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A reason for waiting to buy a Blu-ray player

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 02 Apr 2007 18:12 User comments (11)

A reason for waiting to buy a Blu-ray player If you are an early adopter at heart and are tempted to spend some money now on a Blu-ray stand-alone player, you are probably better off waiting for a few months. The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) recently mandated that all Blu-ray hardware released after October 31st must support BD-Java, which is used to provide interactivity features such as picture-in-picture.
"Blu-ray player requirements and BD-Java specifications have been gradually changed over and over again, which has caused a good amount of grief for player manufacturers," said optical storage analyst Wesley Novack. "The new specification and requirements will ensure that all Blu-ray players manufactured past October will be able to support the full range of BD-Java capabilities, including picture in picture and more."

The Blu-ray specification does not require players to include an Ethernet port for updates and downloads like HD DVD players, but the inclusion of one in an early player might make it "upgradeable". Of course, users with older Blu-ray players will be able to play newer releases, but probably not all the interactive features that have been packed into the disc.

Source:
DailyTech

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11 user comments

12.4.2007 18:21

What an afterthought.

22.4.2007 18:39
webe123
Inactive

I'll wait for a decent burner and media with low prices...

32.4.2007 18:56

I am skeptical just because if I got one tomorrow , I swear it would be half price and better in a month. I got a 52 inch lcd projection when they were 1080i max and only had dvi connections. I got a ps2 for $300 after waiting a year and a month later they were $150.

42.4.2007 19:25

This news article has to be clarified.

BD-J is mandatory on all BluRay players and is working on all current players. There are discs already released that use BD-J such as Chicken Little. The problem is the spec that's currently in place is the BD-Video 1.0 Player Profile.

BD-J isn't delayed. It's actually the BD-Video 1.1 Player Profile becoming mandatory that's been delayed. BD-Video 1.1 has several enhancements over the 1.0 spec including PIP and secondary audio.

There's also the issue of the BD-Live 2.0 which requires the player to have an Ethernet port for internet downloads and interactivity.

What does this mean for current players? For now only the PS3 has been hinted to be upgradeable to comply with both BD-Video 1.1 and BD-Live 2.0. None of the current players are guaranteed to be upgradable to 1.1 The Pioneer is the only one with the Ethernet port but even it is not guaranteed to be upgradable to BD-Live 2.0.

What does it mean for prospective owners? If interactivity and extra features are important to you then by all means wait for players that will have the BD-Video 1.1 Player Profile and BD-Live 2.0. If all you want is to watch the movie all the way through and you don't care for frills and extra features then the current crop of players should suit you just fine - especially if you really need to have the format right now. PS3 owners should be able to breathe easy for now.

This is one area where HD-DVD has definitely the more polished and more complete product.

53.4.2007 6:18

Quote:
What does it mean for prospective owners? If interactivity and extra features are important to you then by all means wait for players that will have the BD-Video 1.1 Player Profile and BD-Live 2.0. If all you want is to watch the movie all the way through and you don't care for frills and extra features then the current crop of players should suit you just fine - especially if you really need to have the format right now. PS3 owners should be able to breathe easy for now.
Hell Yeah! if i pay $1000 dollars for a movie player id like it to make the popcorn if i can :D

63.4.2007 7:14

This is the reason why Warner is releasing the Matrix Trilogy on HD-DVD way ahead of BluRay. These movies are perfect for showcasing BD-Video 1.1 and IME (In Movie Experience).

Just to add more clarification, October '07 is now the deadline for all machines to be 1.1 compliant. This means that we'll likely see 1.1 compliant models even before October.

Will current player be able to play movies that have 1.1 content? Yes, but the 1.1 enhancements will not be available.

As error5 said the PS3 has the hardware in place to implement the 1.1 specs especially the dual-stream PIP.

We also need to point out that software based players (PowerDVD-HD for example) should be able to be upgraded to 1.1 specs via an update.

Lastly it should be said that the BDA really screwed this up big time and the bad part about it is that the early adopters were not fully informed. Score one for HD-DVD.

74.4.2007 17:21

More clarification from a Sigma Designs Director. They supply most of the decoder chips in HD players.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthrea...25#post10214125

Post # 226

Quote:
The BD-J API allows BD-J to inquire as to the capabilities of the player. Based on the response, the user interface and user experience can be tailored.

For example, a player does not have the hardware to support PiP. BD-J knows this, so the user interface can be changed so as not to have a PiP option displayed to the user. The transport Demux is also not told the PID values of the PiP streams multiplexed with the main movie streams, so they are ignored. Movie plays as normal.

If a player can do PiP, BD-J knows this, and PiP options are supported. The transport Demux is told the PID values of the PiP streams so they can be appropriately processed. Bingo, you get PiP on the screen.

OK, so I simplified at little...

The same technique is used to handle persistent/local storage amount differences between players. A player with 1GB will simply ask the user more often to delete things than a player than has 2GB. A player with 256MB won't present the option to the user to download and store new audio tracks or subtitles.

Arguments about different hardware, different capabilities, different price points, different performance, etc. makes no sense as the same thing will apply when multiple suppliers of HD DVD SoC decoders and players happens. You have a minimum as the starting point and it varies all over the map from there.

So as you can see, initial players will not be obsolete in the normal usage of the word. Users just won't be able to enjoy some new capabiltiies of new movies. And again, since there are many optional features in HD DVD that current players may not support, the same thing could happen there also.

85.4.2007 8:48

Just goes to show that anyone who buys any "New " technology is a total sap. So I suppose that if no one bought any of these new devices the whole system would crumble like a pack of cards , so , I'll wait one or two years while all you early adopters prop up the multinationals and sort out who wins the format wars so I can buy proper gadgets with all the bugs ironed out..Ha ha ha ha haaa haaa...:)


Ha Ha Haa Ha Haa.........Haa ha ha

95.4.2007 9:47

Originally posted by BUDDD:
Just goes to show that anyone who buys any "New " technology is a total sap.
You're right. Early adopters like me are foolhardy saps who "beta test" new technology so people like you can enjoy the best that consumer electronics has to offer. It's a thankless task but someone has to do it.

@error5:
Are you the type that cares about extras and interactivity or do you just like watching the movie all the way through? Just curious.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Apr 2007 @ 10:35

105.4.2007 16:24

@eatsushi - you foolhardy sap ;) The first time I watch a movie I watch it all the way through. I don't bother with the extras until the 2nd or 3rd viewing.

Still I think HDi and BD-J have a lot of potential:

http://www.blueboard.com/bluray/movie_review_chickenlittle.htm
http://www.thisishddvd.com/hdi.aspx

116.4.2007 1:01

I looked at the LG blu ray rom drive for a set top box I'm building. It cost double my monthly salary and the rom alone would have cost more than the whole computer. That is my reason to wait.

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