It’s a new Blu-ray day for U2

BD Live helps band keep content fresh

In 2007, U2 was one of the first to capitalize on new 3D technology with “U2 3D,” which was also the first live-action 3D film to play Cannes.

Last month, the band gave a push to another up-and-coming technology — BD Live, which was installed on copies of its “U2 360° Tour” Blu-ray DVDs.

Using an Internet-connected player, BD-Live connects discs to a website where content is uploaded from a host.

Every time a user inserts the disc, new items and feeds, such as clips from the band, can be accessed through their television set.

Users are given a live feed of the band’s progress throughout the tour: The first download will feature a video that U2 filmed for users, in which they apologize to fans for missing a leg of their tour.

“U2 360° Tour,” released through Universal Music, marks the first Blu-ray title to be produced in the U.K. with BD-Live content. It was installed through specialty content production company the Pavement.

Cost to install the program code is around £200-£300 ($300-$450), while cost to manage the website averages approximately $7,600 per year.

“It’s important that the world knows the tech is out there,” says Pavement founder Andy Evans. “One of the biggest concerns I hear from clients is that they fear BD-Live costs too much to install and maintain. The reality is it probably costs less than a full-page magazine ad.”

Evans adds that while Hollywood majors currently use BD-Live as a means of streaming up-to-date trailers on Blu-ray discs, it also a marketing tool for distributors.

“With BD-Live, you can monitor how often people are watching your DVD, who they are and where they are viewing it,” he says.

Evans says that soon users will be able to buy tickets through their Blu-ray disc and link up to friends and communicate through the discs.

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