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BD compatibility issues....

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Old 08-04-2009, 11:58 AM   #1
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Default BD compatibility issues....

This is a Q&A discussion on the Oppo Digital BDP-83 player, but certainly is a good insight into BDplayer/disk compatbility and how these issues are handled.
I suspect they are handled about the same way by all manufacturers.
PFC & I were just having a discussion on this topic..this certainly clarifies a lot of points in my mind.

"Here are OPPO's replies to a set of questions I* submitted regarding Blu-ray disc compatibility and firmware updates (August 2009):

What happens on OPPO's end when a new problem disc appears?

Blu-ray Disc compatibility issues generally have the highest priority in our TODO list. Once a problem disc is identified, we obtain multiple copies of the disc to perform tests and confirm issues. Our firmware engineers start to analyze the problem and work with our decoder chip maker to develop a solution. Depending on the nature of the problem, we may be able to resolve it in-house; or our chip maker may provide an updated decoder library for us to integrate into the firmware.

Are you entirely on your own or do you get any help from the studio, a chip partner, or the BDA?

We are not entirely on our own. The chip maker is very supportive. We also have contacts with the studios and so does the chip maker. The BDA is not generally involved in individual disc issues, but there are "round robin test" (RRT) events organized by the BDA to bring studios and player makers together to test for compatibility. We participate in RRT events but the events are not frequent enough to discover all disc compatibility issues.

What are the causes of the issues? Are the studios adding new features or is the existing spec too sloppy? It's not just a matter of DRM updates, is it?

There could be many causes. Most of the issues are related to Java and copyright protection. The BD-Java specs are very complicated and a lot of details are not well defined. The Java implementation (middleware) in different players can come from different sources and each has some variation. The disc authoring tools may use a Java implementation and libraries from different vendors.

The copyright protection mechanisms used by the studios are updated from time to time, and the players must be updated to support them.

Is OPPO in a more difficult position than other vendors in this regard? Do bigger companies get better support?

Since we are new to the Blu-ray industry, at the early stage we may be lagging behind other well-established Blu-ray player manufacturers a little bit. However we are catching up quickly. The studios and disc authoring houses are very supportive of our effort. It also helps that many movie reviewers are starting to use our BDP-83 as their reference player, and they are helping us to communicate with the studios. I am not sure if bigger companies get better support, but it is likely that systems like the PlayStation 3 are used in every studio's QA process so this is an advantage.

Is this a problem for the BR industry, and is anyone doing anything to address it?

This is indeed a problem for the Blu-ray industry. Based on our recent experience, we found that the studios and disc authoring houses are very supportive in resolving disc/player compatibility issues. Since the release of the BDP-83, we have made some really good progress in placing the BDP-83 into the studios and disc authoring houses so it becomes a part of the disc QA process. We and our chip maker are also involved in testing newly pressed discs although due to confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements I cannot provide any details on this front. This type of cooperation will allow us to fix issues earlier on, or allow the studios to re-author the discs before mass production.

Overall, we believe disc compatibility issues will be gradually reduced, and most issues will be resolved before the users get the discs. On the other hand, due to the complexity of the Blu-ray standard and the evolving nature of the business, all player brands and models may still encounter compatibility issues from time to time. Should that happen we believe that we will be the quickest to respond with firmware updates."

*Thanks to wmmclain at avs forum.

http://watershade.net/wmcclain/BDP-8...-blu-ray-discs
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Last edited by daleb; 08-04-2009 at 12:04 PM..
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:04 PM   #2
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Chalk up another point deduction for BD-Java. Just another reason why the BDA should have went with HDi.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:08 PM   #3
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Delab, Very good overview, of not only the OPPO but all blu ray players. I have an older Samsung 1400 which works well most of the time, then runs into problems with certain disks. From what I read, what I experience and what you wrote, Blu Ray is a much more problematic format than DVD, which used to work all the time.

It's as if the movie studios, in their neverending quest to keep people from copying their movies are, in the process, making watching blu rays an overly difficult and annoying process, instead of an enjoyable movie watching time.

I would much rather get streaming HD movies or on demand if they would compete in price with blockbuster.com or netflix on per movie charges, which they don't yet, but I believe in time, they will. Than Blu Ray will go away as it should!

I think, Blu Ray will be a very short lived format as more and more people move to streaming downloads as their prices get closer to disk rentals. This constant firmware upgrading and non compatiable movies will drive most people away from the players. I'm am a very technology proficient person and it's gotten to the point where I don't want blu ray disks anymore and will probably start using dvd again so they play thru, can be paused and not start over, and don't take 10 minutes to begin playing (if they play at all).

Just my 2cents.

Last edited by clearday; 08-04-2009 at 12:16 PM..
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by clearday View Post
Delab, Very good overview, of not only the OPPO but all blu ray players. I have an older Samsung 1400 which works well most of the time, then runs into problems with certain disks. From what I read, what I experience and what you wrote, Blu Ray is a much more problematic format than DVD, which used to work all the time.
Interestingly, someone complained this morning over at avs, that their copy of "Dollhouse Series" would not play on the Oppo.
It played just fine on their Samsung 5000 dual player.
Also, the Samsung switches to 24p automatically, the Oppo requires a menu selection.
Win some, lose some.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:21 PM   #5
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Unfortunatley, each Blu Ray movie and player comes with it's own set of oddities and annoyances. Some players are OK with a movie, others not. And it doesn't seem to be related to the price or quality of the player, more related to the security encryption, etc. You have to wonder how long the blu ray player manufacturers will want to spend money on firmware upgrades each month. It's got to be expensive to keep people on payroll who update old machines while movie studios throw problems at them on each movie.

As far as I can tell, just spending a lot more on a blu ray player doesn't guarantee any better compatibility with the movies.

As I said up there, it's got all the earmarks of a technology which will die a quick death especially with affordable streaming HD movies fast approaching.

Last edited by clearday; 08-04-2009 at 01:28 PM..
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:56 PM   #6
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Unfortunatley, each Blu Ray movie and player comes with it's own set of oddities and annoyances. Some players are OK with a movie, others not. And it doesn't seem to be related to the price or quality of the player, more related to the security encryption, etc. You have to wonder how long the blu ray player manufacturers will want to spend money on firmware upgrades each month. It's got to be expensive to keep people on payroll who update old machines while movie studios throw problems at them on each movie.

As far as I can tell, just spending a lot more on a blu ray player doesn't guarantee any better compatibility with the movies.

As I said up there, it's got all the earmarks of a technology which will die a quick death especially with affordable streaming HD movies fast approaching.
It will be at least five years before the quality of HD downloads is tolerable enough for J6P. On top of that downloads will not replace the onwership of a tangible product. Now it probably will replace the current rental model, but even that will take several years. So if you consider several years to be 'fast approaching' then you have must have some serious patience.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:03 PM   #7
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I do not have serious patience. And that's why I hate this Blu Ray player/movie crappola all the time. I'll just go back to DVDs as they play better, in many cases don't look any different than the Blu Rays, and wait quietly till the better solution comes along.

Blu Ray is so not ready for prime time and all we like to do is watch a movie once in while. And when I do, I don't like to have to reinvent the wheel each time.

That's how I feel and now I am done with my Blu Ray hate fest.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:08 PM   #8
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I do not have serious patience. And that's why I hate this Blu Ray player/movie crappola all the time. I'll just go back to DVDs as they play better, in many cases don't look any different than the Blu Rays, and wait quietly till the better solution comes along.

Blu Ray is so not ready for prime time and all we like to do is watch a movie once in while. And when I do, I don't like to have to reinvent the wheel each time.

That's how I feel and now I am done with my Blu Ray hate fest.
I don't agree with the above highlighted line. I honestly can't think of but maybe 3 or 4 HD DVDs or BDs in my entire collection that barely look better than their DVD counterpart. Most of the rest look and sound worlds better and some are just marginally better.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:16 PM   #9
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Probably as you are 27, and am wayyyyyyy not 27, your eyes are better .......

Regardless, I am glad you like your blu ray, the above is my opinion, so ofcourse others may disagree, but I had to try to warn new buyers that inherent in purchasing a blu ray is much aggravation and annoyance, and I'd certainly wait till the standards are solidified between studios and manufacturers, or just stay with dvd.

I'm done.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:19 PM   #10
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Probably as you are 27, and am wayyyyyyy not 27, your eyes are better .......

Regardless, I am glad you like your blu ray, the above is my opinion, so ofcourse others may disagree, but I had to try to warn new buyers that inherent in purchasing a blu ray is much aggravation and annoyance, and I'd certainly wait till the standards are solidified between studios and manufacturers, or just stay with dvd.

I'm done.
I just try to keep people away from the Samsung BDP-1000/1200/1400/1500 as all four of those are extremely buggy with discs, which probably explains your distaste for BD. A friend of mine has a 1400 that he bought when it was released and he says it freezes/skips on about 1 in 4 movies even with the latest FW. I have had the fortunate luck of owning BD players that have virtually no problems. Even my Magnavox BD player has played everything flawlessly.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:40 PM   #11
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As I said up there, it's got all the earmarks of a technology which will die a quick death especially with affordable streaming HD movies fast approaching.
Streaming could be a nice alternative.
Looking at the streams now from Netflix and Amazon, some look pretty damn good, but are still crippled with stereo sound.
I have zero experience with Vudu or others that may be better.
But the more that sign up the bigger problem bandwidth will become.

BD provides the best image yet on disk, but has it's own quirks with regards to compatibility of individual players with specific disks.

Some think it is only a matter of time before disk playback issues are resolved, but there does not seem to be much improvement from all the complaints I see. I am not as optimistic as Oppo and other mfrs. but then I don't make BD players.

As far keeping all those 'fixit engineers' on the payroll. as long as folks are are still willing to pay more for media and players, they will continue to have job security.
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:28 PM   #12
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Great post Daleb and I am going to make this a sticky here as it gives insight to what is happening and the pitfalls for ALL mfg of BD players.

It also happily appears that Oppo "gets it" about the BD-Java compatibilities and THEY are doing everything THEY can to streamline their end to get those changes as fast as they always did with SD DVD. Kudos to them for being so late to the game and "getting it" while Samsung appears to STILL not have a clue in this regard.

Damn fine job you did here!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:32 PM   #13
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Chalk up another point deduction for BD-Java. Just another reason why the BDA should have went with HDi.
+ 100 million!!!!!!!

Daleb's great post shows that BD-Java seems to be a big cause of the playback problems with movie encoders, player mfg, and the chip makers all possibly having different incarnations of Java they are working with as part of the reason for so many problems as I suspected would happen back during the "war" days and hearing about these issues with Java.

I am not a huge fan of MS, but I follow the K.I.S.S. principle myself and Java is the opposite of that principle.
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by clearday View Post
Unfortunatley, each Blu Ray movie and player comes with it's own set of oddities and annoyances. Some players are OK with a movie, others not. And it doesn't seem to be related to the price or quality of the player, more related to the security encryption, etc. You have to wonder how long the blu ray player manufacturers will want to spend money on firmware upgrades each month. It's got to be expensive to keep people on payroll who update old machines while movie studios throw problems at them on each movie.

As far as I can tell, just spending a lot more on a blu ray player doesn't guarantee any better compatibility with the movies.

As I said up there, it's got all the earmarks of a technology which will die a quick death especially with affordable streaming HD movies fast approaching.
I hear your frustration and share it whenever these playback compatibilities come up when the family tries to watch a movie on certain discs. Despite having players from a mfg (Panasonic & Sony) that have the best track record for proactively having updates available BEFORE the disc is released it STILL delays watching movies on these troublesome BD titles and causes my family to scatter for other things to do while I try to find the latest update and then get it installed before everyone losses complete interest (or it gets too late to start the movie). This is NOt what watching a movie should include just to get the better PQ/SQ on BD that I love.

With the bandwidth caps becoming the "norm" I do not think that HD streaming is going to fly far in the short term IMO. Then there is the cost being 2-3x what renting a BD from Netflix costs as the other part of the issue, along with the lower (much lower IMO) PQ/SQ too. Maybe in 5-10 years when those issues get sorted out it CAN replace BD and then I would be all for it at this point in my frustration with BD not being ready for prime time for the average consumer with these BD-Java incompatibilities.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:51 AM   #15
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Great post Daleb and thanks for making this a sticky, PFC!

I am in the same boat as clearday. I find myself buying mostly all DVDs now with the occasional BD on certain flicks. Honestly, I just do not see enough of a difference (or a negative) to warrant the extra cost or hassle of buying only BD over SD. Maybe it's because my 51 year old eyes aren't that sharp anymore and my hearing has gone downhill, I dunno but I do like that I can opo in a DVD and NEVER have to wait for that damn "loading" screen.

If a customer asks me about how to get the most from a DVD player, I tell them about upconverting DVD players and BD. If they insist on a BD player, then I send them towards the Panny's or Sony's (PS3 as well). I also tell them about the slower loading times compared to SD.

I am just not that patient and find most people aren't either. As you all can tell by my thread about the Oppo BDP-83 not playing A Haunting in Connecticut, I was not pleased when the loading screen just kept going and going and going. I knew it wasn't the player's, per se, because I had just watched other BDs. The other BD issue on Starship Troopers was also a big downer to me. If BD truly wants to succeed (depending on their idea of success), they need to get this crap ironed out, ASAP! It isn't like this format is in beta testing!

/end rant
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