Friday, January 16, 2009

Blu-ray folly

Did you know Blu-ray players need a firmware upgrade after you purchase them? It may take days to weeks for the "Upgrade Firmware" message to appear on your screen. Meanwhile, you'll have viewed hours of video before you see the warning which seemingly has no reason for appearing.

It seems there are two different ways to upgrade firmware: 1) download the firmware upgrade to your computer, burn the image to a CD or DVD (this is important, there's a difference between saving the file to your CD and burning the image to the CD) and carefully following the very specific instructions to get your player to install the upgrade. Or 2) plug your Ethernet cable into the back of the player and allow the player to complete the upgrade. Mine doesn't have the option to plug in an Ethernet cable so I'm stuck with the CD.

After talking to a few different people about firmware upgrades, including some who work in the industry, there seems to be a difference of opinion over whether or not every Blu-ray player will require a firmware upgrade. So you can't exactly purchase one over the other in the hopes of avoiding this issue.

Honestly, the concept of having to upgrade your firmware seems ridiculous to me. Has this technology been released before it's actually ready? It seems prudent to make this type of information readily available to consumers (or to at least educate us since this is the new technology that is to replace DVD). After all, the boxes usually say something like, "Easy Set Up - Requires only an HDMI cable (not included) for the incredible images and quality High-Definition video." It actually states an HDMI cable is needed and that it's not included! This is obviously important and I appreciate the warning. Why couldn't it say anything about needing an Internet connection or include a quip about a required firmware upgrade? I can understand if it's necessary but damn! Why the sneakiness? Why the weeks of viewing enjoyment and then suddenly, it doesn't work? It's bull crap if you ask me!

I feel bad for those who have purchased the player and don't have Internet access. Or those who do have access to the upgrade AND STILL CAN'T GET PAST THE UPGRADE WARNING and consequently cannot view time-sensitive videos. Thank God I can still view some videos, so far it seems to be only Twentieth Century Fox videos that I can't watch. I'm still testing others though.

In other news, there are reports that the PS3 (which includes a Blu-ray player) will drop $100 in April. If we can't get our player to work, we're going to take it back and wait for the PS3. I consider myself to have decent knowledge when it comes to basic technology but this inability to upgrade my firmware has left a bad taste in my mouth.



Reneva said...

Yuck about your blu-ray. The situation you've described seems ridiculous to me. Thanks for the heads up about the PS3, I'll have to watch for that.

Chad said...

LOL hahahahaha serious? Give me the model name and number and ill burn you whatever you need and mail it to you. I miss you! Kisses! Chad