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Sonic pulls plug on HD DVD professional products

Sonic Solutions has announced that its Professional Products Group is ending sales of its Scenarist HD DVD authoring product line to focus its R&D resources "on the creation of new applications for authoring of Blu-ray disc titles that encompass the interactive and connected-content capabilities of BD-Live."

"Extending Sonic's long history of commitment and support for the professional sector, we are aligning our professional product portfolio to address the evolving needs of our high-end customers," said Dave Habiger, president and CEO, Sonic Solutions. "Our Professional Products Group plays a significant role in supporting the development of high-definition formats, including the contribution of core IP to HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc joint portfolio licenses.

To further enable the authoring community, Sonic will offer its Scenarist HD DVD customers a special promotion to exchange their authoring system(s) for a Scenarist BD system. Sonic's Professional Products Group will maintain its high-end support services as part of its SonicCare program for HD DVD customers who elect not to participate in the special promotion program and will provide software update releases where appropriate in keeping with its standard practice.

The Blu-ray format is yet to catch up with the web-connectivity capabilities available on HD DVD from the start. This is an area where Sonic intends to be proactive. "In 2008, an expanded feature set will simplify the creation of highly interactive BD components, such as enabling BD-Live, which enhances on-disc content in broadband-connected players," says Sonic. To streamline the creation of BD-Live, the company will build upon its InterActual technologies.

In order to address emerging online market opportunities and optimize investment return, the group will also increase resource allocation on developing its encoding and title creation applications that streamline the process of preparing video entertainment for digital distribution, the company says.

Roxio, Sonic's consumer products division, and its Advanced Technology Group will keep servicing the HD DVD market.

Story filed 30.01.08

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