When will the BluRay firmware updates be over?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Will_B, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    A serious question here, prompted by my trying to encourage people to buy BluRay.

    My question is, does anyone know if there is a planned deadline for when all the specs for BluRay will be completed, and no further firmware updates will be required? Surely it cannot go on and on.

    At some point, there won't be new features added, yes? At some point, BluRay authoring software will be certified as properly authoring fully compatible titles, yes? Does the BluRay alliance have a target date for either of these?
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Probably never—after all many manufacturers are still trying to comply with all the latest bells and whistles. And of course those putting out the specs for Blu-Ray are the manufacturers themselves (mostly), who want new features so that they can sell new products. Finally, the products occasionally are found to have minor defects that can be corrected by firmware upgrades.

    To restate—I expect that firmware upgrades will continue until Blu-Ray is pretty much obsolete.
     
  3. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    So.. what you are saying is another 3 years of firmware upgrades [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Alon
     
  4. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    HD-DVD still got firmware updates several months after it was declared dead. I'm guessing that firmware updates will never cease for Blu-Ray, nor should they. Heck, I'm still getting firmware updates for some PC hardware which is over 5 years old.
     
  5. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I'd rather keep getting firmware upgrades than have to buy a new player. I just got a Blu-Ray player for Christmas but I STILL don't have an HDTV to hook it up to yet- hopefully in just a couple more months. It wasn't BD-Live ready but a firmware upgrade took care of that, now it's going into a cabinet until I get a suitable TV. I was going to wait to buy one since I REALLY want 3-D capability if that ever gets off the ground, so hopefully they'll put out whatever upgrades are needed for this one. If not, I guess it won't hurt to have 2, I've got so many regular DVD players I stopped counting.
     
  6. Rhoq

    Rhoq Supporting Actor

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    I don't think firmware updates will ever stop because of compatibility issues stemming from the always-changing copyright protection.
     
  7. Shakey67

    Shakey67 Auditioning

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    Exactly. Which is why it will be some time before BR attains the ubiquity of standard DVDs. Try telling your parents that if they bought a BR player, they could pop a BR disc into it and see a message telling them that it won't play until they get a firmware upgrade. That will be the end of that discussion. People who are afraid of technology, people who have no internet connection, people who buy players that cannot be connected to the internet, or any combo platter of the above: an entire generation of Americans will have to effectively disappear and make way for a generation that has no problem with these matters. Neither of my parents have the internet in their homes. My mother had to get a converter box for her TV for the impending digital transition. And a recently retired co-worker has NEVER had a DVD player, and has zero interest in getting one. Hell, she only bought a CD player five years ago! As long as firmware upgrades are a necessity, there will be people around who will wash their hands of the whole thing.
     
  8. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I have an LG BD300. Just got a firmware update that gives YouTube access. Aside from the old "hunt and peck letters with the cursor" search method, it works flawlessly. I for one hope LG gives more firmware updates like this one. I now have Netflix streaming (which works pretty good, almost DVD quality) and YouTube streaming. Keeping my fingers crossed for Hulu streaming access, then I'll be in heaven.
     
  9. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    Never.
     
  10. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Once the format is died and been replaced.
     
  11. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Don't be so sure... Toshiba is still sending out the occasional HD-DVD update. [​IMG]
     
  12. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

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    I have a first gen Sony with no internet connection. They did an update at Ultimate Electronics when I bought it (in September-ish) and have had no problems playing anything. But, I also could care less about BD Live and online special features. As long as my movie plays I'm fine.
     
  13. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    I would say that there is a chance they may never be over. The days of just buying something off the shelf and it working no matter what are over. Welcome to the wonderful world of technology where just like pc's firmware updates will now be the norm! So from now on I would expect to have to update firmware on almost any peice of technology that you buy in the future.
     
  14. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    Can you imagine the day you have to update the firmware on your toaster?
     
  15. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    Aren't upgrades a good thing? They are fixing problems or adding features- do you want them not to do that?
     
  16. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Chris, I am fine with it for myself, but imagine places where there are no techies, and all the users know is that some of their movies play and some don't. Imagine an airline installs BluRay players on their entire fleet of planes, and then there's stewardresses trying to figure out where to stick the usb key. Or hospitals, or old-age homes, etc. Or even the homes of people who simply don't even know what model player they own, let alone have any concept of what firmware is.
     
  17. Sanjay Gupta

    Sanjay Gupta Supporting Actor

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    I think that frequency of firmware updates will keep reducing almost to the pint of not having any after a while, but this will be totally hardware related. Basically when a new player comes out there will be firmware updates and then as the hardware becomes more mature the updates will stop or reduce to the minimum. Take for example the PS3, I don't think there has been a firmware update related to Blu-ray playability in a long time and personally I have yet to come accross a single Blu-ray title that has any problems playing on the PS3.
     
  18. jammer

    jammer Auditioning

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    I'm getting fed up with this upgrade business. My first-generation Sony proved sluggish and full of bugs even after an upgrade. But when Quantum of Solace arrived, it refused to play the title at all.
    So I went out on the weekend and purchased the latest model the Sony BD-S550. Imagine my surprise when I got home, hooked it up, and found that while it played the Bond film, an old bug surfaced...it would not resume play. Hit stop and you lose your place...the machine resets to the beginning.
    Sony tech support informed me the machine needed the latest upgrade which was posted in January.
    Right out of the box the machine was obsolete!
    The salesman at the electronics store, who purports to be the Blu-ray expert, knew nothing about this issue. I brought my copy of Quantum with me and, indeed, he was surprised at the malfunction. We tried the very latest Samsung and it wouldn't play the movie at all!
    In other words, the store had stacks of new machines on the floor that are already obsolete.
    Contrary to what they say, acquiring the upgrade online is a complex process, a 15-step procedure fraught with red-type warnings that one mis-step and you could damage the machine. I prefer to have Sony mail me a disc, which can take a week or more.
    Here's the rub. Sony says the store should have upgraded the model before selling it to me. The store (and I have to agree here) says they are not allowed to open the boxes.
    But no one, other than the software makers who are pushing the envelope faster than the hardware makers can produce players, is warning customers of this. A note inside each Blu-ray disc gives the for-best-results site where you can go to get your upgrade.
    Sony says this will continue to happen with all models in the foreseeable future....instant obsolescence every few months.
    I guess an industry that couldn't pre-empt the HD-DVD/Blu-ray feud can't be expected to co-operate on the firmware upgrade fiasco.
    But really, is "resume play" considered an advanced feature? I mean, talk about the theatrical experience, where you can't stop the movie to take a break!
     
  19. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    You are correct in that firmware upgrades are a P.I.T.A. I had a Denon 2910 DVD player that was never updated, even though there were updates but it ran smoothly until I replaced it with the Sony S350 that I got for Christmas. I have not updated it at all and so far I have had no problems, Quantum Of Solace played with no trouble on mine. Eventually I may have to update but have no plans to do so yet.
    A.F.A. stopping the movie to take a break, why not hit "pause"?
     
  20. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    If the disc is Java-encoded, the resume function will not work, regardless of the firmware version you have. This is a shortcoming of the BluRay format, not your player. I have the same issue with any Java-encoded disc. I do not know, however, if Quantum of Solace is Java-based or not.
     

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