PS3 Blu-Ray Profile 1.1: does it live up to expectations?

Daniel Lim - Jan 28, 2008

We try to keep our readers with up-to-date with the latest technology and news, but occasionally a few things get delayed, like the PS3’s Blu-Ray Profile 1.1 update that’s been out for a few weeks. I didn’t get the first Sony’s Profile 1.1 movie, Resident Evil: Extinction until last week. My lame excuses are: 1) I hate the movie, slouching zombies are getting old and pretty boring, and 2) I’ve never really felt I need Profile 1.1. But I do have a job to do, so here’s the SlashGear hands-on report on the Profile 1.1 update.

Profile 1.1, aka Final Standard Profile or Bonus View, requires a secondary audio and video decoder, 64Kb of built-in persistent memory and a further 256MB of persistent memory space to enable picture in picture (PIP). A local hard-drive (such as the one found in the PS3), built-in flash memory or external memory from a card reader (as with Panasonic’s DB30) will all satisfy the memory space requirement.

Bonus View allows for extra features such as interactive audio commentaries or video featurettes that are no different from other PIP you may have seen. A secondary window appears in the corner of the screen, featuring crew interviews, artwork or commentary associated with the scene. For instance, pictures taken from Resident Evil while the director explains how the “burning crow” scene was achieved.

PIP feature with PS3’s profile 1.1, sequence to activate PIP

Picture enlarged to show the secondary a/v decoder

If you own a HD-DVD player, you’re probably familiar with In-Movie Experience (IME) that behaves just like Bonus View (or should I say the Bonus View behaves like IME?) Here’s my favorite scene from last year’s sleeper hit Knock-Up showing IME’s U-Control Features PIP, where one of the idiots was arguing “Everyone knows you can’t get pregnant while the girl’s on top, its gravity… whatever goes up must come down.” Now the red camp has had that since day one, and they’ve already made it web-enabled, while the Blue camp is working on their next-gen Profile 2.0, aka BD-Live.

PIP feature with HD-DVD’s IME

BD-Live requires additional memory space of 1GB plus Internet connectivity. So, lucky for PS3 owners, the does-it-all console will once again meet all the requirements out of the box. Sony has already demonstrated the possibility of PS3s with Profile 2.0 while at CES 2008, so it’s really just a matter of time until we get to read about the misery of Blu-Ray’s Profile again, only in a different movie, ‘Saw IV’.

If you have an older, Profile 1.0 player that doesn’t support Profile 1.1 or higher, that doesn’t stop you playing existing or future Blu-Ray discs. Your player is far from obsolete, you just have to skip the extra features and do as I do: focus on the movie.

In tests, the PS3’s PIP worked flawlessly. Both secondary features kept up with the scene while fast forwarding; that’s the good old PS3 I fell in love with. Honestly, in my experience no other hi-def standalone player can touch the PS3 when it comes to movie interaction and basic control, the whole thing is extremely responsive. As for the movie, well, I’m afraid I didn’t finish it.

The Profile 1.1 update is included in the latest Sony 2.10 firmware for the PS3, and should be available as an upgrade directly from your console.

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