Friday, February 22, 2008

blu-ray bonus/live update problems for early adopters

there's some good info in the following thread about the wacky blu-ray features coming up that's getting all kinds of people's panties in a bunch. this one is about the "Blu-ray Disc Live" feature on internet enabled bluray players which will allow dynamic content updates during the menu screens or "bonus content" featurettes. in other words, "newer" or more "current" movie trailers will be shown instead of the ones cut into the disc during pressing. or additional bonus (or ads) content can be downloaded and viewed to supplement the audience current offerings.

in any case, as long as i can watch the bonus content just like as if i do not have the bluray box plugged into the network, that's all i want. if i am forbidden to watch any the bonus features unless the box is online -- then f#%k it, guess i won't be watching it. just one more reason to get it DRM free so i can watch it how i like it. unencumbered, convenient and less aggravating.

how many of you like to sit during the FBI and Interpol warning screens every time you pop in a new disc. or raise your hand if you also like the fact that you can't fast forward the trailers and stuff before you are ever shown the menu screen.

every time i see that or when i try to use my DVD remote and it always shows "this function is prohibited" -- i remember to keep my EFF donations going.

    "I don't care about what anything was DESIGNED to do,
    I care about what it CAN do."

    Gene Kranz
    from the movie of: Apollo 13

---------- Reprint Message ----------
On January 14, 2008 12:59 PM Devon S. wrote:
Subject: The Death of HD-DVD?

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On Jan 14, 2008 1:45 PM, Kurt M. wrote:
Subject: The Death of HD-DVD?

yeah, thats been what the problem with bluray is. hd dvd forced manufacturers to have ethernet capability and bluray did not
- Kurt

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On Jan 15, 2008, at 4:30 AM, Nick Shin wrote:
Subject: The Death of HD-DVD?

this is a problem like if someone _doesn't_ have broadband access -- not an issue.

will hd dvd players break if there is no internet access like the ill-fated divx fiasco?

the fact that blue ray didn't have ethernet on earlier models will just mean that you will not get live updates on some disc that you pop in your player every 6 months (if that...).

remember when the std def DVD players came out and it was only single layer -- i think blix had one of those... =)

i think that kind of change is more of a "what the hell" than this ethernet requirement. the stupid US telcos also have one of the slowest broadband rates in the world. so i don't think this is a big enough issue. BUT I WANT FASTER BROADBAND ACCESS!!! (is definitely a bigger issue, at least for me it is...)

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On Tuesday 15 January 2008 20:34:19 Mike S. wrote:
Subject: The Death of HD-DVD?

From "The Consumerist" article:

    "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."

You'll always be able to play the movie. The bonus stuff is what is at risk.

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On January 15, 2008 8:05 PM Robert M. wrote:
Subject: The Death of HD-DVD?

actually it IS a big issue if when you want to watch a new movie you have to update the firmware on your player... sounds pretty annoying...

but whatever...i don't care. go blu-ray. but i'm not buying one till the firmware becomes more stable (i don't think.... everyone knows i like impulse purchases) :)

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On Wednesday 16 January 2008 09:30:48 Mike S. wrote:
Subject: The Death of HD-DVD?

From wikipedia "Blu-ray disc":

    "On November 1, 2007,the Grace Period Profile was superseded by "Bonus View" as the minimum profile for new players released to the market.[61] With the exception of the PlayStation 3, profile 1.0 players cannot be upgraded to be Bonus View compliant.[62] On December 17, 2007, the PlayStation 3 became Bonus View 1.1 compliant through PlayStation 3 System Software version 2.10.[63]

    When software authored with interactive features dependent on "Bonus View" hardware capabilities are played on profile 1.0 players some features may not be available or may offer limited capability. *Profile 1.0 players will still be able to play the main feature of the disc, however.*[64]"

I'm using these sources because I too do not have first hand experience with this. Everything I've seen says that every Blu Ray player out there should be able to play the movie itself. Now, if some manufacturer has buggy firmware for their product that prevents the movie from playing, I would say it a problem specific to that manufacturer, not the Blu-Ray standard.
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this is my last post on this bluray stuff... unless something incredible happens that needs to be mentioned -- such as a bluray player that will teleport you a sandwich.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

bluray vs hd-dvd

i was cleaning out my mail boxes, found this and figured that it would be a good post for this crappy excuse of a "blog"...

the emails will be listed in the order they were written/received/emailed/etc. with all names and contact info scrubbed for the hell of it. but all of the message are kept as is, misspelling, bad grammar and all.



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On Dec 6, 2007 8:25 AM, Kurt M. wrote:
Subject: blueray vs hd-dvd

so whats the current score between the hd dvd vs. blu-ray fight?
- Kurt

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On Dec 6, 2007 11:11 AM Nick Shin wrote:
Subject: blueray vs hd-dvd

the industry screwed themselves on this. the consumer are now in a wait-and-see pattern -- holding out to see who's going to win the format wars.

this is not good for either side. sony would have had the market cornered if the PS3 allowed to do 1080i/p. for some reason, they didn't. the xbox360 can do it because they plopped in a chip that will convert 720 up to 1080. a cheat, but it works. microsoft managed to convince (i.e. sucker) people into getting the HD (high-def) drive as a separate component. getting a little more $$ out of people.

but even with that -- they are not shifting the masses to HD. really, it's going to come down do what favorite movies are available on what format. but the problem with that is most movies were never filmed on HD cameras. only CG animated films can take advantage of this format.

the image quality on CG films is AWSOME on the blue ray players and a giant plasma screen. lcd screens look also good if the room is dark enough. you would think movies coming out now should look better in HD -- like transformers for example -- but it isn't as crisp as i would like on a 1080p screen... kinda looks like you're watching the digital channels from your cable box...

this is also why i haven't bought the next gen tv yet. i have my minimum requirements -- but the more i wait -- the better the tv's get. so right now, i'm hoping the OLED panels will start rolling out.

but if you ask me -- if apple came out with a HD HD (high-def hard drive) appleTV box -- they would kill blue-ray and hd-dvd together -- because that's where most of the HD content are available -- online... it's still better to buy the movies on disc, but as networks gets faster and faster, movies (like music) will start to be distributed online and that's were tivo, appletv and the likes will corner the market.

and US broadband speeds are dog $#!t compared to other countries.

when it gets faster, then the online HD boxes will takeover the media war.


< i deleted the emails i want to put in this section -- trying to retrieve them from the nerds that were cc'd on it -- it's about bob's email for the hd-dvd player and 10 movie deal + me replying with the warner bros. switch to blu-ray just before CES 2008 -- and then bob asking us not to hate him for the hd-dvd special buy...> =)


---------- Reprint Message ----------
On January 08, 2008 10:21 AM Mike S. wrote:
Subject: The Death of HD-DVD?

If this is true, it sounds like HD-DVD is the new beta.

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On Jan 8, 2008 11:01 AM, Jayanth M. wrote:
Subject: The Death of HD-DVD?

We (Bob, Brad, Me) just had a big discussion about HD this morning.

Here are the takeaways:
1. End of HD....eventually.
2. Not anytime soon.
3. Paramount can get out of the contract because they had an escape clause based on Warner's actions.
4. Dual players will be in the immediate future.
5. HD is superior to Blu-Ray in most ways but Blu-Ray has the advantage with their partnerships.
6. Bob and Bryan (Brad's brother) will buy a lot of HD on DVD as people sell them cheap on ebay.
7. I enjoy steak.

---------- Reprint Message ----------
On January 08, 2008 6:21 PM Nick Shin wrote:
Subject: The Death of HD-DVD?

hd-DVD is NOT superior to Blu-ray. quite the opposite.

hd-DVD is a better marketing term than technology.

at CES here there is only one hd-DVD booth and it's a pittiful sight compaired to the blu-ray section right next to it.

what's also weird about this whole thing is that toshiba (in the hd-DVD camp) co-produced the cell chip used in the PS3. so I'm wondering if the hd-DVD vs blu-ray war was made up to force the consumer to chose between those two, locking out other options ( like holographic storage) and blitzing people to become more aware of those two formats making the sheep feel like they're really foxes.

how many people can you think of now a days that are getting hd TVs dunno about hd-DVD or blu-ray...

I'm still sticking to my claim that ipTV will take over the media distribution - which most of them will not be available on either format. you will see more "tivocast" type systems out there.

there I said it.

nuff said, signing out from the CES floor on my iPod touch.
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< thanks goes to mikey for getting me an iPod Touch to allow me be a cockbag about this >


and finally, here's devo FTW: found this from his google reader shared items list (and which prompted me to plow all of this blu-hd goodness here):

whew! this post is finally done...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

mikey now has a tivo

i just bought my brother a tivo series 3 HD dvr (above) for his birthday and i have to say it's much better than the cable co's "digital receiver" box. the menu system is faster, the interface is cleaner and simpler to find the shows you want to watch.

but, the series 3 (not to be confused with the "tivo HD dvr" below) had a minor hitch when getting the digital cablecard hooked up. the channels took time to trickle in before becoming "viewable". it was a little weird. but worked after you let it do its thing for 10-15 mins.

the tivo HD dvr was reported by the (second) cable installer to work pretty much right out of the box.

just a few notes for you all if you want to get the newest tivo and digital cablecard working.

  • the cablecard needs to be DIGITAL cards (the first cable installer who came in didn't know what the tivo box took -- and put in one digital and one analog card in -- i wasn't there to tell 'em they needed to be both digital)
  • you need to have an M-card (multi-stream) on the tivo HD - this allows the tivo box to watch/record 2 channels with just one cablecard
  • the series 3 tivo can take both M-card and S-cards (single stream) -- but the series 3 does not make use of the multi-stream capabilities (hence the two slots)
  • on the series 3 -- YOU NEED TO PUT IN AND INITIALIZE (a hit signal from the cable operators) ONE AT A TIME STARTING WITH THE BOTTOM SLOT FIRST
  • DO NOT SWAP THE CARDS ONCE THEY ARE IN -- or you will need to re-initialize the cards because the cable company uses the slot number as part of the cable card's identification/authentication value
this basically boils down the forum posting i found for RCN here in chicago:

and just in case you need to brush up on the tivo setup steps:

the second RCN guy who came in knew exactly what needed to be done and was really a cool guy to get it all working for me so i can watch all of the premium channels mikey was paying for.