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HD DVD to Screw Early HDTV Adopters 629

Posted by Zonk
from the they-wouldn't-have-it-any-other-way dept.
orionware writes "Apparently the folks who designed the Advanced Access Content System (AACS)for the new HD DVD formats have decided to stick it to the early HDTV adopters. If your set used the older component video, expect to watch your new HD DVD at a quarter of the resolutions. To thwart piracy of course." From the article: "AACS says the new players won't output a full-HD signal from their component-video connections, since those jacks are analog instead of digital and thus have no copy protection. The 'down-rezzed' signals will be limited to a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels -- exactly one-quarter the 1,920 x 1,080 pixels that you'll get through the copy-protected digital connectors on the players. The potentially huge problem with this strategy is that the only HD inputs on a lot of older HDTVs are component video."
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HD DVD to Screw Early HDTV Adopters

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  • Re:umm.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by calibanDNS (32250) <brad_statonNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:52AM (#14792592)
    There's HDMI [wikipedia.org] and DVI [wikipedia.org]. You have to be careful with DVI though, because not all DVI inputs are HDCP [wikipedia.org] compliant.
  • by timbob_com (512241) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:06AM (#14792736) Homepage
    Blu Ray will also suffer this down-conversion fate. This makes my TV useless for any new technology as I am sure all future technologies will implement this restriction. Let's see, average disc cost = $20 for HD DVD I would probably buy 100 - 150 the first year alone. Hollywood loses out on $2000 - $3000 from me, the first year alone. http://www.inaniloquent.com/PermaLink.aspx?guid=47 5bef13-f44d-4f70-b922-9c07d8ea632f [inaniloquent.com]
  • by tgibbs (83782) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:14AM (#14792827)
    Such an adapter would have to break the encryption--which is, of course, a violation of DMCA.
  • The only legitimate use for this type of product is to violate my copyright to the content I own. I lobby congress to ban media devices which do not support the protection scheme. They willingly oblige, and then crawl back under my desk.

    Then we stop buying your product, you still go broke and said ice weasels still kill and eat your children. You still lose. :)
  • by Chuqmystr (126045) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:43AM (#14793169) Homepage
    Better yet, just no one buy this crap. It worked to kill off that Divix self destructive DVD-like disk horseshit so why not here? JUST DO NOT BUY IT! Cut and dry.
  • Re:Region coding (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zeinfeld (263942) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:22AM (#14793661) Homepage
    The same companies have gotten away with region coding for years, and that's a pretty clear violation of international trade laws, specifically the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade section 2.2.

    Unfortunately that is binding on governements, not corporations.

    I think that in time the pressure to ban use of technical measures for anti-competitive purposes is going to be outlawed as an anti-trust violation. From the 1930s through to the 1970s the US government used to police the use of patents to create artificial barriers to competition - the seven 'Nos'.

    If I could buy an ink jet printer for $400 that allowed me to use commodity ink without restriction I would (and no I don't mean an after market auto-inker). Thats a much better markup for the printer vendor than $100 + 2 lots of cartridges at $50 each. I do not use colour very often because it is too expensive per page. It could easily be cheaper to run the ink jet than my laser.

    If I lived in the UK I would have bought a region free DVD player years ago. Now that the UK DVDs are cheaper than US ones I might get round to doing it.

  • by csoto (220540) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:45AM (#14793931)
    There is a "Contact Us" form on the HD DVD Promotion Group's website [hddvdprg.com].

    I just told them that I would buy neither HD DVD content nor devices if it doesn't work with my two existing component/DVI HDTV television sets. I suggest you all do the same.
  • by a_nonamiss (743253) on Friday February 24, 2006 @12:05PM (#14794158)
    Using magic?

    If the disk isn't writable, and if the disk doesn't require some kind of external activation, then this is impossible.

    Actually, that's the bitch of it. Both the HD-DVD and Blu-ray call for a small portion of the disc that is writable only by approved and licensed players. We consumers won't have any write access to this block (in theory) and they can write whatever they want on it using the licensed DVD player. I assume this means they could write the serial number to your player on the disc, and if anyone else puts it in their player, it will refuse to play. Obviously, it will be a matter of hours until people figure out a way to:

    a) make their players not write the code,
    b) make their players ignore the code,
    c) hack their HD and BD writers on their PC's to gain access to this "secret" block,
    d) Fashion some sort of circumvention technique using duct tape,
    e) some other fantastic means of circumventing this stupid policy.

    Unfortunately, Joe Consumer will likely never access these tricks and will play right into the MPAA's hand. If you want proof, just Google "DVD region hack" to see all the effort that's been put into circumventing region encoding. It's all for naught, though, becuase 95% of people just blindly obey the gestapo tactics used by the MPAA

    Of course, I reserve the right to be completely wring here, but that's my understanding of the situation.
  • Actually, my question is: is there even enough bandwidth on an analog component signal to carry 1080p video?

    Yes.

    There may be technological as well as/rather than DRM reasons for the resolution downgrading.

    No.

    Most people who are watching HDTV right now (who are using an OTA broadcast HD receiver) are watching it via component video inputs. You can also get SD DVD players that will upconvert to 1080p on the analog outputs -- silly, if you ask me, but they exist -- such as this one [hdblog.net].
  • Re:Region coding (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 24, 2006 @12:41PM (#14794506)
    They aren't really getting away with it, except maybe in the US. The region coding has been ruled unenforceable in several countries (eg Australia), and a few countries have outlawed selling region-coded players altogether.
  • Re:Au contraire (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheGreatDonkey (779189) on Friday February 24, 2006 @12:42PM (#14794516)
    HDTV DRM standards are still really in a state of flux. I have a digital projector I purchased around Christmas of 2004 that has full HDTV 16x9 capabilities, and includes a DVI connection to allow for straight digital content to be fed into it. I recently decided to upgrade my Comcast cable box to HDTV, thinking this would be a great combination. Even better, the Comcast cable box had a DVI connector on the back that would allow for straight digital to digital high def, with no analog conversion in the mix anywhere. I was excited that this would truly be a technical marvel (I'm one of those guys that gets excited over shit like this). I turn on the projector, turn on the cable box, jump over to the Discovery channel, and see one of the most amazingly detailed pictures I have ever seen from a tv - for about 8 seconds. Then a big box comes up blocking any further video, telling me I can't enjoy HDTV from this cable box as my projector does not include an HDCP digital rights management chip. This is something that is required to be built-in from the factory, and not something I can add later. This truly, truly pissed me off. Apparently many earlier HDTV's do not have this, as it simply did not exist at the time. I look everywhere for an intermediary device to provide this HDCP functionality while retaining the benefit of a straight digital connection, but unfortunately nothing realistic exists yet (there is a small $400+ option available in Germany, but that is out of the realm of realistic to me).

    So, to make a long story short, I now have my cable box outputting its digital signal over firewire to a small media PC I built for a few hundred bucks (and doubles as my video recorder). I then have the DVI out on this going to my projector, and I am back up and running with true high def support (HBO won't come in over firewire due to other DRM issues, but I digress). I just wanted to carry on with your theme of people doing whatever they can to circumvent this stuff, but I think it finally just allowed me to vent about what a pain in the ass technology this is proving to be.
  • by fossa (212602) <<pat7> <at> <gmx.net>> on Friday February 24, 2006 @12:47PM (#14794568) Journal

    Sorry, it's illegal to manufacture or import a VHS deck in the US without "automatic gain control"; I confused that with auto tracking, but it's the part that makes Macrovision work. See chapter 12 of the US copyright law [copyright.gov]. Section 1201(k), or Section 1202(k)(1)(A)(i).. not quite sure how to cite law. Just search for "automatic gain control".

    "Effective 18 months after the date of the enactment of this chapter [1998 DMCA], no person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide or otherwise traffic in any - ... (i) VHS format analog video cassette recorder unless such recorder conforms to the automatic gain control copy control technology;

    Presumably a VHS playback-only deck (no record function) without automatic gain control would be legal. Of course, I doubt such a thing exists. There also appears to be an exemption for "any professional analog video cassette recorder" which is later defined as "an analog video cassette recorder that is designed, manufactured, marketed, and intended for use by a person who regularly employs such a device for lawful business or industrial use ...".

  • Wrong (Score:1, Informative)

    by Whom99 (673995) on Friday February 24, 2006 @01:58PM (#14795269)
    The article and the analysis are factually incorrect.

    Full HD resolution is normally output on the analog HD connectors. The only exception to that is when a content provider (on a title-by-title basis) chooses to constrain the image to 960x540. If they make this choice, there is a labeling requirement so a consumer can decide before purchasing the title if they are bothered by this restriction. Also, this option is forbidden in countires where they have laws against such things (currently only Japan).

  • Re:Au contraire (Score:2, Informative)

    by benow (671946) on Friday February 24, 2006 @04:05PM (#14796395) Homepage Journal
    minoten [cox.net] has made a working HDCP addon for dvi projectors, I believe... perhaps you should contact him, may be cheaper than from germany. ... not that you should need it in the first place.

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