Although the Blu-ray disc format has been in the news in the last few days because movie titles have finally been announced for release in Japan, a quiet rumour has been circulating that is more damaging for the Blu-ray reputation.

According to the writer on Digital Bits, Bill Hunt, sources from the Blu-ray camp have told him that 50GB discs aren’t supported by Samsung’s BD-P1000 player.

The manual only cited compatibility with 25GB discs, which raised a red flag, but now insiders have said that because the 50GB dual-layer discs weren’t ready for testing before the player was shipped, the device can’t read them.

This is expected to be eventually fixed by a firmware update, so that those people who have shelled out $1,000 for the player haven’t wasted their cash.

However, this delay in player/disc compatibility could explain why other manufacturers’ players have been delayed, and why longer films with more extras, like Lawrence of Arabia and Black Hawk Down have not yet been released, despite having had an original release date during this summer.

It’s reassuring that the compatibility issue is not irreparable, but it shows the amount of pressure that HD DVD is putting on Blu-ray manufacturers, as the release of so many HD DVD titles and players has obviously meant that Samsung felt it must release its Blu-ray player before it was totally ready to do so.


The Digital Bits