updated 10:30 am EDT, Fri August 11, 2006
Sony Blu-Ray Writer Movies
The news of Sony's first Blu-Ray drive for computers, the BWU-100A, was eagerly anticipated. Unlike the first drives in the market, Sony's model shipping next week can read and write a full three formats (BD, DVD, and CD) and is considerably less expensive at $750. Recently, however, Sony announced a major complication: the new drive can't play copy-protected Blu-Ray movies. Sony's Vincent Bautista explained to journalists that the limitations are due to a lack of supporting hardware and software. While the AR-series notebooks have an HDMI interface and a bundled special edition of InterVideo's WinDVD that can handle copy-protected Blu-Ray movies, there are very few desktop video cards with the appropriate decryption and no stand-alone copies of WinDVD or similar programs to provide software support. The problem is mitigated by the lack of such protection requirements on current Blu-Ray movies, but early adopters of Sony's PC drive may need to buy future hardware and software before they can have guaranteed support for future content.