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Blu-ray Disc downgradable for PSP viewing coming later this year

Sony demonstrated at CES 2008 a new feature that would allow a PlayStation 3 to prepare a playable movie for the PSP on Memory Stick Duo using a Blu-ray Disc movie as the source.

"This way, you can have a portable copy you can take with you," said David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, adding that this was just one of the new features coming to Blu-ray Disc. "There was always the promise of greater interactivity. You'll see that coming in the new year."

The feature will likely be on a disc-by-disc basis, as rather than having the PlayStation 3 re-encode movies for the PSP’s resolution, a PSP-specific version would be stored on the Blu-ray Disc media. This grants the original movie studios’ professional encoding artists to optimize the video for viewing on a handheld system. This also means, however, that current Blu-ray Disc movies may not be able to make the seamless transition to the PSP.

The ability to downgrade a movie to a portable resolution was first seen on Fox’s Live Free, Die Hard and Warner’s Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix on standard-definition DVD.

Should this feature truly become commonplace on Blu-ray Disc and DVD movies, then it makes the UMD movie format a rather hard sell. With new UMD movies priced not much cheaper than Blu-ray Disc and DVD, the added utility of having both a home theater and a portable version at one’s disposal could spell the end of the PSP-specific disc format.

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On the other hand
By Bioniccrackmonk on 1/8/2008 4:58:13 PM , Rating: 5
the added utility of having both a home theater and a portable version at one’s disposal could spell the end of the PSP-specific disc format.

When this does come to fruition, it could also deal the death blow to HD-DVD. If it works flawlessly, I would likely buy a PSP for this reason as it would be a great portable movie player for long road trips. If it works flawlessly though.

RE: On the other hand
By Bioniccrackmonk on 1/8/2008 5:00:47 PM , Rating: 3
Meant to add that buying a hi-def movie and having a standard def version available instead of buying both is pretty sweet for consumers.

RE: On the other hand
By othercents on 1/8/2008 5:06:14 PM , Rating: 3
Two flaws to this idea.

1) You have to own both a PS3 and a PSP. The market is too small for this to make a difference on HD DVD demise.

2) HD DVD already has the ability to play either HD or standard format from one disk. Well at least thats what I'm told.


RE: On the other hand
By PandaBear on 1/8/2008 5:09:57 PM , Rating: 2
Step 1) Someone buy a BR movie and convert it to Memory Stick for PSP

Step 2) Someone took that MS and take it out as a file for PC

Step 3) Someone convert it to a standard/open format for PC and put it on torrent

Step 4) People download and put it in their PSPs

Everyone except the movie studio is happy.

RE: On the other hand
By othercents on 1/8/2008 5:12:36 PM , Rating: 4
Thats not new.. Everyone who has a PSP already does that.

RE: On the other hand
By dluther on 1/8/2008 6:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
It could be done with hardware signature encoding.

Both the PS3 and the PSP have unique hardware signatures that could be combined to both encrypt and watermark the target file, and render the file unusable on anything but the registered target device(s). The private keys would use a combination of the PS3's and the PSP's MAC addresses as the public key to validate the content.

Viola -- DRM problem solved. Everyone who wants to use this feature can only do so if they have the disc and hardware, playable only on the licensed target hardware.

Seriously, this is not a difficult undertaking. I mean, this is Sony's world and they can do whatever they want to, and there's no law that says the ripped movies have to conform to any standard other than what Sony says.

RE: On the other hand
By PandaBear on 1/8/2008 9:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
Put mod chip in a PS3 will pretty much make it a universal ripping device. Just wait till someone crack the encryption and or mode the PSP and DRM no more.

RE: On the other hand
By Brockway on 1/9/2008 7:30:52 AM , Rating: 3
You don't need a mod chip, you can already rip and encode bluray movies in linux on the ps3.

RE: On the other hand
By spluurfg on 1/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: On the other hand
By Mach Omega on 1/8/2008 5:17:36 PM , Rating: 5
PS3 hard drive.

RE: On the other hand
By spluurfg on 1/10/2008 7:03:27 AM , Rating: 2
You can't use your PS3 hard drive on a plane... suppose you are going on a vacation with your PSP? Are your options not then limited to either UMD's or memory stick storage? If using the latter, does that not also limit the number of movies you can store on a single memory stick? I'm no PSP owner, so correct me if I'm wrong here.

RE: On the other hand
By Alexstarfire on 1/8/2008 6:08:43 PM , Rating: 3
Yea, those are some pretty big flaws, but I don't understand why you couldn't just go convert a regular DVD to this format as well. Why does it HAVE to be Blu-Ray only? It's not like the PSP has better resolution than a DVD anyways. Seems like they are taking something that everyone could do and trying to make profit on people's laziness. Why convert your existing DVD when you can just buy a Blu-Ray and get it transferred automatically?

RE: On the other hand
By aos007 on 1/8/2008 6:31:56 PM , Rating: 2
There is no space on DVD to store the portable version of the movie but there is on BluRay.

RE: On the other hand
By Alexstarfire on 1/8/2008 8:58:05 PM , Rating: 3
For some DVDs maybe, but many of them have 1GB of space or more. Even so, it's not like an extra DVD couldn't be put into a case.

I already know it's just a PR move. Looks great, but is pretty pointless.

RE: On the other hand
By TSS on 1/9/2008 10:48:57 AM , Rating: 2
people who own a PS3 and a PSP might decide to buy more blu-ray movies with this feature, since there would be less hassle involved (although, this is sony) than in downloading and getting them on your PSP. it also might tempt PS3 owners who already buy movies, to buy a PSP for on the road. finally, it might trick PSP owners to purchase a PS3 instead of a XBOX, and get a portable movie player "for free".

atleast those are the arguments i'd think they'd use. not much better then pointless, but still. besides fans who already bought a ps3 and a psp, now get free portable movies with their blu-ray movies. it's nice to see that after you've given 3 (relative) large sums of money to them, they throw in something for free :P

RE: On the other hand
By spluurfg on 1/10/2008 10:32:26 AM , Rating: 2
Actually for many or even most movies, there's plenty of space. Dual layer DVD's can store over 8GB. Often enough the inclusion of a second 'special features' disk is unecessary (as the features could fit on the first disc), but simply a ploy to give the appearance of greater value in the package.

Though of course, there isn't the tremendously ample space provided by high definition formats and for longer movies there may not be space.

RE: On the other hand
By Wagnbat on 1/8/2008 11:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, those are some pretty big flaws, but I don't understand why you couldn't just go convert a regular DVD to this format as well. Why does it HAVE to be Blu-Ray only?

Because that is the only format Sony is supporting for next gen content. So anything they can do to get you to support it puts money in their pocket. If they made it so that you could do it with your exsisting DVD collection with a simple push of a button it would make them no money. That's business.

And don't get me wrong, you can already do this. It just takes more work and effort with a PC capable of transcoding the DVD MPEG2 into a smaller resolution video mp4.

RE: On the other hand
By VisionxOrb on 1/9/2008 11:26:51 PM , Rating: 2
HD-DVD can only play on a regular dvd player if it's a combo disk which ends up using one of the layers leaving only 1 15gig layer for the HD movie. ( this is of course only true for a single sided disk )

How ever, What they do need is a free legal utility ( from sony or who ever ) that would convert the main movie on a BD title into SD DVD format. That way every disk you buy going forward would be on Blu-ray as you could still use that content on the "kids" player in there room or the car etc and don't have to replace every dvd player in the house right away. Brilliant! mass adoption of BRD in

RE: On the other hand
By djc208 on 1/8/2008 5:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
Like the concept, and it would be a nice bonus to BD, but if it's a PSP specific format than it will lock you into a PSP, no video iPods or portable media players, or laptops (that don't have BD drives).

You'd be locked into a Sony centered world full of memory sticks and minidisks. Which was why many were aprehensive over BD as a Sony backed format.

RE: On the other hand
By Mach Omega on 1/8/2008 5:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a fan of Memory Sticks but I won't knock Sony for using its own formats. As someone already pointed out, it'll be pretty elementary to get BD movies in other formats for other devices. Technology is just too sophisticated now. This is more for the casual user, it'll do nothing to slow down the "motivated" user.

RE: On the other hand
By Brockway on 1/9/2008 7:36:25 AM , Rating: 2
This will probably work similarly to the way psp's hook up to the ps3 for remote play. You just have to register it to the ps3 and you can copy ps1 games and files over to it.

RE: On the other hand
By FITCamaro on 1/9/2008 9:02:28 AM , Rating: 2
You're not copying PS1 games from the PS3 to the PSP. It's streaming the game via wifi.

RE: On the other hand
By Brockway on 1/10/2008 3:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
No, I'm talking about the downloadable PS1 games you buy off the store. You register your PSP, and you copy the game over to the PSP using USB. I play Castlevania on my PSP this way. I also play FF7 and Xenogears on it using a slightly different method.

By Mitch101 on 1/8/2008 5:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
And the Movie Studios and MPAA is ok with Blu-Ray/Sony doing this?

I thought ripping a movie to play on other devices was illegal?

RE: Funny
By diego10arg on 1/8/2008 5:34:07 PM , Rating: 1
It will depend on each country laws I think, but hey, if you have one Original you should be able to back it up in case it breaks, right?

RE: Funny
By creathir on 1/8/2008 6:00:00 PM , Rating: 1
Well... the studios brought it on themselves for backing a format from this company.

How funny is this...

Studios SCREAMED over content protection for their media... (many did not go to HD DVD due to the lack of Region support) so they now get to use Sony's PS3->PSP system for distribution of a movie, a single time. I love how Sony is seen as the big brother looking out for all of us in this mess.

I give this "feature" about 5 minutes in the US before it is illegal. (By definition, does this not break the DMCA?)

People have been wanting Microsoft to do this with Media Center/Xbox for years now, but the studios screamed over the protection of the content. Does Sony actually think this is going to fly?

- Creathir

RE: Funny
By Scott66 on 1/9/2008 1:29:19 AM , Rating: 2
If you have "Express permission" you can make a copy of a program. What is more expressed than providing a valued customer a low res copy and distribution method to watch it.

No rules broken here. Of course you coughed up close to 700 dollars for the players and the media cards. They also hope you will have incentive to buy more movies as well.

RE: Funny
By Moishe on 1/9/2008 8:31:25 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, but the major difference I see is that they are literally placing a portable copy of the content on the media specifically for this. It's basically a statement of: "We'll let you do it this way only (our way)."

The stupid thing is that the movie industry is not forcing it to be a standard piece of content usable on any portable device. They're ensuring that the portability of the movie is useful only for PS3/PSP owners, which is a relatively small crowd. that's no incentive for me at all and it likely never will be.

RE: Funny
By aos007 on 1/8/2008 6:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
According to the article, the portable encoded version is ALREADY ON THE DISC. Therefore there is no ripping, simply copying of the publisher-sanctioned copy to the portable device. So yeah the movie studio would be ok with this since they'd be the ones putting the portable version on the BluRay for this very purpose.

With the same token, this makes the whole feature rather useless in practice unless someone mandates it (unlikely).

RE: Funny
By ani4ani on 1/8/2008 6:44:18 PM , Rating: 2
Read the article, some studios already do it..

RE: Funny
By hcforde on 1/9/2008 1:08:02 AM , Rating: 2
Not really illegal if you basically own the process

RE: Funny
By FITCamaro on 1/9/2008 9:00:43 AM , Rating: 2
The PS3 and PSP are a relatively closed platform. And you're not "ripping" it. You're copying whats already there from one place to another.

Honestly they should have gone this way to start with. It's ridiculous that they wanted you to buy movies on DVD and then have to buy it again for almost exactly the same cost on UMD.

I recently bought a PSP and would like to have some movies. But I don't feel like paying $10 for a movie I already own. And the downside is that memory sticks are even more expensive thanks to Sony with their Pro Duo format. You can only get at best 3 movies on a 2GB stick depending on the quality you want.

Live Free or Die Hard
By FITCamaro on 1/8/2008 5:02:15 PM , Rating: 3
Yes you can get a handheld version of the movie off the bonus disc, but you have to install a DRM kit to do it. I said screw that. I can just rip the movie to my computer and reencode it to the PSP video format using PSP Video 9.

RE: Live Free or Die Hard
By Mach Omega on 1/8/2008 5:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
Is this a fact? Even if it is, if it's part of the firmware update, very few people will really care because the convenience will outweigh the negligible inconvenience of DRMed movies.

I like how the PS3 is adding more value to the PSP. Mine was gathering dust until recently.

That being said, I wish Sony would drop Memory Stick and go with SD. I know it will never happen but I can dream.

RE: Live Free or Die Hard
By FITCamaro on 1/8/2008 9:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I own the DVD and was going to do it. Said screw that.

Gogo trolls
By littlebitstrouds on 1/8/2008 5:14:43 PM , Rating: 2
When did anyone talk about it being a killer to HD-DVD... my god it's a new feature that sony is offering, can we just be happy about it. Every thread doesn't need to be HD-DVDvsBlu-ray.

I know, I will certainly enjoy it, if it's seemless... personally ripping with my computer is annoying, as it's being used for so many other things, might as well use the PS3 to do it.

RE: Gogo trolls
By Makaveli on 1/8/2008 8:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
I own a PSP, and have to ask this. Even running this smaller modified blu ray movie on it. With the limited screen specs is there gonna even be a noticable difference in quality?

Can anyone answer this ?

RE: Gogo trolls
By Moishe on 1/9/2008 8:35:18 AM , Rating: 2
There is no way a small movie intended for that small screen will look any better coming from Blu-Ray instead of DVD.

Blu-Ray simply offered the extra storage on-disc to be able to store a pre-encoded copy just for the PSP.

It will be a lower quality video.

As a PSP owner...
By killerroach on 1/8/2008 8:20:45 PM , Rating: 2
...I always thought the death knell for UMD movies was that nobody wanted to pay $20 for them, but what do I know? They've been dead long before this.

However, this is amazing news, having both a PSP and a PS3, and a slowly expanding Blu-Ray movie collection. The PSP, in addition to being a great handheld game system, is a phenomenal media player thanks to that colossal display it has. This news makes me wonder when we'll see this come to fruition...

RE: As a PSP owner...
By hcforde on 1/9/2008 1:26:38 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe you have not heard the news about the PSP and what Sony's plans are for it. More fully integrating it to the PS3, adding SKYPE, greater wireless connectivity.

I own a PSP -first Gen. 2nd gen has tons of capabilities they have not told us about yet. There is also a little known company in France called Archos which does for video what IPOD does for audio. The 605 Model is amazing and comes in 30Gig, 80GIG and 160GIG versions, can read AVI, WMV, --VOB , H.264, MP4 with plugins. It is also wifi, reads PDF's, has DVR capabilities on and on and on. The rumored 606 will have SKYPE, maybe Bluetooth, and other connectivity features like DISH TV etc for the low price of $300.00and smaller than a PSP but the same size screen.

Sony has to do something to compete with these new devices coming out that does more than games. Technological competition is a great thing

Meh...not a selling point to me...
By johnbuk on 1/9/2008 9:35:59 AM , Rating: 2
and I thought the UMD was already virtually dead as a movie format.

I own a PSP but not a PS3. The fact that certain blu-ray movies will soon include PSP versions on the discs isn't in any way an incentive to buy a PS3 and I doubt it will be to anyone who owns a PSP and is in the least bit tech savy. Ripping regular DVDs that you already own onto a memory stick is extremely easy and I doubt any officially licensed blu-ray alternative to this is going to give you any noticeable increase in quality.

And pricing UMD movies the same or more than regular DVDs has as much or more to do with killing the UMD as a movie format than anything else. I've never bought a UMD movie, but if they would have priced them at say $5, I would probably have bought several dozen by now at least (I know you can find many older releases marked down for that now, but the selection of what's available is mostly terrible because it never really caught on).

By grampaw on 1/9/2008 2:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed - anyone even half technically competent can take their existing Standard-Def DVD and back it up in H64, DIVX, Mpeg4, or whatever necessary format, that makes much smaller files for the playback on the devices they own. I'm not that knowledgeable, yet I can get those DVDs on my iPhone, my notebook computer (DVIX player), and the PS3. The iPhone and PC versions look fantastic, while PS3 mpeg4 video has slight pixellation at 1080p on a 47" screen. However, the picture is quite watchable considering the 1GB size for a 100 min movie.

I'd say this Blu-ray to DIVX concept is DOA...

BTW, what are UMD movies?

The PSP isn't Sony's only Moblie Media Player
By Etsp on 1/8/2008 5:13:19 PM , Rating: 1
I am curious to know if this feature could be compatible with my Video Walkman? If it is, I'd most certainly make use of it(after buying a PS3, High-def TV, Movies, etc.)

By sweetsauce on 1/8/2008 10:43:54 PM , Rating: 1
Video walkman? I thought walkmans were dead.

By Etsp on 1/9/2008 11:05:06 AM , Rating: 1
By phatboye on 1/8/2008 9:11:48 PM , Rating: 2
Not only are the screens bigger, but I can get one on the cheap and I can play my backed up movies on it. When it comes to DRM I always say no Thank You.

By AlvinCool on 1/9/2008 8:17:45 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't slysoft clone mobile software already do this? I mean if you already own the DVD of course. And wheither it comes from blue ray or DVD the picture is gonna be the same when you compress it, right?

By bfellow on 1/9/2008 10:51:40 AM , Rating: 1
This is ironic in that one Sony-supported format is actually gonna kill another Sony format.

Whats the difference now?
By osalcido on 1/9/2008 5:41:10 PM , Rating: 1
Now I have to buy a 300 dollar blu-ray drive and a 30 dollar blu ray disc instead of just a single 10 dollar UMD..


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