Universal Studios is at it again, marrying two technologies on one physical, “future-proof,” optical disc to drive sales. In launching the new Blu-Ray combination disc Universal called on a fitting candidate, one used to being a guinea pig in test studies, to convince you to add to your Home Theater collection, for viewing on your HDTV.
In a move that is poised to elevate the Blu-ray™ Hi-Def format and provide consumers with the ultimate in convenience and viewing flexibility, Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE) announced the introduction of groundbreaking dual-format discs containing both Blu-ray™ Hi-Def and DVD versions of some of Hollywood’s most iconic films. An industry first, the new “flipper” discs will launch on January 19, 2010 with the blockbuster superspy thrillers The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, starring Matt Damon, premiering as individually packaged Blu-ray™ discs.
For some reason, Universal insists on the moniker “flipper” instead of the much cooler, spy code-name inspiring BD-59, as they call out on the Technical Information section of the Product Features.
BD-59 discs with a 50GB Blu-ray / 9GB DVD configuration promising movie and all available special features in whichever format is desired
And you may have already forgotten, Universal tried this once before and seemed to have learned some lessons, focusing on:
- BD player compatibility
- storage space for all features included in other packaging
- clearly labelling each side of the BD-59
Dubbed ‘flipper discs’ by Universal, this product would mark the first time that Blu-ray and standard DVD formats were offered on one disc. However, similar hybrid high-definition/standard discs rolled out a couple years ago, but they held an HD DVD on one side and a DVD on the other.
The upcoming flipper discs can be played in any existing DVD and Blu-ray device, spanning set-tops, game consoles and computers, promises Universal executives. Additionally, the Blu-ray side boasts the same functionality as when it’s offered individually, with BD Live Web-enabled capabilities.
Last January, Universal released all three Bourne titles on Blu-ray for the first time, but offered them only as a three-film collection. Each Bourne flipper disc will be offered separately for $29.98
And if you need to take someone’s word on it, why not the fine folks at Blu-ray.com, who are just as skeptical as you, if not more so.
While the concept of these dual-sided discs has been receiving as much, if not more, criticism than their HD DVD counterparts, I’m happy to report there doesn’t appear to be any cause for alarm. The discs themselves are sturdy, well-manufactured, and offer all of the benefits of a 2-disc BD/DVD combo in a single disc. They also have a very clear label circling their inner rings that make it easy to properly insert a disc into an appropriate player. As for play tests, I popped each disc into four different Blu-ray players (a PS3, a Sony BDP-S360, Panasonic DMP-BD80, and a Samsung BD-P4600) and any DVD player I could scrounge up in my house. I didn’t encounter a single load error, playback problem, or hiccup along the way.
For those of you that have not made the leap to Blu-Ray, this is yet another way to get a little life out of your existing Home Theater set up, until making the move to a new BD player. And for the rest of you, at the very least you’ll be able to buy each Bourne movie individually on BD. Fan Jason on Facebook and happy viewing.
via bourneultimatummovie’s YouTube Channel