Comment: BD+ DRMed discs won't work in some Blu-ray players

"It seems inevitable that there will be some teething problems with this new layer of technology."

That was Pocket-lint's official take on the new BD+ DRM system when it was finalised back in June this year.

As much I love being right, I only wish we weren't in this instance for the sake of the frustrated consumers who are now suffering as a result two evils.

The first of which is the Blu-ray format's continued instability, and the second, insistence on over-the-top DRM protection from paranoid and greedy studios.

The BD+ standard was particularly of interest to Fox, who had effectively stopped releasing films on Blu-ray because of fears of piracy.

But, news coming in suggests that the two Blu-ray discs Fox has released with the new BD+, breaking their 6 month hiatus, "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" and "Day After Tomorrow", don't work with some Blu-ray players.

In what is becoming a tired news headline ("new BD discs don't work with older players") the Samsung BDP-1200 and LG BH100 cannot play the discs at all while the Samsung BDP-1000 give error messages and playback "stutter".

The discs do work with other players, including the PS3, although some have reported lengthy load times of up to 2 minutes.

The two companies concerned are issuing firmware updates, Samsung within "a couple" weeks and LG in the next 4 days.

But, if you'd dropped $1000 on a Blu-ray player, would you be happy to wait an unspecified number of weeks to then have to update the product in your own time before you can watch your new film?

I wouldn't. And it seems forum members on HighDefDigest (which covers news from both camps) wouldn't either: "Too bad Fox was more concerned with 'pirates' than with their customers. Or maybe they don't see the difference", is one notable comment.

Other forum members ask why, with only a handful of Blu-ray players on the market, Fox could not test their new discs in each player before finalising them, with an astute high-deffer stating:

"It's inexcusable for Fox at the moment. What are there, ten or 12 BD current and discontinued players right now? It shouldn't be that hard to pop a disc into each and every one of them to make sure they work. What's it going to be like three years down the line when player models number in the hundreds?"

What indeed? Blu-ray may well be seen as winning the format war at this current time, but they're not winners in my book, and won't be, until they sort out these unacceptable incompatibility issues.