No longer content to be tethered to A/V systems alone, many new Bluray Disc players augment their basic BD-Live online capability with streaming services like Netflix, Pandora, Vudu, YouTube, and CinemaNow.
Sometimes, basic is the best way to go. Take the newest crop of LCD and plasma TVs: many new models are jam-packed with features that most viewers aren't likely to care about or use - everything from YouTube access to preloaded cooking recipes (I'm serious!). For its 650U series LCDs, however, Toshiba chose to keep things relatively simple.
When the Blu-ray Disc format was first announced, a feature that industry execs liked to pimp in their PowerPoint presentations was BD-Live. With your player plugged into a home network, we were told, a BD-Live-enabled disc could access all manner of wonders by way of the Internet -things like games and extra scenes and commentaries not included on the original disc.
Each year, people like me attend the Consumer Electronics Show hoping to see indications of a forthcoming display technology that will make current TV tech - LCD and plasma, mostly - seem as outdated as the tube TVs piling up in landfills around the world (or not - see "Tech Goes Green" on page 56 for more on that story).