Halloween marks the day of Blu-ray Disc's support for advanced HD special features

Today marks the day that every new Blu-ray Disc player released must adhere to the Profile 1.1 specification, which calls for added hardware to support advanced special features such a picture-in-picture video overlay.

Although the deadline for Profile 1.1 hardware has been known well in advance, hardware and software supporting the new specification is yet to be available. LG’s dual-format player is believed to be fully compliant with Profile 1.1, and Panasonic announced today its plans to ship its full profile player on November 5.

Those who purchase Profile 1.1-capable players may have to wait some time before getting a chance to view movies with picture-in-picture features, as many studios aren’t planning on releasing software supporting advanced features until early 2008.

Fox Home Entertainment announced today its first Profile 1.1 movie release to be Sunshine set for release on January 8, 2008. Sunshine will take advantage of the new features with picture-in-picture video commentary, which Fox refers to as an “Enhanced Viewing Mode.” According to High-Def Digest, the Blu-ray Disc title will also be the first to utilize Profile 1.1’s audio mixing abilities that allows users to switch sound sources and remix the audio of a scene from the movie.

While those who have existing Blu-ray Disc hardware that is not Profile 1.1-capable will not be able to enjoy the advanced picture-in-picture and audio mixing features, Sunshine will still play all the basic extras as found on current Blu-ray Disc releases.

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