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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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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

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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