Terminator 2 on HD DVD

Thanks to the fact that there is no region coding on HD DVD, you can now get the Director's Cut of T2 on HD DVD, encoded with VC1. Previously the theatrical version was only available on Blu-Ray in the USA (in 20th Century MPEG2 format). As Canal+ were involved in the original movie's creation, I can only assume they retain the European distribution rights through StudioCanal, a busy creator of European HD DVD titles.

T2 is one of my all-time favorite movies. So much so I have an actual Terminator shrine in my media room: it features full-size replicas of the T2 Endo-Skull and the Endo-Arm, two DVDs of T1, three DVDs of T2, the (lame) Xbox game of the same name, some small action figures, a T2 comic and even a T2 mug. (In this picture the skull has been temporarily replaced with my black Xbox HD DVD drive, as it scares my 4yr old). I also have the Special Edition Laserdisc set, which is my favorite LD set after Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World but its too big for my shrine.

Did I mention I was a huge Terminator 2 fan? August 29th 1997 was Judgement Day in the movie, when "3 billion human lives ended", so when the day actually came around I threw a T2 party. I created fake Cyberdyne Visitor Passes (by freeze-framing the laser disc) and a few props (like a milk jug with a knife through it), and I made my first (and last) Halloween-type costume for the occasion (I was the T1000). I can still remember my neighbours banging their ceiling (ie my floor) at 2am when I was cranking the signature Brad Fiedel "ba ba ba, baa baa baa" though my new sub-woofer...

The Ultimate Edition of T2 on DVD included a WMVHD version in 1080p, but the PC I had at the time was insufficiently powerful to run it. Little did I know that years later I would be working on the team that created the WMVHD format and went on to help create the HD DVD format itself.

I got my T2 HD DVD from xploitedcinema.com and it is the two-disc French version. Disc 1 is the original movie, with forced English subtitles (though you can resize them small and move down into the lower black bar), but Disc 2 is the Director's Cut which I prefer (especially the scene with Linda Hamilton's twin faking the mirror scene) and is also in English with no subtitles. The UK version only has the one English disk apparently, but Amazon.co.uk don't list either currently.

"Judgement Day" was almost ten years ago now, and we're all still here, so I encourage you to enjoy this classic movie on the format sent from the future to save us: HD DVD.

Comments (5)
  1. Tyler says:

    Any cool HDi features on T2?  PiP?

  2. Jim says:

    Especially since Skynet is now a reality…


  3. Andy-Pennell says:

    Tyler: sadly not. This is a bare-bones release (ie movie only), as was the BD version. I can always fire up the trusty old Laserdisc player to watch the extras…

  4. Brian says:

    I was not aware that there were no region code restrictions on HD-DVD. That is great news for me, since I regularly watch movies from the US, Japan, and China. How does this extend to viewing original DVDs on a HD-DVD unit?

  5. Andy-Pennell says:

    Brian: sadly the Toshiba HD DVD players strictly follow the CSS rules for legacy DVD, so DVDs remain region-coded with no region-free hacks that I am aware of.

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