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First Blu-ray Drives Won't play Blu-ray Movies 329

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thanks-for-warning-us dept.
aapold writes "Sony officially announced its BWU-100A product at its "Experience More 2006" event in Sydney yesterday, all the while acknowledging that there's significant room for improvement before the product is viable for integration into media centre PCs. Sony's product manager for data storage, told CNET.com.au that due to copy protection issues and lagging software development, the drive will only play user-recorded high-definition content from a digital camcorder, and not commercial movies released under the BD format." All this hullabaloo makes me want neither side to win. If only I didn't desperately crave HD content on my TV!
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First Blu-ray Drives Won't play Blu-ray Movies

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  • Genius! (Score:5, Funny)

    by C0R1D4N (970153) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:22PM (#15891285)
    That's gonna take the market by storm for sure.
  • by anjin-san 3 (983912) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:22PM (#15891292)
    "Nothing to see here"

    Yeah, I think that sums up the latest blu-ray problem
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:22PM (#15891293) Journal

    If companies from the past behaved as companies today:

    • Transistor radio announced. Will not play radio transmissions other than those from owners' transmitters.
    • Color TV! All Shows reproduced in realistic black and white (those are colors, aren't they?)
    • 100,000 mile car tires! Guaranteed for 10,000 miles!
    • 10-speed bicycles! (speeds are produced by owner pedaling at various cadences)
    • Stereo Hi-Fi! Two channels of high-fidelity sound through one speaker!
    • Windows! (opaque)
    • Digital Cable! oh wait, never mind.

    But hey, not all is lost, from the fine article:

    Bautista is optimistic that both issues will be resolved "soon", and says that despite not being able to play commercial content, the drive is still useful as a "storage device"...

    So the drive is "useful as a storage device". Cool! Now I can get rid of my 250GX2 SATA Raid and keep my data on something useful. Technology just doesn't get any better than this.

    Note to providers of stuff: It doesn't matter why your machine can't do what it's even named after(!), it can't. Don't bring us your tired, your poor, ... the wretched refuse of your product lines until they do what they're supposed to do! What a Colossus boner.

  • by Quebec (35169) * on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:23PM (#15891302) Homepage
    Would it be possible to the community to layout the specifications, fabrication methods of the next generation of media?
    • by plasmacutter (901737) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:37PM (#15891400)
      yes, it's called matroska with h.264 video, aac audio, and srt subtitles ; )..

      it's been the standard with anime groups for the past couple years.
    • Would it be possible to the community to layout the specifications, fabrication methods of the next generation of media?

      Sure, once we know what the next generation of media will BE, we'll get back to you on that.

      Fortunately, there's a format that will kill Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, and it's already here: DVD.
    • I think that HDDVDs specs were made the DVD consortium that tried to establish a standard, just like they did with the DVD.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_Forum [wikipedia.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_DVD [wikipedia.org]

      It's funny to note that the following companies founded the DVD consortium:
      Hitachi, Ltd.
      Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.
      Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
      Pioneer Electronic Corporation
      Royal Philips Electronics N.V.
      Sony Corporation
      Thomson
      Time Warner Inc.
      Toshiba Corporation
      Victor Company

    • by Travoltus (110240) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:55PM (#15891523) Journal
      Corporations should be the ones who decide media specifications and the role of consumers is to choose which corporate offering is best.

      When corporations decide for consumers what to choose, that is capitalism, when consumers force corporations to make what consumers really want, that is called communism and America will not tolerate communism!!!

      [libertarian parody off]
      • When corporations decide for consumers what to choose, that is capitalism, when consumers force corporations to make what consumers really want, that is called communism and America will not tolerate communism!!!
        and what is your opinion of open source software?
        • Open source? It damages corporations' ability to make a profit. All code should be copyrighted DRM'd, patented and assigned a market value. Darned communists bypassing the market, don't they know that the market is God?!

          [parody off]
  • by doormat (63648) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:23PM (#15891305) Homepage Journal
    Is today April 1? Did I miss a memo?
  • by krell (896769) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:24PM (#15891307) Journal
    But won't the player play BD content that has been cracked and then burned onto a BluRay disc in the format that the player will accept?
  • DRM is good (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    See this just goes to show that DRM isn't a bad thing.
    • by Travoltus (110240) on Friday August 11, 2006 @04:13PM (#15891620) Journal
      He meant that in this case, DRM has proven itself impractical and in fact harmful to a product, thus undermining its own credibility.

      Sony and its massive 30 caliber shoot-itself-in-the-foot cannon is our friend in the war against DRM. They do more damage to DRM than any EFF lawsuit could ever hope to.
  • by intrico (100334) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:27PM (#15891334) Homepage
    Issues like this are just going to increase the demand for downloadable movies, and hasten the demise of "Disc Media" as the primary means of movie watching.
    • Issues like this are just going to increase the demand for downloadable movies, and hasten the demise of "Disc Media" as the primary means of movie watching.

      Except, even with my not-too-shabby-for-the-US 8mbit/sec cable connection, it'll take about a day to download a 35gig movie. That's assuming, of course, that I can get reasonably close to my own theoretical limit of 8meg down, and whichever (genius) company is sending me the file can push the data that quickly. I can't get that kind of sustained band

      • Why 35 GB?

        A high quality DVD rip of a movie is around 2GB. double the resolution, and you end up with at most a 8GB movie, ignoring any improvements in what compression techniques could offer, after all, a large splotch of black is still a large splotch of black, no matter what resolution you are recording it at.

        8GB is a reasonable download size.

        I really wonder WTF technology these companies are using to make their HD content look so crappy. Any DVD pirate who takes pride in his/her work does a far superi
        • by stunt_penguin (906223) on Friday August 11, 2006 @04:59PM (#15891901)
          "A high quality DVD rip of a movie is around 2GB"

          Wrong. A high quality DVD rip of a movie is around 5-7GB. Your definition of high quality must be lacking.

          double the resolution, and you end up with at most....

          I don't want to double the resolution, I want HD. 1080p video has double the frame rate, a higher colour depth and four times as many pixels as a DVD. With normal MPEG 2 your 8GB DVD becomes more like 64GB. Then factor in your newer compression techniques and we come back down to 30-40GB. You're not going to get a HD movie on a disc for less than 25GB.

          Shit, the HD video I shoot with the HDR HC1 isn't even full 1080i res and it comes to 10GB an hour.
          • by JanneM (7445) on Friday August 11, 2006 @08:05PM (#15892589) Homepage
            All of which ignores one somewhat inconvenient fact: the visual difference isn't very big in practice.

            There was a demo set up at a major retailer here in Osaka recently. Two HD televisions, one playing some clip on a modern DVD player, one playing HD content. If I got close - as in one meter kind of close - sure, there was more small detail and the shadowy areas were more "lively" (though that could have been noise, to be frank). But back up to a more normal viewing distance for the screens (42"), and I saw no discernible difference at all, even when I was looking at and comparing the same spots I knew I had seen a difference close up.

            For all intents and purposes, the experience I got was identical. And that was with two good HD screens, set up by people who know what they're doing, in a semi-darkened area with black drapes to get rid of incidental light. At home, with an inexpertly tuned screen amd non-optimal lighting (to be kind to myself and to the vast majority of all tv owners) I'm willing to bet that even up close those deficiencies are enough to mask any perceivable improvement.

            DVD was a big hit because it overcame some truly glaring deficiencies with VHS tape. You'd had to be blind not to appreciate the difference (or rather, even if blind the sound quality difference is night and day on even a cracked bargain-basement integrated mono speaker on the set). The image quality just didn't compare, unlike a tape the disk never wears down, and you can skip around with abandon instead of tedious winding of the tape.

            HD format discs are, I suspect, more like some high-end audio equipment. If you get some serious audio kit your listening experience will indeed improve a lot. But only if you do set it up correctly, only if you then play source material of good enough fidelity to take advantage of that difference and only if you as a listener actually care enough to look for and appreciate the difference. And most people don't. They'll set up the stuff to fit in their living room not fit the audio characteristics; they'll listen to popular music that usually has little fine detail to listen for (since most will listen on low-end equipment it's mixed to make the most of that); they'll sometimes, and increasingly, listen to it encoded on 128bit mp3. A high-end amplifier and serious speakers become mostly a waste of money. Meaning they become low-volume sellers, which means the prices stay high.

            For HD players, you have the added headache that the media is different - your normal DVDs will look not one bit better than with a normal, good quality DVD player. Only if you buy the special content (Deutche Gramofon's pressings of classical music anyone?) do you actually get any benefit; that content will however not play in the car for your kids, or at grandma's or, well anywhere since most people have not bought the expensive higher-end equipment you need.

            Had they got together on one format they'd have pulled it off; people would have gotten the new equipment on sheer momentum even if they don't get any actual benefits from it. But now that you have to choose from two incompatible formats I think the chances of either becoming mass-market is not that great. I'd not be surprised if one or both stay niche formats, with all movies out on DVD in the foreseeable future, and with only a subset deemed interesting for the niche consumers available on HD. The window for any new physical format is closing and I don't expect either of them to be able to squeeze through in time.
        • by DingerX (847589) on Friday August 11, 2006 @05:04PM (#15891927) Journal
          I hate to say it, but it's one of the perverse effects of the "open source mentality": dedicated amateurs will always do a better job at technologically-interesting tasks than professionals. Why? Well, you have to hire professionals; the internet, on the other hand, is the great enabler for addicts of all kinds, including those addicted to getting the best data compression out there.

          Sure, these guys get the accolades, and see their files copied across the world, but the bug that drives the true nuts isn't mass approval; it's knowing that nobody else can squeeze the bits like they can.

          Paying jobs don't give that: neither the big media corps nor the big media pirates need an ace at this job.

          so while they disdain the preponderance of brain-dead pirates who benefit most from their work, they take heart in the few cognoscenti who admire their art.

          Yes, it's a sick world we live in. What gives me most fear is the notion that the "Open Source Mentality" itself is to blame, rather than an inefficient marketplace.
    • I actually think you're on to something. How long before we see movies on cartridges that contain flash drives? Think of a SNES-size cartridge that has a movie on it instead of a game. Make it a WORM drive (write once-read many) and you don't have a problem with the limited number of writes flash memory can take.
    • Issues like this are just going to increase the demand for downloadable movies
      They have a plan for that too: just make sure all the download formats are just as buggy and platform-dependent as the disc formats. Problem solved!
  • ...because no one is going to be terribly eager to put up with this crap. Here are my own thoughts on the subject [and-still-i-persist.com]. ..bruce..
  • However... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:28PM (#15891344)
    a future root kit developed by Sony is expected to fix this problem.
  • by mark0 (750639) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:30PM (#15891352)
    I'm looking at a Superbit copy of 5th Element on my Oppo OPDV971H upconverted to 1080i and it looks great. I'm sure Blu-ray would look better, but would it really look so much better that I'd be ready to toss my current DVDs and player for that difference? Especially considering all of the baggage that comes with it?

    I'll wait for the price to come way way down and all of the DRM to be cracked... probably when the next format is announced.
    • Have you tried upconverting to 720p, rather than 1080i, and if so, what did you think? I *cannot stand* interlaced displays, but that's just me. I pick out the dampening wires on aperture grille CRTs immediately, too, whilst most people don't seem to notice them at all, or aren't bothered by them.
      • My best friend never forgave me for pointing out the line on Trinitron monitors. The best part is, I almost had him convinced that there was a line on his 36" Wega picture tube. That was fun.
      • You do realize that the difference between 1080i and 1080p is merely a transport difference, right? Any modern display (DLP, LCD, LCOS, most CRT) reassembles the frame in a memory buffer and displays it progressively. Interlacing is only visible as a display artifact, not as a transport.

        -b
    • by Anonymous Coward
      DVD is to high-definition what 64 kbps MP3 is to 128 kbps.

      - Some people can hear the difference,
      - some can't,
      - some could but don't because they have crappy headphones,
      - some can but don't care.

      The same classification holds for high-definition video (replace "crappy headphones" with "crappy TV"). Which group are you in?
      • Not quite. DVD is to high resolution as 128kbps MP3 is to 320kbps

        Because, see, 64kbps is downright painful to listen to, while 128K is good enough to listen to and enjoy, but its limitations become readily apparant on high-end stereo systems (or good headphones). 320kbps does introduce noticeable artifacts on rare occasions, but is almost close to "good enough" to consider tossing the CDs to the curb. DVDs can be very enjoyable to watch, but view on a GOOD screen the artifacts become readily apparant. Blu-R
  • PS3? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LoverOfJoy (820058) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:32PM (#15891368) Homepage
    FTA:
    Bautista says that one of two reasons for this is the fact that commercial content is encrypted with High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), which can only be decrypted using a HDCP-compliant graphics card that offers DVI or HDMI connections.

    So is this a confession that the low-end PS3 won't be able to play commercial Blu Ray DVDs? Or does the low-end PS3 use an HDCP-compliant graphics card without offering DVI or HDMI connections?

    • If the PS3 won't play Blu-Ray, then it's useless as a Media console, hence it's ceding ground to the 360 that it really can't afford to cede.

      I think it's actually trying to entice MORE users to the PS3 because Sony is trying to claim that by then the problems will be fixed.
      • as if either can really be called a "media" anything.

        the 360 has severe restrictions on the media you can store on it, it refuses to even take mp3's onto the hard drive without hacking.

        neither of these even comes close to the now long-in-the-tooth xbox media center.

        as far as format support and true media capacity goes, the 360 is a joke.
        • Looks like as long as you don't want HD, the original Xbox is still the best media player available. At least you can get progressive scan out of it, and you can play anything you like on it - if XBMC won't do the trick for some reason, there's always linux.
          • xbmc does to an excellent job, but with the advent of h.264 AVC it's processor is no longer fully up to scratch.

            then there is the whole hd thing.

            the point is that these people are claiming a "media center" when all it really is is at best a "token effort"
    • Re:PS3? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jthon (595383)
      Seeing as how the premium PS3 supports HDCP over its HDMI connecter I don't think this is a problem at all. Plus all the first gen blu-ray titles don't enable HDCP or content protection as they wouldn't work on most of the current hi-def TV's.

      So even in that case you should be able to play blu-ray movies until studios start setting the HDCP flag. Even then it will play blu-ray movies they just get downsampled to normal content (sucks I know).

      I do wish the big content providers would stop being so paranoid
      • Re:PS3? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kimvette (919543)

        So even in that case you should be able to play blu-ray movies until studios start setting the HDCP flag. Even then it will play blu-ray movies they just get downsampled to normal content (sucks I know).

        I do wish the big content providers would stop being so paranoid and just make it easy for people to watch legally purchased films.

        That only introduces a defense against lawsuits from MPAA members.

        "Ma'am, did you download Pirates of the Caribbean Part 4"

        "Yes sir, I did. You see, Disney enabled HDCP and my hi

    • DRM (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ichigo 2.0 (900288) on Friday August 11, 2006 @04:20PM (#15891677)
      The really silly thing with the HDCP requirement is that eventually the bluray format will be cracked, and then people will be able to watch bluray movies with this player on a pc that hasn't got any kind of hdcp support. So in the end it's the legal bluray viewers that end up buying new monitors, videocards and bluray drives to satisfy the hdcp requirement, while the pirates can watch them with whatever hardware they want. The media publishing industry has to be full of retards, there really isn't any other explanation.
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:33PM (#15891370)
    All this hullabaloo makes me want neither side to win. If only I didn't desperately crave HD content on my TV!

    go to torrentspy or any other large site and search "hr hdtv"..

    blu-ray and hd-dvd are overhyped and already obsolete.

    h.264 encoded matroska at 600 mb or so an hour can do the job of these overbloaded and DRM ridden things.

    and what's with this.. they expect pc owners to accept the kind of draconian superuser control over their pcs which are specified in their AACS restrictions? Give me a break, it'll never happen.
    • h.264 encoded matroska at 600 mb or so an hour can do the job of these overbloaded and DRM ridden things.

      On this I disagree, because AFAIK both of the next-gen DVD formats support h.264 encoding. I think this first batch of movies uses MPEG-2, but when the movies start using h.264 they will definitely look better than 600 mb h.264 files. Looking forward to DVD-sized h.264 rips of bluray/hddvd movies so that I can go out and buy the Philips DVD player that supports h.264; this way I get the best of both wo
      • but when the movies start using h.264 they will definitely look better than 600 mb h.264 files

        I don't think this will be likely.

        The amature ripping groups do a better job of processing the footage than their supposedly "professional" counterparts.

        i've seen several rips released for series I own on dvd which have higher quality than the source dvds themselves because of those superior mastering techniques.

        I think the bitrate overload will simply encourage laziness on the part of release companies, resulting
        • There is no possible way for someone to take missing data and put it back in. With mplayer and it's post processing filters I can make any dvd that has more data than your rip, look better. With a RIP I have less data, no if ands or buts about it, I can make it look better than the original media if I post process the rip but not the original; but I *can't* make it look better than the original if I post process the original as well.
    • ...and what's with this.. they expect pc owners to accept the kind of draconian superuser control over their pcs which are specified in their AACS restrictions? Give me a break, it'll never happen.

      * Starts a countdown waiting for the average sheep^H^H^H^user to let it happen... and I don't think I have to use all of my digits--or even all of my limbs--for this countdown.

  • HD is overrated (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaineCoon (12585) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:34PM (#15891376) Homepage
    At least for movies.

    It looks nice, but unless I'm TRYING to look for the extra detail, I generally don't notice it.

    I've watched a few high def movies; compared Lawrence of Arabia in HD format to SD format, and yes the detail is much crisper - that is, the leaves on the trees in the opening scene are discernable. I also watched Fifth Element in HD, but I've seen it several times before and the being HD didn't really look any different.
    • Re:HD is overrated (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RingDev (879105)
      I wonder how much of that has to deal with the filming though. I mean, you could take an old silver screen real and "re-master" it into a HD format, but it's still going to have the quality of a crappy old film. For the Fifth Element, did they actually remaster the move from 30mm film? Or did they just take the existing digital format, blow it up, and run some filters over it to make it look a little more crisp?

      -Rick
      • Re:HD is overrated (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MaineCoon (12585)
        Lawerence of Arabia was actually shot in 70mm. It was fairly amazing quality. But I stil stand by my original statement that once you're really into the movie you don't really notice it that much, and I didn't "enjoy" the movie any more because of the quality of the picture, over standard definition. It was a very enjoyable movie anyways.

        Fifth Element was Super 35mm. Don't know what they might have done otherwise.
      • Re:HD is overrated (Score:5, Informative)

        by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday August 11, 2006 @08:41PM (#15892684)

        Funny you ask, we recently had a special edition of The Natural in the shop...

        For picture, the best you can get is either an interpositive (which is just one generation down from the camera negative), or the camera negative itself. The camera neg is often in not great shape, though, since it's been cut and A-B rolled. Also dust on the interpositive looks black, whereas dust on the cam neg looks white, and camera neg doesn't have the printer lights from timing I recall (I'm a sound guy, if someone at a lab is reading, please correct me). Interpositives are low-contrast prints of the camera negative, on one strip, and they're usually only run thru a printer a few times, once to strike the IP itself, and once to strike a few internegatives (these are what release prints are struck from).

        For sound, the sound optical is usually contact printed onto the IP, but we almost always go back to the original Dialogue/Music/FX stems, which are recorded on 35mm magnetic film. 35mm mag film actually has quite high fidelity, nearly 70dB dynamic range and at least 15 kHz on the high end, so often the the mag sounds a bit better than what is on the optical. As well, the stems will have the discrete speaker channels (particularly the center speaker and surround), which are derived from the optical but do not actually exist on it, so we can "widen" the original mix from it's original format (either 4-channel Dolby Stereo or less) into a true 5.1.

        If the filmmaker is still alive, he/she'll often sit thru the mix (my end of it) and have some new sound FX cut to modernize the sound, and maybe even try to rearrange some dialogue he didn't like or tweak the music levels (since we have separated stems, he can change either DIA, MX or FX without affecting the other two.) The Superman DVD WB has out right now is a good example of this from a sound point of view (also a great movie).

        Coincidentally, The Natural was released and is owned by TriStar Pictures, which was bought in the late 80s by Columbia, which was itself bought in the early 1990s by... Sony. (fair disclosure: Sony PIctures Entertainment is my current employer).

  • I smell class action (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ip_freely_2000 (577249) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:34PM (#15891384)
    You just know that Joe and Jane Consumer will walk into Best Buy and NOT buy something they think they are getting. You have to think that even companies like Best Buy are going to be pissed having to deal with upset customers and spending time restocking stuff.

    But we have to remember this is Sony, so you can't expect something smart or fair for the consumer.
    • Yeah, when I went to buy my iPod Shuffle, they were all out, so I asked what else they had. The guy pointed me to some SanDisk models, which he said were pretty good. He also mentioned that they had some Sony models, and then pointed to the returns shelf where they had a pile of them. He said that most of the Sony products get returned, and that people generally hate them. Based on the fact that I was upgrading from NetMD, I knew what he was talking about. A really good product, bogged down by crappy so
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:35PM (#15891386) Homepage
    ...how did you like the play?"

    The manufacturers seems to be falling over themselves trying to bring flawed, faulty, and generally unfinished products to market... presumably oblivious to the possibility the first kid on the block to get one will tell all his friends about his experiences.

    I do believe Blu-Ray and HDDVD are well on their way to becoming the quadraphonic sound of the new millennium.
    • "The manufacturers seems to be falling over themselves trying to bring flawed, faulty, and generally unfinished products to market... presumably oblivious to the possibility the first kid on the block to get one will tell all his friends about his experiences."

      I bet this is why Longhorn is taking so long.....

      {...ducks....}

    • presumably oblivious to the possibility the first kid on the block to get one will tell all his friends about his experiences.

      I predict that soon, because of these observations, consumers will have to file an NDA before purchasing one of these systems. They will be forbidden from taking pictures of these things, or speaking about them outside of their family ( don't want to be draconian now, do we? ).

      Serious men in serious black suits will be checking up on you to make sure you don't tell your friends how
  • So it can't play high-def movies (except the ones I already own in another format that I port over) and it holds less (a lot less) per dollar than a hard drive. ...I think I'll just get a hard drive. Thanks for NOTHING Sony -- this is your format, yet due to "copy protection issues" it won't even play your movies. Garbage... I expected a lot better from a company that's trying to push this as a viable high definition media format.
  • The movie and music industy are tiny in economic contribution compared to the hardware industry.

    The total income if the whole world were to buy new HDTVs, HD Entertainment systems and players, as well as a buch of HD DVDs is an order of magnitude higher than what hollywood and RIAA stands to loose if you make it all easy and user friendly.

    Instead they mess this huge opportunity up with copy protection BS.

    I have no problem buying a few hundred HD DVDs for $20 each over a few years *even* if I can get a copy
    • You are more interested in the pretty case than the movie?

      OK, the rest of the world wants the movie and doesn't want to pay $20 for it. They want to pay $0 and will build up a huge collection they can loan out to their friend, neighbors and anyone else on the Internet just so they can show everyone their HUGE collection.

      While there might be some people perfectly willing to pay $20 for a nice case, the folks that want the movie for $0 are far in the majority. Piracy is here to stay and unless the media com
  • Seriously, with as piss-poor of a job as Sony has done on Blu-Ray, one might start thinking they want it to fail. As far as this particular drive goes I'm sure it will be a huge hit, as oh-so-many consumers are willing to drop a ton of jack so that they can have something that is "useful as a "storage device.""
  • by brainnolo (688900) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:41PM (#15891427) Homepage
    rumors say that the first Blu-ray player won't even have a laser, because they want to introduce the technology gradually.
  • Am I the only one who strongly believes that if they remove all content protection from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, the drive and software manufacturers will stand to make more money, even after factoring in rampant piracy, than with the current mess they have? So what idiot decided to spend all this money developing content protection that restricts the format to virtual unusability, giving it a dreadful image in the process? Moreso, what idiot thought that this would be a good way to increase profits?
    • Sony:

      "We are not going to settle for 'profitability' like some cheap whore. Either we want ALL of the money, or you can keep your f@#($@*^%# money, god damn it."
    • Am I the only one who strongly believes that if they remove all content protection from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, the drive and software manufacturers will stand to make more money, even after factoring in rampant piracy, than with the current mess they have?

      I'm sure a lot of people believe that. But would you be willing to lay several billion dollars on the line because of it?

      Sony knows what it's getting with content protection. For better or for worse, they've done content protection. That's what they'r
  • Ironic (Score:2, Funny)

    by dasunst3r (947970)

    They reveal this during the "Experience More 2006" event, and yet users are NOT going to experience more with this restriction. I wish I could tag this "DUMBA**" like they do on fark.com. The "IRONIC" tag might work too.

    But then again, suppose users are going to "experience more" headaches and nazi-like DRM.

  • by Dachannien (617929) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:45PM (#15891458)
    Sony Electronics: Well, we're ready to sell the first Blu-Ray players, but there's this little unfinished DRM issue preventing us from getting started before HD-DVD makes any headway.
    Sony Pictures Entertainment: Sorry, we need our DRM.
    Sony Electronics: We could be selling these players and achieving market dominance, though.
    Sony Pictures Entertainment: DRM.
    Sony Electronics: You could also be selling tons of brand new Blu-Ray discs now.
    Sony Pictures Entertainment: Hello? DRM?
    Sony Electronics: Our players could be in homes across America and around the world in time for the winter holiday season this year, and you'd be selling high def movies like hotcakes.
    Sony Pictures Entertainment: What part of "DRM" don't you understand?
    Sony Electronics: Fine, DRM, whatever. I just hope we don't become laughing stocks when we go to Australia this summer.
    • Sony Pictures Entertainment: What part of "DRM" don't you understand?

      Hilarious. Only one thing missing: Sony Pictures Entertainment (America) saying "But if we don't have our DRM, the terrorists win!!"

  • Also (Score:5, Funny)

    by DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:47PM (#15891471) Homepage
    "Sony also unveiled a 120-inch plasma screen television limited to black-and-white programming; a version of the PlayStation that only plays games toggled in on the front panel in assembler; and the 'BurnMan,' a silicon-over-plexiglass contraption that scans in and verifies $100 bills before slowly igniting them for your viewing pleasure, one at a time."
  • When the software dev un-lags, assuming the hardware is capable, couldn't they release a firmware patch to correct the injustice?

    It reminds me of many MMOGs initial releases:

    "You can buy Game-X now!, you just won't be able to login to the server and play for 2-3 weeks. l33t!"

    • Nope, it requires chips with encryption keys burnt into them to function. If those chips are not there, it will never work. If they put in eeproms that can have the keys downloaded into them, pirates will have those all over the net within days.
  • Great Idea! (Score:5, Funny)

    by the jerk store (960388) on Friday August 11, 2006 @03:52PM (#15891494)
    ...and says that despite not being able to play commercial content, the drive is still useful as a "storage device", .... The Sony BWU100A has a write speed of 2x and will be available this month for AU$1399.
    I'm a little short on storage space in my house. I think I'll go buy a new Range Rover, put it on blocks on my driveway and fill it with junk from the attic.
  • "If only I didn't desperately crave HD content on my TV!"

    This kind of crap is why I still don't own and HDTV, and doubt I ever will. Given all the fighting over media formats and DRM systems, I doubt that HDTV will make it as a standard. By the time the manufacturers and content creators get all this crap worked out, something new will have come along, the porn industry will be on board, and HDTV will go quietly into the night, with old sets serving as a reminder of why manufacturers need to stop bickering
  • To think I was actually excited about blue-laser media a couple of years ago. Well, I'll see the first actual workable products around 2011.
  • ..... and you have yet another example of the brillant marketing geniuses of Sony at work.
  • ... they are caught in their own web. PATHETIC.
  • More Products (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shoma-san (739914)
    Does this remind anyone of other Sony products like lets say "Star Wars Galaxies" that didn't work quite as well as promised? Remember installing the software with glee and logging in for the first time? You bought the collectors edition and were wearing your way to cool exclusive sunglasses when the servers crashed? And then you didn't jump on your land speeder or climb into your Xwing fighter, did you? No, you tried to kill a butterfly with your stupid melee knife and got killed.

    Well, you can't trick me a
    • And then you didn't jump on your land speeder or climb into your Xwing fighter, did you? No, you tried to kill a butterfly with your stupid melee knife and got killed.

      Hahaha. My roommates did all those things and more. I remember watching them play once and being amazed at how boring it was. I've now seen WOW level-grinding and it still boggles my mind at how bad SWG was.

      My favorite memory was coming up to one roommate playing Enemy Territory on one computer while another made bleeping noises as his SWG

  • *cough* *cough* (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cynonamous Anoward (994767) on Friday August 11, 2006 @04:11PM (#15891612)
    a little tip - www.divx.com - DivX 6.1 Supports 720p. plans for 1080i and even 1080p in the works, all with advanced MPEG-4 encoding features, to preserve high quality at extremely low bitrates. DVD players should be out in time for Xmas, at price points only slightly above current SD DVD players. DivX 6 can squish a full length HD movie onto a single DVD, including multiple audio and subtitle tracks. screw new discs, new hardware, new DRM, and new high prices. kthnx.
    • eXactly!! HD-DVD is not going to kill BlueRay - it's going to be DivX, XVid, H.264, etc.. Why bother creating these huge disks that nobody needs? Besides, the rest of the world (outside U.S.) is steadily increasing bandwidth while decreasing the cost to the consumer. People in Japan and Korea already download entire movies in a matter of minutes... I guess we might have that over here in the U.S. maybe by 2015, but I wouldn't bet my house on any of those storage standards/devices. The network is the compute
  • FTA: "Bautista says that one of two reasons for this is the fact that commercial content is encrypted with High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), which can only be decrypted using a HDCP-compliant graphics card that offers DVI or HDMI connections. Since there are currently no PCs for sale offering graphics chips that support HDCP, this isn't yet possible.

    The second reason, according to Bautista, is that BD playback software that can decrypt HDCP isn't "released as a saleable item yet". Today, t

  • All this hullabaloo makes me want neither side to win. If only I didn't desperately crave HD content on my TV!

    We had HD all along! Try Super 8 [wikipedia.org] with good film. :) Gives you better resolution than 1080i.
  • by djrogers (153854) on Friday August 11, 2006 @04:40PM (#15891805)
    All this hullabaloo is making me think that Big Entertainment(tm) is really not interested in selling media anymore. Does it REALLY make sense that the only way for 99% of us to view HD movies is to pay the cable/sat provider for HBO-HD? Does it REALLY make sense that we needed 2 new media types and players for HD video when we all know that a 2 hour H.264 encoded HD movie would fit nicely on an old fashioned DVD? No, all that this proving is that BE(tm) wants to make purchasing HD movies difficult for us, and delay it for so long, that we'll accept their 'rental' models...

    Frankly, I'm sick of it... I'upgrade my sat reciever to watch NFL in HD this fall, but I have very little desire to waste money on HD movies these days. Back when I was an HT geek I probably woulda considered it, but these days I'm far closer to being joe-sixpack than an HT geek. About the only thing that'll get me to start buying HD movies is when the ITMS starts selling them and I can store them indefinitely on my mini, take them with me on my powerbook, and re-encode them to carry on my vPod. Yeah, guess that make me one of the sheeple...

  • so wait.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by SQLz (564901) on Friday August 11, 2006 @05:31PM (#15892079) Homepage Journal
    The Blueray player can't play offical movies because of the copy protection...only pirated movies. Thats awesome.
  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Friday August 11, 2006 @09:19PM (#15892766) Homepage
    How many times is Sony going to try and fail to put forward a proprietary technology as a standard before they figure out that it's not a winning business strategy?

Long computations which yield zero are probably all for naught.

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