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Sony Decides Against Blu-Ray Downsampling 261

Posted by Zonk
from the downsampled-things-just-taste-funny dept.
Paul Slocum writes "According to Ars Technica, Sony is now saying they will not use the Image Constraint Token and so movies will play on analog HDTV sets at full resolution. If HD-DVD does implement the analog downsampling, it's going to give Blu-ray a nice market advantage." From the article: "Sony's decision to not use the Image Constraint Token for the time being is meant to encourage the adoption of Blu-ray players. Launching a new product that would leave the thousands of analog HDTV owners out in the standard-definition cold could have proven to be a nightmare for Sony and the Blu-ray spec in general. Reports that 'Blu-ray discs don't look right on my HDTV' could result in consumers' switching allegiances to the competing HD DVD standard or postponing purchases of next-generation optical players altogether."
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Sony Decides Against Blu-Ray Downsampling

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  • Almost there.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gasmonso (929871) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @05:39PM (#14936962) Homepage

    Just get rid of the DRM and we might have a decent product.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      You obviously never owned an electronic device manufactured by Sony's consumer division!
    • Re:Almost there.... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:07PM (#14937205) Homepage Journal
      As long as the DRM is inconvenient rather than 'unbreakable by the terms of the DMCA', then I am kind of ok. What I mean by this is that if I can play it on my computer with an open source player then I am happy.

      What matters most for is whether it will have a region flag on it. The region flag is fine if you speak English, but becomes a huge pain if you buy non-English language films, unless you have something that ignores the region encoding.
      • by The-Bus (138060) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:24PM (#14937717)
        The proposed Blu-Ray region codes are as follows:

        Region 1: North America, South America, Japan and East Asia (excluding China)
        Region 2: Europe and Africa
        Region 3: India, China, Russia, and all other countries.

        Note how they put China and Russia, two countries with lax copyright controls, in the same region.

        This means that PS3s, at least as Blu-Ray players, will be the same in Japan as they are in the US, making them much more inviting as imports if they were to launch earlier in Japan as opposed to everywhere else.

        Ultimate AV magazine [ultimateavmag.com] also got to see a preview of Blu-Ray. Here are the important points:
        • All first titles are expected to be limited to a single layer.
        • There are two Blu-ray modes: Movie Mode (used for high definition films) and BD-J Mode (a fully programmable mode that includes interactive features, like games and Internet connectivity). Both modes can be used on the same disc.
        • Sony and MGM titles will be encoded on the discs at 1080/24p. The user will set the player to convert this native resolution as required to match the capability of his or her display.
        • At this time Sony has no immediate plans to implement the Image Constraint Token (ICT). (
          That is, they can always turn it on in the future on a per-title basis.)
        • All of the Sony and MGM titles will initially be encoded using MPEG-2, at a variable bit rate, but up to a maximum of 30Mb/sec.
        • When other codecs exceed MPEG-2 at all data rates, Sony will begin using them.
        • On the audio side, all Sony and MGM titles will include both conventional Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks. Dolby data rate is still unconfirmed. DTS data rate will be 1.5Mb/sec. Additionally all Sony/MGM releases will include a 5.1 uncompressed PCM audio track. (To make sense of these audio formats, Todd B. has written a nice summary here [dvdtalk.com]).
        • The first Sony and MGM titles will each have a hidden Easter Egg containing several setup test patterns-- a sweep, a standard SMPTE pattern including, among other things, a PLUGE, color bars, and a resolution monoscope.

        The Blu-Ray group also summarized what they announced at CeBit in this PDF [blu-raydisc.com].

        Highlights:

        • Two types of Blu-ray Disc video players will be available: a "BD Player" type and an Internet connected player. The most fundamental feature difference is that one supports Internet connections and the other does not. Either player type can be produced and marketed from day one. The internet connections may be used for firmware upgrades. Toshiba has said in their HD-DVD players you can simply burn an image onto a CD-ROM to do the same thing.
        • From the beginning, all models of either player type support playback of interactive BD-Java
          content.
          (This had been something that was supposed to be delayed in the hardware).

        A source at a studio has said that current "Special Edition" content for Blu-Ray discs is being ported over to a High Def signal. It won't be only the movies that are in HD.

        Netflix will be carrying both Blu-Ray and Hd-DVD discs at launch [prnewswire.com].

        If you have a video card that says it will support HDCP, you may be disappointed. It looks like no current video cards on the market [arstechnica.com] will really support HDCP. From Ars: "With regards to shipping cards, they are correct: no matter what a box's feature list may say, no video card supports HDCP fully at this time. Why? They have not been completely programmed. Until the specifications for the access control system are completely finished, implementing pro

  • But for how long? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cmowire (254489) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @05:39PM (#14936965) Homepage
    Sure.

    But if blu-ray takes off in the market, how long do you think downsampling will remain turned off? :)

    If this wasn't a publicity stunt, it would be removed from the spec.
    • Re:But for how long? (Score:4, Informative)

      by KarmaMB84 (743001) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:03PM (#14937176)
      The thing is it's only Sony that's not going to use the flag. Other studios are free to do as they wish.
    • If piracy skyrockets, you better believe it will be added back in. If you don't want content owners reacting to the thievery of their material, you should tell the pirates to stop taking stuff without paying for it. It's that simple.
      • by anonicon (215837)
        If you don't want content owners reacting to the thievery of their material, you should tell the pirates to stop taking stuff without paying for it. It's that simple.

        That's a really good idea. How far back should we go to "tell the pirates to stop taking stuff without paying for it." Maybe the 15th century, when Gutenberg started the whole printed word thing for Europe? [mainz.de] Or perhaps more recently in the 16th and 17th centuries when composers guarded their original compositions from thieving competitors and pe
        • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:52PM (#14937501)
          Ah, the old "printed press" argument, a red herring to distract from the immorality of making sure System of a Down doesn't get paid today.

          The "pirates" aren't a recent innovation since the creation of Napster, ok?

          And now we're inventing something I never said so you can attack it, called a strawman argument.

          Want to know what is a recent innovation compared to the past 500+ years? The Internet. That changes things. You can put a song in a shared folder and have a thousand people download it in a week. So no matter what weak argument you attempt to throw out to distract people, it won't change the fact you're purposely ignoring the new factor that is the Internet, which makes bit-for-bit copying easy and convenient for pirates, and connects them to millions of other people. That's what's different. That's why people are putting safeguards on their content in a net-connected world.
          • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:09PM (#14937636)
            And that's why DRM is pointless. It only takes one single person anywhere in the world who's smart enough to get at the unencrypted bits (even if it takes connecting probes to the tube drivers in their TV set), and then the cat is out of the bag. That one copy will get conveniently replicated bit-for-bit all over the world.

            It doesn't matter if it's right or wrong, or if the pirates are callously destroying the industry. It's a fact of life: people cheat, and it's going to happen regardless of how difficult the media industry makes it for their paying customers to connect a player to a TV.

            • by Skapare (16644) on Friday March 17, 2006 @12:31AM (#14939443) Homepage

              DRM is not for preventing piracy. Piracy is just being used as the whipping boy to try to justify DRM and the DMCA law. They know they can't defeat piracy because it takes a system that is locked absolutely 100% perfectly, and that just can't exist. Instead, the purpose of DRM is to provide the content industry with a means to restrict things in specific ways so you have to pay them more to get what you previously enjoyed for one price before. DRM doesn't do everything the content industry wants, just yet, but they will continue to use the existance of piracy to keep asking for more DRM (Digital Restriction Marketing, or Doubling Revenues Monthly, depending on which side you are on). Eventually you'll have to pay-per-view on the disks you actually buy. And then after that, they'll charge you for even doing things like rewinding to replay an interesting scene. You'll see more advertising that you can't skip, eventually even embedded in the middle of the movie. And later, that advertising will even require you to click "Buy now" or "Not interested" before the movie resumes. A small percentage of people might even find a way to defeat the DRM. But the DMCA storm troopers will be activated enough to maintain just enough terror level to keep that percentage small. But of DRM even fails to get any revenue at all from 10% of the population, it won't matter because it will have quadrupled the revenues from the other 90%.

      • by derF024 (36585) * on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:54PM (#14937517) Homepage Journal
        If piracy skyrockets, you better believe it will be added back in. If you don't want content owners reacting to the thievery of their material, you should tell the pirates to stop taking stuff without paying for it. It's that simple.

        Except that it'll take the actual pirates all of 30 minutes to defeat every single copy protection system the content owners can put in place. Meanwhile, regular people who want to watch the latest movie they bought from best buy, only to find that the $10,000 entertainment system they bought a year ago is inadequate, will get screwed.
        • Except that it'll take the actual pirates all of 30 minutes to defeat every single copy protection system the content owners can put in place.

          Exactly, which is why DRM is becoming much more restrictive to protect the rights of content creators from getting shit on by idealistic freeloaders who think they deserve to download anything and everything. Copy protection is becoming much more sophisticated, which should help artists to actually get paid for their hard work. You and others have yet to explain why
        • The funny thing is, is that my HD set from *2* years ago isn't a top of the line model and it -does- include HDMI and HDCP support.
    • If they are smart it will last until most of the analog Sets have died off and been replaced by digital ones. That would depend on the expected lifetime of the analog sets. You don't have to wait till they are all dead, just until the Digital sets have hit a critical mass. Then the people with the old analog sets will be told that their old movies will play just fine, but anything new requires a fully digital set and compatible player. With fewer analog players still in the field, there will be fewer p
    • But if blu-ray takes off in the market, how long do you think downsampling will remain turned off? :)

      It will remain off until the first generation of HD sets edges towards retirement.

      Downsampling for the american market still delivers a significantly better picture than standard DVDs.

      By this summer, or fall, your big screen HDCP set will break the $1000 price-point at Walmart, after that, no one that matters will give a damn about the token.

  • Yeah right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2006 @05:41PM (#14936983)
    What they meant to say was "Sony Decides Against Blu-Ray Downsampling, for now..."

    From the company that brought you every other proprietary technology on the planet and likes to subvert their users' computers with rootkits. People aren't THAT stupid. No, they probably are...
    • Re:Yeah right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nogami_Saeko (466595) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @05:47PM (#14937045)
      Exactly.

      So they don't downsample "for now" to get their format established and to get their "foot in the door". There's nothing stopping them from changing their minds later-on once the format is established and the players are commonplace. Flip a bit on the media and it's re-enabled. No HD for you (on old HD sets).

      Say they were to release a new HD format and have absolutely no protection enabled on it whatsoever (at least for Sony titles). You do that for a few years and just eat the resulting (probably small) loss in piracy and such while your player crushes competing formats and puts them out of business. Once you've established yourself as the sole format out there, then you can re-enable the protection. What are people going to do? They already have players in their house, and there's no other format to migrate to even if they're pissed-off...

      Write the couple years of "no DRM" off to "marketing", and enjoy the heavily DRM'ed future...

      N.
      • Re:Yeah right (Score:4, Insightful)

        by quokkapox (847798) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:02PM (#14937168)
        Write the couple years of "no DRM" off to "marketing", and enjoy the heavily DRM'ed future...

        Until ONE copy of your HD content gets out unencumbered and the next-generation torrent is anonymously, invisibly,freely shared among anyone who wants it, because it's easier to grab just the torrent overnight, over your broadband connection than deal with stupid restrictions on your viewing capabilities.

        BTW offtopic, but can anyone point me to the Without a Trace episode that got fined by the FCC? December 31, 2004, I believe. I want to see what CBS got fined for and supposedly won't broadcast ever again.

        • Re:Yeah right (Score:5, Informative)

          by Castar (67188) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:45PM (#14937451)
          As far as your request goes, the Parents' Television Council has thoughtfully provided a clip of the scene in question! (A teenage orgy). How nice of them ;-)

          http://www.parentstv.org/ptc/action/withoutatrace/ content.htm [parentstv.org]

          I haven't watched it, since I'm at work, so I don't know how long it is or if it's censored. Enjoy!
          • Re:Yeah right (Score:2, Interesting)

            by SaturdayNight (540943)
            I saw this tidbit this morning, and was also greatly amused. It is of good quality, and a few minutes long, seemingly showing the entire segment in question...

            Now does CBS get to sue Parents TV Council for freely distributing their copyrighted data?
          • http://www.parentstv.org/ptc/action/withoutatrace/ content.htm [parentstv.org]

            I haven't watched it, since I'm at work, so I don't know how long it is or if it's censored. Enjoy!

            Wow, what a great job that ParentsTV worker has. You get to be a supposedly-pious churchy Righteous One, who Thinks of the Children, while meticulously watching, documenting and digitizing all the very best smut we've got. Nice work if you can get it.

        • BTW offtopic, but can anyone point me to the Without a Trace episode that got fined by the FCC? December 31, 2004, I believe. I want to see what CBS got fined for and supposedly won't broadcast ever again.

          The episode is titled "Our Sons and Daughters" [imdb.com] and originally aired on November 6, 2003 (Season 2, Episode 6).

          A great plot summary and video preview of the "offensive" part (wmv) is available from (I'm not kidding) the Parents Television Council:

        • Re:Yeah right (Score:3, Insightful)

          by raoul666 (870362)
          I just watched the clip, and I'm absolutely and completely shocked at what people in the US get absolutely and completely shocked about.

          How people can justify the censorship of kids getting to second base but allow showing gruesome war movies, I will never know. Because violence is natural and sex is an abomination, right? Sheesh.
      • Re:Yeah right (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sqrt(2) (786011)
        They'll be "[eating] the resulting...loss in piracy(sic)" no matter what they do. No amount of DRM will keep full resolution HD media out of the wild. The only constraint this time is bandwidth to transfer those huge files.

        My DVD drive is region free, all my foreign DVDs work in my domestic player, and I have copies of most of them on my computer. DVD drm was thoroughly raped, and whatever measures they include in Blu-Ray will be equally ravaged.

        DRM is irrelevant.
      • Write the couple years of "no DRM" off to "marketing", and enjoy the heavily DRM'ed future...

        "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever." - O'Brien (George Orwell's 1984)
  • by Keeper (56691) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @05:41PM (#14936991)
    Sony has said that they do not intend to set the downsampling flag IN THE MOVIES THEY SELL. The capability still exists in the blu-ray standard.
    • Sony has said that they do not intend to set the downsampling flag IN THE MOVIES THEY SELL. The capability still exists in the blu-ray standard.

      So, only Sony movies won't play on my Sony HDTV?

      Makes sense.

      I just bought a new head unit for my car that was Sonyfied. It has a memory stick in it, and I can record CDs onto the memory stick. Its in ATRAC3 format, DRMed to hell, and I cannot do anything with the DRMed copy except play it back onto my head unit.

      Guess which other feature I won't use?

      I'll rip my (no
  • by pjcreath (513472) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @05:42PM (#14937001)

    According to the article, use of the "Image Constraint Token" is up to the studios. This announcement is only that Sony movies won't force down-sampling "for the foreseeable future". Other studios' movies could, since the players will still support it.

    Welcome to consumer confusion.

    • Sort of like Sony's stand on region-locking for PSP games. Of course, since they don't have the lead, they won't be able to implement that, but damn, they would have liked to.
    • by westlake (615356) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:24PM (#14937314)
      Welcome to consumer confusion.

      There were two bits of news this past week on the HD front:

      Disney will release on HD-DVD. The worst possible news for the Blu-Ray camp. The Disney logo pretty much guarantees you'll make the top 10 in video sales and rentals.

      Warner seems the only hold-out on downsampling. You won't see the token invoked on HD releases from Disney, For, Paramount or Sony. Whatever the media.

      • Disney will release on HD-DVD. The worst possible news for the Blu-Ray camp. The Disney logo pretty much guarantees you'll make the top 10 in video sales and rentals.

        Seems to me the worst possible news would have been that Sony is giving up on Blu-Ray for the PS3... people have to remember that the PS3 is going to push adoption of The Blu-Ray format SO fast. Even with the recent delay, they'll have 5+M Blu-Ray players in the market by mid '07. People are going to have to consciously go out and plop down $
        • The masses are not going buy HD-DVD players (and hence any Disney titles on HD-DVD) until they have HDTVs *and* HD-DVD players get down to ~$200...

          When Walmart puts HD rear-screen projection and the X-Box 360 on the front page of its four-color inserts, I think the train has left the station.

          The Disney studio product sells a lot of video hardware. Always has.

          Disneyland on ABC and The Wonderful World of Color on NBC are two very significant landmarks in the history of broadcast television.

          Disney on las

  • Hey Kids! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Quirk (36086) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @05:43PM (#14937009) Homepage Journal
    The first taste is always free
  • Let's hope that the other studios all follow suit for both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

    If not they will save me a bunch of money.

    Sony Blu Ray Downsampling [inaniloquent.com]

    HD-DVD Locks out old HDTVs [inaniloquent.com]
  • From the article:
    According to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Senior VP Don Eklund, none of Sony's Blu-ray releases for the "foreseeable future" will use ICT to force downsampling.

    This is only applies to Blu-Ray discs released by Sony, not other studios. Blu-Ray players will still support down-sampling, other studios will make this decision independently of Sony, and Sony isn't promising to continue the practice with its own releases indefinately.
  • Nice to see it working as it should for the consumer
  • Sony's been bad about controlling access to media in the past and things like this, but I rather like this move. I guess now, I'm rooting for Sony in this. I imagine many who got a TV without an HDMI/DVI or other port will think the same way I do. Maybe this won't be another "beta" after all?
  • by tgibbs (83782) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @05:50PM (#14937065)
    Sony says that they are doing this to promote the BluRay standard. Presumably, once HD-DVD is defeated, they'll be turning down-rezzing back on in their releases. First good reason to hope for a long, nasty, format war...

    As for other content producers without a big vested interest in one format or the other, don't expect them to be so generous with their releases. If they set the flag, Sony's BluRay drives will obediently down-rez the analog output.
    • except, for it to work they're going to have to disable the "feature" in their players as well. If they don't, all that an enterprising member of HD-DVD has to do is join blue-ray, stamp some blu-ray disks with the "downgrade me please" bit, and release them on the unsuspecting public. It's not like people with sony players are only going to buy movies produced by sony studios.
  • Funny that Sony decides not to shoot itself in the foot and it gets a headline.

    It is amazing that any company ever considered downgrading the signal for non HDCP enabled devices. Talk about arbitrarily limiting your market just when you are trying to grow it.
    • Also, you'd figure that the market that will actually buy HD DVDs (blu ray, HD-DVD, whatever) is most likely an educated consumer. They'll see exactly every constraint the "industry" is trying to force on this technology.

      I figure that the average Joe won't be buying these discs because 1) the "new" tech looks just like the old tech (same size disc, "digital", no rewinding, etc), and 2) they already think that playing DVDs on their HD is "high-def".

      The average consumer is so confused already that you would
  • by Lord Bitman (95493) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:02PM (#14937163) Homepage
    Why would I buy a player that's so broken it listens to a "output worse image quality lol kthx bi" bit? I already won't buy a player that listens to a "don't play me because I'm only for germany lol kthx bi" bit or a "don't skip me because I'm really important lol kthx bi" bit.

    Sacred Bits are even worse than encrypted discs.
  • Reports that 'Blu-ray discs don't look right on my HDTV' could result in consumers' switching allegiances to the competing HD DVD standard or postponing purchases of next-generation optical players altogether."

    Until this announcement, any purchase I might have made of Blu-Ray was definitely in the "postpone for a long-damn time" category. With this, they're at least in the running vs. HD-DVD.

    Chip H.
  • hopeless anyway (Score:3, Insightful)

    by penguin-collective (932038) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:03PM (#14937180)
    If HD DVDs come with all sorts of restrictions, people might as well just subscribe to flat-fee video-on-demand services. I know I will. DVDs will likely increasingly be used for special content (like pr0n), but even that will probably be played back through the computer, not a DVD player.

    The way companies could make HD DVD a success at this point would be to get rid of all region coding and all DRM and lower prices a little; that way, people might be tempted to replace their current DVD libraries. But as it is, I'm not going to replace any of the DVDs I have with HD ones.
  • by acomj (20611) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:06PM (#14937197) Homepage
    Is that flag just a bit? Is it the "evil bit"?

  • Oh Crap... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RexRhino (769423) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:09PM (#14937214)
    I would not mind having a higher storage disk for storing computer files (but nowadays, one can just buy a USB hardrive for moving or backing up files), but having a locked restricted format that won't give me any benifits more than a standard DVD for movies or media (and is actually designed to degrade my eperience if I don't have the newest equipment)... man, I hope both these bastard fucking formats die a horrible death. I don't care which one is better! This isn't like VHS or Beta, because VHS and Beta weren't activly trying to restrict what I am able to do on machines I own with media that I own, or force me to purchase a new television to play movies.
  • Is there a government regulation at some point in the future getting rid of the analog HDTVs and recorders?

    If the point is to close the analog hole, you can leverage the existing analog TVs by supporting them, but preventing future TVs (and, more to the point, recorders) from supporting that signal. As those wear out and people replace their TVs with (mandated) digital DRM ones, the studios get their dream of DRM all the way through without breaking compatibility with existing set. At some point they all tu
  • Duck and Cover (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:11PM (#14937229)
    This seems to be a interesting tactic by Sony. I can already see the class action lawsuit against the studios who implement the Token by users of older HDTVs. In fact there WILL be a lawsuit over this. Chances are also pretty good that this type of functionality will be ruled against in the US. Here is the scenario:

    I buy a new HD-DVD so I can watch King Kong in HD.
    I place the disc in my new Toshiba HD-DVD player.
    I try to play the HD movie on my slightly older Toshiba HD TV.
    I do not get to watch my HD movie that I paid for.

    Now if I am the consumer, am not told in VERY plain language that my TV will not play the movie in HD, I am now being misled.

    At this point there are all sorts of wonderful legal options to pursue. I can sue the maker of the Player for implementing the Token, which I will. I can also sue the studio for enabling the Token, which I will also do. A case for collusion could also be made (let's get everyone to buy new TVs again).

    Since Sony would make the player, the TV, and the movie, one stop shopping for a major lawsuit.

    Bring it on!
    • I do not get to watch my HD movie that I paid for.

      What you get in North America is an analog video output about 50% better than a standard DVD. That is probably going to look pretty good on your Toshiba.

    • Well, you'll get to watch it, just not in the maximum resolution. It will still be better than standard DVD quality, but not by much. In any case, I think regular low-definition TV is good enough for 90% of the people out there, and that this won't be an issue.
    • Re:Duck and Cover (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HiThere (15173) *
      This is one reason among many why the government has taken steps to make consumer class action suits more difficult. I don't expect any of these suits to succeed given the current law. I'm not *certain* that they *should* succeed, but the laws have been changed so that even claims much more reasonable than this will not be eligible for class action suits.
  • by fermion (181285) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:11PM (#14937234) Homepage Journal
    Why has Sony died as an major consume electronics supplier? Becuase they are so into the technology they don't know how to make a cool product anymore. The walkman was a simple, elegent, device, not to mentions a pirates drem. No encrypted memory sticks, no need for a second device to specially encode the tapes.

    Now look at them. Some of the most pretty laptops on the market, burdened with all the extra cost of paying for proprietary formats and slots. They are pushing formats not to make the consumers life easier, but to insure that the executives can afford drugs and boys/girls.

    What mad the electronics market thrive was that one could plug an RCA cable from any decent device to any other decent device and get reasonable results. No need to hire an MSCE person to hook up the TV to the video player. No worry about if the disc was acually made for this region. DVD won on convinence, and the fact that VCR was getting complex, but why is it that I cannot just put a DVD in and watch a movie? Why can't I fast foward over the stuff I dont' want to see.

    Shoudn't design be for the sake of the person paying, or is it that consumers no longer are a source of profit on thier own? Is it that Dell makes money only becuase of MS and AOL/TW kickbacks? Is it that Sony does not expect to make any money of the players, but only on the content, which will be so chock full of advertisements that it will be just like watching a tv program? Why can't movie theatres make a profit on ticket sales and concesions? It is because the studios are so greedy that they each up all the sales, yet, because of the rational fear that the major releases are crap compared to the indepdent, won't fund digigtal distribution which might singnificantly increased profits, if only they would stop letting the likes of Michael Bay make films and tom cruise appear in them.

  • 50 First Dates, The Fifth Element, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, A Knight's Tale, The Last Waltz (MGM), Resident Evil Apocalypse and XXX [initial HD-DVD titles]

    [sarcasm]Wow, it's a pirate's dream come true! I've always wanted to download a 30gig HD copy of Resident Evil Apocalypse.[/sarcasm]

    Idiots. The overwhelming majority of pirated content isn't even up to SD-DVD quality because most people don't want to (or can't) spend enough time downloading it. The idea that someone who can't afford to buy
  • by Kittie Rose (960365) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:09PM (#14937635) Homepage
    DVD's been mainstream for what, 6-7 years at most? And still there are many many people who haven't adjusted. So in another year they're introducing something else? DVD is a flash in the pan compared to VHS, which is still in wide use today.

    The change in quality will be almost negligble. People will only feel cheated paying more and hardly being able to tell the difference.

    It would make much more sense to switch to DivX on normal capacity DVDs, which is higher quality and much smaller, that way you can fit more on a single DVD, which I think is one of the more important things we need with a new format.

    I don't see how anyone can be excited by Blu-Ray or HDDVD for movies, and you're kidding yourself if you are. More space isn't going to help movies that much at this stage. Yes, it will be in a higher resolution, yes, it will be crisper, but it will be at best half the difference between VHS and DVD. Many people may not even be able to tell the difference.

    Games and data storage, yes, but it's too soon as the PS3 is showing. It would be better to wait a little longer to make sure that it can be distributed more cost effectively, and maybe even improve it.

    DivX DVDs are a much better idea, in my opinion.
    • The change in quality will be almost negligble. People will only feel cheated paying more and hardly being able to tell the difference.


      Do most people you know suffer from severe cataracts?

      The difference between DVD and HD quality is quite distinct to me.
  • by yeremein (678037) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:17PM (#14937679)
    This situtation is very similar to Microsoft's forced downsampling of HD content on non-HDCP-compliant monitors (read: basically every monitor on the market today). So will Microsoft relax the HDCP requirement for Vista? Will Hollywood even let them?

    My guess is no, because DVI without HDCP is digital, and Hollywood is obsessed with the lack of generational loss when copying digital data. "Oh noes, the pirates will be able to get an unencumbered HD signal!" As if that's materially worsse than getting an unencumbered SD signal, what with all the camcorder jobs floating around the net...
  • Does anyone know if discs using ICT will play through DVI? I've always heard it as "maybe." The article on Sony only talks about how analog will be allowed, since it is of little concern in the piracy arena. DVI is digital, not analog. Of course if analog works, then you can just use that, but it would be nice to know if my DVI equipped (but not HDMI equipped) TV will work with ICT.
  • by HiThere (15173) * <charleshixsn@earthlin k . n et> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:30PM (#14937750)
    Sony assures us that, at least for now, it won't discriminate against us. So we should trust them and give them our money.

    You do as you choose, Sony has yet to prove to me that it's anything better than a script kiddie. One that steals your wallet as well as riffling your computer.
  • It amazes me that the current standard DVD players that are capable of upconversion to HD resolutions still refuse to do so on their analog outputs, only supporting it on the HDMI output. It isn't as if people couldn't rip SD-DVDs to their computers and perform their own upconversions to HD resolution; there just doesn't seem to be a demand for software that can do it. So where's the anti-piracy rationale for restricting the SD-DVD players from upconverting?
  • by spagthorpe (111133) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @08:45PM (#14938179)
    The future I'm being shown is not to my liking. I refuse to play this game anymore. Over the years, I bought LPs, tapes, CDs, VHS tapes, Beta tapes, and ultimately DVDs. I won't do it anymore. I will hopefully get years out of my existing hardware, but when it breaks, I'm done. When the cable providers no longer transmit analog TV signals, my set will likely go to the dumpster. I refuse to deal with media that requires me to play their game. There are too many other ways for me to spend my time. As it is, I'm down to two TV shows anyway. Giving it up for good won't be difficult.

    I stopped going to the movie theater two years ago, and quit buying DVDs about the same time. I stopped buying CDs four. It's easy to quit. I wish more people would back up their feelings with actions. If more did, the media producers would have no choice but to listen. As it is, the sheep will continue to play the no-win game the media producers graciously allow you to spend money to play. Have fun.
  • Switch to HD-DVD. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SeaFox (739806) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @09:23PM (#14938370)
    Reports that 'Blu-ray discs don't look right on my HDTV' could result in consumers' switching allegiances to the competing HD DVD standard or postponing purchases of next-generation optical players altogether.

    What would switching to HD-DVD accomplish? They're doing the same thing with analog signals.

    I think consumers will be postponing purchases anyway because they'd rather wait for the format war to end.
  • Aah, at last (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kanasta (70274) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:42PM (#14938826)
    After the beta, minidisc.net, memorystick, memorystick pro, atrac, rootkit failures/debacles, Sony realises it cannot force crap onto consumers for very long.

    About bloody time.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin

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