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Sony exec confirms PS3 will get Blu-ray Profile 1.1 this month

But only one, German disc uses the spec

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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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