Heroes box art courtesy Universal Studios Heroes box art courtesy Universal Studios

Earlier today I attended a presentation that looked at some HD-DVD features, hosted by Kevin Collins from Microsoft. Collins showed off a number of HD-DVD titles, including an early "check disc" (something they use for testing purposes) from the first season of Heroes. It was the last disc in the set, and Collins showed off a number of features, though nowhere near all of them.

These features are accessed by pressing the "A" button on the remote, which brings up a little "U" in the lower-right corner of the screen, with options popping up from it. The first feature was the "Character Connections" screen. This is essentially an image of a bulletin board that has photos of the characters, with strings depicting the connections between the characters. Selecting a character with the remote will bring up biographical information. The next feature is something I haven't seen mentioned before: artwork presentations. The viewer is able to view Isaac's paintings while a scene is playing. Close-ups of the photos were available, and the user could scroll around them with the remote (the image we saw was broken up into four parts). I assume this material is only available during scenes where artwork is visible; we were watching a scene set in Isaac's studio. The third feature would display the hidden helix (you know, the cool tattoo that the "Heroes" have) when it's in a scene. We only saw it in one scene, as the Heroes part of the demo was approximately five minutes out of an hour-long presentation.

Collins showed us some of his favorite scenes, using the bookmarking capability of HD-DVD, and the picture quality was very, very nice, better than the NBC HD feed I watched during the season.

This was part of a special series of sessions for members of the Home Theater Forum, the Digital Bits and TVShowsOnDVD.com that was organized as part of the Entertainment Merchants Association show in Las Vegas. Don't forget Heroes (both HD-DVD and DVD) is one of the 20 titles in our Sci-Fi promotion where you can save an additional 5% off Amazon's discounted price.