“Watching a Blu-ray movie in all its high-definition glory on your laptop may finally become an affordable prospect this year. Just don’t wander too far from a power outlet,” Bryan Gardiner reports for Wired.

“With the Sony-backed HD format emerging victorious from a two-year showdown with Toshiba’s HD DVD, many laptop manufacturers are now scrambling to add Blu-ray drives in their desktop and notebook lineups,” Gardiner reports.

“If the first generation of Blu-ray equipped laptops are any indication, you might not get more than halfway through that movie before running out of juice completely, analysts say,” Gardiner reports. “‘Blu-ray battery life is obviously a huge concern,’ says Yankee Group analyst Josh Martin.”

“For now, the laptop manufacturers that have offered Blu-ray drives have also avoided revealing the precise effects of Blu-ray playback on battery life. That’s probably for a very good reason, as some claim battery life can top out at one hour in some cases,” Gardiner reports.

“‘The laser that runs the show [in Blu-ray players] is a very high-power laser,’ notes Mercury Research analyst Dean McCarron. That laser is one of the main things that conspire to raise power consumption,” Gardiner reports. “The other part of the equation has to do with the process of decoding data from a Blu-ray disc and turning it into moving images on your screen. When Blu-ray was first introduced, this process was all done in software, which is very taxing on the CPU, eating up processing cycles and power… The solution has come by offloading some of the decode process onto other system hardware.”

More in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “MacVicta” for the heads up.]