These are the main data:
- All first titles are expected to be limited to a single layer.
- There are two Blu-ray modes: Movie Mode (used for high definition films) and BD-J Mode (a fully programmable mode that includes interactive features, like games and Internet connectivity). Both modes can be used on the same disc.
- Sony and MGM titles will be encoded on the discs at 1080/24p. The user will set the player to convert this native resolution as required to match the capability of his or her display.
- At this time Sony has no immediate plans to implement the Image Constraint Token (ICT).
- All of the Sony and MGM titles will initially be encoded using MPEG-2, at a variable bit rate, but up to a maximum of 30Mb/sec.
- When other codecs exceed MPEG-2 at all data rates, Sony will begin using them.
- On the audio side, all Sony and MGM titles will include both conventional Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks. Dolby data rate is still unconfirmed. DTS data rate will be 1.5Mb/sec. Additionally all Sony/MGM releases will include a 5.1 uncompressed PCM audio track.
- The first Sony and MGM titles will each have a hidden Easter Egg containing several setup test patterns— a sweep, a standard SMPTE pattern including, among other things, a PLUGE, color bars, and a resolution monoscope. These patterns can be accessed by entering 7669 on your Blu-ray player's remote (7669 is S-O-N-Y on a telephone).
His impressions of the visual demo:
| The most exciting part of the event involved demonstrations of Blu-ray using Sony's flagship 4K D-Cinema SXRD projector producing a peak light output of 14 foot-Lamberts onto a 23' wide screen. A split-screen image was used to compare DVD with Blu-ray, and the program source was a trailer from the upcoming film Click. It was no contest; the stunning Blu-ray was a 16-ounce New York strip sirloin next to the DVD's ground chuck. This wasn't entirely a surprise, given the size of the screen. Another split-screen presentation compared the 400Mb/sec HD master with the Blu-ray file mastered at 25-30Mb/sec. Here, only the tiniest differences were visible on film grain and the finest picture details—and we had to freeze the image to (barely) spot those. |
Click was shot using the new Sony Panavision Genesis 1080/24p HD video cameras. The detail in the image, as seen on Blu-ray and presumably transferred directly from a digital file, was incredible. A final demonstration, of a clip from the conventionally filmed A Knight's Tale was not quite so jaw-dropping, but still looked better than most theatrical film presentations in all but the very best theaters equipped with state-of-the-art projectors and pristine prints.