Buyers Beware: Current Blu-ray Players Won't Correctly Play Future Discs

After the past week, it seems more and more likely that Blu-ray will be the movie disc format of the future. But with the exception of the Playstation 3, current Blu-ray disc players were built without future-compatibility capabilities, so come this October owners won’t be able to take advantage of features like Internet connectivity or enhanced interactivity (whatever that means—details are sketchy). “One key Blu-ray developer told BetaNews that although he builds discs for studios including Fox and Lionsgate, he did not buy a Blu-ray player for personal use.” Regarding current Blu-ray player owners, Blu-ray developers told BetaNews, “They knew what they were getting into.”

Representatives at the Blu-ray booth at CES told BetaNews that the PlayStation 3 is currently the only player they would recommend, due to upcoming changes to the platform. But Pioneer, Samsung, Panasonic and Sony have all been selling standalone Blu-ray players to customers.

So here’s how it’s going to work: current players are Profile 1.0, and can play future hi-def discs but no bonus stuff. Profile 1.1 dics will include additional bonus material that won’t play on 1.0 players—these discs will have a “Bonus View” sticker. Come October, Profile 2 capability will come to the market, which includes Internet activity, but only on Profile 2.0 players—these discs will have a “BD Live” sticker.

When asked why current players were released to the market when in such a primitive state, manufacturers blamed the release of HD DVD and said it forced them to come to market too soon. “We should have waited another year to introduce Blu-ray to the public, but the format war changed the situation.” Okay, well how about we just don’t buy any Blu-ray players for a while (not counting the PS3) until you guys decide to get your act together?

“Blu-ray: Early adopters knew what they were getting into” [BetaNews]

RELATED
“Where Things Stand In The Hi-Def DVD Format War”
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. ShadowFalls says:

    Just buy a PS3. Pretty much about the same price and it can play games as a bonus…

  2. PassionateConsumer says:

    Best to stay on shore a bit longer before jumping into these cold waters. Otherwise, might end up feeling Blu …

  3. humphrmi says:

    It’s fun living on the bleeding edge! :)

  4. crescentia says:

    I love my PS3, it is a lovely thing.

  5. Aphex242 says:

    I blame anyone who ever bought a Blu-Ray disc for getting us into this mess. This is what happens when you let Sony win format wars. lol

  6. MightyPen says:

    This isn’t new news.

    Anyway, the main movie will play in all, its the bonus content that 99% of end users will probably never use won’t. Though my wife surely relishes the idea of idea of me stringing an ethernet cable through our living room or attaching a wireless receiver to the blu ray player. I’m sure blu ray 2.1 will have built in wifi…and blu ray 3.0 will have some other piece of technology we can’t live without.

    Of course maybe by then the blu ray players will have all of the functions that hd-dvd players (rip) now do.

  7. sonichghog says:

    @mightypen: Thats funny. One of the big things the Blue Ray Fanboys keep saying is that the disk will hold more. So you can add more extra content. So that makes BR better….

  8. TechnoDestructo says:

    I assure you, most people buying ANYTHING electronic or mechanical have no idea what they’re getting into, good or bad.

  9. Myotheralt says:

    Woot! PS3 ftw!

  10. dukrous says:

    Keep in mind that HD DVD came to the market with all these features intact, and had a method of upgrading players to keep up with the newest development. How a weaker, less consumer friendly (region locking), and more expensive to produce format is winning this war is a complete mystery.

  11. RvLeshrac says:

    @mightypen:

    This is news to the people who keep shouting that Blu-Ray is the better format.

    I’ve been saying this for months to everyone I see and speak to who is considering buying Blu-ray, and I’ve been saying this for months here.

    No one is listening. No one cares that they’re giving up all of their rights under copyright law with BR, and no one seems to care that the difference between a functioning Blu-ray player and a worthless brick is a single disc.

  12. Cary says:

    I’m still holding my breath. Sony has NEVER won a format war:

    Beta (lost)
    Minidisk (DOA)
    ATRAC compression (lost to mp3 & mp4)
    Memory Stick (losing to SD)
    Elcaset (I’m not making this up)
    SACD (killed both formats)

  13. RvLeshrac says:

    @Cary:

    Minidisc and ATRAC are alive. They aren’t well, but they’re alive.

    Minidisc owners swear by both of them. Probably because they’ve spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on the equipment. It was obviously a terrible format from the beginning.

    You forgot to add UMD-Video, though. It is making a tiny resurgence now that Sony stopped demanding cargo-containers full of money from the studios, but I don’t think that will save it.

  14. coan_net says:

    I can see a lot of mad Blu-ray player owners – can possible even see some sort of class action lawsuit for players which won’t work with all the features.

    I would like to see the new DVD VMD red laser disk to gain support.

    It uses the old red laser, which would mean the discs would cost about the same as current DVD’s (and not $10+ more like the 2 blue laser formats)

    [en.wikipedia.org]

  15. suburbancowboy says:

    As the owner of a high end AV Store, I think the current state of consumer electronics is idsgusting. Overpriced soon to be obsolete crap which takes away your rights as a consumer. HDMI? WHat version are we on now? Will it work with your old stuff? Why is Holywood telling us what we can and can not do with our technology that we purchase?

  16. drjayphd says:

    “But with the exception of the Playstation 3, current Blu-ray DVD players were built without future-compatibility capabilities,”

    DRM.

    “so come this October owners won’t be able to take advantage of features like Internet connectivity”

    DRM.

    “or enhanced interactivity (whatever that means-details are sketchy).”

    DRM.

  17. Buran says:

    But I don’t want a Sony player after what they did with those CD rootkits. Certainly, at least one of the alternatives is usable?

  18. Buran says:

    @drjayphd: Huh? I don’t like DRM either but don’t you think you’re a BIT overdoing it with the paranoia?

  19. Buran says:

    @suburbancowboy: Um, how are they doing that in this instance? Connect player. Put disk in player. Picture appears, sound plays. Isn’t that what they’re designed to do?

  20. Buran says:

    @sonichghog: If you’re using them to store data, that could be true. It depends on your viewpoint. Me I don’t care, I want hi-def movies. I’m sick of great-looking HD on my Tivo series 3, then relatively cruddy-looking movies. I just want hi-def DVDs that can hold, say, 3.5 hrs of video without having to swap disks in the middle of the movie.

  21. Buran says:

    @dukrous: Simple: because you can actually get (well, a lot more) movies for it. You can have the best technology in the world but if you can’t use it for anything, what is the point?

  22. Buran says:

    @RvLeshrac: Huh? You never were granted the right to make copies in the first places, yes, even at home. You aren’t allowed this right under standard DVD either but someone figured out how to reverse engineer the system nevertheless even though it’s illegal to do that, possess the tools, or anything extracted with said tools. That doesn’t mean that lots and lots of people don’t do it anyway, but under the law it’s illegal.

    I understand the frustration that comes with not being able to do that anymore, but it seems that from their viewpoint they’re afraid of the nasty evil pirates that aren’t actually costing them to lose that much (they still make a lot from DVD sales, and haven’t ever been able to prove that piracy is a significant problem) and I agree that there should be some sort of mechanism to allow you to do what you want at home, or more trusting of users since 99% of people AREN’T going to do anything dishonest …

    … but it’s their copyrighted stuff, and complaining that you can’t violate the copyright is a little bit like complaining carmakers install antitheft systems, so you can’t break in (even though I know copying movies is not “stealing”).

  23. glass says:

    @mightypen: “Though my wife surely relishes the idea of idea of me stringing an ethernet cable through our living room or attaching a wireless receiver to the blu ray player.”

    PS3. Built-in WiFi. Go figure.

    No need to bring the Missus into this after all.

    Seriously though, compatability is one reason I truly was rooting for HD-DVD. Ah well, thanks to my PS3, I have both. But it’s a shame I’m going to have a huge player taking up space for the dozen or so HD-DVDs I own…

  24. Pilam69 says:

    Anyone who has been buying these players KNEW this was the case. No bleeding edge consumer purchases this type of player without knowing what they are buying. It’s the bleeding edge after all.

    I understand the HD DVD’rs sour grapes considering they DID have a more (currently) complete format but it’s pretty clear now that the format war is all but over and Blu-Ray is the way it’s going to go.

  25. smitty1123 says:

    How about you just skip all the “BD-Live” crap and just sell me the freaking movie for $20 instead of $30? I love films, but with the exception of my Criterions, the extended LOTR, the Indy box set and maybe eight or nine others, I probably haven’t even looked at 90% of my dvd’s bonus features (not counting audio commentary, because that’s perfect background noise for me). And I damn sure cannot see myself bothering to download them).

  26. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I agree.. If you want a Blu-ray player, get a PS3. Sony finally got its head out of its ass and are making it into a home entertainment box, instead of a pure gaming machine. The firmware on the PS3 is updated more often than the firmware on regular Blu-ray movie players. So any bugs/glitches are resolved in a more reasonable time frame.

    Plus, it’s DLNA compliant so you can stream movies and music from your computer or network storage box. And I believe Sony will be offering Divx movie downloads this year.

    As for movies.. shop around. Most retail stores are throwing in 5 BD movies with purchase of a PS3. And I believe Fry’s and Amazon frequently have “2 BD movies for $30″ promotions.

  27. Trai_Dep says:

    Considering that all the record labels are *finally* abandoning DRM as a failed initiative, I wonder if, by the time that BR 2.0 comes out, they’ll shuck the DRM wrapper?

  28. KingPsyz says:

    Oh how I love thee internets…

    Pure fanboism at it’s best has really honed it’s edge during the great format wars.

    Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray use the SAME DRM AND THE SAME CODECS! Blu Ray offers the addition of BD+ for those studios/content creators that want it.

    Bitching about DRM is pretty lame, the disc plays who cares if you can’t download it free aside from the people responsible for the whole reason we have DRM now to begin with, the so called pirates.

    Everyone knows that if they bought a gen 1 Blu Ray player that 2.0 was down the line and if yuor box didn’t have an ethernet port or built in wireless yuo were going to be left out of future versions.

    The kind of people buying gen 1 (aside from PS3) BD players are the same kind that will always buy the newest kit. These same people also already knew PS3 was the best buy since it was half the price of most high end Blu Ray players and had the best specs.

    HD DVD had some of the features of BD Live or BDJava but it was in SD not HD like Blu Ray and was at max compression.

    Blu Ray has room to grow, that’s it’s benefit. Sure we complain that they’re always evolving spec, but imagine if they had this foresight when they put out DVD players? Maybe then it would have just taken a firmware update to go HD?

  29. ShadowFalls says:

    @dukrous:

    Bluray players need just a firmware update to support more layers on a disc while when it comes to HD DVD players, you need a whole new one to support new layers so HD DVD will never see them in the movie market.

    Many can realize at this point, if you are going Bluray, you mine as well get a PS3. It will be upgraded to stay with the times and can still do things like display pictures, play, rip and store the music you have, and play game demos or trailers. In the end, it is simply the better value.

    Now ofcourse there are two versions of the PS3. I wouldn’t suggest to a person who wants it just as a player to get the 80GB model. No need to waste the $100, the 40GB will do the job. If you want PS2 game support, then the 80GB one would be the way to go.

    At first I truly thought HD DVD was going to do so much better. The HD DVD combo discs were a good idea, but studios sparsely implemented them and proceeded to make them cost more. I don’t know about you, but think business-wise.

    If the standard consumer who knows little has no worry about if the movie will work in their player or not, it will likely sell more. This way people could get the new movies and get the player later when they had the opportunity. But this didn’t happen. Paramount went HD DVD exclusive but decided they were not even going to do any HD DVD combos at all. Warner Bros. was a good supporter of the HD DVD combo format, but now that they went to the Bluray camp, it seems like HD DVD is on a downhill spiral from here on out.

  30. sled_dog says:

    Jeez. Not only are the blu-ray players more expensive than hd-dvd, this comes up.

    I smell a class-action lawsuit coming …. people who could AFFORD the blu-ray players in the first place will not stand for this!

  31. glass says:

    @sled_dog:

    YEAH! Like this one time, I bought a puppy, and it DIED ON ME, fifteen years after I got him! WHAT THE HELL MAN!?!

  32. Buran says:

    @smitty1123: I don’t go for the expanded editions either since addons are nearly never captioned (but the LOTR ones were, wow). I used to, then realized I never watched the extras.

    The BR movies don’t cost that much more than standard on Amazon, though, and as time goes on prices should fall a bit. Eventually they’ll probably be about the same as standard DVD. The process does really still cost more due to economies of scale, and blue lasers do cost more than red lasers — for now.

  33. Myotheralt says:

    @Buran: I agree, I am also wondering where all the people that should be complaining that cassette tapes are not compatable with mp3s are hiding.

  34. Myotheralt says:

    I wonder, could BD firmware updates be distributed by a disc? Where you would just have to put the disc in the player, hit play and do an upgrade like that? I think that would be a great route for the players providing its possable.

  35. sled_dog says:

    @myotheralt:
    Yea, you’d think.

  36. majortom1981 says:

    So what makes the ps3 magically not a blu-ray player? ITs cheaper then most ,plays blu-ray 1.1 and can be upgraded to 2.0. Plus you get to play games and the media center capabilities as well.

  37. mrmysterious says:

    @myotheralt: My Blu-ray player can do a firmware update by burnt CD.

  38. captainproton says:

    Early adopters knew? O rly? I don’t remember seeing anything on the side of the box that said “we are gonna obsolete your player in a year.” I agree that this should be a target rich enviroment for an attorney.

  39. Id_LQQK says:

    Why should we let the movie companies tell us we need to buy the most expensive equipment and DVDs?
    The smart use of consumer money is to use it to influence the competition.
    Sugestion:
    Due to the dwindling support of HD DVD the players cost will soon be dropping. Take advantage of that. You will loose little. The HD player will upconvert the standard DVDs you have already. The HD DVDs prices will drop with the player prices (more than likeley).
    The new movies only on BD will still be on standard DVD too. Save the money. Buy standard DVDs -> upconvert for the time being. BD will get the point and realize they aren’t going to make profits off inflated prices if they don’t sell any at all. If they don’t want another ‘Beta-fiasco’ they will follow the consumer (not the other way around).

    Be a visible consumer not a blind follower.

  40. insomniac8400 says:

    It’s almost guaranteed sony is going to screw the format up. All we can hope for is that 3rd party developers will fix the problems. It sucks sony is going to screw up players and fill the standard with drm and collect royalties, but it’s just very hard to support hd-dvd when it holds less data. VHS won because it held twice as much video as betamax. Toshiba screwed up when they released hd-dvd knowing blu-ray held more data. If there is anyone to blame it is toshiba. But with sony claiming they won’t be able to sell fully compatible players for almost a year, there is more than enough time for hd-dvd to be fixed or another format to pop up.

  41. Oshawapilot says:

    That’s the reality of living on the bleeding edge. I paid $1400 for my first DVD player in 1997, owning one of the first ones that came to market.

    Currently, it sits in my basement because it doesnt’ handle dual-layer discs very well, if at all – at the time it wasn’t well supported because it wasn’t common. It will also not play burned discs whatsoever.

    So, now my $1400 DVD player gets outperformed by a $29 WalMart DVD player.

  42. Berklie says:

    Since I’ve already got an Xbox 360… I’m now hoping that Microsoft releases a Xbox 360 Blu-ray Player, similar to their Xbox 360 HD DVD Player. Like the PS3, that should have “future-compatibility capabilities,” I would imagine, what with its internet connection.

    Of course, by the time it’s released (if it’s released at all), the future may already be here.

  43. CPC24 says:

    And the Sony fanboys were calling HD DVD players paperweights! At least they play all movies in the format.

  44. snoop-blog says:

    i want blu-ray to win because they hold more. i’m talking about downloading and having a br burner on my pc.

  45. EricaKane says:

    @myotheralt: Blu Ray 1.0 players cannot be updated to Blu Ray 1.1 as a firmware update..the profile is based on minimium hardware specs, and the 1.0 players simply cannot meet those specs. so no amount of firmware updates will get you 1.1.

  46. parad0x360 says:

    @sonichghog: whats even more funny is your posts. Average movie size is around 20 gigs, leaving 10 gigs for bonus features on a hd-dvd…more then enough.

    Lets also not forget that EVERY hd-dvd player has built in storage so you can download special features later. hd-dvd was the best format and it was killed by stupidity. Sony should never win a format war and blu-ray spec is just one reason of many.

  47. dukrous says:

    @Buran: Exactly…you think a studio interested in maximizing their profits with home video would choose the video format that does not require gutting their existing DVD fabs for the Bluray equipment considering HD DVD can use the exact same equipment for pressing discs.

    @shadowfalls: Layers means nothing. Just because Bluray can have higher storage space does not mean you’re going to use it better. The current 480p standard is good enough for a wide majority of people and they’ll be blown away by 1080p. The future versions, like quad hd, and other formats will only serve to create new forms of the media.

    But this is all moot because in the end, digital downloads will be what wins. There’s no layers to worry about, and if designed correctly, data portability is what will win people over to buying bits over a network instead of pressed discs.

  48. JackAshley says:

    @dukrous: Incorrect; A studio will maximize their profit by producing whichever format sells more movies :) Cheaper production isnt always the only way to make a profit for a business…if its only 2/3 the price, but you only sell 1/2, your still not as well off

  49. goller321 says:

    @dukrous: A mystery???? There’s no mystery. Sony PAID the studios to switch to their format. Sony pays retailers to push their product. Most consumers are too stupid to do any research before buying and rely solely on the lying shit bag at Worstbuy to tell them what to buy.

    Hell, I went in to get a $99 HD DVD (which they didn’t have) and the jerk-off salesman tried to bullshit me on how BluRay was better. Every lie he told me, I corrected and pointed out the obvious flaws in his logic, but he never wavered in trying to convert me…

  50. ex_ea_slave says:

    So, how much did Sony pay them to say that? Let’s see, PS3 sales are way lower than expected, lets put out a new blu-ray format only the PS3 can play!

  51. suburbancowboy says:

    @Buran: How do they do it? It is isn’t as simple as put in disc, it plays. Put in disc. Player checks to see if it is legit. HDMI cable then requires 2 way communication with a compliant television to make sure that you are not a criminal, and you aren’t trying to copy the disc.
    In fact, people who were perfectly happy using DVI with their cable boxes, suddenly had the DVI outputs on their cable boxes shut off, because Hollywood didn’t approve of the output anymore. I had customers who bought $12,000 Vidikron plasmas (Yes just 3 years ago a higher end 50 inch plasma cost that much)calling us on the phone because their was a message on the screen telling them that the output on their cable box had been disabled. We had to go back, and install Component video cables, because the TV did not have HDMI when it was made. Change your standards. Screw your customers. Hurt my business.
    Bought a disc for 30 bucks, and you want to watch it on your iPod? Sounds fair right? Not according to Hollywood. They want you to buy another copy for your iPod. Another one if you want to stream it ot another room in your house. You’re a criminal, and you will be treated as such.
    That is how Hollywood tells us what we can and can not do with out technology.

  52. Jordan Lund says:

    OK, so I if I have a 1.0 player and I get a disc with a “Bonus View” sticker I can watch the movie, but not the bonus content. A “BD Live” sticker means I can watch the movie, but none of the Internet content will work.

    So if I have a 1.1 player I can use the “Bonus View” discs completely, but not the “BD Live” discs.

    If I have a 2.0 player (which don’t exist yet) I can use anything.

    Wow, good thing Warner Brothers decided to end the war to “prevent confusion.”

    HD-DVD has interactive content and Internet content RIGHT NOW. (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was the first.)

  53. davebg5 says:

    Yes, some older BluRay players can be upgraded via a disc. However, many of the upgrades to be seen in future versions of the BD format will require an internet connection. So, no soup for you!

    Gizmodo recently evaluated the new BD1.1 spec by comparing a PS3 w/a recent firmware upgrade to a new Panasonic player that has the BD1.1 spec as well. Read the entire review @ [gizmodo.com] . To summarize: “If I had to lay money down on one Blu-ray-only player at this minute, I’d have to choose the PS3. The jury is still out on the dual-format players we want to love best, but the early rumblings suggest they may need some work. And any standalone Blu-ray player without an Ethernet jack may be in danger of obsolescence in a few years, if not a matter of months. We’ll personally be looking into all of that… right after CES. In the meantime, stay tuned for big Blu-ray and HD DVD announcements at the show!”

    Now, where does that leave HD-DVD? Clearly it would seem as though they’ve lost the professional (ie. Hollywood) movie market with the latest defections by the studios. Two of the biggest corporate backers of HD-DVD are Toshiba and Microsoft, which still gives HD-DVD a strong presence on the PC. Another advantage that HD-DVD has over BluRay is cost. Manufacturing/burning a HD-DVD isn’t that much different than a regular DVD. As a result, some “experts” are speculating that HD-DVD might begin to focus on the amateur (ie. Home) movie market. However, that doesn’t really seem like much of a long-term strategy, as consumers want one format (and will likely choose the one that the studios side with) and HD-DVD can’t rely on the cost difference as BluRay manufacturing costs will eventually come down.

  54. RvLeshrac says:

    @Buran:

    No, actually, it isn’t.

    The doctrine of first sale allows you to do *ANYTHING YOU WANT* with your purchased item, so long as you aren’t reproducing it *and* distributing it.

    You are allowed to circumvent copy protection to allow for interoperability between products. If you have a Linux machine with no commercial DVD playing software, the law perfectly well allows you to rip CSS from the movie in order to play back the disc.

    I take it you’re of the opinion that the person who sells you something can tell you exactly what you can do with it, right? You’d damn well better NEVER use ANYTHING but OEM parts on your car, then. You should also NEVER install anything but the original OS on a purchased computer, NEVER install drivers not provided by hardware manufacturers (No more official Detonators for you if you own a PNY videocard!), etc. etc.

    If you don’t think the consumer should be allowed to use what they’ve *paid for* in any way they choose, so long as they are not breaking the law through duplication and distribution, you need to crawl back in a hole.

    I hope you’ve never hooked up anything but an official AT&T phone to your phone system…

  55. RvLeshrac says:

    @RvLeshrac:

    Perhaps we should just repeal Magnusson-Moss, so that you twits will understand just why we don’t allow the companies to tell us what we can and can’t do with their products.

  56. drjayphd says:

    @Buran: Nah, just figured it’d be the first thing to get implemented.

  57. goller321 says:

    @suburbancowboy: Excellent post. My Sony 61″ RPTV (yes, I was in the dark before I saw the light…) is a mere 5 years old, and it ONLY has component, because at the time I was told it was the best standard (DVI was just starting implementation) and would be around for years and years. So now I have a TV that I can’t even buy an Up converting DVD player for. I have been obsoleted out after only 5 years!!! The studios are so worried about pirating via analog, yet there are currently no real viable ways to do that with component. It is all an attempt to push new products on consumers and ensure they are forced to waste money on unnecessary upgrades…

  58. b-real says:

    @Berklie:

    No way will SONY allow Microsoft to implement BD drives into the XBOX. The PS3 will be the only place you can get a gaming system with Blu-ray. The BDA consortium, of which MS is not a member of, will also say nay because MS is a member of the opposing side.

  59. b-real says:

    @goller321:

    Damn dude you really hate Blu-ray. Be a little less angry, you’ll be a better person for it ;) The HD-DVD camp paid Universal and Paramount to go exclusive too. It’s not a one-way street.

  60. RvLeshrac says:

    @b-real:

    Sony and the BDA have no say in what hardware Microsoft includes in/as add-ons for the XBox.

  61. xamarshahx says:

    THIS is way HD DVD is superior! Too bad damn Sony bribed enough people to their side.

  62. dalejrfanfreak says:

    Those extra features include playing games and picture in picture, unless you are addicted to movie extras this isn’t a huge deal. On the other hand, those who spend money without doing research are the ones that lose out on this deal.

  63. Buran says:

    @dukrous: I don’t know what their business case is for doing that; they may well have reasons to do it. You’d have to ask them. I was referring to “what is the point of buying a player for the format that has no movies out?” I don’t know which of the two is “better” because I’m not trying to store data with the discs and I don’t care about movie extras. Whichever is “better” in my eyes is the one that you can actually buy movies for.

    If Blu-ray does wind up winning, why would I want a HD-DVD player when nothing is being released for it? All the complaining in the world that “this format sucks” doesn’t fix the “you can’t buy any movies for it” if the purpose of the player for you is to watch movies.

  64. Buran says:

    @drjayphd: I think they both have DRM. I’m not sure of the specifics, though. But even though music doesn’t have DRM anymore, movies still will for a while. Maybe that will change, who knows, but I’m not worried about it.

  65. MightyPen says:

    ps3?

    Fantastic, let me get my universal remote for that…oh wait…

  66. Buran says:

    @trai_dep: You can if you want make an unprotected regionfree movie on standard DVD. I assume the same will be true of future DVD formats.

  67. Buran says:

    @mightypen: You can, fortunately, get DVD remotes for PS3s. And I assume you can train a learning remote to send the codes the PS3 uses. Since no one has followed up my request for an alternative to the PS3 that’s “safe”, I may have to bite the bullet, buy the console, and then never use it for games (I’m not a console gamer) and just feel good that they lost money on the sale hoping I’d buy games. Since it’s the same price as standalone players it won’t cost me any more than the Samsung I was eyeing that turns out to be getting bad reviews.

  68. MightyPen says:

    you assume wrong, unfortunately. the ps3 doesn’t use IR, it uses blue tooth, so your universal remote won’t work.

    oh, but they say you can buy a 20$ ir dongle. you can then do just about anything you want with your harmony remote.*

    *except power on and off, that’s not that important, is it?

  69. giants101 says:

    Definitely sticking with HD-DVD for the profile issue, region-free capability and I’m turned off by the hypocrisy and anti-consumer nature of the Blue Disc Cartel. If it wasn’t for HD-DVD we would be thanking Sony and friends for 1000 obsolete players and crappy mastering like the early Blue Ray releases. And who wants to say something stupid like “Blue Ray” for the next 10 years?

  70. Buran says:

    @RvLeshrac: Actually, the doctrine of first sale says that you can resell the item you bought without paying a fee to the copyright holder. In other words, this is the rule that keeps used-CD/book/DVD stores from having to pay authors, studios, publishers, etc.

    It has NOTHING to do with whether or not you can rip movies.

    “You are allowed to circumvent copy protection to allow for interoperability between products.”

    You are not allowed to possess tools to break copy protection, and the act of doing so is itself a violation of the law. I may not like this law, but it’s the law, and the law says it’s illegal to rip movies. Yes, even for at-home use. Look what happened to the companies that tried to sell commercial software for this purpose that was only licensed for private at-home use. They were put out of existence because courts said that they were in violation of the law.

    “If you have a Linux machine with no commercial DVD playing software, the law perfectly well allows you to rip CSS from the movie in order to play back the disc.”

    See above.

    “I take it you’re of the opinion that the person who sells you something can tell you exactly what you can do with it, right?”

    I take it you’re the sort who says “fuck the law, it’s not convenient for me to obey it so I’m going to ignore it.” I take it you’re the dipshit who thinks it’s OK to do 90mph on the freeway where the limit is 55, because it’s not convenient for you to obey the rules us mere mortals have to obey, screw the danger you pose to anyone else. Well, you know what? Don’t like the law, work to get it repealed or changed, don’t freakin’ whine at the rest of us who behave ourselves.

    “You’d damn well better NEVER use ANYTHING but OEM parts on your car, then.”

    Aftermarket car parts are not illegal.

    “You should also NEVER install anything but the original OS on a purchased computer”

    Changing OSes is not illegal.

    “NEVER install drivers not provided by hardware manufacturers (No more official Detonators for you if you own a PNY videocard!)”

    Also not illegal.

    “If you don’t think the consumer should be allowed to use what they’ve *paid for* in any way they choose, so long as they are not breaking the law through duplication and distribution”

    Yes, I think you should do whatever you want with stuff you own — as long as you don’t break the law. You’re whining that you got called on breaking the law, and are now posting total bullshit to support your “position”.

    “you need to crawl back in a hole.”

    Huh? I need to do what? Well goshdarnit I guess obeying them laws makes me stupid now.

    You need to learn what you’re freakin’ talkin’ about.

  71. Buran says:

    @mightypen: You just pointed out that the PS3 can be set up to use IR. So the problem is what, again?

  72. Buran says:

    @suburbancowboy: Ok, maybe that was a bit more of a problem at the time. Being on the real bleeding edge usually is problematic like that. It’s why I waited to get an HDTV until I could get a decently priced one that supported HDMI. Shouldn’t be as bad now, though, now that things are starting to settle down more, and if you go for a player that can be upgraded it should be minimal hassle — and the player prices should come down quite a bit as well now that the war is starting to end, so cost shouldn’t be as big of a hurdle.

  73. Buran says:

    @RvLeshrac: And what’s with this? Yet another law that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. You really don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?

    The Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act states that a warranty may not be invalidated except for cases when a user modification has directly caused the failure of a warrantied system. The full warranty cannot be invalidated for unrelated systems/issues.

    A common example of this is when you install a different suspension system on your car to lower it or otherwise change the handling characteristics (a common change since factory suspensions are designed for a smooth ride and many people want better performance or looks). You may do this. However, you will not receive warranty coverage for any failures that result from the parts you installed; e.g. if your CV joints fail, they may well have failed due to your suspension changes. However, if your air conditioner compressor fails, the carmaker must still pay for the replacement as long as the car is still within the warranty terms because the suspension change cannot possibly be related to an a/c system failure.

    THAT is what Magnusson-Moss really means. What the hell does it have to do with illegal copying and/or distribution of stuff contained on encrypted DVDs?

    Go do your research before you throw laws around that you assume someone else has never heard of and assume that invoking legalese will support an impossible-to-support position. Please. It’ll make the debate much better, but that’s twice now that you’ve fallen flat on your face trying to make me look bad.

  74. whydidnt says:

    @Buran: You make several valid points. However, as far as I’m aware it has never been proven in a court of law that it is illegal to circumvent copy protection for your own use. I don’t believe anyone in the US has ever been prosecuted for this. “DVD Jon” was charged in Norway after the US complained that he was circumventing DeCSS. However he was acquitted because in Norway it’s legal to make copies of data for personal use, much like it is in the US.

    In the US the concept of “Fair Use” has been a part of copyright law for some time. Fair Use provides for owners of copyrighted material to copy it for their own use provided the copying does not harm the market of the original. The Supreme Court validated this law in the mid-70′s in the Betamax case. It’s interesting to note in that case Sony was on the side of Fair Use as they were sued since their video players allowed be to record TV for their own personal use.

    While it has been proven to be illegal to distribute software that circumvents the DRM on DVD’s it’s also highly likely that an individual using said software would NOT be found guilty of breaking the law, since the one law specifically grants us the right to make personal copies, while another prohibits us from circumventing DRM. We don’t know for sure, but international court has ruled in favor of Fair Use, and I would be quite surprised if US courts would rule against individual use such as this.

  75. whydidnt says:

    Just to add to my previous comment. It would be interesting to see a movie studio prosecute an individual that has ripped DVDs strictly for personal use. I think that would be the ONE thing that would finally get enough of the public interested enough in this situation to actually force congress to change this law. Short of that many of use will continue to be considered “criminals” by our friend Buran.

  76. dandd says:

    sorry, but the BR group really f’ed this one up. Between HDTV & HD Discs, the early adopters are really getting screwed in this generation of electronics.

  77. joshe says:

    As I understand it from reading ArsTechnica, the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act or something) passed around the year 2000 made it illegal to circumvent encryption to copy a copyrighted work, so while you are still technically allowed to make copies for personal use, like you would a cd, you are not allowed to break encryption to do so. As I understand it, DVDJon was acquitted in Norway not because personal copying is legal, but because they couldn’t prove that he wrote the decrypting part of the software.

    Regarding the story, I now think that it would have been better if HD-DVD won the format war quickly and Blu-Ray never launched, for everyone but Sony. That’s because it seems that HD-DVD has enough space for everyone to use for the next year-to-three years, and I think internet distribution will be able to take over by then. However, I’m a pretty computer-centric person, and what works for me may not work as well for the average consumer. I usually watch movies on my laptop or on a projector plugged into my laptop.

  78. Pilam69 says:

    @captainproton: If you bought a player and you read the manual it clearly stated that the next profile may make some newer discs unreadable in current players. This was printed in the manual. If you don’t read the manual that’s really not a cause of action for a lawsuit.

    Also, the player’s aren’t obsolete. They will play the movie, just not the special features like PIP and interactive connectivity.

  79. mechanismatic says:

    @Buran: “Well goshdarnit I guess obeying them laws makes me stupid now.”

    I’m not supporting what anyone else is arguing, but I would say that obeying “stupid laws” would make a citizen stupid. People are human. Humans make bad politicians because they’re selfish and greedy. Politicians pass bad legislation. You can argue that “it’s the law,” but the DMCA is a bad law. Not all bad, because there is some good stuff in there, but a lot of it was written with only the corporate interest in mind. Citizens who obey stupid laws are stupid and governments who enforce stupid laws are even stupider.

  80. Pilam69 says:

    @Buran: both HD DVD and Blu-Ray have DRM. Blu-Ray has an ADDITIONAL layer of protection (for studios that wanted it) called BD+.

    All movies have DRM at this time.

    It’s interesting to read these comments, seems no matter where you go you see the same arguments. “Mine is better, no mine is better, yours sucks, no yours sucks.” It’s just a movie player people. It’s a luxury item, not an entitlement.

  81. Buran says:

    @mechanismatic: This is not exactly in the league of Rosa Parks, you know. “It’s civil disobedience”. Uh huh. Really. How exactly is this law stupid? Oh, right, because it means that you get something for free. You know what? It’s not your stuff. You didn’t make it. You don’t own it. You don’t get to choose. If you want something without paying, make your own or offer something in trade. Oh, they don’t want to take that offer? That doesn’t mean you get to take anyway.

    I’m a photographer. If you want to use my work you have to pay or make some other arrangement. That’s the rule. Don’t like it? Don’t use my stuff.

    Does that make me stupid for expecting to be paid in some way for my work? Hardly.

    It just makes you look like the whiny “gimme gimme gimme” freeloader you are.

  82. Buran says:

    @Buran: er, don’t get something for free.

  83. Buran says:

    @whydidnt: So you’re blaming ME for rightly saying that breaking the law is wrong, and breaking the law makes you a criminal. I see. It’s all my fault just because the law doesn’t give you something for nothing. Wait a second, it’s not my fault at all.

    Truth hurts, doesn’t it?

  84. hchaudh1 says:

    This is a very misleading headline.
    Future discs will work just fine, it’s only the special features that are in version 2.0 that won’t play, but most people don’t need those features anyway.

    “So here’s how it’s going to work: current players are Profile 1.0, and can play future hi-def discs but no bonus stuff. Profile 1.1 dics will include additional bonus material that won’t play on 1.0 players-these discs will have a “Bonus View” sticker. Come October, Profile 2 capability will come to the market, which includes Internet activity, but only on Profile 2.0 players-these discs will have a “BD Live” sticker.”

  85. Trauma_Hound says:

    Umm if the hardware doesn’t support it, no that feature isn’t going to work. Uh just like if you don’t have a wireless adapter for your computer you don’t get wireless access. Duh.

  86. hchaudh1 says:

    Its called a firmware upgrade. How do you suppose that PS3′s have moved up from profile 1.0 to 1.1.

    I think consumerist should maybe do a bit more research on this.

  87. Buran says:

    @whydidnt: The problem here is that while it is legal to make copies of copyrighted works for personal use (or some educational uses, etc)., what’s NOT legal is the possession, distribution, or use of decryption tools in the case of copy-protected movies. Fair use law has never been abolished. However, you cannot legally exercise the right because to do so requires you to commit an illegal act.

    The people who accuse me of stupidity, and worse, aren’t making this distinction. They only see that what they want to do isn’t permitted, no matter how much they want it to be. It seems they’re willing to make any kind of crazy argument to support that position, including trying to cite laws that have nothing to do with the topic in order, I suppose, to try to confuse the issue. (I mean, come on, WTF?).

    They’re saying that they want to be able to copy disks, or extract stuff from those disks. Except they’re not allowed to do so. I know there can be perfectly valid reasons to do it (like giving movie disks to kids and keeping the original copies locked up so a new copy can be made if the kid’s disk is damaged). However, right now that’s not legal. And people are complaining about it and acting like it’s a huge offense on par with civil rights (not explicitly said here, but I’ve seen it happen in other places) and acting like their world is coming to an end and belittling those who respect the law and advocate using the established means of changing laws (hey, look! A good reason to get involved in the civic process!).

    For the record, I don’t agree with it. I think bypassing the protection for personal uses should be legalized. But for now, it isn’t legal.

    321 Studios: DVD Copying Products Violate DMCA (2004)

    So, since the tools are illegal, the use of the tool is therefore also illegal. That means that I can’t see a court clearing your supposed free-use-copier, as long as they were in the US.

  88. crankymediaguy says:

    “I’m still holding my breath. Sony has NEVER won a format war:

    Beta (lost)
    Minidisk (DOA)
    ATRAC compression (lost to mp3 & mp4)
    Memory Stick (losing to SD)
    Elcaset (I’m not making this up)
    SACD (killed both formats)”

    The difference is that Sony is now also a CONTENT producer. They can say that they are going to release their movies in ONLY Blu-Ray and it becomes a “take it or leave it” situation.

    In the Olden Days–when we had a government that occasionally enforced things like this–that would be viewed as monopolistic, but I wouldn’t hold MY breath waiting for the current Justice Department to take THAT view.

  89. MelL says:

    @Buran: I myself do believe it is a huge offense. It’s a matter of making criminals of people with zero criminal intent, ie distribution of copyrighted materials, whether it be movies or music. I can’t even begin to imagine how my tour of duty overseas would have been if I had to bring every original physical CD with me if I wished to listen to music. Who knows how many would have been destroyed.

    The law is simply about paranoid control by the industries who see boogie men in every shadow wanting to take their money.

    What is a real shame is that while organizations like the RIAA abound to fight for such laws, the groups that might be able to fight them, like the ACLU, are scoffed at by the very people they would defend.

  90. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @crankymediaguy: I’m glad somebody else is paying attention.
    This whole ‘format war’ only exist because of one company : Sony.
    HD-DVD was to be the format but when Sony sat down with Toshiba to try and get some of the stuff from BD into the HD-DVD spec and was shot down, like the little whiny rich bitches they are, they said f*ck the other companies and f*ck the consumer.

  91. bolomkxxviii says:

    I am a firm believer in fair use. I convert all of my legally purchased CDs to MP3 so I can use the songs how I see fit. Unfortunately, CDs will be the last digital media format created by big business to be released without DRM. All other digital formats have/will have DRM (making it illegal to copy/rip/transcode under DMCA). Until DMCA is repealed or amended I will not support the hardware manufactures or the content providers by buying into the new formats. BluRay will die early, not because of Sony’s greed, but because the format war created distrust. By the time the consumers become ready to buy into BluRay, it will be past it’s prime and another distribution method will take over. Maybe it will be flash based, or IPTV or the 700 mhz spectrum to be sold next year. It doesn’t matter. Sony will loose big financially because of the hundreds of millions promised to the movie studios for exclusive rights to disc format. Just my $0.02

  92. EricaKane says:

    @hchaudh1: Read the article please. The PS3 has the neccessary hardware specs to go from 1.0 to 1.1. The stand-alone players released at 1.0 DO not have the hardware specs to grom 1.0 to 1.1

    The PS3 is completly different than the standc-alone Blu Ray models.

  93. Scaramanga says:

    @Doctor_cos

    You have no clue what you are talking about. The reason the format war existed was due to unfair licensing practices that were started by the DVD 6C licensing group by Toshiba. Currently, Toshiba gets at least $5 or 5% of the retail price of every DVD player sold. This is a massive problem when DVD players are sold for around $30. This is the same reason why Nintendo didn’t put a DVD player in the Wii. Also, Blu-ray isn’t a Sony format, there are 18 board of directors on Blu-ray Association, and over 60 voting members. HD-DVD is controlled by Toshiba and MS only. There is a reason why only Toshiba makes HD-DVD players and every other company makes Blu-ray players.

    Beyond that most players on the market have upgradable firmware. And the PS3 upgrades automatically with each firmware upgrade to the latest spec.

  94. @aphex242: I blame idiots such as your self who automatically associate one company with Blu-Ray when it is headed by a consortium of companies including (see the article above), but not limited too: Pioneer, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Apple Inc., Dell, HP, LG Electronics, Mitsubishi Electronics, TDK, Twentieth Century FOX, and others. It originally began as a consortium of the following: Matsushita, Pioneer, Philips, Thomson, LG Electronics, Hitachi, Sharp, Samsung, and Sony. Not just Sony but 8 other companies.

  95. shiftless says:

    I have been debating getting Blu-Ray for a while but no players exist with the full 2.0 profile. I want a PS3 but my current setup doesn’t have enough connections, so a upgrade to a Blu-Ray 2.0 home theater setup would be great! I would go out now and get one BUT IT DOESN’T EXIST. So, buy a 1.0 now and upgrade to 2.0 later? Ugh. More wires to move. Have to sell the old one. It’s just too much trouble!

  96. Buran says:

    @mell: I must point out that CDs aren’t encrypted, so ripping CDs you own isn’t illegal.

    And yes, I agree, supporting organizations that work to overturn laws that make no sense is the best way to go about doing something, but way too many people don’t do that. It’s easier to post inflammatory and incendiary messages online (just look around this entire page, there’s lots of that going arund everywhere), call people stupid (cheap, fast, and easy, and bet that most people can’t call you on your BS — too bad I’m informed!), rant and rave and scream and shout, you name it.

    That doesn’t do anything except give them ammunition to point to and say “see? people want something for nothing, this is why we need this law” — in fact, they want to make it a criminal offense. Yep, that means real jail time if they decide to go after you.

    Why aren’t you all donating en masse to the EFF and/or ACLU?

  97. Buran says:

    @shiftless: What sort of not enough connections? Can you get Y-cables, switchboxes (I need an HDMI switch since I already have a TiVo Series 3, for instance) and the like?

  98. grangerfx says:

    I purchased a PS3 on the day it was released primarily to play Blue Ray and DVD movies. I can state that I have absolutely zero regrets with the purchase. In fact it is probably the best consumer electronics device I have ever purchased and is the centerpiece of my home entertainment sytem. If you love watching movies, get a PS3.

  99. Buran says:

    @Pilam69: Sadly, the idiot woman who sued because her ipod can’t play WMAs would disagree. I’ll laugh when it gets thrown out of court.

  100. MelL says:

    @Buran: Well, just as not all DVDs are encrypted, not all CDs have copy-protection enabled. :) But regardless, if the RIAA has it’s way, that copying of a non-encrypted CD, even if for personal use without intent to distribute, would be considered illegal.

  101. b612markt says:

    I’m still shockingly uninterested in the hi-def disc wars. It’s all about the downloads, baby.

  102. mechanismatic says:

    @Buran: I didn’t say that it was civil disobedience and I’m not saying you should just copy anything and everything you want without paying for it. What I’m saying is that the part of the DMCA that makes it illegal for you to circumvent copy protection *when doing so for the purpose of making private backup copies or for transferring to a portable device for personal use* is stupid. The RIAA already said in court that copying your own CDs is stealing. That is just stupid. Obeying that part of the law is likewise stupid.

  103. kc2idf says:

    Will it be able to play the movie? If so, then I don’t care.

    I have often wished that my DVD player had a button on it labeled “JPTFMA” — Just play the f***ing movie, already.

  104. axiomatic says:

    Sure, Blu-Ray is better. (chuckle) Better at pissing off its users maybe.

    Don’t complain, YOU all picked Blu-ray, when HD-DVD had already fixed all of these problems and even bothered to future proof itself.

    Good luck with your fractured format.

  105. firesign says:

    firmware upgrades. whats the big deal? even my several years old phillips dvd player has upgradeable firmware, easily done by burning the new firmware to a cd and sticking it in the machine. i did it several times as phillips upgraded the divx and other features. if you buy a player, just make sure it has upgradeable firmware. theres no reason at all why the manufacturers cant build players without it.
    and i too love my ps3.

  106. axiomatic says:

    @firesign: except for the fact that almost all of the standalone 1.x profile Blu-ray players (i.e. NOT PS3) on the market can’t do this due to lack of Ethernet port. But other than that, things are great…. lol

  107. CyberSkull says:

    I don’t care about HDDVD or Blue Ray. I think DVDs will be fine for a while yet, at least until someone finally gives us a 1TB disc.

  108. Suffer says:

    I’ve got the BDP S300. There’s no reason why the current stand alone players’ firmware couldn’t be updated to the new profiles up to 2.0 where you need an ethernet port.

    Thus, unless you really, really need the internet connectivity you’ll be fine with your current player. Just keep checking the support site for your model.

  109. RvLeshrac says:

    @Buran:

    Magnusson-Moss is a fine example of a law enacted to prevent corporations from telling us what we can and cannot do with the products we’ve purchased.