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Hands On With BD Live

Blu-ray technology finally comes of age. Ben takes a first look at what it can do.

| Editorials in HT & Movies | Posted: Jun 24, 2008 4:00 am

Hands On With BD Live

 

Thanks to Sony Pictures, I recently had a chance to play with Blu-ray's fancy new BD Live (formerly known as 'Profile 2.0') system.

 

The first Blu-ray disc on the Australian market to come with such a feature - Men In Black, streets on Wednesday 25th June (look for my in-depth review within the next few days).

 

Keep in mind however, there are very few Blu-ray players on the market that come BD Live equipped; essentially it means that a player needs an ethernet port, and persistent flash storage of at least 1GB. Of course, most Australians with a Blu-ray player have a PlayStation 3, which became BD Live equipped earlier this year, and indeed I sampled BD Live using a PlayStation 3.

 

It's a momentous moment for Sony and the Blu-ray Disc Association; it now means that the messy profile business is behind them, including the picture in picture that held back many releases. It makes things easier to consumers, less confusing to explain and paves the way forward to mass adoption. Not least the fact that now Blu-ray is finally on par with features that HD-DVD sported from the get-go, two years previously.

 

Popping in Men In Black to the PlayStations disc drive, taking just a few seconds to load, users should navigate to the bottom of the extra features menu, where they will find a conspicuously large 'BD Live' logo. Clicking this results in a short pause while it contacts the local servers. Sometimes it will stay on this screen while it loads, locking you out of control function, or it may skip to a black screen; either way, it's doing the same thing.

 

 

Once BD Live has loaded, users will find a small amount of contact which is now ready to go, including a smattering of trailers for other Sony Pictures Blu-ray movies, a Sony survey, and on this disc in question, the multiplayer Men In Black trivia game.

 

 

I sampled one of the trailers, Water Horse to test both speed and quality. Users can choose from SD or HD quality. I chose SD quality. It took a good 12 or so minutes to load, maxing out my 1500 Kbp/s broadband connection. The resultant quality was good, but certainly not great on a 52" 1080 LCD. For me, this just proves why full-length movie downloads aren't ready for prime time in the lounge room. After finishing viewing the trailer, you have the option of saving or deleting the file (default) and I chose to keep it.

 

 

After downloading the file, it can then be found in the 'My Downloads' section, where you can watch it again if you chose to save the item.

 

 

I then completed the survey for Sony, whom asked questions on my Blu-ray usage. I hear that Sony are very interested in the results for the survey, so if you choose to complete it, please do so with care.

 

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