Best Blu-ray DVD player? The future proof PS3.

Now that it looks like HD-DVD is in for a slow death some of you may be wondering which of the various Blu-ray players is the best one to buy. According to the folks at ArsTechnica.com you should seriously consider Sony’s PS3:

New Blu-ray 2.0 spec makes PS3 the most future-proof player – ArsTechnica.com

Before we can understand why the PlayStation 3 is able to so easily deal with new profiles, we must first look at the difference between the 1.0, 1.1, and 2.0 profiles to see why a simple firmware update isn’t enough to make a player compliant.

  • 1.0 is the launch profile, and secondary audio and video decoders are optional, as is local storage and network connectivity. The majority of standalone players fit into this category.
  • 1.1 is the newer profile, and to take advantage of these discs, players need a secondary audio and video decoder to handle picture-in-picture, as well as at least 256MB of local storage for content.
  • 2.0 is the profile of the future, requiring the two secondary decoders, 1GB of local storage for updates and content, and an Internet connection.

HD DVD players have included networking as standard since the beginning, but Blu-ray has not, and the evolving standard may become a large problem for early adopters. The 2.0 profile actually changes the minimum requirements for full compatibility. In other words, there is only one player currently on the market that will be 2.0 compatible: the PlayStation 3, which, with its upgradeable hard drive, Ethernet port, and powerful graphics capabilities, will be able to adapt to any and all future updates. This is quite the slap in the face to consumers who paid several hundred dollars for players that won’t be to be updated to take advantage of the 1.1 profile, much less the upcoming 2.0

Of course this only really matters if you give a shit about having the extra features that the 1.1 and 2.0 profiles bring with them. The Internet connectivity of profile 2.0 seems like another PR gimmick more than anything else. There have been interactive DVDs for ages now that would connect to the Internet and download all sorts of extra stuff when you played them on your PC, but how many folks really take advantage of that feature? I think I did it once just to see what all the hype was about and the extra content was less than overwhelming. So much so that I’ve never felt the need to try it on any of the other DVD’s I own with that ability. From what I’ve seen of the plans for this feature in profile 2.0 I’m not at all certain I’d ever make use of it. I suppose it’s always possible they’ll come up with new uses that might make it worth checking out, but so far I’m not worried about it.

Then there’s the Picture-in-Picture feature in profile 1.1 that looks like it’ll be used to do pop-up style commentaries or bonus footage of how a scene was filmed while you’re playing the movie and I imagine there are folks out there who will find that useful, but I’ve never been one much for interrupting a movie I’m watching for that sort of thing. I generally go back later and watch that stuff separately so even if the PS3 didn’t support it it wouldn’t be a big deal to me. Again, it’s not a deal breaker in my book.

Still if you’re the sort who wants to have all the bells and whistles then the PS3 is probably the best Blu-ray player to consider as upgrades are just a firmware update away. I’d tend to think that so long as the early adopter’s 1.0 profile machines continue to playback Blu-ray discs just fine, and there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t, then the omission of the extra bells and whistles of profile 2.0 won’t be a big deal for most of them. Of course the other bonus to buying a PS3 for Blu-ray is it just happens to be a pretty kick-ass game console and media hub as well.

21 thoughts on “Best Blu-ray DVD player? The future proof PS3.

  1. thx for the info pal , but i have a complain against u and ur writings as they are too good and too addictive. i found ur site 12 ours ago and i ev been in ur archive since then , your articles are like heroin so considering that i have to pass 5 juicy courses this semester am gana have to slow down on ur drug.

  2. Geez man, you’re in school and STILL using very outdated cell speak on a public forum? Shame, just shame.

    Anyways.

    PS3 has always been the best option. It has been by far the cheapest and it was obvious since the beginning that it would be upgradeable. HD-DVD actually might have had a chance if MS integrated the HD-DVD player into the 360 from the start. Charging $180 for an HD-DVD drive that ONLY plays movies (never will be used for games) was plain stupid.

  3. I apologize for my an appropriate expressions moloch but I was truly attracted by the simple common language the writer was using in the first place and this out dated cell expressions is what made his articles way different from my black suite professors and their fancy linguistic expressions , Les is from the dudes to any way , I just met a person who could turn a ps3 (after many adjustments)into a pc while kept the ability to switch back at any time (he used 1 extra processor and few circuits) , he will be publishing his work next week so ill link a comment to it.
    With such a mechanism you can enjoy both of the great abilities of ps3 as a DVD player and pc as DVD player, in other words your DVD technology will never get outdated unless they modify the disc structure.

  4. Les is a Liberal Independent and this blog is a virtual property of his so i think he would grant me the liberty to use u and ur and not use capitalization, don’t u think so lol….

  5. I know he will, but it makes you look like a kid in middle school when you use cell speak on a forum. Nearly every cell phone sold for quite some time now has a qwerty keypad.

    It doesn’t take more than a split second to type you or your (or you’re) instead of u or ur. It’s a sign of laziness and immaturity to use cell speak.

  6. when was the last time you tried to read Shakespeare original writings, it was so linguistically complicated that we nowadays need around a day to understand a page of it, it is obvious that languages through out times always look forward to have more simplicity and accuracy, take computers for example their language is so simple that it is made of only 2 characters 0 and 1
    So 2100 is 100000110100 and 100000110100 can’t mean any thing else but 2100 while in the good old English you can say twenty one hundred or two thousands one hundred or you can say two one zero zero.
    In my case ‘’u’’ can’t mean anything in this cell language but ‘’you’’ and time in the 21st century cost money so it’s obvious you are being modern by using these expressions.
    This why Asians stopped writing from up to down and mathematicians used symbols instead of English and these people weren’t lazy or immature.

  7. Ive been keeping up with your posts on the bluray/hddvd war as best I can Les, and unless ive missed something you have yet to hit on the largest film industry, the adult video.  I ran across something the other day that said they were running into opposition (though unofficially) when attempting to get their movies mass produced and released on bluray.

  8. I hate it when I agree with Moloch, but in this case he’s right.

    Anyone who can’t bother to use a full word when they obviously have time to type ‘mathematician’ is at the very least showing off a lazy, undisciplined thought process better suited for flipping burgers and ringing up shoe sales than conversation.

  9. mistermook , the Americans adopted the word fridge instead of refrigerator and car instead of auto mobile but still they weren’t lazy , this why we say ram instead of random access memory and TV instead of television , ‘u’ and ‘ur’ might look really easier to write full for some one who wrote ‘mathematician’ but the big picture you need to see is how many times would you use the word ‘u’ in 1 page passage and how many times would you use the word ‘mathematician’ in the same passage.
    But any way since English isn’t my native language so I have no right to modify it and my cell language is annoying too many people ill just get ride of it for the greater good.
    Moloch you won man, no more u or ur.

  10. when was the last time you tried to read Shakespeare original writings

    Ok- it was a few years ago that I last read it, but I did go and see ‘The Tempest’ last year.

    it was so linguistically complicated that we nowadays need around a day to understand a page of it

    No.  OK so if it was THE original then the handwriting might defeat me, but ‘Standard Texts’ tend to be close to the original- the biggest differences are often because they are culled from 2 or 3 different versions of what survives.

  11. Having never read any Shakespeare I always thought it was pretentious crap. Recently A TV show convinced me to try and I actually found it was something I could enjoy. Guess I was less open-minded than I thought.

    And no, I didn’t find it much more difficult to understand than Lord of the Rings. Although I’m not too sure how close to the original my copy is.

  12. Guys you are reading the text after being transformed to the modern English ,believe me to read the original text a native English speaker needs hours and a dictionary , there are whole different words and formations but any way i gave up why are discussing this.

  13. M.wael.  Please be clear- these are not in anyway ‘translated’ into any form of modern English from an unreadable form.  They have done ‘modern’ versions, are you possibly confusing the two.  The originals have been ‘cleaned up’ a little to make them readable- Will’s spelling, like much of the spelling of period could be a little haphazard- he spelt his own surname FOUR different ways- but the text we have would be recognised by Shakespeare as his own.  Is it possible that you are being confused by some of the archaic words- translations for these are usually provided with school texts in footnotes or similar.

    Works such as Chaucer from 300 years previously are harder to understand, as that is the point where ‘modern English’ begins to appear, but these are still readable- though I find it easier to listen to my self speak them, as it comes out in a ‘Geordie’ (Newcastle) accent.

    If you have a link to show that Shakespeare’s language was completely different, then I would be very interested.

  14. There are very few words in English out there, not in Old English, not even in many English lend-words, that I don’t find myself fairly comfortable with. As far as understandable goes, Shakespeare is often easier going than Kipling or Joyce. It’s certainly simpler than Eliot.

    Spenser’s Faerie Queene predates the life of Shakespeare by a hundred years. It’s also not particularly difficult to read for an advised modern reader:

    But on his brest a bloudie Crosse he bore,
      The deare remembrance of his dying Lord,
      For whose sweete sake that glorious badge he wore,
      And dead as liuing euer him ador’d:

    The thing is, it’s a trap for the modern English speaker to assume that since a person can read such a thing that a modern writer can safely ignore several hundred years worth of formalization in the language at their own leisure. While it’s true that English is still often haphazard in structure compared to many other languages, it is not without its nuances in how those hazards happen (just to provide an implicit example).

    In any case, even honestly found Old English isn’t as much of an impediment to many native English speakers as you’re imagining. The sentence structures are mostly the same, the words are similar to the ear, and even the German and French isn’t often so bizarre that you can’t figure it out. Honestly? I often have more difficulty reading accounts of sailing vessels: I’m not a sailor of any sort, much less one accommodating the technical vocabulary of reference to fully appreciate the differences between a palm, bill, and crown on an anchor.

    I’ve heard that most Greeks don’t have much difficulty reading Attic Greek, or Koine, which predate modern Greek by several more centuries of linguistic change than you’re imagining for English. Why should anyone imagine that anyone would have much difficulty with a younger language?

    To be fair: I know a number of people who would have difficulty with comprehending Old English and older English spelling forms. They’re normally the same people who would have trouble spelling and understanding modern English though, people of limited education or experience reading. Unfortunately, given everything else we’ve seen, certain assumptions are probably going to be made.

  15. m.wael alkel, you’re welcome to type in whatever fashion you wish, but it’s definitely harder to take you seriously when you use txting instead of just spelling things out. On a cellphone the abbreviated language is understandable if only because the lack of an actual keyboard on most phones makes it a time saver, and that’s part of why I don’t txt on cellphones, but I’ll have an easier time of following what you have to say if you avoid it. Still, it’s your choice on how you wish to present yourself.

    bengiman writes…

    Ive been keeping up with your posts on the bluray/hddvd war as best I can Les, and unless ive missed something you have yet to hit on the largest film industry, the adult video.  I ran across something the other day that said they were running into opposition (though unofficially) when attempting to get their movies mass produced and released on bluray.

    Word has it there was some initial opposition to letting the porn producers put out—so to speak—on the Blu-ray format, but that has changed:

    AVN 2008: No more Porn on HD DVD? – I4U News

    What a difference a year makes. At the AVN 2007, we ran a story titled No Porn on Blu-ray?. Today, Prominent adult movie producer Digital Playground says that they plan to stop releasing porn on HD DVD probably by the end of 2008.

    The statement was made by Joone the founder of Digital Playground in an interview with German Heise. Joone names two reasons for the planned drop of HD DVD. The first reason is the decision of Warner to switch to Blu-ray.

    The second reason is that the Blu-ray titles released by Digital Playground outsell the HD DVD titles by a big margin.

    So it looks like you’ll be able to watch your porn in HD glory on your PS3 or other Blu-ray player after all. Though with some of the closeups they do I’m not entirely sure I’d want that kind of crystal clarity. Sometimes there’s an upside to blurry video.

  16. Les: There have been interactive DVDs for ages now that would connect to the Internet and download all sorts of extra stuff when you played them on your PC, but how many folks really take advantage of that feature? … I suppose it’s always possible they’ll come up with new uses that might make it worth checking out, but so far I’m not worried about it.

    Les, the internet connection isn’t for downloading extras.  It allows the studios to release DIVX-style, pay-per-play discs.

    I must admit, it’s fascinating to watch the “freethinking” crowd at slashdot gloat over HD-DVD’s demise.  Their anti-Microsoft instincts completely override what would otherwise be a no-brain decision for them:

    1. Region coding: BluRay has it, HD doesn’t.

    2. DRM: BluRay requires DRM for mass-produced content.  It’s in the license agreements.  Independent studios are not able to release a non-DRM’ed BluRay disc, even if they wnat to.

    3. DRM II: Also, HD-DVD’s DRM has been broken and BluRay’s hasn’t.

    4. Format shifting: HD-DVD has required player features which allow you to format-shift discs.  BluRay players have no such ability.  Obviously the studios would prefer to sell you 4 copies of the same movie, rather than letting you buy the HD-DVD and transcode it to work on your laptop, cellphone, iPod, etc.

    In short, HD-DVD should be the geek’s clear choice.  I think if Microsoft were selling the cure for cancer, linux types would find a reason not to buy it..

    As for me, I don’t even have a high-def TV, so niether format would do me much good.

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