Industry Insiders Q&A MASTER THREAD [separate thread for Xbox/Add On & PS3] - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 4841 Old 01-05-2007, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by b2bonez View Post

Speaking of portable. Is HDi available for the SoC platforms yet ??

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No, it requires have a dozen Cell CPUs to run .

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post #272 of 4841 Old 01-05-2007, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

Yes, I'm sure the audience will be very impressed with your grasp of the competition when you suggest this will be the standard method (or the only method) for producing PiP content on Blu-ray.

Well, it's hard to say what the standard method is going to be, unless the plan is to just abandon advanced interactivity for early adoptors.

I can understand why BD companies felt they had to ship a partial version of the technology instead of waiting for BD-Live to be feasible, but the existence of pre BD-Live players is going to put off for many years the time where discs can be authored assuming those capabilities are available

Quote:


I'm surprised you would take a shot at a creative team which worked through existing player constraints to produce an innovative end-user experience, one which clearly few end-users realized was delivered using, as you suggest, such a ridiculous method. If consumers love the movie, love the A/V quality, love the bonus content, and have no idea it didn't actually use secondary video (if they even have any clue as to what secondary video is), where is a single negative impact to the creative team's choice of authoring approach?

I'm personally very impressed with what the creative team pulled off with this, although I hurt for them for what they had to go through due to the limitations of BD. I've still got the brain scars from trying to shoehorn cool interactive video experiences into Director throughot the 90's, and I can only imagine how many dinners at home were missed in order to deliver PIP without hardware PIP support.

I"m glad we've got something a lot better and simpler for them for when they're doing HD DVD.

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post #273 of 4841 Old 01-05-2007, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Zimmer View Post

The publisher is Digital Sin, 21345 Lassen St., Chatsworth CA 91311; the title is HD Sampler.

I have no idea whether it has AACS on it.

Thanks. I'll have someone follow up with them.

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post #274 of 4841 Old 01-05-2007, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Azumi View Post

As an Apple user, I was wondering if VC-1 discs (regardless of the format) are going to be supported on this platform, considering the fact that Microsoft has been less than brilliant in providing the latest Windows Media codecs and DRMs for the Mac.

Following up on Amir's comments, I should mention that Apple and any other vendor has a lot of different options for how to get VC-1.

First, we offer under published terms access to x86 optimized decode (and encode as well) C++ source code for VC-1.

Second, VC-1 is a SMPTE standard, so any SMPTE member can get access to the full documentation for the codec, including source code for a reference decoder.

So, while there's a lot we can do to help anyone implementing VC-1, a compnay is also fully able to do their own implementation without even letting us know about it.

From a licensing and implementation perspective, VC-1 is very similar to MPEG-2 and H.264 in this regard.

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post #275 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Well, the situation is pretty simple now that Apple machines are based on X86 as the same highly optimized ports can be used that we have. Of course, we also have the PowerPC version for the 360. So VC-1 is not an issue at all.

You should note that there is a big difference between us providing a full blown player (i.e. the case you are talking about) and us providing component technology for someone else who has the know-how to build Mac applications for a living. In case of Apple building the overall player or someone else with experience with DVD playback on the Mac, the situation would be much better than it was for us fending for ourself.

Our HDi code is highly portable and since PCs/Macs are pretty fast compared to embedded products, getting it running there is not a big deal. The bigger issue is someone building a secure implementation of the player on the Mac. This is the thing that always held us back. Without Apple's cooperation, it is very difficult to build a secure DRM implementation there. But I expect third-parties to get there, should there be enough demand on that platform for HD optical playback.

Yes, I wouldn't have expected VC-1 to be an issue, considering they'll need that for their Blu-ray implementation anyway.

My question though is how much overlap is there between the Blu-ray implementation of DRM and the HD DVD implementation? If there is significant overlap, would it not make sense to simply develop these in parallel (with HDi thrown into the mix)?

That said, I suppose it could be a problem considering that Apple's political stance is more in favour of BD at the moment and they could choose to implement only BD themselves initially and leave HD implementations to third parties (despite the fact that Apple's DVD Player.app already partially supports HD DVD).
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post #276 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

That BDA talks about capacity being important, yet, it is wasteful in how it uses, whether it comes to audio, video or now, interactivity.

How is it wasteful to actually use the capacity?!? You've got 50GB. Sure, doing PiP with a secondary video decoder would require less space than doing it with a second encode of the movie. So is it better to use 5GB for the PiP and leave 20GB empty? That would be wasteful. The title already has 6.1 audio and plenty of other bonus features, it's not like there's clear indication that something was sacrificed due to the extra space occupied by the second encode.
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The negative impact is that instead of working on creative aspects of the project, someone had to sit there and encode the video again. And if the result was not that great, they had to live with it.

Yet by all accounts the result was great, and in the process I'm sure Lions Gate's creative team came up with a bunch of new ideas for the future. Sure, I'd prefer that PiP had been mandatory on all Blu-ray players from the start (along with a network connection). But it's really not that big a deal that it isn't, given that more than 95% of the Blu-ray players in the market today (the PS3) are capable of PiP and network connectivity (a number which will only rise), and that even with PiP support optional Blu-ray technology is sufficiently powerful to provide another mechanism for achieving a fundamentally comparable result.

Your response here (and in the past) also suggests that PiP is the end-all and be-all of advanced interactivity, which I think greatly overstates its importance. But I recognize that you have precious few capabilities left to seize on where HD-DVD has an advantage over Blu-ray, so I understand why you're beating this into the ground.

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post #277 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner View Post

I can understand why BD companies felt they had to ship a partial version of the technology instead of waiting for BD-Live to be feasible, but the existence of pre BD-Live players is going to put off for many years the time where discs can be authored assuming those capabilities are available

I disagree. Based on current estimates, 95% of the existing installed base is likely BD-Live capable. Later this year that number will probably be 98% or more. I don't see 2-5% of the installed base not being able to make use of a given feature as a major impediment for the studios.

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post #278 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 04:23 AM
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Question for the Blue Ray insiders:
Have a look at the jpegs here, please:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=781777
Is this kind of blocking like that on the Pearl Harbor disk? If yes, is it considered acceptable and consistent with high quality and beyond HD slogans to deliver such blocking on 50GB (!) disks?
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post #279 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 06:35 AM
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I have a 52" Sony XBR3 TV, which accepts 1080p over HDMI, VGA and component (the component 1080p is something new in the 52" and doesn't exist in the 46").

The 360 VGA cable properly send 1080p to the TV for both games and movies, however, I also have a PC and want to use the VGA for that. I can't find any VGA switch or the like that won't degrade my signal. Suggestions?

Therefore, I was trying to use the component for 1080p input. Everything I have read says that the 360 will upscale games to 1080p over component, but HD DVD movies will only be output at 1080i due to the copy protection issues.

BUT, Microsoft tech support has told me that they can play HD DVD movies at 1080p over component to a Toshiba 1080p TV. I have a 52" Sony XBR3, which accepts 1080p over component, but MS says it doesn't work to my TV. This disagrees with the copy protection of the AACS that I thought MS said would only allow HD DVD movies at 1080i over component. Perhaps the tech was wrong, but she said she was certain of it. Want my reference # ?


Also, I know you can't comment on unannounced things, but is it technically possible for the existing XBOX to have an HDMI cable over the AV port? I have read posts where people have said that the hardware simply won't allow it. Hopefully you can answer this type of question.

Thanks.
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post #280 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 07:07 AM
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Talk, your announcements above that
Quote:


given that more than 95% of the Blu-ray players in the market today (the PS3) are capable of PiP and network connectivity

obviously refer to the volume of PS3s to standalone Blu-ray players which currently can't support that level of Blu-ray performance.

Why would any sensible person now buy a Blu-ray player now that doesn't have those features, at those price points? Isn't that kinda throwing the early adopters under the bus?

Seriously, the lack of those features in the first generation standalone players is the major factor that has stopped me from investing in Blu-ray, because I have no intention of spending a ton of money on a soon to be obsolete player, ie one that will not have those features the PS3 has.

Is there any standalone player now that is available that has those advanced features that I can buy right now?

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post #281 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 07:34 AM
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Qestion for anyone representing BD studios: Won't there be a tendency to avoid using PIP in the future if it is known first gen standalone players won't support it properly?

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post #282 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

I disagree. Based on current estimates, 95% of the existing installed base is likely BD-Live capable. Later this year that number will probably be 98% or more. I don't see 2-5% of the installed base not being able to make use of a given feature as a major impediment for the studios.


Talk, please clarify that here you really are only saying, and i think it may be speculation, is that the ps3 is BD-Live capable b/c you believe that it represents 95% of existing installed base...you really weren't speaking at all about the standalone players, correct?
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post #283 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 08:47 AM
 
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RE: Adoption of BD features not currently supported by some first gen hardware...

Quote:


I disagree. Based on current estimates, 95% of the existing installed base is likely BD-Live capable.

What Mr. Sun's comments indicate here, and this is me paraphrasing, is that the content providers will have no compunction about leaving the 50,000 or so people (or however many it turns out being) that spent as much as $1000 to $1500 holding the bag when they decide to start using features of the Blu-ray format that were not included in most first gen standalone players. Did I get that right, sir?
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post #284 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 08:52 AM
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How long before we start to see "Enhanced for Playstation 3" on Blu-Ray films?
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post #285 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

As I've said, this is one way of doing it. You sacrifice flexibility, no question. In this case it's up to the movie's producers to determine where the PiP window is most appropriately placed.
No, Amir, as you undoubtedly understand, yet are trying to play this up for effect, this method of PiP would be unlikely to be suitable for a BD-25 disc. In which case you have a full suite of secondary audio/video API's available to create PiP content which will, upon release, undoubtedly work splendidly on the great majority of Blu-ray players and all of those released after June, 2007.
Was The Descent MPEG-2? No, it was AVC. What's your point?
Yes, I'm sure the audience will be very impressed with your grasp of the competition when you suggest this will be the standard method (or the only method) for producing PiP content on Blu-ray.

I'm surprised you would take a shot at a creative team which worked through existing player constraints to produce an innovative end-user experience, one which clearly few end-users realized was delivered using, as you suggest, such a ridiculous method. If consumers love the movie, love the A/V quality, love the bonus content, and have no idea it didn't actually use secondary video (if they even have any clue as to what secondary video is), where is a single negative impact to the creative team's choice of authoring approach?

(emphasis mine)

Talk, would you consider intorducing a "feature" that makes it appear that a person's deck can support PiP, only to find that future PiP do NOT work on their deck a negative from that end-user perspective?

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post #286 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert George View Post

What Mr. Sun's comments indicate here, and this is me paraphrasing, is that the content providers will have no compunction about leaving the 50,000 or so people (or however many it turns out being) that spent as much as $1000 to $1500 holding the bag when they decide to start using features of the Blu-ray format that were not included in most first gen standalone players. Did I get that right, sir?

Forgive me for being dense, but just to make this clear to me... Which specific features again do current standalone Blu-ray players not support?

As for picture-in-picture, etc. which standalone BD players will be able to support it after firmware updates?
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post #287 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuGsArEtAsTy View Post

Forgive me for being dense, but just to make this clear to me... Which specific features again do current standalone Blu-ray players not support?

As for picture-in-picture, etc. which standalone BD players will be able to support it after firmware updates?

A related question: will current BD players be able to play discs that have certain features that require capabilities those current players do not have, and simply not be able to pick up those features, or will those discs be completely unplayable on current players?
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post #288 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuGsArEtAsTy View Post

Forgive me for being dense, but just to make this clear to me... Which specific features again do current standalone Blu-ray players not support?

The specific list is as follows:

1. The amount of permanent storage in the player so things like bookmarks, interactivity state (e.g. your name, game score, etc.), downloaded subtitles and such can be stored. Needless to say, no firmware fix can add such hardware to your machine.

2. Hardware decode support for two streams of video: one for main movie, and another for the secondary video. Products using the decoder in the Samsung for example, can not handle an HD stream and SD stream decode. The Toshiba which uses the same decoder decodes the secondary stream using its powerful X86 CPU for this task. That CPU horsepower is missing from equiv. BD players. It is not possible to add such functionality via software unless the hardware is already there.

3. TrueHD and or DTS lossless support. BD doesn't mandate any so it is totally up to the player manufacturer to do so or not. If the computational horsepower is there (again, the Toshiba did with its multiple DSPs) then this can be a firmware update, assuming there is an optimized implementation is available for the underlying instruction set.

4. Networking. Most stand-alone players do not have the hardware connection so there is no way to add such a functionality via software. Even with the connection, this is a very complex subsystem and making it compliant with BD-Live may be beyond the means of some companies. The box may also lack sufficient memory to handle the extra code and buffering needed for networking.

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post #289 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

No,

it requires have a dozen Cell CPUs to run .

Now that is interesting. No HDi support for SoC players. (I separated the answer from the "CELL" joke)

So when is MS planning to provide SoC HDi support ?? HD-DVD can't go on much longer with only Tosh PC based players..

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post #290 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b2bonez View Post

Now that is interesting. No HDi support for SoC players. (I separated the answer from the "CELL" joke)

So when is MS planning to provide SoC HDi support ?? HD-DVD can't go on much longer with only Tosh PC based players..

b2b

Bones, if you are just interested in making political side comments disguised in the form of a question, then you are just going to get a sarcastic answer. If you genuinely want to know something, please come and ask it first, before declaring your information as fact in other threads.

Anyway, I am not going to disclose our plans or that of other companies in developing future HD DVD products. But I suggest that you look at the current products in the market for your engineering answer. I am very proud of the great engineering decisions that allowed us to get to get to market first and allowed us to ship the second gen in the same time it took others to ship their first gen. And of course, hit price points that others cannot achieve. There is a lot more to engineering a retail product than minimizing the chip count. And I say this as a hardware engineer who has shipped a lot of hardware products in my day.

And another note. Please don't underestimate our expertise in this area. After all, HDi is software and we are software company, and in my group, one with tremendous expertise in optimizing the same for many embedded platforms.

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post #291 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Bones, if you are just interested in making political side comments disguised in the form of a question, then you are just going to get a sarcastic answer. If you genuinely want to know something, please come and ask it first, before declaring your information as fact in other threads.

Anyway, I am not going to disclose our plans or that of other companies in developing future HD DVD products. But I suggest that you look at the current products in the market for your engineering answer. I am very proud of the great engineering decisions that allowed us to get to get to market first and allowed us to ship the second gen in the same time it took others to ship their first gen. And of course, hit price points that others cannot achieve. There is a lot more to engineering a retail product than minimizing the chip count. And I say this as a hardware engineer who has shipped a lot of hardware products in my day.

And another note. Please don't underestimate our expertise in this area. After all, HDi is software and we are software company, and in my group, one with tremendous expertise in optimizing the same for many embedded platforms.

I didn't mean to offend you... A simple "yes" or "no" or "we are working on it and it will be here when it is needed" answer is all that I was asking. I have no doubts as to MSs skill in getting it done, I was only wondering if it was "done".

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post #292 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 03:09 PM
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Well, here's a question to any insider that can provide an answer:

What's BDs video bitrate allowance for PiP? And if that can't be answered, then a lesser question - does it match HD DVDs?
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post #293 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

I disagree. Based on current estimates, 95% of the existing installed base is likely BD-Live capable. Later this year that number will probably be 98% or more. I don't see 2-5% of the installed base not being able to make use of a given feature as a major impediment for the studios.

But 0% of the installed base is confirmed as being BD-Live compatible.

And you're assuming that a PS3=CE player for the studios. We can argue about attach ratios, but clearly each CE player is worth some number of PS3 players from a publisher's standbpoint.

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post #294 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xbdestroya View Post

Well, here's a question to any insider that can provide an answer:

What's BDs video bitrate allowance for PiP? And if that can't be answered, then a lesser question - does it match HD DVDs?

Spec mandates support for much higher rates, which is complex to implement, which is why it isn't implemented.

HD DVD mandates a reasonable standard for PIP *for* picture-in-picture use, which is easier to implement, allowing us to make it mandatory.

The technology you can deliver is better than the technology you can't, no matter how compelling the spec is on paper .

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post #295 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner View Post

Spec mandates support for much higher rates, which is complex to implement, which is why it isn't implemented.

HD DVD mandates a reasonable standard for PIP *for* picture-in-picture use, which is easier to implement, allowing us to make it mandatory.

The technology you can deliver is better than the technology you can't, no matter how compelling the spec is on paper .

Thanks Ben for your forthright answer; appreciated.
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post #296 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 05:39 PM
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To any HD DVD insider,

I'm looking an HD DVD fan site kit or a press kit with the HD DVD logo, box shots, case color schemes etc.

Do any of you know the location of such a thing?

I hoping to start an HD DVD community site with reviews and information.

Thanks.
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post #297 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

No, it requires have a dozen Cell CPUs to run .

Why is the answer currently "no"?
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post #298 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Outlaw Z View Post

To any HD DVD insider,

I'm looking an HD DVD fan site kit or a press kit with the HD DVD logo, box shots, case color schemes etc.

Do any of you know the location of such a thing?

I hoping to start an HD DVD community site with reviews and information.

Thanks.

Thanks for your interest. I don't have the answere but I am trying to find out.

Amir
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post #299 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob Zuber View Post

Why is the answer currently "no"?

Nihon-go wa wakarimashita?

Amir
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post #300 of 4841 Old 01-06-2007, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Kosty View Post

Why would any sensible person now buy a Blu-ray player now that doesn't have those features, at those price points? Isn't that kinda throwing the early adopters under the bus?

I've said before, anyone for whom secondary video or BD-Live support (network connectivity) is an important feature should either wait for release of a player claiming full support (or for Sony to announce PS3 compatibility) or should be prepared to trade up their current machine to a model which does. Many here say "just give me the picture" and appear not to care about interactivity; many others appear eager to trade up to the latest equipment. Anyone not in those two categories should follow my previous advice.
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Is there any standalone player now that is available that has those advanced features that I can buy right now?

Nope, though that may change later this week pending CES announcements. I fully expect the PS3 will be fully BD-Live compatible (and ought be considered a standalone, as you can just stick in a Blu-ray disc and it plays), but there's always a possibility I'm wrong.

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