After what's seemed like an eternity, Blu-ray players have come of age. In 2009, Profile 2.0 machines are finally the norm, which means that you can now buy a Blu-ray deck safe in the knowledge that it'll do everything that the format promised - and you don't even have to pay through the nose to get one.
BD Live-capable players like the LG BD370, Samsung BD-P1500 and the Sony BDP-S350 can be found for around £150 online, while feature-packed decks like the Samsung BD-P3600 and Panasonic DMP-BD60 can be yours for little over £200. Experts reckon BD Live player prices could even duck below the holy £100 mark by Christmas this year, which would certainly bring web-enabled Blu-ray decks the mass-market acceptance the industry is striving for.
But having access to cheap Profile 2.0 players is no good without decent BD Live content to play on them, and so far there hasn't been much to write home about. Paste your own head into Starship Troopers 3? No thanks. Engage in chat with Saw IV fans around the world? We'll pass if it's all the same.
Thankfully, studios have started dreaming up increasingly compelling ways of pushing BD Live technology forward and are getting ever closer to that killer application it needs to really take off. Hugo recently reported on Universal's ingenious feature that lets you control BD Live features using an iPhone or iPod Touch, but other studios have hit upon some equally cool ideas.
Sony recently announced MovieIQ, a Gracenote powered movie database that lets you call up information about the movie as it plays, while Warner's link-up with Facebook allows you to share your thoughts on the movie you're watching with your network of friends. BD Live-powered e-commerce and video-on-demand services are also in the pipeline.
So if you're tempted by any of this and don't already have a BD Live-capable player, then the good news is that the market is about to be flooded by a wave of new machines covering a range of budgets - and we thought it was high time we took a sneak peek at some before getting our grubby mitts on them for a full review.