December 28, 2007 by Marshal Rosenthal
Just as few of us ponder exactly how our car’s internal combustion engine works, so too have DVDs spoiled us into forgetting just how much technology there is working behind the scenes. This is more true of high-definition discs, because the technology isn’t just about better resolution and sound, but about new ways to access and control content.
And when it comes to Blu-ray disc, that means BD-Java, a software platform which provides content developers with a greater level of flexibility for creating and experimenting with new features, many of which were not envisioned when the format was being developed.
Sven Davison, VP, Worldwide DVD Product Development, for Fox Studios lists five reasons why Java was chosen as the basis for the Blu-ray platform:
- Flexibility - it’s not constrained to a single platform.
- It’s an open technology.
- It’s proven to work in the Consumer Electronics environment (more than two billion cell phones worldwide ship with Java).
- Maturity. It’s been around for over ten years.
- The robust security framework allowing studios to limit how the disc accesses the network or local storage and to what extent (important for protecting consumers).
BD-Java provides an opportunity to radically change and constantly evolve disc exploration (menu) experiences, says a spokesperson for Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. For example, a multi-disc experience can be created to keep users engaged in an episodic world. Disney just introduced this capability through a feature called SeasonPlay on the BD release of the TV series “Lost: Season 3.” SeasonPlay allows the player to keep track of the user experience as the season progresses; providing information as to which disc should be inserted to continue viewing the season in sequence, and automatically continuing the season from exactly where users left off when returning to it later. As explained by Disney, this is essentially the technological evolution of the ‘Play All’ button on DVD, with the beauty being that it provides users with information even when a disc is not inserted into the player, and keeps them engaged and informed throughout the viewing session.
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