It had been rumored for some time and finally, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment made an official announcement for their upcoming Superbit line of releases.
Scheduled for launch on October 9, the Superbit line of DVD titles has been designed to bring the best possible movie presentation to people’s living rooms. Without bells and whistle that use up valuable disc space, Superbit titles will contain only the movie and nothing but the movie. As a result, the entire disc space can be allocated to improve the video and audio performance of these titles, resulting in unprecedented definition and level of detail, as well as high performance audio tracks. Superbit DVDs can be encoded at double their normal bit rate while maintaining full compatibility with the DVD video format. According to Columbia TriStar, the result is a picture quality that provides outstanding detail, which complements the performance of the latest progressive DVD video players. Superbit releases also contain Dolby Digital and DTS audio tracks to maximize the sonic experience.
The first slate of Superbit titles includes the Oscar winning masterpiece Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, along with Johnny Mnemonic, The Fifth Element, Air Force One, and Desperado. These titles have been produced by a team of Sony Pictures Digital Studios video, sound and mastering engineers and comes housed in a special package complete with a 4 page booklet that contains technical information on the Superbit process. Each carries a suggested list price of $27.96.
While it is already obvious that this approach has created some confusion in the market, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has to be lauded for this approach, making sure to place the feature presentation back in the spotlight rather than a wealth of supplements of dubious value. Let’s just hope they go easy on the edge-enhancement on those titles, which has become an increasing problem in Columbia TriStar’s releases of recent months.