(Las Vegas, Nevada — CES January 5, 2006) Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC), the leader in digital media software, and Technicolor, part of the Services division of Thomson (Euronext 18453; NYSE: TMS), today announced the production of the world’s first replicated discs utilizing the advanced interactive modes of the Blu-ray Disc (BD) and HD DVD formats.
Highlighting the real-world capabilities of Sonic-developed tools available to members of Sonic’s High Definition Authoring Alliance (HDAA), the titles were authored at Technicolor Creative Services’ DVD authoring facility in Burbank using Sonic Scenarist® HD DVD Edition and Scenarist Blu-ray Edition high-definition authoring workstations. The titles were then optically mastered by Eclipse Data Technologies and replicated by Technicolor Home Entertainment Services in Camarillo, CA.
The Technicolor-produced titles will be showcased at HD DVD and Blu-ray demonstrations during the 2006 International CES this week in Las Vegas, Nevada. Delivering the exciting interactive features of the new high-definition formats, the first title features the recently re-mastered documentary “Chronos” by award-winning director Ron Fricke. “Chronos” will be displayed in both new formats at the Thomson exhibit area in the Renaissance Hotel, and also previewed in a 14-foot walk-through theater at the Thomson booth (1/ 20901) in the South Hall using an RCA-brand HD DVD player and an RCA 70" DLP display. A second title, also created in BD and HD DVD versions, is “DTS Alive,” a CES presentation for DTS. Technicolor has also provided a spindle of HD DVD disc samples to the HD DVD Promotions Group for display in the HD DVD booth, as well as a spindle of BD disc samples for the BD Promotions Group.
“Technicolor is once again leading the industry through a period of managed transition,” stated Mary Ann Fialkowski, president, Technicolor Entertainment Services. “Working with Sonic Solutions, one of our key technology partner-suppliers, we’ve responded to the industry drive towards high-definition in both the HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc standards.”
The Sonic authoring systems used to create the BD and HD DVD discs at Technicolor are included in the set of encoding, authoring, and emulation solutions supplied to members as part of Sonic’s HDAA program. Sonic’s tools enable the features of each format’s standard playback modes — HDMV for BD and Standard Content for HD DVD — while also offering unique support for the advanced interactive capabilities of iHD for Advanced Content HD DVD and BD-J for Blu-ray Disc. The advanced capabilities enabled by these tools are highlighted in both versions of “Chronos,” which feature movie-synchronized on-screen display of bonus material such as anecdotes and annotations, and contextual overlaid menus that allow viewers to select scene navigation, change audio settings, and turn on annotations, all without interrupting video playback.
“We joined the High Definition Authoring Alliance because we knew that Sonic’s leadership in both standard authoring and advanced bonus features for DVD would give us a tremendous head start as we work to prepare ourselves to meet our customers’ need for titles in these new high-definition formats,” said Chuck Null, Vice President of Technical Services at Technicolor Creative Services (TCS). ”Our ability to begin producing real, playable discs that take full advantage of the interactive potential of iHD and BD-J is a huge milestone that underscores the value of our HDAA participation and lets our clients know that we will be ready for them when they need BD or HD DVD.”
Scenarist Blu-ray Edition Workgroup includes BD-J advanced interactive components, while Sonic Scenarist HD DVD Edition Workgroup includes the Sonic HD DVD Advanced Content Multiplexer and Advanced Content Player, making it the first production platform capable of both producing and emulating fully-interactive HD DVD 1.0 titles. The tools are updated as format specifications are finalized and feedback from HDAA members is incorporated into the interface and workflow design.
“The successful production of these first titles with interactive features is a signal to the entire industry that the ability to create advanced high-definition content is quickly becoming a reality, and that Sonic has the experience and the know-how to serve as an ideal authoring tools partner for the introduction of both BD and HD DVD,” said Rolf Hartley, senior vice-president and general manager of Sonic’s Professional Products Group. “Through our HDAA-based collaboration with the world’s leading creative production facilities, Sonic continues to develop practical, efficient solutions that support the full interactive potential of these new formats, offering big benefits for both Hollywood and consumers.”
Sonic and Technicolor will be demonstrating the Technicolor-produced BD and HD DVD discs using Sonic playback technology by invitation in Sonic’s suite at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel (Gold Coast Suite, 29th Floor, North Tower), in the Thomson booth in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, and in the Thomson exhibit area at the Renaissance Hotel.
For further information on the HD Authoring Alliance, please contact Sonic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Headquartered in Camarillo, California, Technicolor is part of the Services division of Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS). Along with being the world’s largest film processor, Technicolor has evolved to become the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of videocassettes, DVDs, and CDs, a leading provider of production, postproduction, and visual effects services to film studios and cable and television networks. On an annualized basis, Technicolor processes more than five billion feet of motion picture film, and has the capacity to produce over 1.5 billion DVDs, 330 million videocassettes, and 300 million CDs. The company is also a principal developer and supplier of services for comprehensive, end-to-end digital cinema distribution, channel origination and broadcast playout, and cinema advertising. Technicolor serves an international base of entertainment, software, game manufacturing, promotional, direct marketing, OEM, and corporate customers with its manufacturing and postproduction facilities worldwide. Major Hollywood clients include The Walt Disney Co., DreamWorks SKG, New Line Cinema, Universal, Paramount, and Warner Bros. Software publishing clients include Microsoft, Vivendi Universal Games, Electronic Arts, and Atari.
For more information: http://www.technicolor.com
About Sonic Solutions
Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC; http://www.sonic.com)
is the leader in digital media software, providing a broad range of interoperable, platform independent software tools and applications for creative professionals, business and home users, and technology partners. Sonic’s products range from advanced DVD authoring systems and interactive content delivery technologies used to produce the majority of Hollywood DVD film releases, to the award-winning Roxio®- and Sonic-branded CD and DVD creation, playback and backup solutions that have become the premiere choice for consumers, prosumers, and business users worldwide.
Sonic products are globally available from major retailers, online at Sonic.com and Roxio.com, and are bundled with PCs, after-market drives and consumer electronic devices. Sonic’s digital media creation engine is the de facto standard and has been licensed by major software and hardware manufacturers including Adobe, Microsoft, Scientific-Atlanta, Sony, and many others. Sonic Solutions is headquartered in Marin County, California.