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Universal Studios taps iPhone app to enable Blu-ray interactivity

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has launched iPhone and iPod touch-enabled features to enhance the upcoming Blu-ray releases of various movies.

These additional features include the pocket Blu application, which offers iPhone and iPod touch users further enhancements to the Blu-ray experience, and social Blu, which offers Blu-ray users more ways to interact with their Facebook and Twitter networks through an Internet-connected Blu-ray player. Upcoming film titles that are compatible with the iPhone application include "Bruno," "Funny People," "9," "American Pie Presents: The Book of Love," "Public Enemies" and "Inglourious Basterds," all available this holiday season.

?We are working to provide Blu-ray fans with an even more enhanced interactive experience via devices that they are especially familiar with and use routinely,? said Lea Porteneuve, senior vice president of communications and publicity at Universal Studios, Los Angeles. ?We believe pocket Blu has something to offer every film fan.?

Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios.

Universal Studios is a part of NBC Universal, a media and entertainment company specializing in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.

Pocket Blu iPhone application
Universal Studios' pocket Blu application for the iPhone and iPod touch will make its debut during the holiday season on the Blu-ray editions of Bruno (Nov. 17), Funny People (Nov. 24), Public Enemies (Dec. 8), Inglourious Basterds (Dec. 15), American Pie Presents: The Book of Love (Dec. 22) and 9 (Dec. 29).

The application uses the mobile device's WiFi connection to work with a network-connected Blu-ray player.

One of the application?s features is Advanced Remote Control, a new way to operate a Blu-ray player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live functions.

By turning the phone to landscape mode, users will bring up the video timeline, letting them instantly access any point in the movie.

The Mobile-To-Go feature lets users unlock a selection of exclusive bonus content with their Blu-ray discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a WiFi network, enabling them to access exclusive content on the go, anytime, anywhere.

Users will have access to a complete list of pocket Blu-enabled titles, both those that are currently available and coming to Blu-ray Hi-Def. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.

Users can enter data into a Blu-ray player with a pop-up keyboard that facilitates Blu-ray features such as chatting with friends and sending messages.

The pocket Blu application is available for free in the App Store

Social Blu
The American Pie Presents: The Book of Love release also will mark the integration of Blu-ray content and social networking applications.

This newly developed interactive technology lets users sign on with their Facebook and Twitter login information and access a variety of connected Blu-ray features with their friends.

Users can control status updates from their Blu-ray player, via the Web site or within the pocket Blu application.

As part of the newly developed interactive social Blu technology, users can update their Facebook and Twitter profile statuses via BD-Live.

With the click of a button, users can rate the movie, send messages and on future releases will be able to share film-related user-generated content with their friends via their social networking pages.

BD-Live Center update
The newly redesigned Universal BD-Live Center, as seen first on Funny People, will offer an interactive experience directly from an Internet-connected Blu-ray player.

By clicking on "What's New," users can check out the latest releases coming to Blu-ray and theaters, along with BD-Live features.

Additionally, when they visit the new "Content Center," users can view previews and trailers.

Meanwhile, the previously-launched ticker and video rotation automatically bring updated content directly to the viewer.

Login and registration are not required unless the user wants to access select community features.
BD-Live is optimized for surfing content with a remote control or the iPhone application.

?The pocket Blu app is an extendable platform that will allow Universal Studios Home Entertainment to introduce even more new and groundbreaking mobile features on these and additional devices and platforms in the very near future,? Ms. Porteneuve said.