The folks behind the development of the disc

When it was first developed and launched, DVDs were just discs with movies on them, a mere high-fidelity, less degradable bump-up from tape.

But from filmmakers to studio execs and functionaries to guys toiling away at service shops, there were plenty of folks who envisioned the disc as something more, evolving it into the most fulfilling tool ever created for getting people closer to movies and TV shows.

Today, just a few short years later, the homevid biz hopes to achieve a similar objective with Blu-ray, as it works to transcend the experience beyond just a high-definition version of standard DVD.

Transitioning from a rather basic analog platform to one with computer-driven storage, processing and connectivity, Blu-ray’s developers are just getting started.

But the pressure is on.

If Blu-ray is going to achieve anywhere near the level of mass acceptance that DVD has, its developers are going to have to jump over the already lofty creative bar set nearly a decade ago, when simple yet highly effective concepts such as director’s commentary and on-set documentaries blew movie-watchers away.

With that in mind, Variety interviewed 13 programmers, studio execs, disc producers, sound guys and filmmakers who are on the ground floor of transforming Blu-ray into more than just high-def DVD.

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