The Reprise of PIP

I hate to admit this, but despite the appeal and all the hard work that go into the extras supplied with DVD movies, I rarely have taken the trouble to access that content. Part of it is that I don't like to be interrupted when I'm engrossed in a movie. The other part is that once a movie is over, I'm not that into dissecting it into parts.

Still, I remember finding background info on the making of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow pretty darn interesting when I sat down to give it a proper review several years ago. I guess supplemental info is all about timing with me.

So last week when Panasonic showed me the picture in picture possibilities at the sneak peak of the new DMP-BD30 Blu-ray Disc player ($499), I was more than a bit intrigued. When the player hits stores in early November, Panasonic will be the first to come to market with Final Standard Profile, an upgrade to the Blu-ray standard. When studios start creating content that works with PIP, we'll be able to hit a button and go to a director comment about a scene--without leaving the movie. And we'll be able to switch between the audio of the PIP window and the audio of the movie with the press of a button on the remote.

Who knows what cool stuff studios are noodling around to take advantage of the extra feature set. If I like Felicity Huffman's sweater, will I be able to find out where to buy it?  If a song comes on that I have to have will I be able to get the artist and track information on the spot? Will I be able to select an alternate ending?

I, for one, am looking forward to the possibilities.--Rebecca Day

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