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Archive for the ‘New Technology’ Category

Dual Layer DVD Recording

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Dual Layer DVD RecordingHave you ever wondered how a full length feature movie plus bonus material fits onto a single DVD Disc? The answer is dual layer DVD technology and you may be surprised to know that this is not new technology we are talking about. Hollywood has been producing major motions pictures on stamped dual layer DVD Discs for years.
We are now witnessing the rise of recordable dual layer DVD technology on the consumer market. A look at the technology could explain this progression.
Dual layer or double layer DVD, also referred to as a DVD-9 disc, appears to be a natural progression of single layer 4.7GB recordable technology. For starters a DVD-9 disc offers up to four hours of high quality MPEG-2 video, or up to 8.5GB of data on a single-sided disc. This mean you can pack up to 12 CD’s worth of information on to one disc. Thanks to the additional layer of recordable space you can store approximately 2,000 songs in MP3 format or up to 17,000 high quality JPEG images.

In a dual layer DVD-9 disc, two individual recordable layers, like the one found on a standard single/ DVD-5 disc, are joined together with a transparent spacer and a thin metal reflector between the two.  The bottom layer is written and read in exactly the same manner as a standard DVD-5.  The difference with a DVD-9 is that the laser now focuses a fraction of a millimetre beyond the first recording layer, giving access to the second recordable layer.  A downside to this is that the layer change can display a noticeable pause in some DVD players, up to several seconds.
Certainly business users will appreciate the increased storage capacity of a dual layer DVD recordable disc especially when distributing a large amount of data on a single disc is needed. It can even be used for desktop system backup and single server backup with time and cost savings over older traditional technologies. IT managers can even create their system “images” for configuring client PCs on a single disc for rapid deployment of new computers on corporate networks.
Independent filmmakers and studios alike will appreciate the ability to author a dual layer DVD video disc and try it out without resorting to expensive and time consuming replication. This set of users can now fine tune their works on cost effective dual layer DVD recordable discs before creating the master for replication.
Dual layer discs are not as common, as the single layer format as the 4.7GB capacity of the single layer discs is usually sufficient for most business uses and dual layer discs are also a lot more expensive.  Also the question of compatible software arises. Typically only newer DVD recorder drives will be able to write to dual layer or double layer discs. Many current DVD recorders support dual-layer technology, and the price is now comparable to that of single-layer drives, though the discs remain more expensive.  However, the recording speeds reached by dual-layer media are still well below those of single-layer media.

Piracy – Hydra – headed monster of entertainment industry

Monday, February 14th, 2011
Solutions developed to battle piracy become obsolete quickly

Solutions developed to battle piracy become obsolete quickly

Illegal downloading and counterfeit CDs and DVDs manufacturing, are threatening the entertainment industry which is extremely technology-oriented. On the other hand, piracy is also testing the industry’s creativity and ability to response rapidly.

It is estimated that one in three CDs sold worldwide is a counterfeit and 23.76% of worldwide internet traffic is generated by unauthorised content. In the USA, the commercial value of unlicensed software reached $51.4 billion, which was a 41% increase compared to previous years. But an exact loss figure is hard to calculate as there are many other factors, difficult to determine like whether someone would have purchased the content if it was impossible to obtain it illegally.

The UK, which is one of the leading digital music markets, with 67 legal services, also has to face the problem of illegal downloading. The first answer is education, which means making Internet users aware how physical and digital format piracy affects artists, songwriters and record producers.

But an informative and persuasive campaign is not enough to make users migrate to legal services. When there are no more carrots available, it’s high time to use the stick. Thus the UK, together with France, South Korea and Taiwan introduced legislation based on a gradual response. It was proved that 90% of P2P users would change their behaviour upon receipt of a second warning from their ISP, combined with a deterrent sanction if they continued their illegal activity.

Adopted in November 2009, the Anti Piracy Unit obliges the Internet service providers (ISP) to notify subscribers alleged to be infringing on copyright and produces a list of repeat infringers.

Piracy is like a multi-headed monster which continuosly transforms and forces people who deal with it to come up with one effective solution after another, as they become obsolete quickly. The next challenge is ‘cyberlocker’ sites with fast spreading illegal links, and no users to identify.

An interesting innovation was developed by Fortium. It’s a File Based Pin Play solution that secures the content at the moment of receipt. A special wrapper is attached to the file and the receiver has to enter a separately provided pin in order to open the content. It is aimed at protecting DVD’s from unauthorized duplication.

It seems that battling piracy can be effective if the efforts of all the parties involved: industry suppliers, assosiations and goverments, work together. But as always, there is also another side of the coin: what threatens the economic stability of a developed industry, boosts the rapidly growing markets like Brazil, India and China.

From 2D to 3D – a short course on brain deceiving

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

The best is either to deliver high quality 3D or not to deliver it at all

The arrival of 3D has definitely thrilled the market and lifted consumers’ expectations. 3D broadcast channels, TVs with built in ‘on the fly’ conversion ability and 3D cinemas pop up like mushrooms. Not a long time ago just four 3D movies generated 33% of  total revenue of the box office.

At first glance, it may seem that auto conversion can save a lot of money and manual work, but it has to be remembered that the quality of auto-conversion is strongly linked with the source material. It is far easier to convert a movie that was made with 3D in mind than some old movies which used to be fully devoted to 2D. Auto – convertors do not like abrupt cuts and  vertical motion since the convertors’ depth detectors prefer horizontal plane. However the idea of turning old movies into 3D reminds many of the colorisation era in the 80’s and leaves them similarly disappointed. And as the latest damaging reviews for The Clash of the Titans showed, the idea of turning into 3D the movie with no previous intention for extra dimension brings literally nothing to the watching experience. We may also wonder if it will ever be possible to create a computer algorythm that can achieve the 3D perception equal to that of human brain, but so far the real quality conversion can only be done by skilled engineers.

The basic way to convert 2D to 3D is by ‘vertical location’. The image is cut into horizontal zones and the zones at the bottom of the screen seem to be closer than the others. Yet, many aren’t satisfied with the results. The more advanced method is  to simply clone the movie. By doing so, you get two identical picture sequences. One – for the left eye – remain untouched and the other is transformed in the search for a deeper dimension. Individual objects are isolated with a use of two techniques: rotoscoping and matting. The former traces the contour of an object in every single frame of the movie and the latter constructs a mask (using color, motion or brightness) that follows it around. Finally, the relative depths are measured using parallax.

There is also a physical phenomenon called the Pulfrich effect, where a visual lag between the left and right eye creates depth from 2D. A variation on this theme, combined with objects moving at different speeds in successive fields can bring interesting results as well.

Anyway, only the luckiest half of humanity will be able to fully appreciate the result of quality conversion. Let’s hope you are among them!

The 3 threads to 3D

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Adding realism to the viewing experience is good. Football is the best example.

Adding realism to the viewing experience is good. Football is the best example.

3D, a new feature of Blu Ray format will certainly be a revolution in home entertainment. It has already revolutionised the movie industry. Avatar proved it is no longer a gadget, but an integral part of story–telling and the movie texture. It gave a real boost to 3D. It is estimated that by 2015 almost 40% of TV sets will be 3D. 70% of Europeans are interested in having 3D at home. Similarly, as it was the case with the movie industry, the  3D impact will be holistic and will transform all forms and channels of content delivery – 3D cinema, home 3D, PC-based 3D gaming and 3D mobile phones. More exciting opportunities to exercise your right to entertainment!

However, there are some threads which may limit the scope of 3D and keep it still as something designed ‘for an occasion’. The first is that there might not be expected content to draw people’s attention. Consumers most frequently view wildlife footage and sport events in 3D, but are strongly attached to 2D when it comes to their favorite TV shows. So will it be mainly for hardcore game enthusiasts?

With growing consumer awareness, more information and education provided by retailers is needed. Especially concerning the necessary equipment and background in 3D experience, its impact on the keen young gamers’ eyesight etc. The 3D format is safe for children over 4 years of age, according to doctors, and it’s definitely better for human eye accommodation than traditional 2D.

Last but not least, there is the question of time-consuming conversion from 2D to 3D done by skilled engineers.  This issue needs to be balanced as now many new TVs and BD players have built in circuitry that permits an auto- conversion by simply one press of a button.  It’s also estimated that 55% of the population is unable to see 3D properly, so is there a point in dedicating time and effort for raising already sophisticated standards of good conversion if more than a half of all viewers are not able to spot the difference?

Why do consumers, especially gamers, love physical media?

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Will physical media be soon supplanted by digital?

Although digital delivery has been gaining more and more recognition and is estimated to generate nearly £6.5  billion  of new revenue by 2013, it is still complementing, not displacing, physical media. And at least for the nearest decade media companies are to expect a period of synergy between physical and digital rather than ‘cannibalisation’. Why? Because basically people like to have what they own and be independent from the way publishers are ruling a game.

According to survey conducted by NPD, 75 % of game buyers prefer to have a boxed, retail copy of their game. Is it for collector’s sake? Out of nostalgia? Well, not only. 65% declare they would download the game if the title was 10% cheaper to download than buy at retail. There is also a ‘novelty factor’ which digital media seem to be taking for granted. While the price of a physical copy is more likely to drop down, the drive disc version may stay at the same price indefinitely, especially when there is no storage problem.

Another explanation for a preference to physical media is its independence from the publisher and licensing restrictions. Digital games do not belong fully to the user, they  are only under license to use, so the publisher has complete control.  There is also a trivial aspect, basically physical media are less harder to lose. There are no concerns about the servers going down or possible free or reduced price re-download. Many have pointed out that the  trade off digital media should be of much lower  price than the price of physical media, until that happens streaming and such is not all that viable.

Not only consumers share this view. Many retailers also perceive digital media as ‘ high investment low return business model’, as there are many problems in stock:  mobile internet access and reliance on the speed of downloading, supply chain customization, lack of standards in the whole sector. Searching for  effective content protection policies is one of the biggest challenge as pirated websites are more and more sophisticated. Ironically, in many regions of Europe and Asia it is still easier to find pirated movies than the legal DVDs.

In the era of cloud computing digital distribution is a natural part of the process and cannot be avoided. It is only the question of adopting infrastructure in order to provide a simplified and coherent method of data distribution.

The History of the War Between Blu-ray and HD DVD

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The battle between the HD DVD and Blu-ray discs was hard-fought

As new technology is constantly brought onto the market, it stands to reason that sometimes you will get products which clash.  Sometimes, these two variants on the same product can co-exist quite happily, but other times a vicious battle of merchandise ensues and one product will knock the other off the market!

This was the case with the fight between Blu-Ray and HD DVD, and the war goes back further than you’d think:  All the way back to the year 2000!  During this time, new blue lasers were being experimented with in optical disc systems.  Companies found that by using these blue lasers, rather than the previous red ones, more information could be stored on a disc in less space.  This is because the wavelength of a blue laser is smaller than a red one, therefore less space is needed to store the same piece of information.

But why were they experimenting with this new technology?  What was wrong with the good old DVD?  Well, as is often the case, advances in other areas were forcing disc technology forwards:  High definition televisions and television services had come onto the market and the disc industry did not want to be left behind.  They, too, wanted to provide high-definition products but found that there was simply not enough room on an ordinary DVD.  Thus, new technology had to be found to cater for the changes in the market.

But here’s the catch:  More than one company was making the same discoveries at the same time!  The result:  Two competing products were brought onto the market and began a battle that would last for almost a decade.

Sony and Pioneer seem to have been the main instigators of research, unveiling the DVR Blue at Japan’s Ceatec show on October 5th 2000.  It was this disc which would form the basis for Blu-ray, which was proposed some two years later, on February 19th 2002.  The plans for the disc were put forward by nine very successful electronics companies, headed by Sony.  However, only a few months later, NEC and Toshiba put forward plans for a competing product, the high-definition disc which was to become HD DVD.

That year, at the 2002 Ceatec show in Japan, both discs were unveiled.  The Blu-ray was shown by Sony, Sharp, Panasonic, JVC and Pioneer whilst the HD DVD, at this time called the Advanced Optical Disc (AOD), was shown by Toshiba.  I can almost imagines the competitors scowling at each other across the room:  This meant merchandise war!

At first, things were slow.  New technology is very expensive and the licensing for Blu-ray was extortionate (and necessarily so considering all the money that had been sunk into the disc’s invention!)  Perhaps due to this, or perhaps simply in a clever marketing move, Sony created a disc which would allow data storage, not only in terms of film, but in terms of business: Companies could now store documents, presentations – whatever they wanted – on these discs, like memory-massive versions of the CD.

The technology to be able to write information on discs at home and in the workplace was then used to create the first home BD recorder.  It was based upon the BD-RE disc and cost almost $4000!  It was a mistake, however, as the machine did not support pre-recorded films and simply served as an extra expense for the companies involved.  Despite this mistake, the BD was obviously making headway, however, as Mitsubishi joined the group in May of that year.

But what of the HD DVD during this time?  Well, truth be told very little happened with the HD DVD of note until early 2004, when Toshiba unveiled the first prototype HD DVD player.  The player was well though out as it was backwards compatible with DVD, a customer pleasing feature which brought it attention.  However the success was not to last, as only five days later, on january 12th, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, major electronics companies, made public their decision to back the Blu-ray disc.

Then, on September 21st, Sony announced that their PlayStation 3 would support Blu-ray discs.  This was a canny business move on Sony’s part, as they knew that many of the people who play PlayStation games are also a major section of the film-buying market.  Therefore, by cornering the gamers into watching Blu-rays simply because they already had the player, they sectured an enormous amount of business in one fell swoop.

But in late November, several world-famous film studios came together to give their support for the HD DVD.  This was a massive boon for the HD DVD; getting the backing of Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, HBO, Universal Pictures AND Paramount Pictures secured for them a massive portion of the film-making industry.  However, they had missed off one of the most influential giants of movie-making:  Disney.  And ten days later, this titan of business gave its support, not to the HD DVD, but to Blu-ray.

In mid-2005, Sony’s president made a show of wishing to compromise or integrate with HD DVD, knowing as he did that consumers were becoming tired of having choose between the two rival formats.  But still the war dragged on, though talks were indulged in for several months between Toshiba and Sony.  Companies kept siding with one of the other format until, late in 2005, Paramount Home Entertainment decided to offer their films on both HD DVD and Blu-ray.  Some other companies followed suit but there was still an air of stagnation and irritation on the market.

So we come to March 2006, when Toshiba put their new HD DVD player on the market.  It had been in development for some moths by LG Electronics, no doubt also backed in part by Microsoft, who had decided to rival the PLayStation 3 and provide an HD DVD drive add-on for their Xbox 360.  The disc player was much more of a success than the initial Blu-ray model, as it was cheaper (by about $2000!) and also played all pre-recorded data.

2007 saw the HD DVD take over the market, stealing support from companies who had previously backed Blu-ray as their HD DVD-player sales rocketed to 100,000 in north America alone.  This was despite the fact that LG had put together a dual-format player and Warner Bros. had developed a disc which had two layers:  One HD DVD and the other Blu-ray, so that it was compatible with all players.  HD DVD player prices dropped dramatically and Sony were forced to follow suit, reducing the price of the PlayStation 3 in early November – just in time for Christmas!

So, things were looking up for HD DVD, but Warner Bros. had a bombshell to drop in the new year.  On January 4th 2008, the dropped their support of HD DVD and went over to Blu-ray.  “All of us at Sony are feeling Blu today!”  Said Sony CEO Howard Stringer later that week, smiling broadly.  It was a major blow to HD DVD’s confidence and success.  Though they cut the prices of HD DVD players, the market was simply not interested anymore and consumers began to side more and more with Blu-ray.

Companies NetFlix and BestBuy had said they would phase out HD DVD by June only a month after Warner Bros. announcement and five days later, Toshiba halted the production of their HD DVD players.  Blu-ray had won the war, and just when it looked as if they were about to lose!

How are BD-ROMs manufactured?

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Brand new BD technology means a brand new disc manufacturing techniques

From a consumer’s point of view, it can often appear that products simply appear on the shelves in our shops.  But the reality is that everything that we buy is made somewhere in a more or less complicated process.  For Blu-ray disc manufacturing, this process is long and tricky and must be done by state of the art machines.  On the surface the BD factory is mystery – so let’s satisfy our curiosity and take an in depth look at how these discs are made.

All BDs start life as a collection of tiny, clear granules of the plastic polycarbonate.  These granules arrive at the factory in trucks and are stored in silos, waiting for the process of Blu-ray disc manufacturing to begin.  They are then siphoned into pipes, which take them through the factory to ‘hopper’s which measure out a certain number of granules and melt them down, sending them to the moulding machine.

The moulding machine then compresses the liquified polycarbonate into a disc.  The mould for the machine is created from a glass master copy of the first layer of data data to be stored on the BD so not only does this machine create the basic shape of the disc, but it also punches the first layer of data into it.  The data takes the form of ‘bumps’ or positive and negative indentations on the surface of the disc, which will later be covered for protection, and then read by the ‘blue’ BD laser.

Moved by a robotic arm, the disc is now ready for the next stage in Blu-ray manufacturing.  The disc is then coated in a layer of silver.  This layer is miniscule – only 90 angstroms thick (and an angstrom is only 100 millionths of a centimetre!)  The layer is created by a process called sputtering.  In this case, ‘sputtering’ involves hundreds of thousands of atoms of silver being bombarded.  The particles of metal are ‘energised’ or made magnetic so that they will stick to the surface they are applied to.  In Sony Blue-ray disc manufacturing plant, their sputtering machine has a magnetic field so strong that it affects pacemakers that are brought nearby!

The disc is then coated in a layer of special UV resin, which is hardened by being exposed to a special kind of light.  Then, a second layer of data is added if needed and the disc is given another UV resin coating and a final protective layer.

But this is not then end of the Blu-ray disc manufacturing process:  Half the energy goes into making sure the product is reliable.  The discs are machine-checked for any sign of scratching or bubbling between the layers before being scanned and checked for playback integrity.
And what would a disc be without its artwork?  The discs then have to be loaded onto spools to go to the printing machines, which vary in technique according to the factory.  Finally, the BDs find their way to the assembly line where they are clothed in their cases, with any inserts and covers the designer has chosen.

So that is how Blu-ray discs are manufactured!  They don’t just magically appear, but are sent through a complex and highly scientific process before arriving on the shelves or our stores!

BD Live – Alive or Dead?

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

BD Live - how alive is it?

The world of technology is constantly attempting to develop, and the world of disc manufacturing is no different.  After the war between the HD formats (a battle decidedly won by Blu-Ray discs over HD DVD), manufacturers began to press the concept of BD-Live.

But what is BD-Live?  Well, despite its new buzzword status, it is actually quite difficult to pin any industry officials down on what in fact ‘BD-Live’ entails.  The best summing up can be that it is Blu-Ray discs connected to the internet for extra features.  It requires back-end technologies which allow the disc to access high quality content from the internet.  This content was originally intended to be apps such as being able to chat to friends during a film, being able to access websites of products featured in a film and to even buy those products on the spot, from the comfort of your own couch.

Let’s pass over what this means for the ensuing increased laziness of mankind and focus instead on what the technology has so far been used for.  Mainly, it is used as a promotional tool for the studios behind the film, giving links to the studio’s website through the Blu-Ray disc.  However, usually these websites do not allow any further access to the internet, keeping the user in that companies ‘playground’.  Many of these websites lack original, entertaining data and do not keep the user enthralled.  Aside from access to these sites, BD-Live has also so far been used for material such as one gets as extra features on DVD.

And yet the potential for BD-Live is so much greater than this:  It could, in the long run, grant full web access, allow HD downloadable videos, have killer apps and constantly updated new information about the film.  It has even been suggested that, for instance, if you were to buy a disc about a band, you could insert the disc and see some of their gigs live on the nights that they played.  The sheer amount of work and resources that would have to go into an app like this aside, it would be a great capability to have on a Blu-ray disc.  Add to this the potential BD-Live has for communication – internet chat, text messaging and phone calls – and you have yourself an amazing application.

So why have the industry been so slow to start fulfilling this potential?  Firstly, there are several unanswered questions about how exactly BD-Live will work cross-continent:  How exactly will people be able to communicate around the world with the regional coding Blu-ray discs have been programmed with?  And, with different BD-Live (that is basically internet-capable) players having different programming and capacities, there is no guarantee that all consumers will be able to access the same amount of data.  Currently, the difference in downloading time can vary from one player downloading one set of data in ten seconds, to another downloading the same set in ten minutes!  Creating programs that only a small percent of the market will be able to use does not seem to provide enough impetus to develop the technology further.

From a film-makers point of view, as industry’s Van Ling pointed out, having someone be encouraged to talk through a film that you have made is, frankly, insulting, so the communication side of BD-Live is being stunted from the film-maker’s quarter.

To add to all these problems, many consumers are baffled as to why they need BD-Live when their computers and mobile-phones can serve the same purposes with less fuss and cost.  BD-Live needs to develop something new and different which cannot be found simply on the web or through your phone or computer, only on a Blu-ray disc.

What it is important to remember, however, is that these are all simply teething problems:  BD-Live is new and no new technology arrives on the market problem-free.  All this technology needs is consumer support and eventually the programming will improve.  Let’s face it, if it eventually fulfills its potential, it will be worth supporting!

Blu-Ray Discs – The Basics!

Friday, July 30th, 2010

BDs - the basics!

So the Blu-Ray disc is here and it seems, with growing sales, that it could well be here to stay! But what are the basics facts you need to know about this disc to stop confusion and to make sure you’re not getting ripped off?
To start with, a basic outline of the disc itself: It’s a disc designed to hold high definition media in particular, best displayed on HDTV screens, but it can also be used for storing computer data. Having been in the works since 2002, the average Blu-Ray disc, or BD, can hold 25GB of information – more than enough for a feature length film! There are also dual layer discs on the market which can hold 50GB but they are rarer and much more expensive. The Blu-Ray disc is called this because, unlike a DVD or a CD, the laser beam which reads the disc is blue-violet and not infrared.
The same as with DVDs, there are different formats of BD for different uses the user may require. Bear in mind that all these formats can be made in either the 25 or 50GB sizes.

BD-ROM: This is the average Blu-Ray that you buy with a film on it. It’s not re-recordable and needs to be manufactured by a professional company.

BD-R: This is a one-time recordable disc which can hold all sorts of different data. You can also burn video onto this at home or professionally.

BD-RE: The same as a BD-R, only this one can be re-recorded onto many times.

BDAV: This is read-only format, the Blu-Ray equivalent of the DVD-Video format. Ot allows for enormous (in fact unnecessarily large) pixel formats: Either 1920×1080 or 1280×720 and uses a progressive scan functioning at 50 or 60 Hz rather than DVD-Video’s 25 or 30Hz. What do all these numbers mean? Basically, it has a killer image – so good that for most households with average sized TVs, it’s quality overkill. Still, it’s worth it for the occasions where massive screens are around and the video just looks perfect!

Manufacturers of BD-ROMs, BD-Rs and BD-REs claim that the discs have a 10-15 year life span and have the strongest content protection which includes strict licensing procedures. (Unfortunately these licensing procedures can seem quite complicated at first – so complex, in fact, that they merit an article all of their own which will be coming shortly!) BDs also ensure the highest HD quality and memory capacity of any disc available. They also use a tough coating which makes the disc slightly resilient against scratches and fingerprints.
So that’s a basic guide to Blu-Ray discs – enjoy watching you’re BDs with their excellent quality and great interactive features!

Blu-Rays and Regional Settings

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Regional settings for BDs can look very complicated - so here's a simple break-down!

The world of technology is constantly moving forwards and the latest addition to the world of discs is the Blu-Ray discs. However there have been some problems and confusion over Blu-Ray regional settings: Not only are they different from DVD regions, they are also not very well labelled!
So, to save the confusion, here is a list of the DVD regions:

1 – US and Canada
2 – Europe, Japan and the Middle East
3 – Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong
4 – South America, Australia and New Zealand
5 – Russia, Eastern Europe, India, most of Africa and North Korea
6 – China

And here is a list of the Blu-Ray regions, which use the ‘ABC region code scheme’:

A – North America, South America, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong
B – Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Autsralia and New Zealand
C – India, China and Russia

While it is worth bearing in mind that only about one third of Blu-Rays have regional settings, for those that do, it is very often marked on the packaging very poorly or not at all! Mass Blu-Ray duplication companies have been asked by the BD license to mark on the packaging somewhere what region the disc is, however very often the writing is miniscule and only says ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ which is meaningless to most people anyway! Some companies have also been guilty of leaving off the region setting altogether and have not been questioned on this: Therefore no marking could mean no regional code but it could also mean it’s simply missing or that you haven’t found the tiny writing it’s in yet!
Not only this, but some companies have started renaming the coding systems: Amazon has turned ‘A, B, C’ into ‘1, 2, 3’ but does host a page explaining this in its FAQ section to counterbalance confusion. The BDA (Blu-Ray Disc Association) has been made aware of this situation.
But many of you may well remember that when DVDs first started out they were avidly restricted to region settings and it was not until ‘hacked’ DVD players with no coding came out that the DVD market really took off, mainly because there were more DVDs in some regions then in others, thus when the regions were taken out of the equation, consumers were given much more choice as to what they could buy. Perhaps mass Blu-Ray duplication companies are hoping for the same thing because recently a ‘hacked’ Blu-Ray player, which is BD-Live enabled, has become available and, as yet, has also not been made illegal even though it breaks the coding laws!
Whilst I obviously cannot condone a ‘hacked’ machine, it does seem to be the underground answer to the confusing labeling of Blu-Ray discs. The other option is from the BDA to finally call the mass Bly-Ray duplications companies to task and force them to properly label discs, not just send them the document which states that’s what they should be doing!

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