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Gservo
14th January 2003, 04:23 AM
Here's a fun idea: The next time you watch a DVD, pop it into a Microsoft Windows-based PC. An extra-special experience may await.
That's because about 80 percent of all blockbuster DVDs now contain enhanced features available only on a Windows-based PC. In the case of Spider-Man, for example, you can watch the movie alongside the comic book storyline or see how it was transformed from script to screen. Additional commentaries can be downloaded off the Web, and Peter Parker fans can stay in touch via the Internet.




"These extras go far beyond the traditional special features like actor outtakes or director interviews that are advertised with most DVDs," said Charmaine Gravning, product manager for Windows at Microsoft Corp. "The things you can access through a PC really bring the experience to another level. Gone are the days where you view a movie once or twice. There's always something new to check out."





Austin Powers fans can get up close and personal with their favorite characters using the Goldmember DVD. Other DVD feature possibilities accessible via PC include becoming a wizard in the Harry Potter movies or singing along with the likes of Shrek and other favorite movie characters.





"Our tools and services take people beyond the movie, into the realm of interactive, personalized entertainment," said Clint Ludeman, vice president of marketing at InterActual Technologies Inc., which developed the DVD technology. "The PC is really becoming a hub for entertainment, and we're happy to be a part of it."





Accessing these features requires no high-tech know-how. It's mostly accomplished with the click of a mouse. The Star Wars: Episode I and Episode II DVDs have menu items with hotlinks; users with Internet access can click on the links to go to the Web site. In a DVD player, users see a message recommending they put the DVD in a PC.





Roughly 20 million households have DVD-ROM-enabled PCs. It's estimated that by the end of 2002, 37 million DVD players will have been purchased.





"As more and more people utilize PCs as part of their home entertainment systems, we like to give them even cooler ways to interact and enjoy the experience, beyond watching movies," said Michael Mulvihill, vice president of content development for New Line Home Entertainment.





More information is on the Microsoft Web site, http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/experi ences/.