Blu-ray Firmware Matters

My first Blu-ray player--but not, I swear, my last--is a Pioneer Elite BDP-HD1. It's a first-generation model and therefore showing its age. Lately it has been having trouble loading new movie titles. I wondered if it were simply obsolete and muttered aggrievedly about planned obsolescence and standards that are really not standardized. Old CD players still play new CDs--why shouldn't an old Blu-ray player play new BDs? While I was screening movies for an audio review, the player surprised me by flashing a bright red onscreen message demanding a firmware update. This was the first time I'd seen such a message. The last time I did this, for 2007's Version 3.40.1, the process required me to download a zip file, copy it to DVD-R, and put the disc in the player. But for the up-to-the-minute Version 3.88, the process required only the player's ethernet connection, a download direct into the player, and a little remote button pressing. Ten minutes later I was done, and the Pioneer played the disc it had previously rejected, plunging me into the world of Mark Wahlberg action movies. It still downconverted DTS-HD Master Audio to DTS Core, but at least I wouldn't have to exchange unplayable discs at the local Blockbuster. I mention this for the benefit of Blu-ray early adopters who may be having trouble loading discs--the latest firmware upgrade may help.

Scott Andrews's picture

I have updated at least twice and encourage all who buy to run new firmware on all new purchases since the box may have sat a while before you took to a good home theater

Carlton Simpson's picture

Actually the player doesn't downconvert DTS-HD Master Audio to DTS core.The DTS core is already there in the DTS digital bitstream.It's part of DTS' plan to make sure that all of their products are backwards compatible with older legacy converters.Example-on DVD DTS ES 6.1 discreet soundtracks have the back surround channel matrixed into the left and right surround channels for older converters that cannot decode the discreet channel.I was VERY happy to find this out when I got the extended box set of the Lord of the Rings.All of which are in Dolby EX(matrix)and DTS ES 6.1 discreet.My decoder could only play back the matrix version,but I was able to play the DTS in 6.1 because the matrix version was there.I found this information on DTS' website a couple of years ago.