reprinted from a Sonic press release

World’s Leading Media Creation Companies Join Forces with Sonic to Jump Start HD Title Development for HD DVD and Blu-Ray Disc Formats

Sonic Solutions, the leader in digital media software, today announced that it has founded the High Definition Authoring Alliance ™ (HDAA), the first and only worldwide association of top DVD authoring houses dedicated to facilitating the rollout of titles for release in the new high definition HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD) optical disc formats. Building on Sonic’s leading role in DVD authoring solutions and its close, long-standing ties to Hollywood and the consumer electronics industry, the HDAA will increase momentum for successful introduction of the formats, ensuring the timely availability of quality titles by providing members with exclusive access to key information, HD-enabled tools and comprehensive training.

“Sonic’s HDAA opens the door to the entire range of information and tools that will be vital to our professional title creation business as we prepare for the HD evolution of disc-based packaged media,” said Mark Johnson, Director of Research and Development at Thomson Technicolor Creative Services in Burbank, California. “HDAA membership also makes us part of a community that is pulling together toward the same goal, which is to be sure that we’re prepared to make the launch of these new formats a great success.”

For authoring houses, adapting to the new HD DVD and BD formats will involve more than simply working with video material in HD. It will also mean learning how to take full advantage of the formats’ new interactive capabilities. These capabilities greatly expand the viewer experience by integrating menus and content into a unified presentation similar to that available during PC playback of premium DVDs created with Sonic’s patented InterActual (r) technology. To speed the learning process and facilitate the communication of important format requirements back to Sonic, HDAA members will participate in group meetings, special events and technical seminars with Sonic engineers who are involved in defining the new standards to exchange information, contribute ideas and discuss the practicalities of HD title development.

“Sonic created the first DVD authoring systems that helped us move forward with DVD business. Now, with the added complexity of the HD formats, we look forward to working with Sonic’s HDAA to help the development of our exciting new HD titles,” said Dieter Schlautmann, Director New Media Development at Sonopress, a member of the global arvato storage media group, a Bertelsmann company in Gtersloh, Germany. “Without the help of the HDAA, everything would be a bigger challenge. Being an HDAA member makes the whole process much easier for us and our customers.”

“Even before the launch of DVD-Video, the world’s most successful CE format, Sonic helped the authoring community rapidly get up-to-speed on the format by successfully establishing the DVD Authoring Alliance,” said Rolf Hartley, senior vice president and general manager for Sonic’s professional products group. “We’re excited to once again take a leadership role in getting powerful new formats to market. The HDAA is a great vehicle for sharing our experience and expertise with our authoring customers who will be the first to release HD titles, and it also provides the CE companies and the authoring houses with an open channel for communicating on issues of mutual concern. The HDAA is a ‘win/win’ opportunity for everyone who’s working to make the HD packaged media rollouts a big success.”

HDAA members will have early access to Sonic’s toolset for the new formats, which are the first available solutions to address all aspects of authoring for complex-interactive HD titles. The first phase of the HDAA program includes delivery of vital components required to build HD titles, including Sonic HD-series encoding, Scenarist(r) HD for creating “Standard Content” HD DVD titles, and the Sonic Advanced Interactivity Toolkit, a combination of hands-on tools and in-depth documentation addressing design issues for advanced interactive titles.

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