No shelf life on Blu-ray players?
Recently Blu-ray was updated, what you didn't know and you own a Blu-ray player? Well chances are you will know about it if you have a Playstation 3 as these were upgraded to Blu-ray 1.1 automatically.
With 1.1 comes new Blu-ray features, features which aren't available on 1.0 players, players which it seems may not be upgradeable.
Now call me silly, but it would be absolutely obvious that with Blu-ray just released and the promise of software updates and features to come, that you would make your hardware upgradeable. Is that so crazy to think?
I've bought a GB £30 Freeview box and a £40 Freeview PVR over the last few years and they both have the ability to upgrade built in, both across the television signal and the PVR through a serial port.
Why didn't the Blu-ray hardware manufacturers think about this? So now if you have HD-DVD then you could be looking at obsolete hardware soon, but you're not safe with Blu-ray. If you have a 1.0 player then chances are you'll have to buy a new one.
Hold up though. Louise sent me the BBC link that has Frank Simonis, of Philips and the European chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association, says don't panic:
“Whether you have a profile 1.0, or profile 1.1 machine, the playback is not disturbed. It's the high definition playback that consumers are seeking.”
Let me just clear this up for a second, he's saying that the customers (that's you and me) aren't interested in anything but watching the film. To hell with the extra features that you will soon have paid for and are offered in upcoming versions of Blu-ray players and discs, we just want the film.
If that's the case why do the studios make so much money from double dipping?
Let's face it, the hardware manufacturers were short sighted. That or they did it deliberately aiming to make a profit on the next generation of hardware, after all how are they going to make hardware type profits from upgradeable players?
My advice is when you're buying a Blu-ray player make sure it's the latest version, and remember that Blu-ray 2.0 is on the horizon, and if you're one of the people that Simonis believes aren't in his audience and actually want to take advantage of new features, make sure it's upgradeable.
Right now your best bet is still a Playstation 3, even if it doesn't support DTS-HD audio, just Dolby Digital-HD.
Meanwhile Simonis is full of support and sympathy for the very people who give him his wages:
“The guys that bought the first Blu-ray players are the guys who bought the first laser discs. They know the risks.”
Yeah and without “those guys” (i.e. Playstation 3 users for example) you wouldn't have your big house and a big car. Whatever happened to respecting your customer?