Blu-ray spec changes may cause problems

The Blu-ray Disc Association has mandated that all players of the format released after October 31 must adhere to a specific feature set that is currently not standard for today’s hardware.

All Blu-ray Disc players after the date must support BD Java, a programming language for Blu-ray Disc media used mainly to deliver picture-in-picture for in-movie commentary and special features.

“Blu-ray player requirements and BD-Java specifications have been gradually changed over and over again, which has caused a good amount of grief for player manufacturers,” said optical storage analyst Wesley Novack. “The new specification and requirements will ensure that all Blu-ray players manufactured past October will be able to support the full range of BD-Java capabilities, including picture in picture and more.”

Early adopters of Blu-ray players may find themselves with inadequate hardware to support media using BD Java software.

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

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

Unlike the HD DVD standard, Blu-ray players are not required to have Ethernet ports for firmware updates. Blu-ray machines with upgradable firmware likely will have a greater chance of conforming to the mandated format.

Source: DailyTech

Related Links: Blu-ray Disc Association

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