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Friday, August 11, 2006
Sony's First Blu-ray disc drive won't play Blu-ray movies!

According to Cnet Aus, Sony BWU-100A won't playback commercial Blu-ray movies, but only home made discs.

According to Mr. Vincent Bautista, Sony's product manager for data storage, there are two major points why Sony's Blu-ray won't support commercial movies:

a) Copy protection issues
b) Lagging software development

, but only user-recorded high-definition content from a digital camcorder. Mr Bautista calimed that since there are no HDCP-compliant graphics card, that offers DVI or HDMI connections, playback of BD format is not possible. However this is not actually true, since many companies have announced that soon or later, will ship HDMI enabled VGA cards. Such list can be found below, after googling for "VGA HDMI card":

Sapphire X1600 Pro HDMI
PowerColor X1600 PRO HDMI

The only available BD playback software (InterVideo's WinDVD BD) is only offered with Sony's VAIO VGN-AR18GP notebook (HDMI enabled), that probably hasn't yet included the latest AACS protection specifications.

Mr. Bautista was optimistic that issues can be resolved "soon", and despite those problems is a useful "storage device". For $1070 we are not very comfortable with such issues, users should stay alerted and probably wait for the second generation of Sony's PC Blu-ray drives. Extreme views could speculate that Sony wants PS3 to be THE major consumer BD playback device and limits PC BD drives, at least until the second generation, end of this year, hits the market. While not many people can actually afford to buy a PC BD drive, again its an issue. Most 1st generation PC Blu-ray drives will "suffer" from similar symptoms, unfortunaly when we had in our hands Pioneer BDR-101A, no Blu-ray commercial movies were available in our region to test if could playback them back...

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