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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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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?


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