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Sony Adds Online Movie Database To Blu-ray Discs

MovieIQ lets movie fans access information on cast and crew and check out production facts, soundtrack information, and other trivia.

Sony is adding access to an online movie database to Blu-ray disc titles set to ship in September.

MovieIQ, introduced Thursday, is the latest feature of BD-Live, Sony's brand for a portfolio of online services available on more than 100 Sony Blu-ray movies. BD-Live requires an Internet-enabled Blu-ray disc player.

The latest feature makes it possible for movie fans to access information on cast and crew and check out production facts, soundtrack information, and other trivia tied to specific scenes within the movie. The MovieIQ database is powered by Sony subsidiary Gracenote.

"We know many people interrupt their movie-watching experience to look up the filmography of an actor or to find out more about a song playing in the background," Lexine Wong, senior executive VP of marketing at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, said in a statement. "Now through movieIQ, movie lovers can dive into constantly updated information about the movie they are watching without leaving their sofa."

Among the Blu-ray movies that will include MovieIQ when they ship in September are Angels & Demons, Easy Rider, Punch Drunk Love, The Quick And The Dead, Silverado, and Sex, Lies and Videotape.

Launched in the spring of 2008, BD-Live's portfolio has grown to include social networking through instant messaging and multiplayer games, as well as soundtrack playlists, downloadable futurities, and other services.

By offering such online services, Sony is hoping to boost sales of movies in the high-definition Blu-ray format, as well as Internet-connected players. Such services could also become an additional revenue stream.

Currently, however, more people play Blu-ray discs on Sony's video-game console PlayStation 3, which includes a player. A Harris Poll in April found that only 4% of U.S. adults have a Blu-ray player, while 5% have a PS3. Fully 87% of U.S. adults own a standard DVD player, according to Harris.

The survey of 2,529 adults also found that only 9% of non-Blu-ray player owners were likely to purchase a Blu-ray disc player within the next year.

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