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- High-Def Digest Previews the Sony UBP-X1000ES Ultra HD Blu-ray Player [9/29]
- OPPO Digital Confirms Upcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray Player [9/26]
- Sony Announces 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player for Spring 2017 Release [9/15]
- Yamaha Announces RX-A 60 Series AVENTAGE AV Receivers [5/17]
- Yamaha Announces RX-V 81 Series A/V Receivers, Featuring Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and 4K Ultra HD [4/6]
- Yamaha Releases DTS:X and HDMI 2.0a Firmware Updates [4/6]
- DTS:X and HDMI 2.0a Update for More Marantz Models Now Available [3/3]
- Denon Releases DTS:X and HDMI 2.0a Firmware Update for AVR-X4200W and AVR-X6200W [2/18]
- Yamaha Announces Spring 2016 Timeframe for DTS:X Firmware Updates for Select AV Receivers, AV Processor, and Sound Bars [2/17]
- DTS:X and HDMI 2.0a Update for the Marantz AV8802A Now Available [2/4]
After being the topic of rumors and speculation for some time, Sony's PlayStation 3 is now officially able to support the features of Blu-ray Profile 1.1 with a firmware update announced today. That profile, which has also been called Bonus View in some circles, allows the player to display secondary video for picture-in-picture support and a few other enhancements.
Also included in the update are additional system features, such as DivX and VC-1 (WMV) video playback support in the XMB, and a voice changer so that gamers can disguise their voices when they get into it during online multi-player matches.
With this update, the PlayStation 3 further cements its reputation as the best overall Blu-ray player available. Sony has already stated that roughly 2.5 million of the 2.7 million Blu-ray players in consumers' hands are PlayStation 3's. Its only glaring problem is that it cannot be controlled by universal remotes like other respectable media equipment, but maybe if I complain enough here, they'll do something about that...
My only other complaint is that the lowest-priced unit (the $400 40GB model) does not support PlayStation 2 games. While I'm not a gamer, I think it would be foolish to buy a game system that isn't capable of playing games from one of the most popular game systems ever released. That means that you end up having to pay $500 for the 80GB model.
Meanwhile, the manufacturers of the other Blu-ray players should be embarrassed that a video game system is beating them on features and price. Here's hoping that someone is on the ball and makes some announcements of feature-rich Blu-ray players at CES in January!
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