Do Consumers Care About Blu-Ray V2.0 Format?

New features and interactivity, but do we care?

Blu-ray goes interactive for 2008, but do consumers care?

“With Blu-ray Profile 2.0 bringing Internet connectivity to all future players, the format is looking at interactivity to convince customers to make the switch. Blu-ray’s focus on interactive features is also a response to HD DVD, which has long offered advanced Web-enabled capabilities through the format’s HDi layer. ‘Now we’re ready for the next phase: the phase to really fulfill the promise of Blu-ray technology. That’s really to start to develop the interactivity,’ said David Bishop, President Worldwide for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, during Monday’s Blu-ray press conference. ‘We’ll really get the chance to use our creative juices moving forward. You’ll see multiplayer gaming, ringtones that can be delivered to the consumer.’ Instead of Microsoft-developed HDi, Blu-ray opted to use a Java-based technology known as BD-J. BD Live, the term used for the Internet-capable interactive features that will be added to movies, is essentially a set of Java components that interact with the BD-J layer that exists in the hardware players. Because it chose a Java-based technology, Blu-ray has some distinct advantages over HD DVD. For example, the format can make use of a myriad of existing Java components and even add new functionality over time. But the blessing is also a curse, as BD-J is still in flux and the differing implementations in many existing Blu-ray players have quirks and bugs that developers must work around. By contrast HDi is precisely defined, although that makes it inherently more limited.”

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