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Europe's First Commercial HD DVD Uses Sonic Solutions' Technology

Sonic Solutions, a leader in digital media software, has announced that Europe’s first commercially-available HD DVD title was produced using Sonic’s Scenarist advanced interactive authoring and CineVision high-definition encoding solutions.
Developed by authoring studio Imagion AG of Trierweiler, Germany, the title is built around the computer-animated 3D short Elephants Dream, which was created by an international creative team led by Ton Roosendaal, chairman of Blender Foundation.
'Elephants Dream' is notable not only as the first HD DVD title made under production conditions in Europe, but also as a showcase for the stunning visual quality and advanced interactivity of HD DVD. Special features on the title include on-the-fly menus and scene selection, picture-in-picture, and an interactive side-by-side comparison of HD and SD video quality.
Michael Becker, who led the Imagion team for the production and is a member of Imagion’s Managing Board commented: “The tools and training that we’ve gained through our membership in Sonic’s High Definition Authoring Alliance (HDAA) were absolutely essential to the success of this ambitious project. Elephants Dream demonstrates in a very exciting way what is possible with HD DVD, when you have the applications and expertise to take full advantage of the format’s Advanced Content capabilities."
Imagion AG is a leading authoring house for European DVD titles. As a founding member of the HDAA, an association of the world’s top authoring facilities, Imagion gained access to key information, comprehensive training, and authoring and encoding tools for the new HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc high-definition optical disc formats.
Elephants Dream was authored with Scenarist HD DVD Edition and encoded with Sonic’s mastering-level CineVisionencoding system, which offers full support for all three HD video codecs (AVC, VC-1, and MPEG-2) while meeting the stringent image-quality demands of major motion picture studios and high-end authoring facilities.
Richard Linecar, vice-president of professional European operations at Sonic commented: “With early access to the powerful authoring technology of Scenarist Workgroup and the top-quality encoding of CineVision HD, Sonic’s HDAA members are positioned to ‘hit the ground running’ as HD launches unfold around the globe."
Linecar added: “It’s very gratifying to see the HD DVD introduction in Europe progress to the next stage with the release of full-featured, real-world titles. By highlighting both the superior quality of HD and the interactivity of Advanced Content, Elephants Dream will spur consumer awareness of HD DVD’s next-generation capabilities, paving the way for future releases and helping to grow a vibrant, robust market.”
Sonic will be demonstrating Scenarist and CineVision at the upcoming IBC convention (stand 7.738) in Amsterdam, September 8-12.
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