Has Iron Man recovered?

This morning I checked ‘The Iron Man Blu-ray Ferro-Thread‘ and found that overnight the problems seem to have disappeared and people were getting onto BD-Live fine with the Iron Man Blu-ray. As compared to my discussion in the post before last.

So I loaded the disc into the standalone Sony BDP-S550 player to see if it would work for me. First I made sure that there was no BD data stored for this disc from my previous fiddlings around. Instead of going straight to the Paramount welcoming screen and then language selection, the disc showed the blue Iron Man icon for a few seconds, and then displayed the following message:

Additional bonus features are now available via BD-Live for this disc. Note this one-time process may take several minutes depending on your player model and Internet connection speed. Would you like to download these features now? No|Yes

The text was white, in a rather crowded font. It was presented in a dark blue box, outlined by two white lines. What I’m trying to get at here is that this was some kind of graphic presentation — albeit a simple one — rather than some raw message text.

This, clearly, was a change. I hadn’t seen this message mentioned on any of the Internet boards I had been checking yesterday, nor have I yet this morning. Could it be that Paramount has added a little front-end query to help deal with traffic problems and customer complaints?

Anyway, it still needs a little work. When this message came up, the ‘No’ was in pale blue and the ‘Yes’ in amber. Flicking the arrows on the remote switched the colours, but it was not at all clear which was the selection colour. I took a punt with ‘Yes’ in pale blue, the disc loaded the same way it had yesterday and would not give me access to the BD-Live features.

So I ejected the disc, deleted the ‘Iron Man Disc 1’ BD data that had been stored on my persistent storage, and restarted it. This time I left ‘Yes’ in amber, and the blue logo appeared, pulsating gently for a minute or two (my stopwatch is still broken) until a new message appeared:

DISC UPDATE COMPLETE! Press continue to proceed. Continue

That’s where I am right now. So let’s press ‘Continue’. Blank screen for five seconds, then Paramount opening page and now language selection. I pick English. Various disclaimers of the kind Paramount normally place at this point on their discs. The blue icon reappears as it has previously, is there for five seconds and now the main menu is up. I arrow around to Extras and then to BD-Live. (The menu selection indicator is amber letter colouring here as well. This is made clear by only one out of the four selections being so highlighted. That doesn’t work when there are only two selections.)

I select BD Live. Blank screen for a second, then the blue logo for a few seconds, and then the BD-Live page, which has only one feature at the moment: to test my ‘Iron Man I.Q.’ with an in-the-movie trivia game. There’s a ‘Download’ selection, and also a ‘User Login’ button. Thought I might as well try the latter. Blue logo. Logon screen. This didn’t go well. After filling in the boxes there was a message ‘An Unexpected Error has Occurred, Try Again Later’. Oh well.

So I hit the Download button instead. There was a progress bar for this, but since the whole download took less than two seconds it wasn’t really required. There was an option to ‘View’ after this, or ‘Delete’. I chose ‘View’. Blank screen for five seconds. Blue logo is now up, pulsating gently. Less than twenty seconds has passed and a menu pops up. Accompanying explanatory text says:

Iron Man I.Q. lets you test your Iron Man knowledge by playing unique trivia games over clips from the movie.Start with one of the featured quizzes created by Marvel Entertainment and check back soon for an expanded version that will let you create and post your own I.Q. challenges over the movie.

Well, that’s it for the moment. Paramount seems to have done some quick and smart work to overcome most of the teething problems. Their BD-Live features are obviously expandable. It worked at tolerable speeds on a standalone player, and presumably quite a bit faster on a PS3. It was enormously faster than the BD-Live features on Sony Pictures Entertainment titles.

Pretty impressive, really. I’ll come back in a few days and check the ‘Login’ feature. I’m not really sure what it’s for. Is it to log into some kind of BD-Live portal, which is company independent (if so, I’ve already done this with the Sony discs). Or is it for Paramount stuff alone?

All that, though, is for another day.

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