Ready for another format war??
Entertainment Experience is a new startup that is looking to start a new format war. The service is said to bring a more premium movie experience than the Blu-ray format for people using larger screen sizes. Studio support wasn’t specified but they claim to be in negotiations for 4,500 titles at launch in January.
The movies will feature a higher average bitrate than Blu-ray content hovering around 45mbps plus a larger color gamut just outside of HD’s REC 709. Titles will run about $39.95 each and will require the use of their player, which stores the movies onto a hard drive for playback. The movies can be either downloaded or delivered for loading via a Blu-ray 50GB disc. The player is expected to run for around $6,000.
The specifications don’t seem too much different than the Blu-ray format other than color gamut and average bitrate. How much of that will translate to improved picture performance remains to be seen. The films are still 8-bit and the audio quality wasn’t clear though I heard uncompressed PCM mentioned, but only from an analog output.
The demonstration didn’t prove to be very compelling. The exhibitor used a 3-chip DLP system to show some Kodak footage along with a trailer for Chronicles of Narnia. Despite the high bitrates compression artifacts were quite noticeable including macroblocking and severe banding. Hopefully the titles in the pipe will be more impressive.