The major studios backing Toshiba/NEC/Sanyo's new high-definition DVD format have announced their first group of titles, to be released on the format this Christmas.

The major studios backing Toshiba/NEC/Sanyo's new high-definition DVD format have announced their first group of titles, to be released on the format this Christmas.

HBO Video, New Line Home Entertainment, Paramount Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video will be collectively debuting about 80 new-release and catalog titles.

New releases will include Warner's "Batman Begins" with Christian Bale, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with Johnny Depp and "Constantine," starring Keanu Reeves, as well as Paramount's Cameron Crowe project "Elizabethtown."

Other big releases will be Warner's "The Polar Express" and "The Phantom of the Opera" and Universal's "The Bourne Supremacy" and "Van Helsing."

HD DVD players are expected in stores in the fourth quarter.

Debut titles on the competing Blu-ray format, which is backed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, have not yet been announced. Blu-ray players are expected in early 2006.