). In the end it was Alfa Matrix who got chosen to work together with nixbu Entertainment.

Key features

The following key features are featured on this product:
  • The disc will start automatically, tracks are 'skipable', navigation behavior is the same as Audio CD
  • Without any kind of TV the disc navigation will be done via remote control of the HD DVD player
  • The new codecs allow a high quality experience at the same level or clearly above DVDAudio/SACD, formats might be e.g.
    1. Stereo 24 bit / 96 kHz or 192 kHz
    2. Surround 5.1/7.1 24 bit / 96 kHz

  • Additionally to 'TV-less' navigation advanced customer experience (especially when SC is used) can be picture diaporama, Cover Art, information on Artists, Music, Bio, Lyrics
  • Additional audio tracks for advanced content based navigation. Content based navigation means that a user will have the opportunity to listen to unknown artists/songs in similar style to the one he knows (see pandora.com). For any track of the main content (PC) up to 6 different songs are available (SC). This is to be used as a marketing tool and means in this example that the publisher can introduce 72 new artists in total on 1 disc if the main content consists of 12 tracks (remark: the music label might choose the ratio of PC and SC freely, there is virtually no limitation in number of tracks only for total capacity)

New user experience

A total new user experience of MuNa is offered by integrating content based navigation. Associated with tracks of the Primary Content on the disc a variable number of songs can be accessed. The Secondary Content includes Artists Info as well. This represents a pandora.com experience, nevertheless content owners might select the Secondary Content arbitrary from their libraries. Due to the high capacity of the disc for each track of the SC Artist Info can be included for all tracks.

Invual setup

Good to now, the setup allows individual choice of audio formats. The MuNa disc will continue to work with CD-Audio navigation behavior, navigating through the entire disc with the remote control is independent from chosen audio formats or playlists. The playlist allows enabling or disabling PC or SC totally or choosing arbitrary selected tracks. Example of user scenarios could be to play PC of a chosen audio format only or play SC only with a high number of chosen tracks for a party. All capacity calculations are done with 1 audio format for SC only. Selection of Audio format can additionally be done with the remote control by pressing the 'Audio' button.

Main benefits

The main benefits of these new MuNa HD DVD products
  • Very low premastering costs
  • Very low replication costs, for 3X (HD DVD data on DVD disc) same costs as current DVD costs
  • For 3X based products moderate development costs for future designs due to low glasmaster costs (technology is new, for new design we still need to anticipate some problems and intensive testing procedures are necessary)
  • For 3X based products the replication infrastructure is the same as for DVD, so clients can work with their current replication service partners
  • Within the critical DRM discussion, AACS might be sacrificed for marketing reasons. This also reduces the costs. However, as of today we would need AACS for anyonline features but prices and availability still need to be determined.
  • MuNa products will work technically with EVERY HD DVD player and within different marketing scenarios. Massmarket genres like Rock/Pop will work with any future lowcost noname player expected to arrive October 2007 for as low as US$ 199,- to US$ 299,-.
  • Due to the nature of DTS-HD, all tracks are always 100% downward compatible, MuNa products will play on ANY HD DVD capable player independent from internal decoding, downmixing or interface limitations.
  • Any PC with a DVD drive can playback MuNa products if a current HD DVD enabled version of very popular DVD Player software like PowerDVD, WinDVD, Nero or similar is installed and the product is 3X based and does not use AACS. This got tremendous marketing potential, e.g. as free magazine supplement.

For the vast majority of products DVD-9 is recommended for optimized cost-efficiency. Another advantage of DVD-9 is that when its used without AACS it will play in ordinary DVD drives as long as HD DVD player software is used.

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