Comcast has joined forces with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Lionsgate, Paramount Home Media Distribution, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to bring Xfinity customers closer to a physical disc experience with the launch of “enhanced movie extras.” Using a new technology standard developed by MovieLabs and several studio partners, Comcast is giving viewers access to “dynamic, interactive, and contextually integrated internet content,” while watching select digitally purchased titles. This content (which includes photo galleries and video clips) continually updates as a movie unfolds, giving viewers scene-specific add-ons that are relevant to specific moments of a film.
"We're excited to work with these studios on this ground-breaking innovation to redefine the home entertainment movie-watching experience," said Daniel Spinosa, General Manager of Movies, Pay-Per-View and Commerce, Comcast Cable. "X1 is an immersive, dynamic platform that enables us to continually provide our customers with one-of-a-kind experiences, and we are actively working with our programming partners to deliver next-generation, enhanced entertainment experiences for all content including movies, events, sports, and news."
This type of technology is designed to lure viewers into buying digital movies, as opposed to opting for physical discs that have traditionally offered bonus discs and extras as buyer-incentives. Digital movie ownership also offers the allure of instant ownership and the ability to freely download purchased material to hand held and desktop devices.
"We are excited to offer consumers a new interactive experience on some of our most popular films," said Tripp Wood, SVP, Digital Sales and Distribution, Paramount Home Media Distribution. "Features such as the Scene Peeler on Star Trek Beyond give viewers an inside look at the visual effects process by allowing them to check out scenes from pre-vis through to the final version within the movie itself. This kind of immersive feature enhances the viewing experience and gives fans a deeper appreciation of the filmmaking process."
One Star Trek extra allows viewers to slide a bar, revealing actual sets for specific scenes.
If you’re an existing Xfinity customer, Comcast is offering a sample period of enhanced movie viewing through December 25th. During this time you can access free online interactive experiences (such as games, maps, 360-degree maps, and set tours) for films such as Jason Bourne, Star Trek Beyond, and Warcraft. Additional titles include The Secrete Life of Pets, Mockingjay Part 2, Hotel Transylvania 2, Underworld, and Nerve.
You can find the enhanced samples under “Movies” On Demand. I took a few moments to browse what’s available and found a total of 16 samples. I played a "Simon Says" type of game linked to Hotel Transylvania 2, watched behind the scenes stunt work for a Jason Bourne motorcycle chase scene, explored a set from Mockingjay Part 2, and revealed real world images of sets used to create Star Trek Beyond. Image quality of the game was excellent, however image quality of film and film images was slightly pixelated. I’m admittedly impatient when it comes to most movie extras, but hardcore fans will probably find plenty of value with Comcast’s new extras offering.
Image Credit: Comcast/Xfinity, Todd Anderson/Home Theater Shack