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Blu-ray and BD LIVE

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Blu-ray Basics

What is BD-Live?

BD-Live is a Blu-ray feature that enables you to access content via your internet-connected Blu-ray player. BD-Live can allow you to download a variety of up-to-date content. Get more out of a Blu-ray Disc? than what?s actually on it. BD-Live 2.0 lets studios future-proof their Blu-ray titles, so they can add content to BD-Live Ready discs even after they have been shipped. Simply connect your Blu-ray player to the Internet to download images, subtitles and more. Text-chat with friends during a movie, or play against others in online trivia games to unlock exclusive video content and earn discounts on other products. BD-Live Ready players can be upgraded to BD-Live 2.0 via a firmware update.

In addition to your Blu-ray player setup (i.e, HDTV with a Blu-ray player or PLAYSTATION?3), your Blu-ray player must have an Ethernet port (currently available on select models) and be connected to the internet. You will also need to be using a Blu-ray Disc that is enabled with BD-Live functionality.

Select movie titles will have the BD-Live feature. To access, select the BD-Live button on the Blu-ray Disc menu to connect to the internet and initiate the BD-Live application.

When you select the BD-Live button and your player is properly connected to the internet, the player will access the BD-Live site and start downloading the latest version of the BD-Live application. When everything is up to date, the player will launch the BD-Live menu.

What do I need for BD LIVE?

1.) You need a Blu-ray Player that is BD-Live ready with Profile 2.0. Most Blu-ray players sold after 2008 are BD-Live 2.0 and are therefore able to access BD-Live functionality.

Blu-ray Profiles

* Profile 1 Version 1.0 ? The basic Blu-ray profile. All Blu-ray players released before November 1, 2007 fit into this profile.

* Profile 1 Version 1.1 ? Adds secondary audio and video decoders for BonusView (picture-in-picture) support. This can be used for things like director's commentary. The player displays the movie in its original, full-screen form while also playing video commentary from the film director on a smaller, inset screen. Players in this profile also need to include 256MB of local storage for audio/video and title updates. This can either be built into the player or available through a removable memory card or USB drive.

* Profile 2.0 (also known as BD-Live) ? Includes all of the functions of Profile 1 Version 1.1, but increases local storage capacity to 1GB. Players in this profile must also include an Internet connection. This lets you connect the player directly to the Internet to access bonus material available on some Blu-ray movies. Some movie studios also use this capability for things like online games and chat.

2.) You need an Internet Connection to your Blu-ray Player (High-Speed Broadband).

3.) You need a Blu-ray Disc with BD-Live enabled. Look for the BD-Live Logo on the disc jacket. Not all Blu-ray movies are BD-Live enabled.


What will happen if I play a BD-Live enabled disc on a player which does not support BD-Live and/or the network connection is not correct?

If your player is not connected to the internet or does not support BD-Live, the BD-Live button on the menu will be "grayed out" (inactive). If selected, a message will appear and explain that BD-Live is not available due to one of the circumstances listed above. Please refer to your player's instruction manual or website for more details on setting up your internet connection. This will not affect your ability to watch the film or any of the special features that are located on the Blu-ray Disc itself.

When connected to BD-Live, you will first see the BD-Live home page menu. The look of the BD-Live menu may vary from title to title. Various features available to you will be listed on the home page menu when you access BD-Live.

You can move around the home page and all other menus within BD-Live by using your Blu-ray player's directional keys or color buttons on the remote control or by using your PS3's SIXAXIS controller (PS3 only). No separate equipment is required to navigate the menu systems or to access content.


From the home page menu, you can use your remote to select either "HD" (High Definition) or "SD" (Standard Definition) located under the thumbnail still of each preview. Once the resolution quality is selected, the preview will start downloading. A timeline will appear under the thumbnail to indicate the download's progress. When the download is complete, a "Play" button will appear on the thumbnail to start playback. Use your remote to select the "Play" button and the preview will begin to play. You can then rewind, fast-forward or stop the playback as necessary.

The amount of content you can download at any given time is based on how much local storage capacity your player has. When your player's local storage capacity is filled, downloads will be stopped or not started because of the storage capacity limitation. It will be necessary to delete content from your local storage before downloading more content. Please refer to your player's instruction manual or website for more information on the player's storage capabilities and accessing and deleting items from the player's local storage.

You can not access the BD-Live server without a Blu-ray Disc that is enabled with BD-Live functionality. The disc is the key to accessing BD-Live and the online content.

Currently, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) provides both high definition (1080p) and standard definition (480i - DVD quality) options (where available), both with 2.0 stereo. Both HD and SD contents use a lower-than-average bitrate for video and audio to achieve faster downloading speeds.

You can cancel your download by selecting the [X] button on the timeline bar under the content or preview you are downloading.

To delete a downloaded item from your player, access the player's local storage and delete your selected contents. Please refer to your player's instruction manual or website for more information on accessing and deleting items from the player's local storage.

The downloaded content will be stored on your player's local storage. Some player models have an embedded storage device inside, while other players need memory cards or external storage devices to be attached. Please refer to your player's instruction manual or website for more detail on the player's storage capabilities.

The downloaded content is stored on your player's local storage, so it may be played until it is deleted from the local storage by the user or until the BD-Live homepage application finds a newer list of downloadable contents which replace the older content list on display. It is not necessary to reconnect to BD-Live in order to watch your downloaded content, but those downloads can only be played with the specific disc which enabled the content download.

Problems? contact SPHE customer support: 800-860-2878.

Special Promotions and Purchases

To participate in some Services such as sweepstakes, contests and surveys ("Special Promotions"), or to make online purchases ("Purchases"), you will need to provide personally identifiable information, such as name, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, and date of birth.

What is Blu-ray Disc?

Blu-ray Disc is the next generation optical media format, offering the following key advantages:

Large capacity (25 GB single layer ? 50 GB dual layer) ? with over 5 times the amount of content possible with current DVDs, particularly well suited for high definition feature films with extended levels of interactive features.
Pristine picture quality with full 1080p high definition resolution (1920 x 1080p)
Best audio possible with crystal clear master quality audio via high definition audio codecs (it can be better than theater sound), up to 7.1 channels of audio
Enhanced Interactivity ? seamless menu navigation, exciting new high def bonus features, BD-Live internet-connected capabilities
Broadest industry support ? ensuring more choice for consumers in the marketplace
Hardware is backward compatible with DVDs, allowing continued enjoyment of existing DVD libraries
Robustness of Disc ? new breakthroughs in hard coating technologies mean that Blu-ray Disc offers the strongest resistance to scratches and finger prints on a bare disc the same size as existing CD and DVD (i.e. no cartridge is required)

Why is the format called Blu-ray Disc?

The name ?Blu-ray? came from the fact that the laser beam which reads the data from the discs is blue instead of red, which is used for current DVDs and CDs. This new blue laser is at the heart of Blu-ray Disc Technology (i.e. blue ray of light) and has a shorter wavelength than a red laser, which makes it possible to read data with greater precision.

What is the difference between Blu-ray Disc and DVD?

Just as DVD meant a 5 to 10 times increase in storage capacity compared to CD, Blu-ray Disc represents an increase over DVD capacity by 5 to 10 times. This is due, among other reasons, to the usage of a blue instead of a red laser and improved lens specifications, allowing for a much smaller focus laser beam which enables the recording of much smaller and higher density pits on the disc. Hence, more precision and ultra high storage densities are made possible.

Due to the fact that the data layer on a Blu-ray Disc is placed much "closer" to the laser lens than in DVD, there is less distortion resulting in significantly improved tolerances.

What are the key advantages of Blu-ray Disc?

Blu-ray holds 25GB on a single-layer disc or 50GB on a dual-layered disc (5x that of DVD). There is also support for multi-layer discs, which should allow for storage capacity to be increased in the future by adding more layers to discs.

Blu-ray delivers content in full high definition resolution (1920x1080p) ? 6x the picture resolution of DVD.

Blu-ray offers the best audio possible with up to 7.1 channels of surround sound (equal to or sometimes better than the sound heard in theaters).


Blu-ray utilizes Java-based menu software. This allows for improved interactive features such as seamless menu navigation, exciting new bonus features and network connectivity (BD-Live).


Blu-ray offers the strongest resistance to scratches and fingerprints due to a breakthrough in hard-coating technologies.

The Blu-ray Disc system uses the same 12 cm and 8 cm disc sizes to support backward-compatibility with your CDs and DVDs and other optical disc formats. Subsequently, all Blu-ray Disc hardware products are backward-compatible.

What is HDMI?

The High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is an industry-supported, uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface. HDMI provides an interface between any compatible digital audio/video source, such as a set-top box, a DVD player, or an A/V receiver and a compatible digital audio and/or video monitor, such as a digital television (DTV).

What is the difference between 1080i and 1080p?

1080i refers to the horizontal resolution of a picture with interlaced video (i) fields which fit together to form one full frame, producing an image which has a TV-like quality. Interlaced video is refreshed to the screen twice every frame - first every Even scanline and then every Odd scanline. This means that while NTSC has a framerate of 29.97, the screen is actually being partially redrawn every 59.94 times a second. A half-frame is being drawn to the screen every 60th of a second, in other words. This leads to the notion of fields. 1080p refers to the horizontal resolution of the picture with progressive video (p) multiple full frames, meaning that every pixel on the screen is refreshed simultaneously producing an image that has a superior film-like quality.

Are Blu-ray Disc titles 1080p?

Yes, Blu-ray Disc titles are encoded at 1080p. Blu-ray Disc players are able to output 1080p video from the first hardware generation. Output of film-based material in conventional 1080i60 form will also be available, and 1080p displays that are able to apply 3-2 pulldown reversal can deinterlace film-based content and achieve full 1080p image quality.

What is BD-Live?

BD-Live is a recently developed Blu-ray feature that enables you to access content via your internet-connected Blu-ray player. BD-Live allows you to download a variety of up-to-date content. BD-Live is available on all Profile 2.0 enabled Blu-ray players.

What is BonusView (Picture-in-Picture)?

BonusView is the industry-accepted term for picture-in-picture visual commentaries. With this feature (playable on all Blu-ray players that are Profile 1.1 enabled), a separate stream of video will play along with the movie in the form of a "picture-in-picture" format (i.e.: an image or box in the corner of the screen) and show interviews with the film's cast and crew, storyboards, and other visual content, creating a visual commentary.

What does 24p mean?

24p refers to video being 24 frames per second (more accurately 23.98 fps). Traditionally frame rate is tied to resolution. Therefore, 1920 x 1080p generally means that the picture has full high definition resolution with 24 frames per second, producing a superior film-like quality for high definition video.

What does 60i mean?

60i refers to the video frame rate and structure of a video signal. '60' represents the frequency in which the display will be refreshed while the 'i' represents interlace, or the method in which the screen is refreshed. There is a negative association with interlace because historically it means that some picture artifacts will be seen as the result of sending the video one field at a time. In practice, this is no longer a problem since all new HD displays buffer the video when fields in the 60i input are found to come from the same video frame, such as with filmed content. The display then presents a full "progressive" frame constructed from the "interlace" source.

The use of 60hz as the frame rate is less than optimum since film is 24hz based. To display 24hz on a 60hz display, 3 consecutive video frames of one film frame are shown followed by 2 video frames of the next film frame. This is commonly know as 3/2 "pulldown" and results in a slightly unnatural appearance to moving objects. The use of 24hz video rates from film based content will likely become the standard in the future. To display a 24hz signal, the monitor will multiply the frame rate internally be a factor of 2, 3 or 4 to give a smooth natural looking image.

What video codecs can be used in authoring Blu-ray Disc?

A variety of video codecs are available to choose from for authoring the Blu-ray Disc format, with the main codecs being MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1. MPEG-2 is also a usable codec for high definition video, but is not used as often as MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1.

What is MPEG-2 video codec?

MPEG-2 is the designation for a group of coding and compression standards for Audio and Video (AV), agreed upon by MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group), and published as the ISO/IEC 13818 international standard. MPEG-2 is typically used to encode audio and video for broadcast signals, including direct broadcast satellite and Cable TV. MPEG-2, with some modifications, is also the coding format used by standard commercial DVD movies.

The Video part (part 2) of MPEG-2 is similar to MPEG-1, but also provides support for interlaced video (the format used by analog broadcast TV systems). MPEG-2 video is not optimized for low bit-rates (less than 1 Mbit/s), but outperforms MPEG-1 at 3 Mbit/s and above. All standards-conforming MPEG-2 Video decoders are fully capable of playing back MPEG-1 Video streams. With some enhancements, MPEG-2 Video and Systems are also used in most HDTV transmission systems.

What is MPEG-4 AVC video codec?

The MPEG-4 is a specification with AVC (Advanced Video Codec) being the HD video codec spec. This has become a common and popular codec for Blu-ray authoring across most studios. Otherwise known as H.264, MPEG-4 AVC is a digital video codec standard which is noted for achieving very high data compression. It was written by the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) together with the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) as the product of a collective partnership effort known as the Joint Video Team (JVT). The ITU-T H.264 standard and the ISO/IEC MPEG-4 Part 10 standard (formally, ISO/IEC 14496-10) are technically identical. The intent of the H.264/AVC project was to create a standard that would be capable of providing good video quality at bit rates that are substantially lower (e.g., half or less) than what previous standards would need (e.g., relative to MPEG-2, H.263, or MPEG-4 Part 2), and to do so without so much of an increase in complexity as to make the design impractical (excessively expensive) to implement. An additional goal was to do this in a flexible way that would allow the standard to be applied to a very wide variety of applications (e.g., for both low and high bit rates, and low and high resolution video) and to work well on a very wide variety of networks and systems (e.g., for broadcast, optical disc storage, RTP/IP packet networks, and ITU-T multimedia telephony systems).

What is VC-1 video codec?

VC-1 is the informal name of the SMPTE standard 421M describing a video codec based on Windows Media Video version 9. On April 3, 2006, SMPTE announced the formal release of the VC-1 standard as SMPTE 421M.

It is an evolution of the conventional DCT-based video codec design also found in H.261, H.263, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4. It is widely characterized as an alternative to the latest ITU-T and MPEG video codec standard known as H.264/MPEG-4 AVC. Although VC-1 and WMV9 refer to the same codec technology as far as Microsoft is concerned, VC-1 is actually a superset of WMV9, containing more coding tools for interlaced video sequences than the original WMV9 codec which concentrated on progressive encoding for computer displays. The main goal of VC-1/WMV9 Advanced Profile development and standardization was to support the compression of interlaced content without first converting it to progressive, making the codec more attractive to broadcast and video industry professionals.

What audio codecs can be used in authoring Blu-ray Disc?

Blu-ray Disc supports all the traditional DVD audio codecs, Dolby Digital, DTS, Linear PCM, but also adds more advanced codecs, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-MA and multi-channel LPCM uncompressed audio.

What is the difference between uncompressed and 'lossless' audio?

Uncompressed audio is true to the original master with a sample bit rate of 48khz without any compression. 'Lossless' means that the audio has been compressed and placed in a file which then expands to playback audio as it was before compressed, hence the name 'lossless'. In the same way that large files can be 'zipped' using WinZip to email and then 'unzipped' when received, the files remain the same.

What does PCM mean?

Pulse-code modulation (PCM) is a digital representation of an analog signal where the magnitude of the signal is sampled regularly at uniform intervals; the signals are then processed to a series of symbols in a digital (usually binary) code. PCM is used in digital telephone systems and is also the standard form for digital audio in computers and various compact disc formats. It is also standard in digital video. Very frequently, PCM encoding facilitates digital transmission from one point to another (within a given system, or geographically) in serial form.

What is HDCP?

High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection System (HDCP) HDCP is a specification developed by Intel Corporation to protect digital entertainment content across the DVI and HDMI interface. The HDCP specification provides a transparent method for transmitting and receiving secure digital entertainment content to HDCP enabled DVI and HDMI digital displays.

What is ICT?

ICT (Image Constraint Token) is a signaling flag which has been adopted by the AACS founders as mandatory in hardware and optional in software. When utilized, ICT in AACS requires that pictures be down sampled over analog connections. As a result, the signal sent through analog connections will be constrained to 960x540, rather than the 1920x1080 that Blu-ray Disc is capable of.

Conventional DVD: 720 by 480 pixels; 345,600 total pixels
Full resolution 1080i/p: 1920 by 1080; 2,073,600 total pixels
Constrained 1080i/p: 960 by 540; 518,400 total pixels

Will all Blu-ray Discs use ICT?

ICT usage will be left up to the choice of the individual studios.

What is AACS?

The Advanced Access Content System (AACS) is a standard for content distribution and digital rights management, which will protect access to and copying of the next generation of optical discs and DVDs.

AACS utilizes cryptography to control the use of digital media. AACS-protected content is encrypted under one or more title keys using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Title keys are derived from a combination of a media key and several elements, including the volume ID of the media (e.g., a physical serial number embedded on a DVD), and a cryptographic hash of the title usage rules.

The principal difference between AACS and earlier content management systems such as the Content Scrambling System (CSS) is in the means by which title-specific decryption keys are distributed. Under CSS, all players of a given model are outfitted with the same, shared decryption key. Content is encrypted under the title-specific key, which is itself encrypted under each model's key. In CSS, each volume contains a collection of several hundred encrypted keys, one for each licensed player model. In principle, this approach allows licensors to "revoke" a given player model (prevent it from playing back future content) by omitting the encryption key corresponding to that model. In practice, however, revoking all players of a particular model is costly, as it causes many users to lose playback capability. Furthermore, the inclusion of a shared key across many players makes key compromise significantly more likely, as was demonstrated by a number of compromises in the mid-1990s.

The approach of AACS provisions each individual player with a unique set of decryption keys which are used in a broadcast encryption scheme. This approach allows licensors to "revoke" individual players, or more specifically, the decryption keys associated with the player. Thus, if a given player's keys are compromised by an attacker, the AACS licensing authority can simply revoke those keys in future content, making the keys/player useless for decrypting new titles.

What is Mandatory Managed Copy?

Mandatory managed copy is a feature of AACS. The Blu-ray Disc Association is committed to the implementation of mandatory managed copy and has identified this capability, and the new consumer use models it enables, as one of the primary benefits of the AACS content management system adopted by Blu-ray. Unlike with today's conventional DVDs, this feature allows consumers to make legitimate copies of their HD movies and enjoy this content around the home or across their networks. Making this feature mandatory will ensure a consistent consumer experience across all next-generation content.

What is BD+?

A technology which is unique to Blu-ray, BD+ is an additional, optional layer of content protection that is independent from AACS, the fundamental content protection technology for Blu-ray Disc. It provides a way for content providers to stop playback of BD+ protected titles on players deploying known "hacks" that attempt to defeat the player's security system. On the other hand, if known hacks are not found on a given model of BD player, then playback can proceed undisturbed. This approach is very consumer friendly because it does not target innocent users who happen to own a known compromised model. No Internet connection is required for BD+ to operate.

What is ROM mark?

Another technology unique to Blu-ray, ROM Mark is a hidden undetectable mark digitally imprinted by a licensed replicator which can only be read by a licensed BD player or computer drive. A ROM Mark will exist on movies, games and other data discs to help prevent mass production piracy and sale of unauthorized copies. It will be a unique identifier on each pressed disc that can link it back to the very machine that produced it. This will allow customs enforcement to determine between real and counterfeit copies of copyrighted works. Special players will be able to check the code on the disc, where it should be and where it is detected.

What are the different formats available for Blu-ray?

1. BD-ROM - read-only format for software, games and movie distribution.
2. BD-R - write-once recordable format for HDTV recording and PC data storage.
3. BD-RE - rewritable format for HDTV recording and PC data storage.

Blu-ray Disc Hardware

For the latest updates with regards to Blu-ray hardware, please visit The website, sponsored by the Blu-ray Disc Association, maintains a list of available Blu-ray players and the latest firmware updates.

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