Blu-ray, as of three months ago, became the format of the foreseeable future. With HD DVD officially abandoned, consumers can rest easy knowing that Blu-ray is the standard format of this generation. Regardless, there were still several tidbits regarding the Blu-ray format that we felt needed clarifying, thus we contacted Sony Electronics to get their take.
The following responses were provided by Asad Qizilbash, senior product manager of Blu-ray Disc players at Sony Electronics.
PSU: The new "profile 2.0" BD discs will have assets that standalone BD players can't handle. The basic video may work, or may not, no one's quite sure. Can you shed any light on this situation?
Asad Qizilbash: Sony's new 2008 stand-alone BD players will be BD-live capable ("profile 2.0"). The BDP-S350 model is BD-Live ready featuring an Ethernet port for an easy firmware update and access to Internet-based interactive content features. The BSP-S550 is BD-Live capable when it ships.
There will not be a BD-Live update available for BDP-S300, BDP-S500 & BDP-S2000ES players. Blu-ray Discs with BD-Live will still play on these players, but you will not be able to access the BD-Live bonus features.
PSU: Will there be a future firmware update to support DTS-MA for stand alone Blu-ray players? If so, when?
Qizilbash: The BDP-S350 and BDP-S550 stand-alone players support DTS-MA. There will not be a DTS-MA update available for the BDP-S300, BDP-S500 and BDP-S2000ES.
PSU: What are your thoughts on digital distribution and how do you see it affecting Blu-ray in the future?
Qizilbash: As the industry saw with digital music downloads, consumers do appreciate the merits of immediate access to content. However, unlike music content, Blu-ray Disc offers high-definition movies with full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution and 7.1 uncompressed surround sound soundtracks. The mass storage required for an uncompressed cinematic experience is well beyond the means of today's high speed internet capabilities and requires digital storage space that is far beyond what the average consumer digital recording device or PC currently handles. While digital video downloads could very well be the wave of the future, that future has not yet arrived.
PSU: When do you think wireless HDMI (or other wireless protocol) between components will make it to the mainstream market?
Qizilbash: Sony has announced an HDMI wireless adapter during the 2008 CES for the company's BRAVIA LCD HDTVs. The unit will ship this fall, but pricing has not been set as of this date.
We thank Asad Qizilbash for his time in addition to Sony Electronics as a whole for creating such a fantastic format.