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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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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.

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