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Blu-ray Disc Java is coming this fall, and it may be incompatible with some of today's machines

The most common piece of advice given to those unsure about which high-definition optical format to buy is to simply wait until a victor emerges. Early adopters, however, should be aware that being cutting edge could come with a price, such as the risk of bugs or complete hardware and software obsolescence.

The Blu-ray Disc Association has mandated that all players of the format released after October 31 must adhere to a specific feature set that is currently not standard for today’s hardware. All Blu-ray Disc players after the fall date must support BD Java, a programming language for Blu-ray Disc media used mainly to deliver picture-in-picture for in-movie commentary and special features.

“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.”

Early adopters of Blu-ray players may find themselves with inadequate hardware to support media using BD Java software.

Novack continued, “This might be bad news for early adopters who have already purchased a player, but it will not prevent them from playing back future Blu-ray movies. Owners of first generation Blu-ray players will probably not be able to use the full range of interactive features available on future Blu-ray Disc titles.”

Owners of current Blu-ray Disc players who are concerned about the future utility of their hardware are assured by manufacturers that current players won’t be made completely obsolete with the new standard.

“As is common in new format introductions, future products will include some additional features such as picture-in-picture,” said Philips VP Marty Gordon to Video Business. “Regardless of whether first-generation hardware supports these new features, the discs will still play.”

Unlike the HD DVD standard, Blu-ray players are not required to have Ethernet ports for firmware updates. Blu-ray machines with upgradable firmware likely will have a greater chance of conforming to the mandated format this fall.

Although HD DVD is not without its own set of early adopter issues, support for a standard programming language is already solidified for the format. HDi, an XML-based format developed by Microsoft and Toshiba, is mandatory on all HD DVD players and enables picture-in-picture special features to run alongside the feature length film.

Warner Bros. has released titles such as Batman Begins and V for Vendetta for HD DVD but not Blu-ray for the sole reason of the latter format’s lack of standardization. The upcoming Matrix trilogy release will also appear on HD DVD first for the same reason. Warner Bros. said that it would release Blu-ray Disc versions of such films in the fall, assumingly after the BD Java mandate takes effect.

Paramount has taken a different approach with Blu-ray’s apparent shortcoming. The studio released Mission: Impossible 3 on both HD DVD and Blu-ray, though the HD DVD version features a video picture-in-picture commentary, while the Blu-ray version does only with audio.

Only a couple Blu-ray movies feature picture-in-picture commentaries, those titles being Descent and Crank, though they do so without BD Java. Cleverly, and perhaps inelegantly, two complete versions of the movie are stored on a 50GB Blu-ray disc. One version contains the normal version of the film, while the second one features the picture-in-picture commentary hard-encoded on top of the film.

The addition of BD Java is not the only new requirement for Blu-ray players this fall. All players released after October 31 must hold a minimum 256MB of persistent memory storage. Those with network options will have to have 1GB of memory to support Web downloads.

Famed DVD producer, Van Ling, expresses discontent over the lack of standardization of the Blu-ray format. “The whole problem comes in when some manufacturers toe the minimum line and some others might make twice the minimum [functionality] on players,” said Ling. “In my view, I shouldn’t have to know what every single player can do. Rather than downgrade my creative vision for the lowest common denominator player, I want to create something [that fully realizes Blu-ray abilities].”

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One has to wonder
By FITCamaro on 4/2/2007 8:59:29 PM , Rating: 1
Does the PS3 support this?

RE: One has to wonder
By behemothzero on 4/2/2007 9:02:05 PM , Rating: 4
I'm guessing yes, since you can update the PS3's firmware. It's possible you could also install the appropriate software into the hard drive.

RE: One has to wonder
By GhandiInstinct on 4/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: One has to wonder
By quiksilv3r on 4/2/2007 9:31:54 PM , Rating: 1
This isn't a firmware's a hardware issue, which is why such a big fuss is being made.

RE: One has to wonder
By saratoga on 4/2/2007 9:42:24 PM , Rating: 3
No its a firmware issue mainly. You need a JVM installed in your firmware to play this. In principle, any player with enough CPU power will be fine ... with a firmware update.

I'm guessing some hardware players won't be updated, but the PS3 probably will be. Its got enough CPU power, and Sony is already pushing this pretty hard.

RE: One has to wonder
By cheetah2k on 4/2/2007 10:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
With the ease of updating the PS3's BR firmware, now there's all the more reasons to buy a PS3 for just playing BR media, and, well... the extra game console ability is an excellent bonus ;-)

RE: One has to wonder
By OxBow on 4/3/2007 9:51:49 AM , Rating: 2
The article lists this as a firmware issue. Most players, and all PS3's, have methods of upgrading the firmware. This is such a minor issue that will affect so incredibly few people I'm suprised anyone even wrote an article about it.

There are something like 100k non-PS3 bd players on the market. Of those, maybe 20k can't get their firmware upgraded. Of those 20k, how many people really care about pip? Less than a thousand worldwide? Probably less than that in reality. It doesn't make their players obsolete. They just won't be able to use pip.

RE: One has to wonder
By masher2 on 4/3/2007 9:59:27 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, first of all, BD Java encompasses a lot more than just PiP capability. The interactive menu system, subtitle downloading, active content such as games, etc....there are interactive titles out already that require BD Java.

Second of all, even if a player is firmware upgradeable, there's no guarantee it will have the processing capability to handle BD Java while keeping up with decoding the video stream.

RE: One has to wonder
By vorgusa on 4/3/2007 10:19:14 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you there.. I am sure in the future people will come up with a lot of creative things to do with Java on Blue Ray. This will open up a lot of options

RE: One has to wonder
By Master Kenobi on 4/3/2007 12:51:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, like the poor security afforded to most Java Engines or Virtual Machines. Hey I know, Java virus for the BRD Players HERE WE COME!

RE: One has to wonder
By ElCapitanAmerica on 4/4/2007 7:37:07 PM , Rating: 2
"Java Engines or Virtual Machines"? You mean Virtual Machines, correct?

The first VMs were designed with security first (Applets always had a security manager installed), and it's a fairly secure tech platform by any standard. Heck, some of the Vista features you are seeing now, are old news for the first Java VM.

RE: One has to wonder
By TomZ on 4/5/2007 9:52:29 AM , Rating: 1
While you're right that one of the original uses of Java was to address security by creating a Java "sandbox" within a browser, the reality is that the JVM has had so many security holes it looks like Swiss cheese. That's one of the reasons you don't see pure Java code download running in browsers any more. Instead you see Javascript used which is less of a security risk because it is an even more controlled environment.

RE: One has to wonder
By geddarkstorm on 4/6/2007 4:24:23 PM , Rating: 2
And how would said viruses get onto the movies you're watching? Unless the manufacturer floods the market with virused disks, it isn't going to happen (or if you go around downloading Blueray java apps from the internet if that'll be possible?).

RE: One has to wonder
By Chaser on 4/4/2007 11:46:11 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure the cell processor is up for it.

And yes this will only effect a very small amount of players. But as Daily Tech always does they try to repackage any negative article regarding Blue Ray or the PS3 and hope to turn it into a propaganda snow ball.

RE: One has to wonder
By Moishe on 4/3/2007 8:30:37 AM , Rating: 2
Most DVD player firmware can be upgraded. For my DVD player, I just have to burn a file onto a CDR and put it in the drive.

If this is simply a firmware issue, it won't effect too many (not that most people will know how or want to upgrade their DVD player's firmware). Maybe the BDJ feature set is too much of an upgrade though to fit, or maybe it requires more power than the older players have.

If I was a blu-ray early adopter I'd be slightly upset. I agree that it comes with buying bleeding edge tech, but still, they should have included everything in the format and left it alone. A format should be exactly the same across all titles. People need to trust that when they buy something it will work.

RE: One has to wonder
By bplewis24 on 4/4/2007 11:25:50 AM , Rating: 2

The good news is the Playstation 3, which honestly we could not test on, we crossed our fingers and checked discs, the PS3 turned out to be a great implementation of BD-J. It really plays the best than on any other system. So, sigh of relief!

By thebrown13 on 4/2/2007 11:03:58 PM , Rating: 1
Java. It's like .NET, but crappier! What's not to love?

RE: Java
By TomZ on 4/2/2007 11:17:56 PM , Rating: 3
What's especially ironic in my view is that Java has traditionally been a terrible environment for developing GUIs. And this is the very application for Java in BD!

But they will overcome it just like other have had to with Java - develop yet another custom GUI framework. Such a waste.

RE: Java
By tfranzese on 4/3/2007 12:13:44 AM , Rating: 2
Eclipse and other tools can be setup so that Java GUI development is just as fluid as VB and .NET

I'm no fan of Swing, but there are some good IDEs that take a lot of the pain out of creating a Java GUI.

RE: Java
By saratoga on 4/3/2007 10:02:23 AM , Rating: 2
Eclipse is just a dev environment. It doesn't change the crappiness of Java GUI libraries one bit. It may make they easier to write, but they're still sort of ugly once you are done. IMO SWT does more then Eclipse to address this, but its still behind what Windows and MacOS developers are used to IMO.

That said I don't think this will be a real issue. You don't need much from a GUI to run a DVD menu system, so Java should be fine.

RE: Java
By TomZ on 4/3/2007 11:56:25 AM , Rating: 2
It will be fine as you say, but it will also probably require the development of yet another GUI framework, since none of the existing frameworks meet the requirements (think WPF, Vista, etc. which are at the forefront of visual GUI design in the mainstream).

RE: Java
By ElCapitanAmerica on 4/4/2007 7:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't run on HD-DVD, it's a bit irrelevant to this discussion really.

RE: Java
By TomZ on 4/5/2007 9:49:33 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying that WPF, Vista, etc. run on HD-DVD. My point is that today's expectations of a GUI are far beyond what they have in the past. Therefore, any modern GUI framework developed today would have to meet those same requirements, i.e., the same requirements as WPF.

RE: Java
By TomZ on 4/3/2007 12:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'm no fan of Swing, but there are some good IDEs that take a lot of the pain out of creating a Java GUI.

Apparently you have not had the experience of trying to design a reasonable GUI with Swing, and then doing the same with Visual Studio and .NET. There is no comparison between the two - Visual Studio is easier and delivers much better results. Add to that the proliferation of really high quality third-party GUI components available for WinForms...

RE: Java
By FITCamaro on 4/3/2007 7:46:02 AM , Rating: 1
Multi-platform support regardless of OS or hardware, Excellent support and easy implementation of Object Oriented programming, Can be easier to learn than C/C++...

Is it the best language out there? No.
Is it a crappy language? No.

.NET is an easy group of languages with a great IDE but it has its drawbacks as well.

RE: Java
By TomZ on 4/3/2007 12:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know - a modern programming language designed without enumerations? (Added later, in a horrible manner, after everyone developed hack-like idioms for enumeration. Then the language designers codified this by adding support in the language for the horrible hack idiom!)

Also missing still is support for properties.

Also no support for delegates. Just the crazy "nested classes" hack.

Still no reasonable GUI library - just a proliferation of half-baked implementations released through the years.

Portability is nice, but interoperability with Windows technologies like COM servers and the ability to call native OS APIs is a day-to-day requirement for many programs. These things are "possible" in Java, but cumbersome to say the least. At best it requires separate third-party interfacing libraries.

Is Java crappy by 1990 standards? No.

Is Java lacking by 2007 standards? Absolutely.

Really, the biggest problem with Java is that progress was too slow in getting the language "lacks" shored up. But at least it is not "glacial" like C++.

RE: Java
By ElCapitanAmerica on 4/4/2007 7:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
This is a Blu-Ray player, one would hope there is a very nice layer of abstraction to access low level features ... if it should in the first place.

There's a lot of innovation on the UI space, I think your information is a bit outdated. Plus the enumeration support is just fine, I doubt a movie would be affected by erasure ... geez.

BTW your wishlist is being addressed by Java 7, a lot of syntactic sugar for sure, but it's being considered seriously.

RE: Java
By geddarkstorm on 4/6/2007 4:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
I seriously doubt a blueray player, playing Movies, and needing java just for a simple menu screen (which can hardly be called a GUI and I've never seen one in any movie that compared to any sort of GUI on a computer) and nesting visual overlay options will run into any of these issues people are talking about.

Seriously, this isn't a computer, this isn't an OS. All this stuff is meaningless for the player, so Java will do just fine.

Van Ling is right though
By sapiens74 on 4/2/2007 9:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
He shouldn't have to dumb down content because some players cannot play it.

Blu Ray should make it work either way.

RE: Van Ling is right though
By daftrok on 4/2/2007 9:27:56 PM , Rating: 2
I agree to an extent, but really I doubt people will really be upset because you can't see Keanu Reeve's face talking in the corner while you're watching him dodge bullets. Though it would be nice to have the feature, and it is a bit unfair to those who bought a Blu-ray player without an Ethernet port (by the way, what Blu-ray player DOESN'T have an Ethernet port? I'm looking at them from all companies and they seem to have the Ethernet port for firmware updates).

RE: Van Ling is right though
By daftrok on 4/2/2007 9:28:45 PM , Rating: 2
Gah I want to edit but I can't. I meant to say "I agree to an extent. I doubt..."

My bad

RE: Van Ling is right though
By behemothzero on 4/2/2007 9:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
I just realized it sounds remotely like the X360's situation, cept for the fact that there are no HD-DVD games.

Uhm... BD-J is already part of the spec
By Rosyna on 4/3/2007 12:07:58 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah... I have no idea what this article is talking about. BD-J is part of the spec and a few Movies are using it. See for more information.

The PS3 supports it as do players from last year. It's not something new with Profile 1.1. The only things that are new are things like secondary video decoders (for PIP commentary).

By Wolfpup on 4/3/2007 2:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
This is one of the things about the article that confused me too. I read about Blu Ray's use of Java WAAAAAAAAAAY before the first players shipped. Like probably back in 2005 various articles discussed the programming environments available in Blu Ray versus HD-DVD (basically amounted to the same thing, but with a different language or whatever).

Firmware update
By electriple9 on 4/3/2007 9:41:48 AM , Rating: 2
I taught the blueray players were almost like computers. So couldnt you just update the firmware to get them to work with new technology.

RE: Firmware update
By masher2 on 4/3/2007 9:54:12 AM , Rating: 2
If you have a firmware-updateable player and the processing power to handle the additional load, while keeping up with decoding the video stream-- yes. However, most consumer electronic devices operate on a fairly tight processing budget...the manufacturer puts in the cheapest, slowest chip they can that gets the job done.

hmm let's see...
By jay401 on 4/3/2007 9:05:00 AM , Rating: 1
fud fud fud fud...
Novack continued, “This might be bad news for early adopters who have already purchased a player, but it will not prevent them from playing back future Blu-ray movies . Owners of first generation Blu-ray players will probably not be able to use the full range of interactive features available on future Blu-ray Disc titles.”

Owners of current Blu-ray Disc players who are concerned about the future utility of their hardware are assured by manufacturers that current players won’t be made completely obsolete with the new standard.

....fud fud fud fud

Ah, there we go! I knew it couldn't be as sensationally bad as the article was leading me to believe.

Not that I care as I have neither Blu-Ray or HD-DVD players, but I just hate seeing what-should-be news articles become similar to sensational Inquirer FUD parties.

RE: hmm let's see...
By encryptkeeper on 4/3/2007 9:22:21 AM , Rating: 1
Owners of current Blu-ray Disc players who are concerned about the future utility of their hardware are assured by manufacturers that current players won’t be made completely obsolete with the new standard.

It'll just be, ya know kind of obsolete. Not a big deal for someone who spent upwards of 800 or 900 bucks for a movie player who just has to have the best stuff. It shouldn't cause them any sleepless nights at all, no sir...

And the winners are...
By thartist on 4/3/2007 11:58:18 AM , Rating: 2
...non early adopters, who didn't pay no absurd price neither have to worry for ANY stuff like this one.

Blu-ray, Who Cares.
By porkster on 4/3/2007 1:14:39 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone care about Blu-ray, anyway?

RE: Blu-ray, Who Cares.
By EclipsedAurora on 4/9/07, Rating: 0
This is just too annoying
By Mitch101 on 4/3/2007 1:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
While this screw up doesnt effect all players I certainly would be annoyed if I was was of the unlucky. But then I am one of the Unlucky who was an early adopter and bought a HDTV with DVI before HDMI was even a consideration.

Thanks Hollywood I bought HDTV so you could have another media to sell (VHS, DVD, HD) but then you keep screwing everyone with this format war and even worse the DRM infection causing me no option to have HD movies without them being downsampled. Im not going to buy another HDTV as I dont need 2 65" HDTV's.

I think I am going to order a Direct TV HD unit and never buy another movie again.

If I need a fix I will just borrow from the neighbors. If more people borrowed movies from thier neighbors or went in sharesies to a rental membership that would stick it to the movie industry much more than letting them continue this crap. Either way Im done with the HD movies.

Come on China we need a High Definition OTA Free sub DVR so I can prevent being forced to pay an extra $10.00 a month to the cable/sat companies for local HD channels.

HD is not dead yet
By jcbsinger on 4/4/2007 5:15:17 AM , Rating: 2
The HD is not dead yet, there's still hopes that our life would not get blued :)

By Christopher1 on 4/6/2007 8:48:30 AM , Rating: 2
to DVD players and the like until at least 5 years after the device first comes out.

They should include EVERYTHING that they want in the machines AT THE BEGINNING, not slowly adding them over a period of time!

By EclipsedAurora on 4/7/2007 2:52:46 PM , Rating: 1
Unlike the HD DVD standard, Blu-ray players are not required to have Ethernet ports for firmware updates. Blu-ray machines with upgradable firmware likely will have a greater chance of conforming to the mandated format this fall.

As I know, many BluRay players (e.g. Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer) have RS232 ports for firmware upgrade. Also, since DVD age, there are plenty of DVD players/recorders can upgrade their firmware thur a downloadable ISO image burnt on CD-R. The most famous one Philips, which require users to download an ISO image from her support website to solve a series of optical drive error inside a range of her DVD players.

Something to add!
By EclipsedAurora on 4/7/2007 2:55:04 PM , Rating: 1
HD-DVD is also planning to add regional code, as a result from Hollywood. It is known that current HD-DVD player will not able to playback the new regional coded HD-DVD.

By speed99 on 4/6/07, Rating: -1
At the very worst....
By sapiens74 on 4/2/07, Rating: -1
RE: At the very worst....
By masher2 on 4/2/2007 9:07:46 PM , Rating: 3
Err, so in your opinion, a screwup like this that potentially affects all preexisting players, with every movie they play is "no big deal"...whereas a single HD-DVD movie with problems on it is a "debacle" that'll bring down the entire format?

You ARE a real fanboy, aren't you?

RE: At the very worst....
By sapiens74 on 4/2/2007 9:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
I actually supported HD DVD for a long time, swore I wouldn't but a Blu Ray player, but with so few new releases, and practically no PC drives Blu Ray has my support. I would imagine that the early adopters, who paid 1k for a player, wouldn't be too aggravated at buying a new player at a third of that oringal price if they had too. This, of course, affects so few people, as most Blu Ray players also double as a PS3 :)

RE: At the very worst....
By AlexWade on 4/2/2007 9:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
Blu-Ray has more drives you can buy from Newegg. HD DVD has more drives you can buy pre-installed. HP, Samsung, Toshiba --> HD DVD computers. Dell, Sony --> Blu-Ray. Someone check that to make sure.

If I was a BR owner, I'd be royally ticked. HD DVD worked right from the start; Blu-Ray made everybody beta testers and charges twice as much. If not for PS3, Blu-Ray would have sunk like LaserDisc despite having studio support. And, for a fact, you can find HD DVD players less than $300 on the internet. And rumors are circulating that $100 or $200 HD DVD players will be available soon. Granted, they are Wal-Mart cheap brands, but Wal-Mart cheap DVD players made DVD successful. If $200 players come out before Christmas, I believe HD DVD will win. If not, Blu-Ray will win.

Of course, I want a Blu-Ray player, but can't afford even a PS3. I do have the HD DVD add-on for the 360. I am impressed by the stuff HD DVD does that Blu-Ray can't, even with BDJ. Although Blu-Ray has more storage space, HD DVD is the superior technology. Still, I want a Blu-Ray player, but I will always favor HD DVD because it is better.

RE: At the very worst....
By sapiens74 on 4/2/07, Rating: -1
RE: At the very worst....
By saratoga on 4/2/2007 9:44:36 PM , Rating: 1
You can actually flip an HD-DVD disk over, just like DVDs. I don't see that being a serious issue. Very few movies are going to need more then 30GB anyway (which is why so many BlueRay movies are single layer 25GB disks anyway). Those that need it can just have 2 sides.

RE: At the very worst....
By sapiens74 on 4/2/2007 9:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
Well here is the Issue

In the States you usually have 3 Audio Streams in English, French and Spanish. And the English one add Regular channel, 5.1, and now some form of Lossless and that starts taking up some room. In addition to the movie and special features. Movie like LOTR which is bound to have every form of Audio and is almost 3 hours long may be pushing it for 30GB

RE: At the very worst....
By The Sword 88 on 4/2/2007 10:13:09 PM , Rating: 1
A couple languages on one side, a couple other languages on the other side, problem solved

RE: At the very worst....
By saratoga on 4/3/2007 9:57:48 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. Multiple languages seem the least likely to cause a problem. Its not hard to have an English/Spanish side and a French/German side (or whatever).

Also, i think its fairly ridiculous to say that lossless will be a factor at all. Consumers don't even know what lossless is. Not saying I approve, but as far as the market is concerned, you could put 256k AC3 tracks on there and 98% of people would never notice. Hell, 98% of current HD-DVD and Bluray buyers wouldn't know the difference as long as they got the right number of channels.

RE: At the very worst....
By Lakku on 4/3/2007 1:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
People buying HD-DVD and Blu-Ray now know what lossless is. Why spend 1k on a player and not have the equipment to support lossless? No, I think the early adopters know about lossless, and will want to use it. Neither of these formats are anywhere close to mainstream, so people buying them now know more about what they are jumping into. With that said, it is the reason I use Blu-Ray over my HD-DVD add on for my 360, because the 360 and many HD-DVD titles don't have lossless tracks, while most Blu-Ray movies do. And yes, it makes a very noticeable difference.

RE: At the very worst....
By masher2 on 4/3/2007 1:34:48 PM , Rating: 2
> "Neither of these formats are anywhere close to mainstream"

That's the point. They're not mainstream...and the diference in lossless or not isn't going to propel either of them into that mainstream.

RE: At the very worst....
By Oregonian2 on 4/3/2007 1:54:02 PM , Rating: 2
And if one can really tell lossless over high rate quality compression in a movie, one REALLY wants direct to disk vinyl, not any of this digital stuff that ruins things inherently to start with anyway.


RE: At the very worst....
By Wolfpup on 4/3/2007 2:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
You can stick another layer on the reverse side of a Blu Ray disc too...and really the more layers you stick on each, the bigger the capacity difference grows.

RE: At the very worst....
By creathir on 4/2/2007 10:39:58 PM , Rating: 5
That is TOTALLY false...

BetaMax had higher quality... storage space limited, but not the REASON for failure.

Sony killed BetaMax. Their INSISTANCE on using formats that they developed and similarly could license.

The other issue was that they changed formats several times to attempt to keep up with VHS, and this caused TONS of confusion in the marketplace.

The company that has also brought us such wonderful hits as Memorystick, Minidisk, and UMD have brought us another gem in the form of BluRay, once again messing with formats... once again confusing all but those of us that are technology literate.

Way to go Sony...

- Creathir

RE: At the very worst....
By sapiens74 on 4/2/2007 10:53:49 PM , Rating: 2
their track record is horrible no doubt,

But Sony is not the only backer of Blu Ray, and studios as well as some Major computer makers support it as well

RE: At the very worst....
By Frank M on 4/3/2007 10:58:30 AM , Rating: 3
Didn't the have a large part in brining us the Compact Disk?

RE: At the very worst....
By shaw on 4/3/2007 12:33:19 AM , Rating: 1
Betamax was killed because it was a proprietary format. Something that Sony is great at doing and making everybody mad at them for.

RE: At the very worst....
By deeznuts on 4/2/2007 10:11:57 PM , Rating: 4
I won't comment on which one is worst or who is a fanboy, but seriously, who the F wants PIP while watching a movie? I didn't even know this was a feature. As long as the movie plays, I'm fine.

I have a PS3, so it might be upgradeable. I am buying an HD DVD addon to put in my computer, as soon as my lazy arse feels like vinyl dying the drive black. I guarantee you I won't be using PIP

RE: At the very worst....
By creathir on 4/2/2007 10:42:40 PM , Rating: 2
The benefit would not come in the actual movie, but rather in the menu system. Live, unrendered video of... video...

Today, this is done, but with a rendering of the scene.

Or imagine watching the director's cut with comments turned on, and it pops up a "more info" popup, and you hit it, and up comes a video of the directory talking about the scene.

For some... less animated directors... this is a worthless feature. But for ones that really get into the storytelling process, it would be quite worthwhile.

Those are just TWO places where I could see it as a benefit.

- Creathir

RE: At the very worst....
By sapiens74 on 4/2/2007 10:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
Some movies its worthless, but others, especially the more epic type movies this would be really cool

Or something like the Planet Earth series to be able to see addition information on the animal life, or something

RE: At the very worst....
By smitty3268 on 4/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: At the very worst....
By bplewis24 on 4/3/2007 12:28:59 PM , Rating: 2
You will be able to see the commentaries and special features, just not while also watching the movie.


RE: At the very worst....
By masher2 on 4/3/2007 12:32:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not if those special features require BD Java (which many do), or are encoded instream.

most early adapters new this
By michal1980 on 4/2/07, Rating: -1
RE: most early adapters new this
By Lazarus Dark on 4/3/2007 6:17:10 AM , Rating: 2
I jumped in on dvd as soon as the first player came to 200 bucks. It was a cheap piece of crap. Since then, I have had what, like 5 standalone players, one good one, a couple walmart cheapies, right now I have a dvd/vcr combo thats pretty good. My dad jumped on vhs early and we had a terrible vcr with fake wood panels for the longest time growing up, but since then I have had at least a dozen vcr's. Early adopters knew what they were getting into. Hell, the first hddvd players were 1080i for gods sake. No one should have expected them to last more than a year. I am waiting for a 200 dollar read only blu ray drive. Why read only? Because I expect multilayer discs in two years and don't want to spend 700 on a bd burner just to toss it in two years when 10 layer burners come out for <200. If you can't afford to toss a thousand dollar standalone player in a year, then wait for the cheaper final spec ones to come out.

RE: most early adapters new this
By Christopher1 on 4/6/2007 8:53:10 AM , Rating: 2
Man, your family must be a whole lot more into tech even than mine is! When I was growing up, we had ONE VHS player out in our living room until that one busted (usually not really busted, just needed cleaned which was a pain in the ass).

Right now, we only have a DVD/VHS player, not counting the ones on our 3 computers, out in the living room.

Actually, you can forget about a "Read-only" Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive. The standards say that all HD disc players for use in computers HAVE to be Read/Write ones, that's in both standards.

I think you are kinda...... optimistic about 10 layer burners being out anytime soon. The companies themselves are saying that those won't be out until 2015 at least, in their roadmaps to the future.

RE: most early adapters new this
By darkpaw on 4/6/2007 3:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
Not like it really tends to matter. DVD multilayer burners have been available for years, but the price of media still makes them quite cost prohibitive. For *most* applications its much better just to use multiple single layer disks as they cost 1/5th to 1/10th of the price.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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