ETA on profile 2.0 dedicated players?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by StooMonster, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    What's the ETA on profile 2.0 players, that are not a games console that doesn't accept IR controls?

    Moreover, when will we see Blu-ray players from mid- to high-end manufacturers? (e.g. Arcam, Meridian, etc.)

    StooMonster
     
  2. The_Munter

    The_Munter
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    it's the question on everyones lips
     
  3. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    Panasonic DMP-BD50 is due in the USA in mid-late spring. Full profile 2.0, full audio decoding, analogue output too.

    At least ONE of the new Sony players due sometime this year was advertised at CES of being BD-Live capable, so should also fit the bill.

    Pioneer have also hinted strongly that they too will have profile 2.0 this year.

    So, I suspect the summer will be busy so that all these players are ready and freely available for the 'holiday' season.

    As for Arcam, Meridian et. al., IMO the longer the format war drags on the longer we will have to wait. Why? take a look at the current 'dual' offerings from LG and Samsung. Despite predictions by many 12 months ago that dual players will quickly become the norm, the evidence points to them being horribly complex and difficult to integrate. Not at a physical level, but because the operating enviroments are completely different. Thus far the dual players offer the worst players on BOTH formats.

    With Toshiba now making HD-DVD players so cheap, there just cannot be any payback for the cost of developing you own in-house dual player.

    Which leaves only the single format player as a viable route at present. Which format do you pick though? Still not clear, therefore I can't see the high-end entering just yet. Of course if the new Denon's do well then that may make the decision over which way to go for them.
     
  4. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Will profile 2.0 players be upgradeable to profile 2.1? i.e. is there a specification component of 2.0 that handles upgrades? Or has room to maneuver for upgrades?

    Although I'm guessing that Blu-ray profiles will never have features the Playstation 3 console cannot support, so perhaps if dedicated players have similar features to PS3 they should always be upgradeable?

    Wouldn't want to be left with legacy hardware.

    StooMonster
     
  5. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    OK, my theory on profiles... ;)

    There were two routes to getting a hi-def player to market.
    1. Bung a pc in a box with some decent DSP circuitry to allow you to build a flexible platform that you can fully develop whilst content makers get to grips with the new world and SoC's catch up.
    2. Use a phased approach to get to full functionality as SoC products allow and increase in power and flexibility. Allow content makers to deliver functionality in said phases.
    HD-DVD chose 1, Blu-ray chose 2.

    Neither could do what they wanted, which was use nice tidy SoC solutions from day one. Both needed those to arrive. For Blu-ray because it would deliver full functionality, for HD-DVD because it would make machine production viable for more than Toshiba.

    The gamble was simple, go the Toshiba route, price aggressively and hope that you achieve enough market penetration to establish yourself ahead of the other. And the better spec may attract people in preference to Blu-ray because all features are there. Hope other manufacturers jump on board before Blu-ray gets fully functional.

    Go the Blu-ray route, most manufacturers can produce machines, cutting own profit throat not required, and build gradually to a scenario where you have a wide choice of players and manufacturers hoping that this will make the consumer feel safer and better supported. Hope that SoC arrives quickly so not too many people buy machines that are functionally deficient. In the meantime Sony promise to build the BD beach head through the PS3, which being a computer in a box can be upgraded as required to reach full functionality carefully timed to co-incide with other player releases

    Wind forwards to now...

    2008, SoC's starting to arrive, PS3 dominates HDM (who else is buying all those discs) BD player pipeline improving, some people buying profile 1.0 players, loads more worried about profiles...

    Toshiba still the only player in HD-DVD town, prices on the floor, no one else can yet afford to build players and HD-DVD is where it took DVD player prices many years to get to. SoC solutions way behind Toshiba's implementation. Cheap, cheap Toshiba players, unlikely similar CE's to Toshiba will get involved... where's the money? Panasonic, Sony etc can't offer HD-DVD players 2-3 times more expensive than Tosh as the public see them all on a similar level. Enthusiasts really want Denon's etc.

    HD media prices across BOTH formats still high and remarkably similar too... Anyone smell fish?

    So I don't think there will be anymore 'profile' changes. IF HD-DVD introduce TL51 and it's incompatible with existing hardware they might as well make Blu-ray players. If the BDA announce profile 2.1 no-one will ever buy any Blu-ray players en masse, just PS3's.

    By the time someone comes up with a decent use for online players on any format, none of todays players will have the needed spec so our players will all be obselete anyway.

    Tomorrows decent HD player will:
    • Play HD discs
    • Make managed copies to PC's
    • Stream HD content from PC's
    • Have a hard drive or have as much storage as one
    • Be able to act as a media centre extender (not necessarily MS's version)
    • Work with multiple content download providers for VoD
    • Be as quick as todays DVD players
    Not one of the players available or announced anywhere today will meet those specs, but this super player will still be able to play one of the two formats.

    Shall we call that Profile 10.0? :D

    I guess I've just listed the features of a PS3 or Xbox 360 :D
     
  6. Avi

    Avi
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    Mine works fine via a Pronto universal. There is a small IR receiver device (size of a small memory stick) that plugs into the USB port of the PS3 and provides control for Blu-ray playback fuctions/XMB navigation. :)

    AVI
     
  7. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Thanks Avi, still don't want that particular games console in my AV rack though (or an Xbox 360 for that matter).

    Would be tempted by a high end Blu-ray dedicated player though, as described and discussed above. Although because my DVD collection (even kiddie discs) is split 50:50 with Region 1 and Region 2 I think my trusty Arcam SDI mod DVD player is going to stick around.

    StooMonster
     
  8. Avi

    Avi
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    Not my first choice either. :) But that said I can't see it because it's enclosed in an AV storage system along side an SDI DVD trasnsport and other gear. The very sad thing is despite by dislike of Sony the PQ on the PS3 even on DVD is very good even compared to SDI into a VP on an 8 foot screen.

    I've also owned a Sony standalone BD player but retutned it. Once I got over my prejudice of it being a "sony " "games" console it is surprisingly decent as long as I can hide it away. ;)

    I will consider a high end player on merit when a finished spec product is released. I've paid too much money over the years based on brand alone and now want evidence. Guess I've become cynical with age.

    AVI
     
  9. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The problem for dual format players to date has been finding an SoC design that adequately supports both formats. As we know the hardware requirements for HD DVD are onerous compared to the likes of the Blu-ray lesser profiles. As we see more SoC designs supporting Blu-ray Profile 2.0 it should be alot easier to incorporate a HD DVD element. Whether HD DVD survives to warrant this remains to be seen - but the likes of Denon, Arcam and so forth will appreciate that it is their customers who have ultimately brought into both formats and so should be well motivated. It'll be another 18 months or so IMHO before we seen them.

    All things said and done though I doubt we'll see many high end companies enter the fray at this time. Take the example of the Denon - everything about it suggests it's a 'holding' model - no SACD/DVD-A, no HD DVD, no BD Profile 2.0, no ethernet etc. Regular Denon buyers will even see this in the model number. So I would also suggest that most high end companies strategy will hinge upon expensive products that owners will keep for years (i.e. when BD profile 2.0 arrives) as opposed to a model needing replacing 12 months later.
     
  10. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    I wish it were that straight forward... For example, the audio mixer... In Blu-ray it is a Java application, clearly in HD-DVD it is not. So, although in theory it's a common function, in practice implementing it as such is much harder. You could hand it off to a piece of silicon and effective API it within the JVM, but that makes your chipset implementation more bespoke for BOTH HD-DVD and Blu-ray. You then have the problem of which enviroment holds sway. Would you have both a Blu-ray and HD-DVD OS running in parallel as say VMWare machines, or do you boot and shutdown each one in turn each time the disc drawer is opened and closed?

    In actual fact, because of the lack of JVM, and the fact that TrueHD decoding will effectively be a common piece of code or easily offloaded to say a SHARC, as per early HD-DVD players, I would expect that BD has a more onerous CPU requirement than HDi, which is primarily script driven.

    It's this need to integrate in a way that allows switching between systems and cutting down on duplicated code that is probably hampering SoC development... The SoC vendors want to support both but are getting pulled in different directions.

    I honestly believe that unlike CD, DVD-A, DVD-V and SACD where all 4 formats are simple decode and play, and therefore very easy to write an OS for that can playback each, the new formats have not very much in common... How do you handle persistent storage? Two lots, shared? How do HD-DVD discs handle BD objects and vice versa, neither format spec will have the answers...

    Fair play to Samsung and LG for trying, but the progress they are making doesn't paint a pretty picture, especially when Samsung's standalones are actually half decent machines now...
     
  11. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I disagree - I think they are making steady progress towards resolution. And whilst I don't disagree with the issues you highlight, I do feel you're making a mountain out of a molehill even if the solution is for dual format machines to initially adopt a more open design than the traditional SoC design. Failing that seperate circuitry has been done before in many high end devices...
     
  12. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Are players from premium brands more likely to be region free, at least on DVD, than cheaper ones?

    If Blu-ray has Regions, that's just annoying -- i.e. I can't buy movies when I am in the USA, or get them cheaper via imports -- but can be accomodated going forward, sigh. It's the solid reinforcement of region encoding on DVD that gets my goat, as half my discs are Region 1 and the other half Region 2; and I realise this is with both HD optical disc formats.

    StooMonster
     
  13. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    Hard to tell I think. For me I suspect it's all wrapped up in the politics of the current situation. If all the BDA companies released BD players that easily bypassed DVD regions then I guess the DVD Forum (who control HD-DVD) would have an easy target. Likewise, Toshiba have been fairly consistent in obeying, although a hack has broken I see, as the DVD forum could hardly penalise BDA companies if Toshiba were also making easy DVD region free HD-DVD players.

    I would hope that once all the toys are collected up and put back in the prams then things will revert to how they've been for the last few years. Officially region coded, unofficially quite easily hackable.

    I guess it depends how long it all rumbles on for and how bitter it gets.
     
  14. seerm77

    seerm77
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    Any further update on this?

    Im not going to get a Blu-ray dedicated player till profile 2.0 comes out.
     
  15. scrapbook

    scrapbook
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    Panasonic BD50 seems to be the one and only at the moment. Expected here maybe later summer / autumn??
     
  16. Arthur Hucksake

    Arthur Hucksake
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    Maybe I read this wrong, but for the record HD DVD doesn't have form of region coding.

    I import all of my discs from the US no problem. The only trouble I get is with the SD DVD side of combo discs. The actual HD content is completely region free, and this is why I prefer it over BD.
     
  17. kingfats

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    Hi Arthur Hucksake :)
    Your right. :thumbsup:
     

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