Sony's first Blu-Ray disk drive won't be able to play protected movies released on the Blu-Ray format

Sony has said that the company’s first Blu-Ray disc drive won’t play protected movies released under the Blu-Ray format. Sony unveiled its first Blu-Ray computer disk drive, the BWU-100A, this year at the companies “Experience More 2006” event held yesterday in Sydney, Australia.

Sony officials said copy protection and software development issues were behind its decision to release the drive without movie playback support. Among the reasons given was the fact that Blu-Ray commercial content can only be played with HDCP compliant hardware and that currently very few devices actually support HDCP.

Sony is optimistic that the issues will be resolved “soon” but does not have a specific time table available as to when that might take place.  The company emphasizes that the drive is still useful as a mass storage device as each single layer BD-R is able to hold approximately 25GB and the drive is still able to play non-encrypted content. The BWU-100A has a write speed of 2x, is able to burn both single and dual layer BD-R and BD-RE disks and will be available later this month for around $750 USD.

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