BD-J and HDi Are the New Enablers of Blu-ray and HD DVD Features

By Andrew Eisner

Retrevo offers this overview of the new HDTV programming languages on high definition DVDs

Along with 1080p resolution and lossless audio compression, high definition DVDs are coming with special feature material using interactive programs based on languages like Java and Javascript. Blu-ray discs will be using a Java based platform called BD-J while HD DVD discs use a platform called HDi.

Blu-ray and BD-J

Only the latest Blu-ray players support BD-J because the "profile" (1.1) that supports it was only recently approved. If you were an early adopter of a Blu-ray player you can't upgrade your player’s firmware to support BD-J enabled Profile 1.1 players. Because Blu-ray players that can run BD-J have only recently started to appear, there hasn’t been a lot of BD-J enhanced movies on Blu-ray discs – mostly just enhanced menus and PIP commentaries. As Blu-ray players become available that support BD-J we'll see more added features, called “bonus views” that include picture-in-picture commentaries, actor interviews, alternate angles, and behind the scenes footage.

HD DVD and HDi

On the HD DVD side the competing language is HDi ("i" for interactivity). This Microsoft-backed format is based on XML and JavaScript components and can be used on any streaming media in addition to optical media.

Studio Branded Features

Movie studios have starting branding their own versions of interactive standards. This could allow them to provide the same features across Blu-ray and HD HVD discs. Warner Brothers calls theirs In-Movie Experience (IME) while Universal Studios has U-Control.

Warner's IME feature on Blood Diamonds

Warners's IME feature on the movie "Blood Diamonds"

For more information try these queries on Retrevo for HDi or BD-J.

Retrevo can also help you with all your HDTV needs including manuals and reviews.

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