One of the most significant features is the ability to add additional, new methods of copy protection, and to revoke permissions for playback if something like the DVD fiasco happened again.
If you have a Blu-ray player, and a new form of copy protection introduced, (or your player’s “key” has been revoked) a new disc may not play on it.
Panasonic had this to say: “We are currently actively supporting 30 models with firmware updates via net or firmware downloaded to a CD-ROM covering the model years 2010 thru 2013.
Panasonic has introduced 40 models since 2007 (including derivative models but not including portable BD players).
One of the major reasons for firmware updates, though, is copy protection.
With DVD, the copy protection scheme was compromised shortly after release.
Should a significant need for a firmware adjustment arise for any of these older models, Panasonic would issue it if feasible though it is unlikely that this situation would arise at this time.
What this means is if you have a slightly older Vizio player, even from 2011, and a new movie is released with a new form of copy protection, your player might not play it, and you’ll have no ability to update the player to play it. Another option Talking to Square Trade, their warranty coverage might be a good solution for those looking to buy a Blu-ray player and are worried about this issue.
At for 0-0 Blu-ray player, you get a total three-year warranty that will protect you in case of lack of support, as well as other more common hardware issues.
For example, our DMP-BD45 does not have internet connectivity, therefore the firmware updates are provided via a CD-ROM.
If there is a firmware update the customer can download the latest firmware from our website to their PC and then[sic] burn it on a CD-ROM and insert into their player to update the firmware.
Sometimes the Blu-ray standard is upgraded, and you need a firmware update to let your player take advantage of those changes.