If there’s anything tech geeks with average incomes hate it’s the current high def format war. Just when you thought Blu-Ray was about to get the knockout, in comes Blu-Ray Disc Java to bite your ear off. The Blu-Ray Disc Association has now mandated that all players must support BD Java after October 31st. Unlike HD-DVD, there is no requirement for an Ethernet port in Blu-Ray players. So, many early adopters may find themselves holding obsolete tech soon.

BD Java is a programming language that is used for those picture-in-picture and other special features of Blu-Ray movies. While Crank currently has the option for picture-in-picture commentary, it’s actually two separate versions of the film jammed onto a 50GB disc. Without the ability to network and get firmware updates many owners won’t be able to get their player upgraded, unless they find a licensed repair shop or ship it off. Either choice is not exactly convenient. You should be able to play the movie itself though. Since it’s release last fall the PS3 is the most popular Blu-Ray player on the market, and with networking capabilities it will be able to stay up to date with the latest standards. Firmware updates are sweet justification for dropping a mortgage payment on a game console.

While Blu-Ray has seen a surge of sales lately in content, many providers are not enthusiastic about the lack of standardization. Warner Bros. is releasing The Ultimate Matrix Collection this month on HD-DVD because of the lack of standards with Blu-Ray. Presumably they are waiting for the standardization of BD Java before making the jump to the competing format. The overall impact on the early adopter market is likely to be minimal, but we’ll keep on eye on Blu-Ray to see if the format changes anymore in the future. We’re watching Blu-Ray Disc Association, get it right the first…hrm, second time.

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