Originally Posted by rhassle
And you would not buy a computer because updates are needed? They are not niche products and everyone if fine with updating them regularly. Strange perspective. It is not just Bluray, this is the future of this digital industry. My Plasma TV, DVR, Receiver, ... all need firmware updates. I am happy to get them. Only our analog components (amplifiers, non-digital speakers, ...) will survive without updates.
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...