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
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.