Following the release of the blu-ray version of Iron Man on october 1st, Paramount’s BD-Live servers were brought down completely by the popularity of the disc.
BD-Live is a service that lets Blu-ray players connect over the internet to download additional content, such as movie trailers and enables interactive services such as chatting about a movie. According to most sources, the content is downloaded as soon as a disc is first inserted into the player. Because of the popularity of this release, Paramount’s servers were completely overwhelmed with traffic.
That alone wouldn’t have been a problem, but because this caused the loading of the movie to halt while the content was downloaded lots of people thought the disc itself was defective. Paramount has now issued a statement to explain the problem:
The disc represents a truly state-of-the art Blu-ray presentation with a first of its kind BD-Live application. As such, the heavy amount of traffic strained the servers due to so many people heading to the same destination. The bandwidth capacity was increased in preparation for the release but the demand exceeded all expectations so capacity was expanded dramatically last night and local servers were established worldwide to accommodate all the fans.
While the idea of live content sounds good, it really makes you wonder what will happen if they decide to pull the plug on the servers hosting the extra content in a couple of years. Will the disc itself still work? And if it does, will you be forced to wait while your player tries to connect to the BD-Live servers every time you want to watch a movie?
Update: As Jason noted in the comments, the problems will not appear on players that have their network connection unplugged; but as far as I’m currently aware, there is no option to not download the content at all when inserting the disc for the first time.