BD-Live

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Van Ling, Jul 24, 2008.

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  1. Van Ling

    Van Ling Insider
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    Another question for the forum:

    What do you think of BD-Live?

    This is supposed to be one of the hot new things about BD to try to sell the format... but is it just a gimmick to HTF vets? Can you see any actual use for internet connectivity from a BD player or disc?

    What would make this capability of the format worthwhile? Downloading new special features? Some kind of live chats/commentaries with filmmakers? Amazon-style recommendations of other titles? Online gaming related to the film? Anything?

    The response I usually get from HT folks is "we don't care about any of that stuff... just give us the movie presented in highest bitrate and lossless audio"... that's a given. But the reality is that presentation quality is not enough to recommend the format when we live in an age where low-rez convenience (like YouTube) trumps costly high quality.Thus, content creators do have to consider bells and whistles beyond the core film presentation. So what else is of interest to you as BD users, or would get you interested in the format?

    V
     
  2. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Hmmm... I don't know about trying to use it to appeal to traditional HT folks, but the studios might do well to try to use it to appeal to more common folks instead.

    Consider the YouTube, MySpace, AOL, Web on TV, etc. phenomenon (that were once limited to text only BBS/forums/newsgroups). The general public apparently like communing w/ others (particularly on common interests) over the net in ways convenient/workable to them. But so far, there hasn't been one big killer app for this wrt the cinema. Finding workable ways to link people together for the in-home movie-going experience, including chat and such, might well end up being a great selling point for BD-Live (and thus BD over what has been done before). And it doesn't necessarily need to be a very fancy-looking feature either -- at least not for starter. Of course, you'll still have to somehow convince the general public to get their BD players networked for this to get anywhere, but seems like plenty of folks are setting up home networks w/ broadband access these days.

    For myself, I sometimes would love to also have instant access to additional info like can be found on IMDB.com (or right here on HTF). But yeah, it'd be nice to be able to download additional extras that could not feasibly be included on the disc for whatever reasons -- certainly would make more use of the drive space on my PS3. [​IMG]

    _Man_
     
  3. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    I remember when sony did a live comentary track for the spidey 1 movie which featured toby maguire talking about the movie. he was joined by jk simmons. I think if you could do more of that.. that would be cool. it would probably be eaiser to do with the internet connection on the player.

    Jacob
     
  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Here's the one thing that I've thought of that the connectivity might be cool(-ish) for, really.

    Sometimes you love to chat with a friend about the DVD you're watching together...which is fine if you're sitting on the same couch together. But what if you're in two different places?

    I'd love to take my bluetooth earpiece - the one that I use for my cellphone anyway - and stick it on my ear while I'm watching a film, connect to my PS3 with it, and use voice-over-IP abilities to chat with my buddie Gord in Canada while we watch the same Blu-ray together at the same time. You know, compare notes and bond over "did you f'ing see THAT!" moments. Without having to spend money on the long distance bill. [​IMG]

    I wouldn't care to do it as a text chat, because that means I'd be glancing at a keyboard now and then to make sure I'm typing stuff correctly enough, and so my eyes would be off the screen...no way. Voice all the way.


    One possible BD-Live feature that folks would probably love, but the studio would likely never agree to (copyright issues), is the ability to take a snapshot of a cool-looking screen and use BD-Live to send it to a friend to show it off. Yeah, it would probably get used mostly for sex scenes, but then again that might be the killer app right there for BD-Live. [​IMG]


    Yeah, that's the problem, and I'm guessing this is why you're asking this question to the forum: it's really hard to figure out exactly what that killer app for internet connectivity of a home video disc really IS.
     
  5. Brian Price

    Brian Price Stunt Coordinator

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    Good question Van. I think the BD Live feature could bring in the "Non-Hardcore HT" folks who don't care about lossless this and bit rate that.

    I think BD Live should give the users access to special content only available for those with a BD Live enabled disc. For example: Let's say Batman Begins came out BD Live enabled. Perhaps you could have a feature that allows the users to view behind the scenes interviews, etc. of the new move The Dark Knight. Maybe make it available for 30 days for only BD Live folks before it's made available to others.

    Another thought. Have a promotional contest where people make their own "you tube" type of funny video related to the movie, i.e. similar to "Chad Vader". They then submit it electronically and the studio reviews them and makes sure they aren't offensive then picks a winner and gives them a prize then they make the top 5 user submitted clips available to see via BD Live on the disc.

    Just a few random thoughts.

    Brian
     
  6. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The best possible use of BD-Live would be to keep someone's BD copy of a film "evergreen" in terms of the supplements. In other words, if additional supplements are developed for a double dip edition in the future, owners of the older version can download the added commentaries/featurettes/whatnot to their player. This is consumer-friendly and a value-added proposition that anyone could appreciate.

    Using it to download supplements that were left off due to disc space or time constraints would be alright, but it would always be prefereable to have the stuff on-disc if possible.

    I do not know if I would have time for games, wiki-community features, or more exotic stuff like that, but that may just be because noone has implemented anything like this that is especially cool yet. [​IMG]

    Regards,
     
  7. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    The biggest thing that the studios need to work on in regards to BD-Live is the speed. I only have 3 BD-Live titles, but it takes at least 5 minutes to connect with Sony's BD-Live server.

    Since most commentary tracks on new releases are recorded just before the theatrical release these days, I'd like to download or stream more updated commentaries from those involved in the production that perhaps touch more on how the film was received by audiences, etc.

    If the film is part of a franchise, access to exclusive features promoting the upcoming sequel. I know Lucasfilm tried something similar with the Star Wars and Indiana Jones DVDs, but it was DVD-Rom and PC-based, and required a registration key.
     
  8. Merrick Gearing

    Merrick Gearing Stunt Coordinator

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    I see little value in BD-Live.
     
  9. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Van,
    HD DVD had a similar feature, implemented very well on the Transformers disc released by Paramount. One could download short videos and it also included an interactive onscreen thingie that ran along with the movie and showed a gps map of where the characters were, "bios" of the individual robots with "health points" running down as they sustained damage during battle sequences, etc. Some Warner discs had online polls so one could voice one's opinion on which movies should receive HD releases in the future.

    I'd suggest that if you want an idea of what BD live would add to the movie experience you might want to try a copy of the HD DVD version of Transformers on a web-connected player.

    BD so far hasn't come up with anything nearly as cool on BD live, nor is their PIP feature as slick as HD DVD's was, but this is coming--apparently these things are harder to encode using Java than they were with HD DVD. An exception to the PIP disparity is Universal's recent release of Doomsday with a "U-control" PIP feature that actually works much more slickly than the HD DVD counterpart--but then I'm using a PS3 for a BD player so that might be part of the disparity.

    Since the average consumer is more than happy with ordinary DVD pq and probably has no interest in the advanced audio formats I sincerely beleive
    that things like Twin View and BD Live are legitimate selling points, and since BD live doesn't really take any significant space on the disc it won't lead to any aq or pq sacrifice for us purists.
     
  10. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Steve,

    I haven't tried the Transformers HDD (and don't know the details about its production), so I could be wrong, but most of those features (other than the video downloads) don't sound like they're internet-based features and shouldn't need BD-Live, no?

    As for BD-J features in general, it seems like a lot of sci-fi/fantasy films (among others) could make appealing use of them to varying degrees. I finally got around to watching the Spiderwick Chronicles BD recently and thought the Bonus View feature on it (w/ info popups) to be appealing enough (for offering clearer details and background info for various characters, items, etc. in the film). No, it's certainly not a big deal to me personally -- and I wouldn't really want to watch the entire film w/ it turned on -- but my kids thought it was pretty cool (and helpful in filling out certain details in the movie) in their repeat viewings.

    So yeah, I too can imagine that all these extra features capabilities can be put to good use for appealing to the masses (more so than traditional cinephiles). As long as the PQ/AQ of the film itself is not compromised, it all sounds good to me...

    _Man_
     
  11. Van Ling

    Van Ling Insider
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    Steve, I did indeed see the HD-DVD of Transformers when it came out. Thre was some cool stuff there, but I think the video download thing was more demonstration of a technology than a compelling bit of content... the five-second video downloads were kind of simple filler gags. I don't think we've seen the potential of the concept yet. The robot status feature was cool, but again it was cool for cool's sake and didn't really tell you anything interesting. But it was a great disc overall and a good demonstration of bells and whistles, even if the tune doesn't stick in your head... ;-)

    V
     
  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Bottom line for me: Interactivity is a solution in search of a problem.

    It adds overhead that is rarely warranted
    It makes getting to the content you WANT to get to harder
    It makes the DRM wrappers harder to circumvent for Fair Use needs
    It makes archiving harder
    It adds a $$$ pipeline back to the studio
    It adds privacy issues when tied to user accounts and ip tracking
    It slows down initial disk access in many cases

    And this is just off the top of my head for a guy who LIKES technology for technologies sake.

    Sam
     
  13. Bryan

    Bryan Stunt Coordinator

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    I would think would be the best reason to have this feature. But there would always be a need for whomever hosts the information to keep it available and accessible... forever?

    But then that would stop the studios from releasing an S.E. of the movie therefore depriving them of revenue from those that double dip because now there's three more interviews and never-before-seen-footage.

    Maybe this feature would be "cooler" for us if there was a way to integrate any never-before-seen-footage directly into the movie. Like download it to a hard drive in the player or an external drive before watching the movie and then integrate it into the move as needed while we're watching it.
     
  14. Jeff Brooks

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    I have to be honest and say I don't see the value in it right now, particularly since, with my PS3 and slow internet connection, I do not have the patience to wait for it to come up!
    I know that when I invest the money in the disc or discs, I like everything to be right there for me.
    Now, if it was faster, and brought material down to my hard drive that could be referenced the next time the disc was used without downloading again-that might be good.
     
  15. Van Ling

    Van Ling Insider
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    Jeff, the sad truth is that the PS3 is probably the fastest and best Blu-ray player out there today, so getting a faster internet connection would help... and there are several discs today that do exactly what you mentioned, which is download material that can be stored on your PS3's internal hard drive to be referenced by the disc without additional downloading. Sony's and Disney's newer titles are trying to push that envelope, but for them it's mostly about adding user-generated content at the moment. They need to let somebody --like me, perhaps-- design and create additional content that is about the film and in sync with the film and that isn't just the ability to upload videos and photos to the web and then download them via BD-Live and paste them over the film. Although this opens the door for viewer commentary, and the "Starship Troopers 3: Marauder" BD-Live gag of putting your own face on a soldier and have it slide through frame like a Gilliam cutout can be pretty amusing the first few times you do it to friends whose photos you use... ;-)

    V
     
  16. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    The only good thing I can think of is downloading Rifftrax.
     
  17. Paul Landsmeer

    Paul Landsmeer Auditioning

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    "What do you think of BD-Live?"

    I think the term 'BD-Live' is unfortunate, as it seems to limit the BD internet features to realtime events, thus ignoring other, potentially more interesting uses of BD's internet connectivity. I would have preferred a term like 'BD-Interactive' instead, or 'BD-Online'.

    "Can you see any actual use for internet connectivity from a BD player or disc?"

    Yes I can, but not as a platform to mimick standard internet features (e.g. chatting, downloading).

    Anything that can be put on a disc should be included and should not be held back for later downloading (at a premium, probably). I like to buy my BD's as a total package, preferably with a lot of additional content for those titles that justify such extra's. However, once I've bought the disc, I do not want to spend any more money on it, so will probably only download for free. Even then, the actual need to download would leave the impression that the studio did a poor job by not including it on the disc in the first place, as is common use since the DVD era. Hence, from a consumer perspective, I can't see such a model work.

    Chatting during a film is something I will never do. This may appeal to younger audiences, but even then it seems destined to be a gimmick that quickly loses its appeal, also given the logistical hassle involved (all parties need to have a copy, they have to be ready to watch at the exact same time, etc). Live chats with cast and crew might be interesting, depending on the moderation of course, but I would still consider that a poor substitute for a good audio/PiP commentary.

    What I can imagine working is a concept in which the BD internet features are used to offer me a more personalized experience, while also embedding that experience into my existing virtual internet reality. In order to enable that, one or more profiles are stored on the internet which are accessed depending on the BD title involved.

    For example, let's say I'm going to watch the T2 BD.

    As soon as I start the disc, my online profile is retrieved and I'm welcomed personally. If it is my first viewing, an introduction is played. If it is a second or consequent viewing, I'm welcomed back and the day and date of my last viewing is shown, as well as the total number of viewings. If it happens to be my birthday, I get a special birthday wish. This should all be done within the 'style' of the movie (so the T2 font, etc.). Also, if it's a particular season in my area (winter, summer, Christmas, Easter, etc.) the menu's theme could adjust accordingly.

    In this case, let's pretend it is my first viewing. After the welcome, I am asked whether I'd like to automatically add the T2 BD to the DVD/BD collection database that I manage online (in case I bought it) or not (in case I rented it). Afterwards, I'll be asked to rate the movie, both for my database as well as for my IMDB account, with the results being processed in realtime.

    While watching the movie, I can opt to have important news flashes be displayed on my screen, or have a ticker tape run constantly. Again, these should all be done in the movie's style, so as to be integrated perfectly. Through my profile, which is accessible online, I can determine beforehand if I'd like to receive newsflashes (if not, I'm not asked when starting the BD) and if so, what type (breaking news, sport results, etc).

    If so desired, I can also opt to have the BD display personalized movie trivia.
    Based on the contents of my profile, trivia is selected that relates to my country, city, street, surname, birthplace, etc. If a scene has been filmed two blocks from where I live, a message will be displayed as soon as that scene comes up. If available, on-set clips of that scene being filmed are shown in a PiP format, or an audio sample is played of cast and/or crew recollecting filming that sequence.

    I could go on and on, but you get the general idea. The way I see it, internet connectivity should help transform watching BD's into a more personal, interactive experience, while simultaneously expanding my virtual internet presence in an interactive way that is easy to use.
     
  18. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Cinematographer

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    The logistics wouldn't be an issue if the BD-Live option can sync with others using it, so everyone's discs begin at the same time, and the chat (like the HTF chats) could be scheduled.

    I for one, would welcome the opportunity to have a live chat with other HTF members as we provide commentary for a particular film, because there have been many wonderful threads here that demonstrated the passion people have for the subject (Titanic, The Dark Knight, Star Wars) , and to actually speak rather than type our words could personalize it, and make it more enjoyable.
     
  19. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    internet chatting can already be done with mediums prior to BD. think of the kidz in the theaters watching the movie live... they are already texting on their cellphones. i don't find ADD attractive while watching a film.

    all i want is high quality clean master video and lossless audio. is that so hard to ask for? =P. as far as i'm concerned i don't mind renting extras at a nominal cost. how many people really watch the extras more than once, more than 10x? besides most extra/bonuses are just marketing/PR fluff soundbites and do not have substances like the beginning in ur episode I disc or Blade Runner's Dangerou Days.

    all of the things BDJ is trying to accomplish can already be done with a laptop/PC in the same room as the movie room if that's what they really want to do. BD-J is just simply useless.

    and if u want to stream video/special across the internet to the player, make it H.264 1080p24. nothing less than perfect, otherwise, just put it on youtube and we can use PCs to view it.

    PS remember The Matrix SD DVD? it's got a thing similar to BDJ where u can go online and access philosophy papers, scripts while u r watching the film itself and so on. if u try the same disc now, there's nothing on the web anymore. WB doesn't maintain it anymore. i think the same will happen. 10-15 years from now when BDs are still around, there's no point to the BDJ. maybe the next format will takeover, maybe star trek's TNG holodecks will become reality and no1 will watch 2D films anymore [​IMG].
     

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