Web-Enabled Features For Warner's Blood Diamond
Blood Diamond's IME feature goes farther than Warner's previous efforts in two respects. First, rather than having to wait for the PIP video material to come up, the user can hit the left or right cursors to skip to fro the chapters with IME material. Second, a gold disc icon appears during the film indicating "Focus Points," and hitting enter when this icon is on-screen removes the viewer to a more substantial, out of band feature rather than in band PIP. Not quite U-Control, but pretty cool. Previous IMEs haven't been icon-driven- you simply had to find them and couldn't exercise this much control over the experience.
Blood Diamond's web-enabled features take about one minute to load. The Maps of Conflict feature allows you to select a dozen conflict diamond countries and get updated information, mostly text, on the current geo-political climate. The info will continually update as the global situation changes, which is one of the things that makes web-enabled features so unique- they can update or even potentially improve with time.
At the Online Home menu a list of Warner titles on HD DVD is given. While an obvious killer app here is linking each listed title to an online HD trailer, that isn't available now. But again, since these are web-based features, that could change.
Another web feature is polling- questions about whether the film influenced your opinion about diamonds, what your awareness level of the events in Sierra Leone portrayed in the film, etc. Once you submit an answer, you see the results of other respondents.
Clicking on WB Polls at the right side of the screen lets you tell Warner what you want to see on HD DVD. I'm very pleased to say that at the time of this writing 2001: A Space Odyssey is leading Astronaut Farmer by a very safe margin. (Wizard of Oz is getting a lot of love too, but I need your help with Dr Zhivago!)
None of this is earth-shaking, but these are the first baby steps. There's clearly potential here.