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First Blu-Ray Drives Won't Play Blu-Ray?
posted by: Chris Martin
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date posted: 02:02 PM Sun Aug 13th, 2006
last revision: 03:16 PM Mon Aug 14th, 2006

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Click to read.It\'s been all over GameTab.com, Kotaku, and EvilAvatar, and it\'s your news bulletin for today: At the \"Experience More 2006\" event in Sydney, Austrailia, Vincent Bautista, Sony\'s product manager for data storage told CNET.com.au yesterday that Sony\'s first Blu-Ray player on the market, \"BWU 100A,\" will be able to play (and I quote) \"User recorded high definition content from a digital camcorder, and not commercial movies released under the BD (Blu-Ray Disc} format.\"

But this is only half-correct, and supporters of Blu-Ray need not get upset about it. Let\'s look at the reasons behind the above statement and go from there.

There are two reasons Mr. Bautista gave:

First, CNET reports, \"commercial content is encrypted with High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), which can only be decrypted using a HDCP-compliant graphics card that offers DVI or HDMI connections. Since there are currently no PCs for sale offering graphics chips that support HDCP, this isn\'t yet possible.\"

There are, actually a few PCs that support Blu-Ray, however they are Sony made (their VAIO). It is also possible that these PCs just haven\'t been released in Australia yet, though with the internet, I find that hard to believe.

And second, CNET reports, \"BD playback software that can decrypt HDCP isn\'t \'released as a saleable item yet\'. Today, the only HDCP-supporting BD playback application is the OEM version of Intervideo WinDVD BD that\'s bundled with Sony\'s VAIO VGN-AR18GP notebook. The AR18GP also offers an HDCP-compliant HDMI connector, which makes it capable of playing commercial movies without issue.\"

This makes sense, as the software to play Blu-Ray movies isn\'t available in the current mainstream yet unless you pick up one of the few Sony PCs with the capabilities - or splurge on a new and fairly expensive video card.

So it\'s more-or-less a bumpkis report.

Keep in mind this is regarding the Australian release of Blu-Ray. Not the worldwide release. This isn\'t the first Blu-Ray player on the market, the Pioneer BDR-101A is the first PC Blu-Ray drive, but this Sony model it is the first Blu-Ray drive to make it to Australia.

Blu-Ray is stumbling in Australia, that\'s about it. It\'s not doing that great in the States or in Europe either, but it might be because they retail for around $1000 USD. It\'s far too early to condemn the Blu-Ray over these missteps, but it\'s most certainly not good press for Sony\'s new baby.

I\'m just going to leave it at that today. Have a great Sunday!

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