Sony exec confirms PS3 will get Blu-ray Profile 1.1 this month
But only one, German disc uses the spec
Sony's PlayStation 3 will this month be updated to allow it to support Blu-ray Disc Profile 1.1 - the version of the optical disc spec that enables picture-in-picture.
The claim was made this week by senior Sony executive Don Eklund, who oversees Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's technology policy, including Blu-ray Disc support.
Eklund made the comment during the High-Def 2.0 conference held in Los Angeles, US trade title Home Media Magazine reports.
The firmware update will allow the PS3 to fully support discs like Germany's Neues vom Wixxer, believed to be the world's first BD to use Profile 1.1 features. Even the disc's producer, Imagion, admits there aren't an players in Europe capable of delivering these features, German-language site Heise Online reports.
In addition to picture-in-picture - used to enable video rather than audio-only commentaries, for example - Profile 1.1 adds support for secondary audio and video decoders. It requires a player to have at least 256MB of on-board memory.
All player shipped after 1 November are supposed to support Profile 1.1. That should mean all new PS3s, but with no discs to test it's not clear whether new consoles do. Whatever the case now, Eklund's comment indicates all PS3s soon will have the technology on board.
So too should Samsung's awaited BD-UP5000 dual-format player, which was launched back in September but has yet to hit the market. Samsung has said the machine will ship in the US this month.
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And this is why..
....i can't yet fully support BR as there are many other "standards" not yet standard that existing players may not be firmware upgradeable to handle.
This is the ace card that HD DVD holds, standard from the outset, the only possible flaw being HD51 discs, though there is no confirmation that they will or will not work on existing players....
I guess this was one way to artificially lower the price of early Blu-Ray players compared to HD-DVD.
Um....well actually PiP capability is/was part of both standards. PiP has been part of the BluRay standard since day 1 as well, but it was an *optional* part of the standard, players didn't *have* to support it, though they could if the manufacturer wanted to. The reason for BD Profile 1.1 is that PiP is no longer an optional component, and so all new BD players from November onwards must support it.
HD-DVD players manage the PiP trick using two audio/video decoder units in the player. BD Players that are PiP capable will in general use two decoders as well, though the PS3 has the processer power in the Cell to handle it in software instead. BD profile 1.1 simply mandates that manufacturers include this capability
Both BluRay and HD-DVD formats have supported PiP since day one, both standards included the capability. Few if any actual movies have offered PiP capability, so it was pretty much an irrelevant tick mark on the feature list.
BTW one interesting aspect of this is the fact that two data streams are decoded simultaneously. Two streams, each demanding some data bandwidth. BD players offer significantly more data bandwidth than HD-DVD players do. So truly BD players are in a better position to handle the playback of Pip and maintain picture quality. HD-DVD media that supports PiP will have to ensure that the encoding of the main feature and PiP elements are at low enough bit rates to stay within the bandwidth available to HD-DVD players. Otherwise consumers will experience frame drops, skips or freezing. Ick.
The 256MB local memory requirement is in the form of HDD or flash storage and is there to handle storage of media updates. PS3 will be fine, BD profile 2 requires 1GB of this kind of local storage, and PS3 will have no issues there either. The only other difference with Profile 2.0 compared to 1.1 is the requirement for an Internet connection. Again PS3 should have no issues. That said, I am still not convinced that having Internet connectivity on your HD-DVD or BluRay player is of any use to anyone except the manufacturer being able to sent firmware updates.
Re: Picture in Picture!!
"I remember watching a video commentary on Mallrats Special Edition.. (im pretty sure I did anyhow) and that was about 4+ years ago."
I'm hoping that was a video of Kevin Smith holding his head his hands, mumbling, muttering "what have I done?" and apologising through much of the movie.
@tim - PiP big deal
I own players for both formats and to be honest I really can't get that excited about PiP. I'd hardly call Blu-Ray an incomplete format just because Profile 1.0 doesn't support it. As far as I'm concerned I just want to watch the feature and that probably applies to 90% of folk.
As far as DRM restrictions are concerned, the sponsors for both formats will try to get away with as much DRM as is humanly possible so I'd hardly go choosing a format based on how much DRM is implemented.
Having now owned both a PS3 and now a Tosh EP30, for a while and watched films on both formats, in reality there isn't really any perceivable difference between the two formats for the majority of folks.