OMG U R So Watching the Same Movie as Me

4 12 2007

communal tv watching

“if you pause this again I am gonna kill you!”

There is an article on Tech Consumer today that describes a new HD DVD feature for the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix home release. It’s called “community screening,” and according to the article it will utilize the Ethernet connection built into each HD DVD player.

Here is how “community screening” technology works. The host invites others to watch the movie, and then can simultaneously watch while, “chatting live with your friends while you watch.” Only the host can control the viewing of the movie (play, pause, etc).

I am beyond perplexed about the attractiveness of this feature. It just doesn’t seem completely thought out.

From the official release site:

“Invite other owners of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix HD DVD to simultaneously watch from their own internet-accessed players and text with your remote, PC or cellphone.”

Just a quick note to the movie studio….communication has been available through your PC and cellphone before this feature became available. So you have added texting through remote, which I see absolutely no one taking advantage of.

space jam pic

Maybe I’m out of touch with the youth market, but I just can’t see this catching on. I can’t think of a time I have ever wanted to watch a DVD simultaneously with someone else who wasn’t in the room with me. Except, of course, when Space Jam comes on TBS and I call all my friends so we can watch it together.

If I’m marketing this, here is where I’m selling this feature: constantly traveling or divorced parents. You would call your son or daughter up, and you could watch a movie ‘together’, even if you are apart. Or maybe job training or education DVDs, where you could coordinate a class and then the instructor ‘hosts’ a simultaneous viewing. But that would necessitate lots of people owning HD DVD players, and that just isn’t happening – yet.

So this feature may just be ahead of it’s time. But I hope executives aren’t pushing this as a feature that will put HD over the top of Blu-Ray. If so, they could be in for a looong holiday season.