The next generation of Blu-ray Disc players crib from HD DVD feature set

With Blu-ray Disc on the winning side of the high-definition war, the format appears to finally be hitting its stride in stabilizing its advanced feature set. Earlier this week, Sony announced two new Blu-ray Disc player models that include new features such as BonusView and BD-Live.

BonusView is Sony’s term for picture-in-picture technology that was mandated for all Blu-ray Disc hardware last fall. Picture-in-picture features are typically used for video commentaries in movies, and is something commonly found amongst top-tier HD DVD releases. Several new Blu-ray Disc releases are beginning to incorporate the technology.

BD-Live incorporates an Ethernet port for Internet connectivity, both for firmware updates and for bonus web-enabled features. HD DVD players have used its Ethernet support for basic bonus functions such as extended special features, trailers, trivia and surveys. Blu-ray Disc movies with such extras should hit the market later this year.

Both the upcoming Sony models, the BDP-S350 and the BDP-550, support BonusView and BD-Live. Both also feature an external port for local storage, but only the BDP-S550 includes a 1GB storage device. The BDP-S550 also differentiates itself with dts-HD High Resolution Audio and dts-HD Master Audio decoding as well as 7.1 channel analog audio output.

“Building on the exceptional picture and sound quality of previous players, Sony’s next-generation Blu-ray Disc models bring exciting interactive features to life and offer consumers a ground-breaking experience,” said Chris Fawcett, vice president of marketing for Sony Electronics’ Home Product Division. “These new devices bring home movie experience beyond the cinema and into a whole new realm of entertainment.”

The new BDP-S350 ships this summer for about $400 and BDP-S550 will be available this fall for about $500.

Source : DailyTech

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