HD DVDs to turn into online shopping catalogs

Posted by Mark Raby

Hollywood (CA) - The newest feature to enter the realm of high definition video is the ability to go shopping online, directly from an HD DVD player.

Universal Studios announced today that Evan Almighty will be the first title to make use of the new feature.  According to the studio, users will be able to access a special link from the disc's main menu to go to a specific online store tailored for the movie.

Items for sale will include a $135 rain barrel, an homage to the movie, which is a retelling of the story of Noah's Ark.  Items could be easily rotated in and out because it is really just connecting users to a specific website.

Web-based HD DVD features first became available this summer.  Unlike Blu-ray, HD DVD players must contain an ethernet port or wireless broadband capability.

However, online shopping with a remote control will prove to be very tedious and time consuming, and there is much doubt as to whether this feature will actually breathe any new life into the format.  HD DVD has been struggling to catch ground since very early on in the format war, when Blu-ray took the lead and has run with it ever since.

Evan Almighty will retail for around $40.