UMD

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How to watch videos with UMD:

Necessary components:

  • Sony PSP
  • UMD Disc


Watching videos on the PSP with a UMD disc is actually quite simple, and in fact needs little explanation. You simply place the disc into the PSP and play it. On the other hand, you can't record your own UMD discs. Due to this limitation we provide general information about the UMD format, and sources of UMD content, rather than instructions here.

UMD is a proprietary optical disc format developed by Sony used to contain games, movies, and audio. The capacity is 1.8 GB and it has a relatively small size of 65mm x 64mm. Unfortunately, there are no players for UMD other than the PSP, and viewing options are limited ot the PSP itself, or a small array of third-party devices which allow PSP video to be viewed on a TV. Furthermore, neither blank UMD media or writers are sold, and due to the encryption of the format, there is no legal way to make copies of your UMD discs. Understandably, UMD is superceded in popularity by other video options.


UMD technical specifications: UMD Specs

  • Size: 65 mm x 64 mm x 4.2 mm
  • Disc Diameter: 60 mm
  • Capacity 1.8GB
  • Laser wavelength: 660nm (red laser)
  • Encryption: AES 128bit
  • UMD Video Codec: MPEG4 AVC, ATRAC3plus Caption PNG
  • UMD Audio Codec: ATRAC3plus, PCM, (MPEG4 AVC)

Other options with UMD: It is possible to watch UMD media on devices other than the PSP. However, it's only possible with third-party hardware, such as the PSP on TV unit. This and similar devices simply point a camera at your PSP screen and route it to your TV. There is another device, the PSP 2 TV which operates through a direct mechanism, but does require the removal of the PSP faceplate. The most common caveat mentioned here is that your warranty will be voided in the process. This seems to be a product oriented toward the hacking/modification crowd. In any case, these are the only options for those who want to watch UMD movies on a TV. It remains to be seen whether Sony will expand hardware support for the UMD - there has been much speculation on this topic, but as of now, the future of UMD is relatively obscure.


Links to information on the UMD format:

Links to information on where to buy UMD:


 Pros:
 *High-quality video
 *New, official releases of videos
 Cons:
 *Can't make own UMD discs
 *Illegal/Impossible to copy UMD content for Fair Use
 *Very few releases on UMD compared to other formats, declining in popularity 
 *Can't play on TV without additional, cumbersome third-party equipment
 *Expensive

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