What’s the Big Deal With BD-Live?


The Dark Knight on Blu-ray Disc

Is BD-Live the way to salvage the future of DVDs? According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, studios are hoping the technology, which adds interactive features like chat and trivia games to Blu-ray movies, will boost sagging DVD sales. A big test of that strategy will come this week, when Warner Home Video releases its first BD-Live movie, The Dark Knight.

Warner Bros. is heavily promoting The Dark Knight‘s interactive features, suggesting that viewers, for example, “send invitations for screenings at a specified time and chat with each other as the movie plays.”

While the studio is using BD-Live features to promote The Dark Knight, BD-Live backers are undoubtedly hoping that the sheer popularity of The Dark Knight turns the spotlight to the capabilities of the technology itself.

And BD-Live, it seems, could use a boost. The article notes that Disney (s dis), which has been using BD-Live to allow viewers of some titles to chat on-screen with other users who are watching the same movie for some time, hasn’t had a lot of success with it. Of course that could, however, be due to the selection of titles offering the feature — among them, as the WSJ points out, Sleeping Beauty.

The WSJ rightly suggests the High School Musical movies might be a better fit for the BD-Live chat functionality. When I was 13, I spent most of my afternoons chatting on the phone with friends I’d just seen at school. If we’d had the ability to trade notes about Zac Efron without taking our eyes off the TV screen, I’m sure we would have loved every minute of it. 

Tweens aside, does anyone else want to watch their movies in a social environment — virtual or not? Besides the overpriced snacks and the sticky floors, the most irritating thing about watching a movie at the theater is the other people. Why bring them into your living room?

BD-Live isn’t the only technology that aims to add a virtual social element to entertainment, but most of the other options require a computer. CBS.com offers Social Viewing Rooms for some of its shows, and services like Paltalk and BuddyTV offer chat rooms where like-minded viewers can connect.

I’m not sure any of this is for me. Maybe I’m missing the point, but I just don’t get what the big deal is. Not yet, anyway.



Me and my d-bag friends have had some great times watching movies (mostly bad ones starring Stallone or Schwarzenegger) in large groups. If that environment could be replicated somehow, BD-Live has a shot. I feel like some form of facebook integration would be involved.


if it wasnt for optical media, family guy would have never returned and seth macfarlane would still be looking for work. times have changed in the handful of years since then, but not that drastically.


“interactive features, suggesting that viewers, for example, “send invitations for screenings at a specified time and chat with each other as the movie plays.”

put simply , Until someone provides a real easy to install and apperate multicpoint to multipoint MULTICAST TUNNEL and pushs these interactive apps through it so as to bypass the worlds ISPs lack in will to turn on multicasting capabilitys to your average end users its never going to go anywere lont term really.

why Multicast tunel, simple, that was and is expressly written from the earlyest days in the internet to make passing single datastreams to many many people watching or interacting with that IP data real easy and saves MASSIVE bandwidth.

the worlds ISPs have seen fit to turn Multicasting OFF and filter it rather than help provide this protocol as found in every single ISP gade router and related kit, forcing you to use wastful Unicast streams only.

make the generic Multicast tunnel adn write your old unicast apps to use the tunnel and you instantly bypass the ISPs restrictions and perhaps help the real innovation and Muticast video streaming and true interactivity to take off.

sit back and say do nothing and you will never get true bandwidth savings or mass interactivity as it was ment to be with Multicast data streams to anyone thats cares to use it and tune in….


have seen a demo of this. really can’t imagine anyone actually using it. blu-ray is really grasping for straws to stay relevant.

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