HD Heads-Up: January 15

Best Picture-nominee The Martian will be released here on 2D and 3D Blu-ray on February 3. It earned seven nominations while another front-runner, Bridge of Spies, which notched up six, goes on sale on February 24. Other nominees coming soon include Sicario (January 27), which this week topped the sales chart in the US, and Spectre (March 9) while out next week are the overlooked The Walk (also in 3D) and Everest. There’s no sign of an NZ ETA for The Martian on UHD Blu-ray yet but at least you’ll be able to buy it and other movies on the new 4K format from anywhere in the world because they won’t be regionally coded. As Digital Bits editor Bill Hunt says, “That’s great news for consumers and it represents a big shift from current DVD and Blu-ray” ….

A  new replay system for CBS’s coverage of this year’s Super Bowl will give viewers a 360-degree perspective and “higher resolution than previously ever seen for the game”, the Associated Press reports. “Thirty-six cameras strung around the upper deck of Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, can freeze the moment and revolve around the play before continuing to show the scene. Viewers on Feb. 7 will be able to check out the quarterback’s view from the pocket to other players’ perspectives on the field, and it can be animated, too.” TV1 will carry the Super Bowl live in HD from midday on February 8 …

Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise is turning into a primetime hydra to rival Law & Order and its spin-offs. Already’s there’s Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, Chicago Med was new this season and in the pipeline is Chicago Law. The first three will be part of a four-way crossover next month in NBC while Wolf believes there are still “many seasons” to come of L&O spin-off, SVU (TV3, 9.30 Tuesdays), despite being in its 17th season …

Not living on, however, is Heroes Reborn, with NBC confirming there won’t be a second season after the first ends on January 25 (TV3, 11.05). NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told reporters on the Television Critics Association Tour “that was always the plan, unless [creator] Tim [Kring] woke up one day and said, ‘Oh, I have another chapter to tell.’ But I think we’re coming to the end of the world, maybe. Stay tuned” …

Just greenlit are Falling Water, from Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd, in which three strangers dream part of the same dream, and Kiss Me First, a six-part adaptation of Lottie Moggach’s best-selling young adult novel of the same name by Skins co-ceator Bryan Elsley (about a 17-year-old hooked on an online gaming site, it will stream here on Netflix and feature state-of-the-art animation sequences) …

The Guardian reports ITV’s new Top Gear rival, The Drive, in which eight celebrities compete against each other in a series of races and vehicles, could launch against Chris Evans’s take on the original BBC2 motoring show, with both due to debut in the coming months …

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