Blu-ray Disc Specification Change Threatens Current Players

Dear Mr. Early Adopter, start crying. The Blu-ray Disc Association has mandated that all players of the format released after October 31 must support BD Java which is currently not standard for today's hardware. All players released after October 31 must also hold a minimum 256MB of persistent memory storage. Those with network options will have to have 1GB of memory to support Web downloads. The main problem lies, however, with BD Java - a programming language for Blu-ray Disc media used mainly to deliver picture-in-picture for in-movie commentary and special features. "Blu-ray player requirements and BD-Java specifications have been gradually changed over and over again, which has caused a good amount of grief for player manufacturers. The new specification and requirements will ensure that all Blu-ray players manufactured past October will be able to support the full range of BD-Java capabilities, including picture in picture and more," said optical storage analyst Wesley Novack.

Owners of current Blu-ray Disc players should rest assured that playback of Blu-ray movies will still be possible, only the BD Java-specific features will be unavailable. Unlike the HD DVD standard, Blu-ray players are not required to have Ethernet ports for firmware updates. Blu-ray machines with upgradable firmware will likely have a greater chance of conforming to the mandated format this fall. Only a couple Blu-ray movies feature picture-in-picture commentaries, those titles being Descent and Crank, though they do so without BD Java. Cleverly, and perhaps inelegantly, two complete versions of the movie are stored on a 50GB Blu-ray disc: one version contains the normal version of the film, while the second one features the picture-in-picture commentary hard-encoded on top of the film.

News source: DailyTech

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Leopard leaping in June

Next Story

FCC imposes rules to prevent pretexting

60 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I wonder if everytime there is a new workaround this ppl will force to update and make you pay the "upgrade". Seems everything now is in the hand of corporations and they can do whatever they want. This is because the ppl is plain stupid. Shouldnt buy this "new" super "hight" resolusion at all.

Just for these people who say interactive options and PiP is stupid..

By listening to you people, we would still be on plain HTML, boring web sites on the internet now..No flash interactive stuff, no video nothing..

Just because the regular DVD standard was able just to show simple additional features on a DVD doesn't mean that HD-DVD interactive experience won't give you spectacular interactivity with the movie.

For a lot of movies that I loved, I wanted more info, how it was made, the ideas behind the movie, the history of the characters. With interactive layers of hi-def movies you will be able to watch the movie normally and then have these play a significant role in backstage story telling.

Just imagine, having an interactive timeline for 300 movie, with information about Leonidas king, the Spartans, how they generated the battles with computers, while you watch the final scene you actually see how they did it in one part of the screen etc etc..

You guys are pretty shallow, if everything was up to you we would be still watching VHS and using BBS instead of internet because hey you don't really need it..you can chat on BBS boards like you can on forums today.

Pretty narrowminded.

And if this sounds awesome you will realize how HD-DVD is already starting to deliver on that promise..just imagine, buying a HD_DVD movie and watching it with special features and encyclopedias and so on, and then 3 months down the road, the publisher incorporates more content that you can download and view from the web..how cool is that..

So saying BD not having properly implement their bad choice in interactivity (Java) is justifying Sony's everlasting FU approach to everyone (consumers, developers etc)

I can guarantuee you that a lot of hardware manufacturers are scratching their heads now and are furious because of this...they LOST money and customers because of this.

Well said man. :)

But hey, you have to defend your format somehow, right? Even if it's trying to not care that you, as a consumer, are being screwed.

For a lot of movies that I loved, I wanted more info, how it was made, the ideas behind the movie, the history of the characters. With interactive layers of hi-def movies you will be able to watch the movie normally and then have these play a significant role in backstage story telling.

Just imagine, having an interactive timeline for 300 movie, with information about Leonidas king, the Spartans, how they generated the battles with computers, while you watch the final scene you actually see how they did it in one part of the screen etc etc..

Current BD Java already does that. They also have the space to include many documentaries on the subject, usually in full 1080p.

And if this sounds awesome you will realize how HD-DVD is already starting to deliver on that promise..just imagine, buying a HD_DVD movie and watching it with special features and encyclopedias and so on, and then 3 months down the road, the publisher incorporates more content that you can download and view from the web..how cool is that..

Or getting it when you buy the BD disc because the it already had plenty of room.

Or not being able to because you, like most consumers, don't have ethernet in the living room!

So saying BD not having properly implement their bad choice in interactivity (Java) is justifying Sony's everlasting FU approach to everyone (consumers, developers etc)

You leave out that there is CHOICE with Blu-ray. Not MONOPOLY like with Toshiba. (Blu-ray companies like Panasonic are laughing at your ignorance)
If you knew anything about software development you'd know the BD Java is much more flexible and programmable, with room to grow. HDi is already tapped out.

Oh, and the triple layer 51GB disc you tout? How about that rendering ALL existing HD DVD players obsolete so they can't even play those discs at all?! Not that it will actually ever come out anyway.

I can guarantuee you that a lot of hardware manufacturers are scratching their heads now and are furious because of this...they LOST money and customers because of this.

And I can guarantee that they are not. They know full well about this. That's why every player, from the earliest Samsung to the latest is firmware updateable. Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung, Philips, etc aren't losing sleep over what some uniformed internet trolls are spewing on some tech site. Did you know no first gen DVD players supported DTS? That layer changes caused player crashes? Support for CD-R/DVD-R, SACD, DVD-Audio, etc ALL CAME IN SUBSEQUENT GENERATIONS. Of course you'd actually have to know electronics history to be aware of this.

This "standard" is going to die quick if they keep changing it. Most people don't upgrade their VCR's and DVD players yearly like a PC.

exactly my point - why do you want popup rubbish while trying to watch a movie who cares. but simply put this is neowin we bash anything that says otherwise even with no logic behind it because we can.

Lmao right.

Well, some people want PIP extras and some people like to have 25GB filled with commentaries. A choice and a very important one in some people's mind. There. Happy now?

What is up with all you Sony and blu-ray bashers. I like both formats. I could care less about some stupid extras on blu-ray or hd-dvd. I have never watched them on dvds and don't watch them now with blu-ray or hd-dvd. All these extras are a complete waste IMO. Studios should spend more time making better movies and forget about all these extras.
To clarify the PS3 issue with memory for the java. The hard drive will be more than capable in handling the memory for the new standard.

They would easily be able to to include firmware updates on the Blu-ray movies themselves if this really became an issue.

Those with network options will have to have 1GB of memory to support Web downloads.

I'm surprised no one has brought this up. since the Ps3 has network options, doesn't that mean it'll be required to have 1gb of memory?

Thats kinds implemented into the ps3 so its not s atdna lone dvd player... bout out of the 60gb or what ever u get on your ps3... do u actually think u get the full 60gb??? after all the patches, web page stuff and all the other thingos... so yeah... just more stuff to blow that 60gb away...

lol it's meaning memory as in storage space not RAM ps3 can do it fine. read rest of article.

Ps3 has 60GB of room for "Web downloads" even though it may only be logically 54GB who's complaining ? 5GB off advertisement because they round it for consumers sake. plus if 60GB is nothing to you and you can fill it up in 3 minutes just buy a larger hard drive simple.

I doubt anything bad happening to BD will change things. BDs line shelves along with the PS3. BD is constantly being talked about as technically superior. I haven't seen the 360 HDDVD player anywhere. I once saw a shelf of HDDVDs.

Nobody wants to talk about why HDDVD is better. And the main reason is to push the PS3. PS3 is damn expensive, so to justify the price, shops heavily push BD. X360 is selling alright, and retailers don't see much need to push HDDVD.

Oh, and I haven't seen a singly DVD/HDDVD hybrid yet...

And Universal has announced they are discontinuing a number of combo discs due to production issues/costs, consumer issues, etc. Titles like "Army of Darkness", "Unleashed" and a few others will be reissued as HD DVD only discs.

god i wish blu-ray would lose studios like the ps3 is losing exclusives :P it would really help out my hd-dvd collection

Electronic Punk said,
how is this like the matrix?
The Matrix ushered in the death of the first-generation DVD players. People paid about $1000 for their player, only to find later that they couldn't properly play The Matrix when it was published. Some players got firmware upgrades released, but most consumers didn't know about it, even fewer understood how to do a firmware upgrade...so most of them simply bought a newer player. Link
Hunt said that sources within DVD mastering houses have told him that every DVD player on the market is in one way or another not fully up to the DVD technology specification.

The difference here is that all Blu-ray players will still be able to play the movies themselves properly.

SOME may or may not play all the special interactive features.

The sky is NOT falling.

PeterTHX said,
The difference here is that all Blu-ray players will still be able to play the movies themselves properly.

SOME may or may not play all the special interactive features.

Ummm...that's almost exactly what happened with The Matrix.

I fail to see the difference you point out.

And maybe it's not YOUR sky that is falling, but ask that chick standing next to you, m'kay?

No, it's NOT what happened with "The Matrix".

It used seamless branching for the "follow the white rabbit" feature which locked up many DVD players. In seamless branching 2 different versions are on the same stream, so playing the film proper is affected.

This is basically The Matrix deja-vu...

...except, no The One standard this time.

Good luck, Blu-ray. Ya shoulda waited until AFTER you won to pull something like this.

after reading comments above .... i always though hd-dvd was going to win the movie war... only reason i like blu-ray is cause of storage space.

i aint sure who's gonna win but i hope it's hd-dvd.

either way i wont be buying either for a long time as im pretty happy with the standard dvd format already and i doubt that standard dvd format will be going out anytime soon either.

HVD's are still atleast 6-10 years away so unless your a patient hippie that can wait for life to pass by before you finally buy something, theres no need to wait.

In all i care more about size of the disks then price - and no i'm not rich or have money to throw around i just prefer size and quality over cheap smaller rivals. blu-ray is going fine in NZ in the end.

Techncially HVD is a working media and I believe you can even buy it today, but because of extremely limited production they cost and arm and a leg

When BD and HD-DVD was starting developement, HVD allready had working protoypes capable of storign more than both formats today and faster. And HVD was developed with practically no budget whatsoever, while BT and HD-DVD both have been injected with billions in developement.

of course we'l never see HVD movies now that HD-DVD and BD is released and becoming the standard. HVD will now just become storage.

I think the text of the news item should be instead of:

Dear Mr. Early Adopter, start crying...

Dear Mr. Blu-Ray early adopter, start crying...

Cause I never had problems with anything HD-DVD wise.


You see what pis*es me off is really misrepresentation in news about HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Flaws of Blu-Ray and pricings and so on are presented as Hi-Def troubles when in fact HD-DVD has no problems whatsoever.

Look at the news item just a few before this one. It says "Hi-Def players being at $499"...I'm sorry but one BD player being at $499 is not ALL Hi-Def players. HD-DVD players range from $199 to $399, only top of the line HD-DVD players will be $500-$700, while the CHEAPEST BD player will be $499. Let's not forget that high-end BD players are still $1000-$1300

You see what they are doing there. They are equalizing the pricing of BD and HD-DVD which is NOT the case. Consumer will get more for less with HD-DVD, it's simple as that.

HD-DVD FTW!

Jugalator said,

Well, read the first two pages here or so...
http://forums.highdefdigest.com/showthread.php?t=5337

I'm not sure what you're trying to point out..it's just one movie.. I personally don't have that movie, but I see posts that some people are managing just find to play it..

How are you comparing this with complete lack of and non-working standard on Blu-Ray..I'm not sure what you are saying..

Again, I've had no problems with any of the movies I got for HD-DVD and I don't know any of my friends who have HD-DVD to have the same.

One movies is hardly a disaster. It's the publisher's problem not the standard.

Boz you are so full of it I can smell you from here.

Toshiba players are chock full of bugs that make HD DVD an adventure. Will the player crash before the film is done? Just how many firmware updates has Toshiba had to issue? Hint: LOTS.

It says "Hi-Def players being at $499"...I'm sorry but one BD player being at $499 is not ALL Hi-Def players. HD-DVD players range from $199 to $399, only top of the line HD-DVD players will be $500-$700, while the CHEAPEST BD player will be $499. Let's not forget that high-end BD players are still $1000-$1300

Another example of your lies. The $199 360 add on IS NOT A FULL FEATURED PLAYER. You must have an XBOX 360 to go with it!
The top of the line HD-X2 is $999, far away from $700.

Consumer will get more for less with HD-DVD, it's simple as that.

Well at least your honest here. Less space. Less choice. Less movies. Less future.

And how is HD-DVD not the better format?

Why take up useless space on the disc when HD-DVD get's most of it's extras from your broadband connection?

Sorry but I'm with Boz... Blueray despite it's larger capacity is as of right now already dated in terms of it's technology.

And being a format developed by Sony I can only hope that it fails. If history of Sony holds true, BD will go by way of the dodo bird.

It probably would've already had sony not forced it into the PS3. That move is the only thing keeping the format in the fight. Also the fact that this time around Sony owns a few top hollywood studios also helps, Sony Pictures/Columbia tristar and some other ones also, but whatever the case, those studios will never use HD-DVD.

GP007 said,
It probably would've already had sony not forced it into the PS3. That move is the only thing keeping the format in the fight.

Well I believe its a move that will ultimatly prevent sony losing the battle. They may not win (I'm sure dual players will eventually be the norm) but I cant see them losing with the PS3 under their belt. UMD's were different, noone wants to watch movies on a 3 inch screen. But with the PS3 they appeal to all those people that dont want to buy a seperate player which will number in the millions if not tens of millions over coming years.

So while I cant say HD-DVD will loose I cant honestly see Blu-Ray exactly going away either. as for using history as a reference, well sony never had anything like the PS3 to prop up its format (well besides their memory sticks which was supported by alot of their other products and again thats gone on to last even if sony is the main user).

Chew said,
And how is HD-DVD not the better format?

Why take up useless space on the disc when HD-DVD get's most of it's extras from your broadband connection?

Sorry but I'm with Boz... Blueray despite it's larger capacity is as of right now already dated in terms of it's technology.

I think the bigger question though is this; what is the use of the extra capacity? for me, I don't want a dvd with all the **** which is currently on there; I don't want the directors commentry on his own commentry, I simply want my movie, on a DVD, and be done with it.

You'd think that there would be a tangiable reason, but I doubt it; now, if they consolidated a whole series of "Black Adder" from 4 dvds down to one, then I could see the value, but apart from that, its a product looking for a problem to fix, a problem which is been something made up by marketing rather than being something real and effecting the every day viewer.

kaiwai said,
I think the bigger question though is this; what is the use of the extra capacity?
Fistly Box sets can pack more episodes on a single disk. Secondly the disk wont just be a movie format. When they finally are adopted for PC storage the extra space could be very useful for many people.

not the better format?

Well lack of space, bandwidth, hardware support, studio support, etc.

Why take up useless space on the disc when HD-DVD get's most of it's extras from your broadband connection?

Because the majority of consumers do NOT have broadband connections in their living rooms.
Salesperson: "Oh, by the way, if you want interactive features you MUST connect this to a high speed internet connection."
Not so tech savvy customer: "Really? Where are your regular DVD players at?"

Ironic the wireless solution for most people is in (wait for it) Blu-ray PlayStation 3!

lol,

dear mr who cares about BD Java feature

not me , sorry.

I prefer to watch movies without popups all over my tv so i still like blu-ray just minus this bd java lol

...

yeah it probably can be added to the PS3 but again i'd rather not

More than enough ? more like just enough.

Hopefully for the PS3 owenrs the HDD qualifies for the1GB specification though, if not sony will probably make a hacky workaround anyway

The PS3 technically has 512MB, but then again, it technically doesn't. The fact Sony decided to split the memory in two and limit it to 256MB for the GPU and 256MB for the Cell is quite, how do I put this kindly, stupid!.

Now I don't think playing back a BD movie on the PS3 uses all 512MB or even if it can, I could be wrong, but I beleave it's using the min 256MB that's on the Cell side of the system.

Basically because Sony found out late in the game they needed a separate graphics processors, so they decided to just slap on a graphics card. so basically it won't be able to use this memory.


and the PS3 OS allways uses a rather large chunk of the regular 256 MB of system memory.

so basically, the PS3 fails as a BD player

Then why is it considered by many Home Theater enthusiast magazines to be one of the best High Definition players for either format?

You criticize the PS3 memory yet games that come out for either the 360 or PS3 look and play the same.

Certain games like "Motorstorm" outshine anything on the 360. And there are games with true 1080p output, not rendered at 720p and scaled up (again like the 360).

It's not 1GB memory BTW: it's 1GB STORAGE. All PS3s have at least 20GB of storage.

As I said many times, how this standard still lives is beyond me. I guess brute force of Sony and companies they signed up before hand.

Overall since the beginning, the HD-DVD format has always seemed more complete, thoroughly thought through and implemented not to mention more consumer friendly.

BD doesn't have the standard set. I guess this is just wonderful for all those people who bought BD players at $1000.

Boz said,
As I said many times, how this standard still lives is beyond me. I guess brute force of Sony and companies they signed up before hand.

Overall since the beginning, the HD-DVD format has always seemed more complete, thoroughly thought through and implemented not to mention more consumer friendly.


true.. i haven't heard of big complaints about HD-DVD players, only that the discs don't hold enough.. but look at the last line in this paragraph

Cleverly, and perhaps inelegantly, two complete versions of the movie are stored on a 50GB Blu-ray disc: one version contains the normal version of the film, while the second one features the picture-in-picture commentary hard-encoded on top of the film.

two complete versions? so say the movie disc is filled to it's maximum capacity, at 50GB, thats 25GB per movie, less then HD-DVD?? so will all bluray movies be like this?

[quote]Cleverly, and perhaps inelegantly, two complete versions of the movie are stored on a 50GB Blu-ray disc: one version contains the normal version of the film, while the second one features the picture-in-picture commentary hard-encoded on top of the film.[/quote]
two complete versions? so say the movie disc is filled to it's maximum capacity, at 50GB, thats 25GB per movie, less then HD-DVD?? so will all bluray movies be like this?[/quote]

Just shows you man..the technology they are pushing is just incomplete and just slapped on there and they continue fighting only through marketing, PR and disk capacity, that's about it.

I mean you need to have 2 versions of a movie and have commentary hard-encoded? I mean WTF? hahahah.. that's what I call "Slap it and forget it".

Boz said,
I mean you need to have 2 versions of a movie and have commentary hard-encoded? I mean WTF? hahahah.. that's what I call "Slap it and forget it".

If you read it correctly, the reason those movies have 2 versions on the disc is because the do NOT use the BD-Java implementation. Otherwise you won't need to have seperate versions on the disc...

I'm not a big fan of Java on my PC and now to have it on movies. Wonder how that'd work out. It's not much different from iHD, but I beleave iHD is a lighter and more capable way of doing things.

Her comes Bozzie with more lies and misinformation.
From the actual article:

Novack continued, “This might be bad news for early adopters who have already purchased a player, but it will not prevent them from playing back future Blu-ray movies. Owners of first generation Blu-ray players will probably not be able to use the full range of interactive features available on future Blu-ray Disc titles.”

Owners of current Blu-ray Disc players who are concerned about the future utility of their hardware are assured by manufacturers that current players won’t be made completely obsolete with the new standard.

“As is common in new format introductions, future products will include some additional features such as picture-in-picture,” said Philips VP Marty Gordon to Video Business. “Regardless of whether first-generation hardware supports these new features, the discs will still play.”

So some players may or may not play some interactive features. THE MOVIES WILL STILL PLAY FINE.

Guess it can be a bitch when you have so much more CHOICE with Blu-ray (Panasonic, Samsung ,Pioneer, etc).

It's easy for HD DVD. You have one maker (Toshiba) so it's a hardware monopoly, and a software monopoly with HDi from Microsoft.

It's kinda like when the Mac crowd criticizes the PC platform for hardware/software bugs.