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page created: 6/1/05
updated: 10/2/06




The Digital Bits Guide to UMD Video for PSP

click here for the UMD Movies for PSP Release List

As many of you know, Sony's hand-held PlayStation Portable (PSP) videogame system finally arrived in stores in late March (3/24 to be specific). 500,000 units were sold in the PSP's first two days of availability, with some 600,000 sold by the end of the first week. Sony has reportedly sold more than 2.5 million PSP units in the U.S. and Japan to date (1.2 million of that in the U.S. alone), and industry analysts expect the company to sell an estimated 4.5 million to 5.5 million PSPs in North America by the end of 2005. Dozens of game titles are already available, with many more on the way.

From our standpoint here at The Bits, however, what makes the PSP most interesting is its ability to play full-motion film and video content via its Universal Media Disc (UMD) format. UMD is newly-developed, compact, high-capacity optical disc that can store up to 1.8 GB of data on a 60mm disc, which is housed in a lightweight plastic disc sleeve. In addition to videogame software, a number of major Hollywood studios (including Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) have begun releasing feature films on UMD format. Films on UMD can be presented in 16x9 aspect ratio (the PSP's LCD display screen is itself 16x9 with 480x272 pixel resolution, and can reproduce some 16.77 million colors). The video is encoded using advanced AVC compression (MPEG4 AVC codec) and it features AES 128bit encryption for content security. Audio is presented in PCM stereo (via headphones or over the unit's built-in speakers) and subtitles are often available as well. The quality of these films is surprisingly good. It's certainly not up to DVD level, but it's better than I would have expected over such a small screen. 1.85:1 films generally fill the display area. On the other hand, some 2.35:1 films are letterboxed to preserve the correct theatrical aspect ratio, but others are cropped to fill the 16x9 frame (as often happens with HD broadcasts of 2.35:1 films on HBO). Note that while some of the discs feature limited bonus material, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, most titles are movie-only.

Here's a look at the front and back of a PSP showing Sony's 2.35:1 House of Flying Daggers, re-formatted to fill the 16x9 screen...


Front and back of Sony's PSP, playing a sample movie (House of Flying Daggers)

While we're at it, here's a look at an actual UMD disc (left below), along with sample packaging for a trio of major studio UMD releases...

UMD DiscHouse of Flying Daggers UMDKill Bill: Volume 1 UMDTerminator 2 UMD

Retail prices for these films generally range from $14.99 up to $29.99 (you find them in most stores in the videogame isle). As of the time of this writing, nearly 20 films are available on UMD for PSP, with more than 100 additional titles announced (or soon to be announced) for release later in the year. Two of the currently available titles, Sony's House of Flying Daggers and Resident Evil: Apocalypse (both released on 4/19) have already sold more than 100,000 copies each - a surprising number given that it took some nine months for the first DVD title to reach the same milestone (for the record, it was Sony's Air Force One).

In addition to Sony (Columbia TriStar), other major Hollywood studios like 20th Century Fox, Buena Vista, Paramount, Universal and MGM have announced support for the UMD format. Mini-major Lions Gate has announced their support as well. Independents Image Entertainment, Eagle Rock Entertainment and Geneon Entertainment have also confirmed that they'll release UMD titles for the PSP in the near future.

Here at The Digital Bits, we don't expect UMD moves to EVER sell in the kinds of numbers that DVD titles do, and we doubt UMD will have any real impact on the forthcoming HD-DVD/Blu-ray Disc format war either. UMD is really just a convenient way to watch movies in decent quality on the go, while DVD (and soon HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Disc) are about presenting the highest video and audio quality possible by today's standards for home theater (along with loads of extras that would never fit on a UMD). But you can't deny that UMD is growing in popularity - clearly a lot of people out there have come to appreciate it. And the list of titles already slated for release on the format is, frankly, astonishing (as you'll see below), particularly given that the PSP has only been available for three months. If only some of these studios had supported DVD this aggressively so early...

For the convenience of those Bits readers who have already adopted the PSP (or plan to do so in the future), here's a complete list of all the currently available and announced UMD titles for the PSP, organized by studio and street date. We'll update the list regularly as new titles are announced. If you spot errors in this list, or know of titles that we've missed, please drop us an e-mail and we'll make a revision accordingly.

If you purchase PSP/UMD titles online, doing so through our Amazon links will help to support our work here at The Digital Bits (we certainly appreciate it!). Enjoy!


UMD Movies for PSP Release Listupdated 10/2/06 (new titles/changes listed in ORANGE)

Buy UMD titles at Amazon


ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT

Now Available - Halloween, Evil Dead, Time Bandits, Blood the Last Vampire, Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll, Dead and Breakfast, Hellraiser, Dawn of the Dead, Children of the Corn, Evil Dead II (features Dolby Headphone), Ghost in the Shell SAC: Season 1, Volume 1, The Hills Have Eyes (with Dolby Headphone), Near Dark (with Dolby Headphone), Karas: Volume One


BRENTWOOD HOME VIDEO

Now Available - The Best of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (5 episodes from Season 2), Pride Fc: Hardcore Knockouts 1


BUENA VISTA (DISNEY - MIRAMAX - DIMENSION)

Now Available - National Treasure, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Reign of Fire, Kill Bill: Volume 1, HERO, King Arthur: Director's Cut, TRON, Hostage, Cursed, Kill Bill: Volume 2, Gone in 60 Seconds: Director's Cut, From Dusk Till Dawn, Armageddon, Sin City, Shaolin Soccer, The Rock, Coyote Ugly: Extended Cut, Toy Story, Lost: The Pilot Episode, Pulp Fiction, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Crow, The Incredibles, Clerks, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, Herbie: Fully Loaded, Rock 'n' Roll High School, Big Bad Mamma, Sky High, The Brothers Grimm, The Yards, Death Race 2000, Flightplan, Swingers, Rounders, Crimson Tide: Unrated Edition, Remember the Titans: Director's Edition, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Glory Road, Eight Below


COLUMBIA (MUSIC)

Now Available - The Offspring: Complete Music Video Collection


EAGLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT

Now Available - The Up in Smoke Tour, Marilyn Manson: Guns, God and Government, Busta Rhymes: Everything Remains Raw, Puddle of Mudd: Live at the Key Club - Striking That Familiar Chord, Snoop Dogg: Big Snoop Dogg's Puff Puff Pass Tour, Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon, Nirvana: Nevermind, Black Label Society: Boozed, Broozed & Broken Boned, Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast Classic Album, Metallica: Metallica Classic Album

Street Date TBA - Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland Classic Album


GENEON ENTERTAINMENT

Now Available - Appleseed, Samurai Champloo, Volume 1, Samurai Champloo, Volume 2, Helsing, Volume 1 - Impure Souls, Gungrave: Volumes 1 & 2, Akira, Tenjho Tenge, Volume 1 - Episodes 1 & 2, Samurai Champloo, Volume 3, Samurai Champloo, Volume 4, Sakura Wars: The Movie


GENIUS PRODUCTS

TBA - National Lampoon's Tooned-Up, National Lampoon's The Best of the Romp


GLAY'Z (ADULT - JAPAN)

Now Available - Goku Honban Tachibana Riko, Kyonyuu Nurse Amai Mitsu, Kaneshiro Anna: Koukyuu Soap Jou, BiBody Ero-Terrorist Noa, Loli-Nanpa Special 5


HBO

Now Available - Da Ali G Show: Da Compleet First Seazon, Da Ali G Show: Da Compleet Second Seazon, Entourage: The Complete First Season, Da Ali G Show: The Complete Second Season, Todd McFarlane's Spawn 1, Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker, Chris Rock: Never Scared


H.M.P. (ADULT - JAPAN)

Now Available - H.M.P. Countdown 2005, Syojokyu Miyako Hikaru, Hoshino Hikaru Best


IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT

Now Available - Backyard, Beef, Bobbito's Basics to Boogie, Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy, The Hillz, Short Circuit, MC: Why We Do It, The Magic of Flight: IMAX, Jamie Foxx: I Might Need Security, Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel - The Life of an Outlaw, Endless Summer, Godsmack: Live, One Love: The Game, The Life, Sisterhood, Thumb Wars/Thumbtanic Double Feature, Beef II, Dreamscape, Galerians: Rion, Prince: Rave Un2 the Year 2000, Super Speedway: The Mach II Special Edition - IMAX, Vans Warped Tour, I Got Five on It, Hood of the Living Dead, Justice, Laffapalooza! #1, Twilight Zone: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Witches of the Carribean, Alanis Morissette: Live in the Navajo Nation: Music in High Places, Artie Lange: It's the Whiskey Talkin', Basket Case, Cher: The Farewell Tour, Deftones: Live in Hawaii - Music in High Places, Extra Weird Sampler, Goo Goo Dolls: Live in Alaska - Music in High Places, India.Arie: Live in Brazil: Music in High Places, Justice, Larry the Cable Guy: Git-R-Done, Ron White: They Call Me Tater Salad, U2: The Joshua Tree - Classic Albums, Galerians: Rion, Taste of Chaos, The Community Project, The DC Video


LIONS GATE

Now Available - Terminator 2, The Punisher, National Lampoon's Van Wilder, SAW, Open Water, Total Recall, Young Guns, Cabin Fever, House of the Dead, House of 1000 Corpses, Rambo: First Blood, Part II, High Tension, Crash, The Devil's Rejects, Saturday Night Live: The Best of Will Ferrell, Saturday Night Live: The Best of Chris Farley, The Doors, Made, Godsend, Saturday Night Live: The Best of Will Ferrell, Volume 2


MANGA (THRU ANCHOR BAY)

Now Available - Perfect Blue, Dead Leaves, X


MGM (SEE SONY)


NEW LINE

Now Available: Elf, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Butterfly Effect, Freddy vs. Jason, Blade, Secondhand Lions, Wedding Crashers, Dumb and Dumber: Unrated, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, Friday, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Domino


PARAMOUNT

Now Available: Team America: World Police, Coach Carter, Without a Paddle, Sahara, The Italian Job, Viva La Bam: Volume 1 (TV), The Ren & Stimpy Show: Volume 1 - The First Ten Cartoons, Star Trek: Nemesis, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life, The Warriors, South Park: When Technology Attacks, Chappelle's Show: Season 1, Volume 1, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, U2: Rattle & Hum, SpongeBob SquarePants: Volume 1, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Longest Yard (2005), Four Brothers, The Bad News Bears (2005), Beavis & Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection - Volume 1, Jackass: Volume One, Without a Paddle, Hustle and Flow

Cancelled - South Park: Volume 1 (TV)


RED DISTRIBUTION

Now Available - Pink Floyd: Making of the Dark Side of the Moon


REPRISE / WEA

Now Available - Green Day: Bullet In a Bible


SANCTUARY VISUAL ENTERTAINMENT (U.K.)

Now Available - Iron Maiden: Rock in Rio, INXS: Live Baby Live, Bob Marley: Live from Santa Barbara, Dune, Blue Velvet


SHOWTIME

Now Available - Free for All (4 episodes), Family Business (4 episodes), Shelter Island


SONY (MGM/COLUMBIA TRISTAR)

Now Available - Spider-Man 2, xXx, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Hellboy: Director's Cut, Are We There Yet?, House of Flying Daggers, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Charlie's Angels, Hollow Man, Boogeyman, Hitch, Bad Boys, Daddy Day Care, The Grudge, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series - The Mutant Menace, Spider-Man 2, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Starship Troopers, Air Force One, Resident Evil, 7 Seconds, Black Hawk Down, You Got Served, Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, Man of the House, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Labyrinth, Steamboy: Director's Cut, The Dark Crystal, Not Another Teen Movie, xXx: State of the Union, Cowboy Be-Bop (movie), Ghostbusters, S.W.A.T., Guess Who, Kung Fu Hustle, The Replacement Killers, Dave Chappelle: For What It's Worth, The Big Hit, Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip, Layer Cake, Snatch, 13 Going on 30, Mr. Deeds, Big Daddy, Lords of Dogtown, Creature Comforts: The Complete First Season, The Mask of Zorro, Bewitched (2005), Heavy Metal, The Fifth Element, Good Times: The Complete First Season, Sanford and Son: The First Season, Christmas with the Kranks, Jumanji, Stealth (plus Wipeout Pure: Stealth Edition game), Be Cool, Beauty Shop, Stargate: Atlantis, Bulletproof Monk, The One, Barbershop, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Amityville Horror (2005), Species, Hackers, Kalifornia, The Terminator, Mad Max, Ronin, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Joe Dirt, White Chicks, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Godzilla, Godzilla: Final Wars, RoboCop, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Into the Blue, The Cave, The Gospel, Stuart Little/Stuart Little 2, Underworld, Escape from New York, The Fog (2005), The Pink Panther, The Legend of Zorro, Zathura, MirrorMask, Rent, Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild, Boyz 'N the Hood, Metropolis (anime), Agent Cody Banks, Memoirs of a Geisha, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (DVD/UMD 2-pack), The Grudge (DVD/UMD 2-pack), Resident Evil (DVD/UMD 2-pack), Underworld (DVD/UMD 2-pack), The Terminator (DVD/UMD 2-pack), 50 First Dates, Fun with Dick and Jane, Fun with Dick and Jane (DVD/UMD 2-pack), Hostel, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Stripes, The Fifth Element (DVD/UMD 2-pack), Ghostbusters (DVD/UMD 2-pack), Mad Max (DVD/UMD 2-pack), Snatch (DVD/UMD 2-pack), Bad Boys II, Men in Black, Jerry Maguire, When a Stranger Calls, The Dark Crystal (DVD/UMD), Escape from New York (DVD/UMD), Labyrinth (DVD/UMD), Resident Evil: Apocalypse - Special Edition (DVD/UMD), Species (DVD/UMD), Underworld: Evolution (day and date), Desperado, Anger Management, The Princess Bride, The Pink Panther (2006), Ultraviolet (day and date), Hoosiers, Baby Boy, Cruel Intentions, Tomcats, Road House, Boondocks: The Complete First Season, The Benchwarners (day and date), To Live and Die in L.A., Leon: The Professional, RV, Silent Hill

10/3 - Monty Python and the Holy Grail (reissue)

10/10 - Click

11/7 - Little Man

11/14 - The Da Vinci Code

12/12 - Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby


TANGO ENTERTAINMENT

Now Available - The Exterminator


TLA RELEASING

Now Available: Oldboy


20TH CENTURY FOX

Now Available - Napoleon Dynamite, I, Robot, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Predator, Super Troopers, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Transporter, Robots, Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, Never Die Alone, Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior, Kingdom of Heaven, Batman: The Movie, 28 Days Later, Kiss of the Dragon, Office Space, Big Trouble in Little China, Chain Reaction, Family Guy: Volume 1, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Fantastic Four, Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Like Mike, Sandlot/Sandlot 2, Bratz Rock Angelz, Alien vs. Predator, Behind Enemy Lines, Elektra, Transporter 2, Alien: 20th Anniversary, Speed, There's Something About Mary, Ice Age, Planet of the Apes (2001), Dude, Where's My Car?, The Girl Next Door: Unrated Version, Shallow Hal, X-Men, X2: X-Men United, Family Guy: The Freakin' Sweet Collection, Grandma's Boy, The Boondock Saints: Unrated Edition, Donnie Darko, Die Hard, Die Hard 2, ID4: Independence Day, Man on Fire

9/19 - Family Guy: Volume 2

11/21 - Ice Age 2: The Meltdown


UNIVERSAL

Now Available - Van Helsing, The Rundown, Assault on Precinct 13, Dawn of the Dead: Unrated Director's Cut, The Chronicles of Riddick: Unrated Director's Cut, The Fast and the Furious, American Pie, The Bourne Identity, Friday Night Lights, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Pitch Black, American Pie 2, American Wedding, Shaun of the Dead, George A. Romero's Land of the Dead, Serenity, Billy Madison, National Lampoon's Animal House, Scarface, American Pie Presents: Band Camp, The Island, Doom, Jarhead


UNIVERSAL MUSIC

Now Available - The Police: Synchronicity Concert


WELLSPRING MEDIA

TBA - Live Freaky Die Freaky


WARNER BROS.

Now Available - Dukes of Hazzard, Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Volume 4, Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Constantine, Enter the Dragon, House of Wax (2005), The Matrix, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Batman, Training Day, Swordfish, Romeo Must Die, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Goonies , Doctor Who: The Complete First Season - Volume 1 (BBC), Doctor Who: The Complete First Season - Volume 2 (BBC), Doctor Who: The Complete First Season - Volume 3 (BBC), Doctor Who: The Complete First Season - Volume 4 (BBC), The Office: The Complete First Series (BBC), Little Britain: The Complete First Series (BBC), Little Britain: The Complete Second Series (BBC)

Cancelled (previously announced for 4/4) - Heat, Goodfellas, Scooby-Doo: The Movie

Cancelled (previously announced for 4/18) - NBA Furious Finishes, NBA Hardwood Classics: Michael Jordan: His Airness

Cancelled (previously announced for 5/9) - Ocean's Eleven (2001)

Cancelled (previously announced for 6/6) - True Romance, The Matrix Reloaded


Buy UMD titles at Amazon


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