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.”