Sony inks deal with Ensequence for interactive Blu-ray content

Blu-ray’s biggest problem, for me, was the lack of online interactive content that was prevalent and great about HD DVD, but a new deal between Sony and Ensequence is putting that gripe to bed. A 10-year deal was struck to bring interactive features to Blu-ray discs, which entails bonus content, notifications about sequels, PIP and a slew of other goodies.

10 years, huh? Those are some lofty aspirations, Sony . Don’t you know that physical media is dead, too?

Full press release included over yonder.

CULVER CITY, Calif. and PORTLAND, Ore. — Feb. 20, 2008 — Ensequence, the interactive television company, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) today announced a strategic agreement, in which SPHE will license and resell the Ensequence on-Q Create suite for Blu-ray Java (BD-J) to major studios and independent Blu-ray development partners. Blu-ray Disc developers worldwide will use Ensequence on-Q Create for Blu-ray Java to develop advanced interactive features for Blu-ray Disc titles.

Java opens up new creative possibilities for Blu-ray Disc authors. However, for traditional DVD authors with varying skill sets, the Java component of BD-J authoring could prove challenging. The on-Q Create suite reduces the learning curve by enabling creative teams to design and develop interactivity for Blu-ray Discs without requiring advanced knowledge of Java and the BD-J specification. The software offers a drag and drop authoring environment, complete Photoshop integration and a Blu-ray Disc wizard that offers built-in Blu-ray Disc functionality out of the box.

“The Ensequence on-Q Create suite has drastically reduced the complexity of authoring Java content on Blu-ray Disc titles, enabling content developers to create compelling, rich and dynamic interactive experiences in a WYSIWYG environment – and in drastically reduced timeframes,” said Don Eklund, SPHE’s EVP of Advanced Technology.

Ensequence and SPHE have worked together to make substantial integration changes, enabling seamless workflow for Blu-ray authoring as well as the creation of complex user interfaces and animation for Blu-ray Discs. Another challenge for Blu-ray Disc authors is ensuring compatibility across various BD-J implementations and Blu-ray Disc players on the market. The Ensequence on-Q Create suite enables compatibility across various players, and supports current and next generation Blu-ray Disc features including:

* Advanced picture-in-picture functionality (e.g. director’s commentaries overlaid on top of the video)
* Purchase functionality
* Bonus content, notification about sequels and more

“We were able to apply our expertise in the television set-top box market and create interactive television experiences for multiple platforms to address the complexity of Blu-ray authoring, which is just being recognized in the packaged media community,” said Dalen Harrison, CEO, Ensequence. “With the on-Q Create suite for Blu-ray Java, our customers and resellers are able to take advantage of the advanced capabilities made available on the most cutting edge consumer devices today.”