Last week, we asked whether you use Digital Copies when they’re included with Blu-ray discs. At least among our readers (who are presumably very savvy consumers and the prime demographic for Blu-ray ownership), it looks like a majority of you do not. This raises the question of why studios bother to include them. This week, we have a similar question. How many of you actually use BD-Live internet features on Blu-ray? Vote after the break.
Late last year, I moderated a discussion panel on this very topic of Blu-ray interactivity at the Blu-Con conference in Los Angeles. I guess that means that somebody considers me to be some sort of authority on the subject (or at least I’d like to think so). Yet even I have to admit that I haven’t found terribly many BD-Live features all that interesting. The BD-Live interfaces on most discs are a hassle to use, and most of the features to date have been worthless promotional fluff (trailers for unrelated movies, etc.) or simple video content that should have been authored on the disc itself in the first place.
Even those attempts to add genuine interactive elements that couldn’t be achieved without an internet connection (the “Lost University” feature on ‘Lost: Season 5‘ was a neat idea) often strike me as being better suited as standard online web site content. The need to integrate the feature with Blu-ray playback feels forced and awkward.
In my opinion, the biggest detriment to BD-Live is the need to play a disc to access the content. This is a real nuisance. I feel that the major studios should have coordinated their efforts in the early days of the Blu-ray format to develop some sort of centralized online hub, similar to Xbox Live or the Playstation Network, that could be accessed directly from the Blu-ray player whether a disc is being watched or not. Within this hub, you could branch out to the portals for individual studios to unlock or download their content. This would have made BD-Live substantially more convenient than it is now. Unfortunately, it may be too late to develop something like that now.
How do you feel about it? Do you use BD-Live features? Vote in the poll and tell us in the comments which features you particularly like or dislike.