The first Blu-ray (BD) disc drive for desktop PCs is here, but be warned — it won’t play commercial BD movies.
Sony officially announced its BWU-100A product at its “Experience More 2006″ event in Sydney yesterday, all the while acknowledging that there’s significant room for improvement before the product is viable for integration into media centre PCs.
Vincent Bautista, Sony’s product manager for data storage, told CNET.com.au that due to copy protection issues and lagging software development, the drive will only play user-recorded high-definition content from a digital camcorder, and not commercial movies released under the BD format.
Bautista says that one of two reasons for this is the fact that commercial content is encrypted with High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), which can only be decrypted using a HDCP-compliant graphics card that offers DVI or HDMI connections. Since there are currently no PCs for sale offering graphics chips that support HDCP, this isn’t yet possible.