Considering that I use Vegas for HD editing, Sony now owns Vegas, and Sony is thoroughly attached to Blu-Ray, it seems as if I want to burn my own movies to disc for playback on a settop player, that Blu-Ray is the way to go.
Ah, but not so fast:
Currently no manufactured BD set top player will playback BD ROM material off of a BD-R/RE disk if it wasn't replicated at a replication facility, and does not contain AACS encryption. So, even if you can burn compatible HD .m2v streams onto a BD disk, they would only play on a PC drive with the correct SW emulation, but will not play on the set top player.
This is all dictated by the Blu-ray Assoc. specification. All BD player manufacturers must comply with this spec in its current form.
Okay, so all I really have to do is find some blu-ray authoring software that includes the features that will add the AACS encryption, yes?
Blu-print is now available for $50,000 per license. A free 30-day trial is available by request. Sony Creative Software also provides technical support and maintenance agreements for Blu-print at the Gold (6 months - $7,500) and Platinum levels (1 year - $10,000).
Gosh, it sure seems stupid for the Blu-ray association to force the AACS encryption if they want to actually sell players. I know I won't be buying one in the near future.
Apparently the Blu-ray Disc Association had just recently introduced the spec for playing back write-once BD-R discs as well as BD-REs. Philips plans to implement these new specs in its products sometime this year.
Looks like I'm still gonna be burning DVDs for a while, and if I wanna go HD, make the files available as some other playable format that can be downloaded or shown on a computer and displayed on a widescreen monitor. All I really need is an HDMI video card with HDCP, and I'm in bidness. Add a Blu-Ray-rom drive, and it becomes a set-top player with a hell of a lot more capability than any set-top player out there. Add an HD-DVD drive, and both formats are covered-- but if downloadable HD content becomes available, who really gives a rats ass?
Prices will come down eventually, just like they did with DVD burners and authoring software. In the meantime, I think I'll live.