'Dead Man' DVD gets DEG nod

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LAS VEGAS -- "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, was named the best theatrical DVD of 2006 at the annual DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group awards announced Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show.

"Superman: The Ultimate Collection," from Warner Home Video, picked up top honors for catalog DVD of the year in the DEG's Creative Excellence Awards.

Image Entertainment's "The Twilight Zone: The Complete Definitive Collection" was honored as the top TV-DVD title of the year, while the "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children" Special Edition from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment earned top honors in the direct-to-DVD category. "Neil Young: Heart of Gold," from Paramount Home Entertainment, got the top music DVD award.

For the first time, DEG honored the best titles from the two competing high-definition disc formats. Sony's "Black Hawk Down" was named the top Blu-ray Disc title of the year, while Warner Home Video's "Batman Begins" picked up the award for best HD DVD title.

The judging panel for the Creative Excellence Awards consisted of reviewers and industry reporters from trade, entertainment and daily consumer news organizations. In addition to overall sound and picture quality, all titles were considered for those features that best demonstrate the value-added nature of the format.

The DEG's Emiel N. Petrone Digital Innovation Awards, in memory of the group's founding chairman, were given to the most outstanding new digital entertainment products released in 2006. They were selected by a panel of product reviewers from top home theater enthusiast publications. Sony's PlayStation 3 earned the Innovation Award for Source. The Innovation Award for Sight also went to Sony for its VPL-VW50 front projector. D&M Holdings' Marantz SR8001 home theater receiver earned the Innovation Award for Sound.

Best Buy was honored as the year's top retailer in both the new digital entertainment product and packaged media merchandising and promotion categories. The retailer also won in both categories in 2004.

DEG is a Los Angeles-based, industry-funded nonprofit consortium that advocates and promotes DVD.

Stephanie Prange is editor in chief of Home Media Magazine
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