Well, having read some of the public docs on blu-raydisc.com... and
no, there aren't nearly enough of them, and I'm not paying $15K to
license the spec either... I'm not sure this is entirely the right way
to see the situation.
I'd be inclined to make the analogy that HDMV is to BD-J as static web
pages are to servlets (and literally servlets, nothing on top of
them). Not because these technologies are particularly similar, but
in terms of what they're used for. When my kid's school posts the
month's lunch menu on their web page they do so with static HTML.
It's simple, understandable, toolable, and cheap... and therefore the
right choice for the problem domain. You could write a servlet every
month to do something like request.getOutputStream.write("<title>Lunch
Menu</title>"), but that would be fricking stupid, right?
OK, now consider the needs of a Blu-Ray disc. Most of the time, the
interactivity is limited to navigation. If a simpler markup-and-
script API can get the job done, that's probably going to be the right
choice. You need BD-J only when you go furher: you want picture-in-
picture functionality or internet connectivity or game-quality
interactivity or other high-end features.
It's possible that with Blu-Ray's small install base, spending the
money on this richer content, and the more difficult development it
entails, just isn't worth it yet. Also, I spoke with an independent
studio that does high-def discs for the big studios, and they said
that in some cases, they had to adopt a "lowest common denominator"
approach for content that needed to be developed and work more or less
the same way on both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD.
So there *might* be more interest in using BD-J as the install base
grows and the need for dual-platform development subsides with the end
of the format war. Also, the difficulty of developing BD-J content
could be alleviated through middleware (imagine, say, a scene graph
and animation framework written atop BD-J). But it's also possible
that the novel functionality exposed by BD-J will prove not worth the
time and money to develop for -- people may not want to buy a player
based on fancier menuing or vague promises of rich interactivity. The
fact that there are apparently severe compatibility problems across
players is also a major worry for BD-J going forward.
And of course, the big problem as far as most of us are concerned is
that BD-J is a locked down platform, completely impractical to develop
for as an independent or hobbyist developer (or "tire kickers", as
this group has been described on the hdcookbook forum). That lock-
down is something I initially predicted in a blog years ago, only to
have readers insist no, Blu-Ray will be cool, and so I opened my mind
to the idea that it would be neat if it were a means of distributing
arbitrary ME code with a decent UI to living room TVs. Only to have
it turn out to really be locked down after all. Despite the potential
of Blu-Ray, the format's owners may really only care that it be a
great Hollywood movie player and nothing else.
I kind of go back and forth on Blu-Ray, and right now I'm thinking
there are things to spend my time on that have more users, more
dollars, and more practical points-of-entry for the independent