Your Opinion on Firmware Updates, Now and In the Future - Page 2 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: What is the Future of Firmware Updates?
I love Firmware Updates, they make my machine better, Keep them constantly coming 0 0%
Firmware Updates are simply a necessity due to the inconsistencies of a new format 0 0%
Firmware Updates should only be for videophiles, A Player should be able to play all discs 0 0%
Whats a Firmware Update??? 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 0. You may not vote on this poll

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post #31 of 74 Old 04-21-2010, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Curious... if you've read the forums here, why would you buy a Pioneer if you are looking for playability, reliability, and stability?
.

Where were you when I asked what player to buy in this thread?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=969206



I went for the BDP-320 based on recommendations there. I wanted the best analog outs for under $200, as I don't plan to upgrade my non-HDMI receivers for another year or two.

Besides, I have a soft spot for Pioneer- it was my first ProLogic HT surround receiver almost 20 years ago that served my Laserdisk theater well through the 90's, my first after market in-dash cassette receiver for my first car 25 years ago, the first consumer grade 24/96 digital audio out capable DVD player ~10 years ago (525), the fun 3 disc DV-302 DVD changer about 9 years ago, and I'm still using the well regarded 1014 THX receiver in my dedicated basement theater. Pioneer also served me well in the 90's with cassette decks, turntables and 100-200 disc linear and rotary CD changers (I miss those...)

Perhaps in recent years the mass market Pioneer stuff (and maybe the Elite stuff too) has declined in quality- the last Pioneer product I bought prior to this BDP-320 was the 1014 receiver around 2004...

Oddly, most of my current gear are "P" companies- PSB speakers, Panasonic and Philips DVD players, Panasonic DVD recorders and SVHS decks, Pioneer...
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post #32 of 74 Old 04-21-2010, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I see it exactly the opposite. The players were designed to be updated and that in and of itself gives them an extended life cycle.

False.

All BluRay set top players will have a *reduced* lifecycle if random new disc releases moving forward continue to require a firmware update to simply play a damn movie.

All BluRay set top makers will offer firmware for any BluRay player for a finite time, not even counting if the set top maker goes under. Once new releases don't play on a set top player, that BluRay model will have no market value or future value from the day updates stop for that model.

This reduces BluRay to a phone home DRM model (asynchronous, but phone home nonetheless), the same broken business model that is destroying PC gaming.

The principle they are violating is that they want to retain control over your property (the BluRay player) after the point of sale, after title of ownership has passed to you. BD+ allows them to change the functionality of your property at any time moving forward.

If you don't control it, you don't own it.
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post #33 of 74 Old 04-21-2010, 11:59 AM
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BD+ is garbage and may hurt more than it helps in the long run..........This is the single biggest reason BD's have incompatibilities and don't play on certain players. Pirates will find a way and steal no matter what Fox or anyone tries to do to prevent it.
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post #34 of 74 Old 04-21-2010, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Spanbauer View Post

The ability to be updated is having the exact opposite effect that you describe; it's leaving customers out cold with $500 hardware they have to replace after only 2 years because it can't play the latest releases well, or at all.

Even if there is a company that doesn't support their hardware it doesn't mean the system is flawed. Rather it simply means at some point in time the company will fail for not satisfying their customers. They will simply lose their business to one that does. Most here already base their buying decisions on such factors and Blu-ray is no different.
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post #35 of 74 Old 04-21-2010, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

The principle they are violating is that they retain control over your property (the BluRay player) after the point of sale, after title of ownership has passed to you. BD+ allows them to change the functionality of your property at any time moving forward.

If you don't control it, you don't own it.

If you want to be stuck in stone sure unplug your player and you have complete control over it. If you want to view future content of which they made no guarantee you would be able to you have to submit to them attempting to control the rights of their property... the content on the discs. The player itself is worthless without content and those providing the content have every right to protect their investment and you have every right to disagree and not purchase the player.

I think the benefits of firmware updates far exceed the drawbacks and I have zero issues with (virtually) any method the studios wish to use. Long term I think it is just as beneficial to the consumer as the content owners.
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post #36 of 74 Old 04-21-2010, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Curious... if you've read the forums here, why would you buy a Pioneer if you are looking for playability, reliability, and stability?

EDIT: add Samsung to that list.



+1.

And Sharp. Probably a bunch of other players, too, if this BD+ update breaks 3 different manuf company players. This never happened with DVD's DRM w/ the same player manufacturers, so why blame the player manufacturers? Oh, that's right, because DVD didn't have an interactivity layer and DRM scheme that requires a huge team of programmers just to keep up with. So basically the companies with smaller Blu-ray resources are going to continue having problems with the format.

Blame the stupid BD+ DRM and the studios using it i.e. FOX, duh. You are letting these studios (and in some cases authoring houses) get away with murder and they are loving you for it every time you blame a player manuf when they introduce BD-J code or BD+ DRM that doesn't work on a slew of players. In this case, 99.9% chance they knew they were going to break compatibility and the studio simply didn't care, because they could count on people to blame the hardware manuf instead of the studio - who should take the blame for continuing to introduce noncompatible discs - taking the heat. Do you really think any of these multi-billion dollar studios can't afford to buy a player from each manuf and give them to their authoring houses to make a disc that just works? Of course they could. They simply don't care because they can count on certain people to blame their mistakes and poor judgment on the player manufs.

So, keep blaming the player manufs and we'll continue having format problems because studios won't care to make compatible discs since you refuse to call them on it. And yeah, I call a disc that breaks 3 major brand players - probably more - an incompatible disc.

Vote with your wallet. Don't buy Cinavia-infected Blu-ray Discs! Why pay a premium for pseudo-lossless audio damaged by an intrusive watermark in the audible spectrum?
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post #37 of 74 Old 04-22-2010, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Ruined View Post

And Sharp. Probably a bunch of other players, too, if this BD+ update breaks 3 different manuf company players. This never happened with DVD's DRM w/ the same player manufacturers, so why blame the player manufacturers? Oh, that's right, because DVD didn't have an interactivity layer and DRM scheme that requires a huge team of programmers just to keep up with. So basically the companies with smaller Blu-ray resources are going to continue having problems with the format.

Blame the stupid BD+ DRM and the studios using it i.e. FOX, duh. You are letting these studios (and in some cases authoring houses) get away with murder and they are loving you for it every time you blame a player manuf when they introduce BD-J code or BD+ DRM that doesn't work on a slew of players. In this case, 99.9% chance they knew they were going to break compatibility and the studio simply didn't care, because they could count on people to blame the hardware manuf instead of the studio - who should take the blame for continuing to introduce noncompatible discs - taking the heat. Do you really think any of these multi-billion dollar studios can't afford to buy a player from each manuf and give them to their authoring houses to make a disc that just works? Of course they could. They simply don't care because they can count on certain people to blame their mistakes and poor judgment on the player manufs.

So, keep blaming the player manufs and we'll continue having format problems because studios won't care to make compatible discs since you refuse to call them on it. And yeah, I call a disc that breaks 3 major brand players - probably more - an incompatible disc.

Probably only us AVS people blame the player manufacturers because we know that these discs are only problematic on certain players. Well what about the average, non-AVS movie watcher? When they buy a movie and it doesn't play.....they're going to think it's a defective disc and keep exchanging it. What do they know about firmware update? So....studios suffer too.

No one is winning here. Hopefully one day, studios will realize that.
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post #38 of 74 Old 04-22-2010, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by pal1982 View Post

Hope it's fixed ASAP... no fun watching it through my PS3!... Sucks that the PS3 works and the $4,500 Denon doesn't!

Just curious. Why does it suck that the PS3 plays the disc? Why is it no fun? I'm done knocking for people that don't want a PS3 (for looks or IR support reason), but what I don't get is why people would subject themselves to the same old FW issue nearly every time on every big name release. I hope all you folk with issues get them resolved soon. I just wanted to know why the $4,500 Denon is so much better than the PS3.

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post #39 of 74 Old 04-22-2010, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogdoctor View Post

Just curious. Why does it suck that the PS3 plays the disc? Why is it no fun? I'm done knocking for people that don't want a PS3 (for looks or IR support reason), but what I don't get is why people would subject themselves to the same old FW issue nearly every time on every big name release. I hope all you folk with issues get them resolved soon. I just wanted to know why the $4,500 Denon is so much better than the PS3.

I don't like listening to machine fans during quiet parts of a movie.
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post #40 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by MrHT View Post

Probably only us AVS people blame the player manufacturers because we know that these discs are only problematic on certain players. Well what about the average, non-AVS movie watcher? When they buy a movie and it doesn't play.....they're going to think it's a defective disc and keep exchanging it. What do they know about firmware update? So....studios suffer too.

No one is winning here. Hopefully one day, studios will realize that.

I just called BS on this whole BD+ firmware compatibility clusterfunk- I RMA'd my new Pioneer BDP-320 received earlier this week.

No one should have to update a hardware set top to play a new video release- ever.

No non-geek/non-AV enthusiast /non PS3-gamerz geek will tolerate this- i.e. 99% of the video/movie buying public.

Yes, the technical audio-video science merits of BluRay are nice and undeniable- standardization of losseless DTS-MA on most releases, improved color and detail in most cases, 3D capability moving forward.

But this DRM and BD+ issue has become a MAJOR consumer rights issue.

AT MINIMUM refusing to purchase/boycotting any disc with BD+ is called for.

When you pay for a BD+ enabled disc, literally, the money you give them will fund the next round of BD+, paying the salaries of the people writing it!

If you go along with and buy into this scheme willingly now, YOUR BluRay player WILL be borked by SOME new BD+ scheme and/or related firmware release in the near future...

...not IF but WHEN...

I plan to spend my money and time the next several years in other HT pursuits, enjoying the equipment and 1000's of DVD's I already have, putting money into best in class video processors instead.

I would rather spend $2000 on a great video processor for DVD's vs spending $1 on anything BluRay in the near term.
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post #41 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 09:35 AM
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ugh.... I guess it sucks to be an early adopter..... I have a Philips BDP-9000, the last firmware date was December 16, 2008 (BTW, I also tried Samsung's BDP-1000 firmware on my Philips and still no go).....

I absolutely freaking hate FOX STUDIOS. They always come up with new DRM and always screw their faithful fans. Do the studios even talk to the manufactures of blu-ray players or do they ONLY DO THEIR QUALIFICATION TESTING on SONY PS-3s? Now I can't watch Avatar, I can only pray to the Na'vi gods that Samsung/Philips will take care of their old customers in a few weeks/months?

Sigh... I never had a piece of consumer electronics that requires a firmware update every time a movie studio decided to release a new DRM....

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post #42 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by faux123 View Post

ugh.... I guess it sucks to be an early adopter..... I have a Philips BDP-9000, the last firmware date was December 16, 2008 (BTW, I also tried Samsung's BDP-1000 firmware on my Philips and still no go).....

I absolutely freaking hate FOX STUDIOS. They always come up with new DRM and always screw their faithful fans. Do the studios even talk to the manufactures of blu-ray players or do they ONLY DO THEIR QUALIFICATION TESTING on SONY PS-3s? Now I can't watch Avatar, I can only pray to the Na'vi gods that Samsung/Philips will take care of their old customers in a few weeks/months?

Sigh... I never had a piece of consumer electronics that requires a firmware update every time a movie studio decided to release a new DRM....

I was just guessing in an earlier post re: how long a player would last before going defunct- only took 16 months for your Philips!? My low guesstimate was 18 months!

This will happen to EVERY BluRay player if BD+ discs continue to be purchased that require firmware updates.

Newer BD+ revs will only make machines slower and slower and less reliable (evidenced by all the glitches experienced with Avatar- timeline popping up, etc- it WILL get worse moving forward), even if a firmware update is not technically needed to play a new disc.

My line in the sand has been drawn- where will yours?
(rhetorical- addressing no one specifically).
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post #43 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 11:35 AM
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Ugh. This is like Divx, but worse. I had to update even my PS3 for that dumb Chipmunks movie, because of the same issue.

I guess Fox found a way to shove Divx down our throats, after all. I hope all the people who were cheerleaders for Blu Ray vs. HD-DVD are pleased with themselves.
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post #44 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by pernar View Post

Ugh. This is like Divx, but worse. I had to update even my PS3 for that dumb Chipmunks movie, because of the same issue.

I guess Fox found a way to shove Divx down our throats, after all. I hope all the people who were cheerleaders for Blu Ray vs. HD-DVD are pleased with themselves.

Since you brought up Divx (the failed time-limited DVD alternative disc format at the failed Circuit City in the late 90's), it brings to mind another threat from BD+.

Future revs of BD+ compatible firmware could easily unintentionally (or intentionally) break PREVIOUS BluRay releases- you will NEVER know if you can play a new release, if your BluRay set top player will be rendered useless with no market value, or if your existing BluRay library is "safe" with BD+ and related firmware updates.
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post #45 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 01:12 PM
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post #46 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 01:19 PM
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The PS3 is a good example of why FW updates are good. The PS3 is the only orginal Blu-ray player that was updated to BD-Live and now it is going to get a 3D update. It would be nice if other manufactures such as Samsung continued to update their Blu-ray players to provide new streaming services and other functions.
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post #47 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 01:24 PM
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Looks like charging of "downloading of firmware from the provider" can be a good business for ISPs. Like Pioneer's latest 3.65fw is around 98mb and if ISPs charges Pioneer for $1 per megabyte per IP address, ISP can make really big money.

And as long as downloaders like us isn't charged!
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post #48 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinksma View Post

If I bought a computer and all I did was one type of function (like watch BDs, for example), then yes, I would expect that the device should work at once and forever without firmware updates. Actually, the PC I use for my home recording studio is as-configured since I bought it, I think. The only real reason for PC updates is threats from outside forces (hackers, viruses, worms, etc), which is a completely different dimension - the updates are nominally to protect me, not the software-producers.

How would you like it if you only needed to do regular updates because Micosoft didn't trust that you weren't pirating their software? Hmm, maybe that's it - the whole virus-threat thing is just a fake conspiracy to cover up the real reason they want to access your PC...

Back when CD players came out everyone was astounded at the computing power they represented. Who the heck ever needed firmware updates to play CDs? The only two reasons we "need" FW updates for BD players are:

1. Sloppy BD authoring and/or authoring tools, either not playing by the rules or using some obscure implementation of the rules (probably not communicated to the player manufacturers),

2. Re-issuing and re-configuring DRM keys and other copy-protection schema.

These reasons don't exist with CDs because there is only one way to author a CD (a true audio CD!), and there were no DRM schema requiring constant updates (ignoring Sony's root-kit fiasco - can you imagine if that had actually been accepted practice?!).

FW updates for consumer products like TVs and receivers are usually one-time events, often due to an imperfectly-implemented new feature. They are not a function of every three months go through the whole update cycle again.

e.g. My Samsung TV needed a FW update to fix the 120Hz frame interpolation function (when off it wasn't really off). My TV does not need updates every few months because the TV stations are broadcasting in some new format that the ATSC tuner cannot recognize or a sloppy encode of the movie being broadcast.

Some will say this is an unfair comparison, but IMHO the differences that would make it unfair are the same differences that make BD authoring and DRM such a dog's breakfast. Put the content on the disk following all the authoring rules, don't invent new stupid Java-based widgets, and quit trying to stay ahead of the piracy curve - if you can't invent a DRM mechanism that is effectively unbreakable, then you should just give up and use a single "fairly difficult to break" DRM scheme to keep casual pirates at bay. But maybe the studios feel that inconveniencing all consumers all the time (every player needs a regular update) is a fair price to pay to keep a tighter grip (is it really tighter?) on their copyrighted material.

Sigh, sorry for the rant, saw some windmills, and just had to tilt...

shinksma

Excellent post!

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post #49 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 03:32 PM
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Things I own that have needed firmware updates:

Three different standard DVD players
An HDTV
Many computers, many peripherals
My router
My DVR
A portable CD player from 10 years ago
My iPod, and two other MP3 players
My Mazda
My Scion
My Onkyo AVR
My HD-DVD players
One of my Canon digital cameras

Why should Blu-ray players be any different?

The fact is that millions of products are in use that need updates but haven't received them because owners don't provide contact info to the manufacturers, or because the manufacturers don't publicize them, or because the owners just accept imperfect functionality as par for the course, or assume the thing is broken and go buy something new.

At least with Blu-ray, there is a built-in process for notifying owners that the update is available or necessary, and the process for acquiring and installing the update is part of the format's basic design. I consider that to be actual progress.

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post #50 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

Why should Blu-ray players be any different?

Because it should act like a f***ing appliance, not like a temperamental toddler.

A huge percentage of VCRs sold kept blinking 12:00 for their entire operational lifetimes, because people didn't know how to or didn't want be bothered to set the time. That, right there, is how a typical "consumer" behaves. Joe Sixpack doesn't do firmware updates, unless they're blindingly simple. E.g. Apple seems to get this mostly right with iPods, etc. Most other consumer electronics vendors screw the process up royally.

The electronics manufacturer can't be counted on not to screw up the process. Neither can the consumer. That's why it shouldn't be needed.
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post #51 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

Things I own that have needed firmware updates:

Three different standard DVD players
An HDTV
Many computers, many peripherals
My router
My DVR
A portable CD player from 10 years ago
My iPod, and two other MP3 players
My Mazda
My Scion
My Onkyo AVR
My HD-DVD players
One of my Canon digital cameras

Why should Blu-ray players be any different?

The fact is that millions of products are in use that need updates but haven't received them because owners don't provide contact info to the manufacturers, or because the manufacturers don't publicize them, or because the owners just accept imperfect functionality as par for the course, or assume the thing is broken and go buy something new.

At least with Blu-ray, there is a built-in process for notifying owners that the update is available or necessary, and the process for acquiring and installing the update is part of the format's basic design. I consider that to be actual progress.

Did you have to have a firmware upgrade on your Mazda or Scion because Exxon decided to come up with a different fuel formulation? And then have another because BP decided to have their own bite at the apple 6 months later?
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post #52 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 04:57 PM
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It's big business. OEM's are creating and forcing obsolecence on the consumer. Eventually, brand xyz is going to reach an "end of support life" point in which case the OEM will no longer provide firmware updates. These updates cost R&D dollars. As movies continue to come out on Blu-ray and formats continue to change, OEM's are in complete control and can force consumers to update their "perfectly functional" legacy player to a new player that will play the currrent movies.

Sounds like the computer biz if you ask me.
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post #53 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Geaux Tigers View Post

The PS3 is a good example of why FW updates are good. The PS3 is the only orginal Blu-ray player that was updated to BD-Live and now it is going to get a 3D update. It would be nice if other manufactures such as Samsung continued to update their Blu-ray players to provide new streaming services and other functions.

A lot of people disagree with you...

Sony Can Update PS3 Firmware Without Permission
http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl.../04/22/1641225
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post #54 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

A lot of people disagree with you...

Sony Can Update PS3 Firmware Without Permission
http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl.../04/22/1641225

I did not know that until I read the article. Of course if you did not want updates then you could not agree to the terms and not download the current Sony PS3 FW.

However, I own an original PS3 and have been very happy that Sony continues to offer FW downloads. Most of the other players are not being supported to the degree that the PS3 is. I won three Samsung BD-P2550's and Samsung just came out with a new FW which will probably be the last update for this player if I had to guess. The Samsung will probably not not continue to get new features while I expect that my PS3 will continue to get updates and new features.
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post #55 of 74 Old 04-23-2010, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Yoeddy1 View Post

It's big business. OEM's are creating and forcing obsolecence on the consumer. Eventually, brand xyz is going to reach an "end of support life" point in which case the OEM will no longer provide firmware updates. These updates cost R&D dollars. As movies continue to come out on Blu-ray and formats continue to change, OEM's are in complete control and can force consumers to update their "perfectly functional" legacy player to a new player that will play the currrent movies.

Sounds like the computer biz if you ask me.

Sounds more like the studios to me. The CEMs are capable of producing playback equipment that can function perfectly fine.

It's the wild cards that the studios throw into the mix that makes the format frustrating enough to generate these type of comments.
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post #56 of 74 Old 04-24-2010, 10:07 AM
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It is obvious that firmware updates will forever be a part of owning a Blu-ray player. I really wonder if Blu-ray will ever take over DVDs dominance. People expect to buy a Blu-ray player and use it until another format takes over. If my Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray player stops getting firmware updates, I will think long and hard before buying another blu-ray player. Instead of trying to outsmart the hackers Blu-ray should focus on low prices and excellent video/audio. End of rant.

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post #57 of 74 Old 04-24-2010, 10:30 AM
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Well they haven't updated my BD-10a in a long time, my A2 hasn't had any lately either but at least HD-DVD was final version on release and they only updated things to fix issues or add new features, not add or fix new DRM schemes.
Yep they just need to decide on a simple DRM, stick with it and lower prices on players and media, they make more money despite some folks pirating stuff.
Same thing happened with VHS tapes, they cried about how it would be the death of the movie industry if everyone could just copy things to tape, forced the manufacturers to add copy protection that was immediately worked around, then finally ended up making even more money because films got dirt cheap to rent or buy, why bother trying to hassle with finding everything you needed to copy one when you could buy a perfect original for cheap.
Then digital came along and they really freaked out, then downloading digital etc.
They always end up making loads of money once they drop their prices rather then try to prevent folks from doing anything with their paid for media.
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post #58 of 74 Old 04-25-2010, 09:10 AM
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While the reality is we will see firmware updates I think IF a movie needs something in particular to play that "something" should be on the disk. This tail wagging the dog thing we are always dealing with hurts the adaptation of technology. Having a smaller market impacts us all. Wide spread adoption lowers the prices for consumers. The industry making it harder on consumers, the firmware update process, adds to a slower adoption of this technology.

Why they do so is hard to understand.

None-the-less, firmware updating is here to stay.

E.B. White said, "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."
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post #59 of 74 Old 04-26-2010, 11:48 AM
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You know I have a 10 year DVD player and I can put in the SD Avatar... it plays.

To play Avatar Blu-ray you need a firmware update (which I can do its not that big of an issue) to play. My issue?
My parents, grandparents dont know how to do this so I get the call. I do believe other then updates for videophiles, all disks should play. WE have one Hi def winner now and its Blu-ray.

Firmware/DRM is not an issue for those who know what to do but for others/most main stream users it is a pain.
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post #60 of 74 Old 04-26-2010, 01:34 PM
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For those that brought up HD DVD...

Don't think for a second that FOX would not have demanded some sort of BD+ type system on HD DVD also. HD DVD did have firmware updates so don't act like HD DVD was perfect.

It was just an image of finished whereas BD had profiles so it gave the HD DVD camp ammunition.

Remember the reason FOX never committed to HD DVD was copy protection concerns. It was not just money.

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