It might interest folks to know that I contacted the UK producer, Optimum, about their BD and HD-DVDs of Pan's Labyrinth. I asked:
I have a couple of quick questions as one who is interested in purchasing a copy of your newly released Pan's Labyrinth in high-def. I'm trying (a) to decide whether I want your UK version or the US version on Blu-Ray as I notice this title is being released on Blu-Ray and HD-DVD in the US in December by New Line. Would your release be using a separate encode or is it the same as the New Line version? I'm (b) also trying to decide whether I want this on Blu-Ray at all or on HD-DVD as I own both formats. I notice to this effect that you also have Pan's Labyrinth coming out on HD-DVD in December. Will that be using the same encode as your Blu-Ray version? Also are there any differences in the extras between your Blu-Ray and HD-DVD versions because the US New Line HD-DVD will have several web enabled features that their Blu-Ray version will not have.
So is it the UK Blu-Ray or HD-DVD version of Pan's that I want or the US Blu-Ray or HD-DVD version? It all sounds really complicated! I suppose it is!
The UK and US versions will be different as we have created this separately from New Line.
The Blu Ray and the HD DVD are different encodes.
The extra features on both Blu ray and HD DVD are the same on the UK version, including the Easter Egg.
I heard from the guy who runs a Blu-Ray region code site that the bit rate of the Optimum Blu-Ray Pan's Labyrinth is often as much as 38-39 and that the PQ is reportedly very good indeed. However a review here
comments that the PQ is often soft though 'acceptable'. It doesn't exactly inspire with confidence. I think I'm inclined now to wait until the US HD-DVD of Pan's Labyrinth comes out with all those extra features on. Would be interested in your comments...