I'm all shook up - it's high-definition Elvis!

When it comes to my own system, i've remained fairly detached from the Blu-ray vs HD DVD debate so far, writes Clare Newsome, happy to stick with Sky HD and upscaled DVDs rather than add a dedicated HD disc player. But the news that the King is joining the format war may force me to make some space on my kit rack...

Yes, Elvis Presley is in the high-definition house. Jailhouse Rock will be released on Blu-ray and HD DVD on September 18th, with Viva Las Vegas hip-swivelling into shops hard behind it.

Both films are said to be digitally restored and remastered for 1080p, and will include Dolby True HD and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 soundtracks, as well as the original mono soundtrack in the case of Jaillhouse Rock.

Now, obsessive fan I may be, but I'm well aware that many of Elvis' big-screen outings were risible. However, Jailhouse Rock is surprisingly good - worth watching alone for the oft-copied title-number sequence as well as a soundtrack with gems such as (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care.

Viva Las Vegas is far frothier, but you'll never see (or hear) a partnership sizzle like that of Elvis and his co-star Ann-Margret, who were real-life lovers at the time. Listening to them singing You're the Boss almost feels like eavesdropping on a private conversation.

But here's the thing. These are US releases - no UK dates have yet been confirmed. That means if I want to see them in HD when they come out, i'll be buying HD DVD, as it's not region coded: the Blu-ray won't play in a UK-spec machine.

Ah, the dilemma. Maybe i'll just stick to the music....

Technorati Tags: Blu-ray, HD DVD