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]

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

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