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HD DVD to Screw Early HDTV Adopters 629

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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  • by Freexe ( 717562 ) * <serrkr@tznvy.pbz> on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:43AM (#14792480) Homepage
    That should read
    "HDTV adopters screwed by HD-disc rules"

    Because I can't see any advantage to the end user by any of these rules.

    Will it be easier to make backups - No
    Will it be easier to play it on all the devices around your house - No
    Will i beable to skip the 2-30 minutes of copyright ads + trailers to watch a movie - No
    Will the image quality be higher - Only if you have the right hardware (the confusing HD standard means up and down sampling will reduce the quality even more if you HDTV isn't the right native resolution)
    Will you beable to sell the disks on to friends/second hand market - No (At least from my understanding so correct me if i'm wrong)
    Will it reduce the cost as no one will be able to pirate anymore - No, This will be hacked within a few months of it coming out the same way CSS was

    "If I pirate will my life be easier than going the legitimate route" should be the one question that these media content owners need to answer. And they fail over and over again

    Will I boycott HD - Yes
    • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:49AM (#14792549) Journal
      Will you beable to sell the disks on to friends/second hand market - No (At least from my understanding so correct me if i'm wrong)

      The RIAA doesn't have the power to overrule the "first-sale" doctrine. You can resell an HD-DVD if you want, and it's none of their business.


      • Sell it all you want. If it's locked to your player, it's no good to anyone that buys it from you.
        • If it's locked to your player, it's no good to anyone that buys it from you.

          That sounds like a great way to kill sales. I mean, how many consumers have more than one TV in their home? (And by extension, more than one DVD player?) Not to mention the number of people who loan their discs out to friends and family. If consumers suddenly find themselves unable to move their disc around (especially if they purchase a new TV/player), they're not going to buy. They'll tell the industry "screw you" and go get their content some other way. Unfortunately for the industry, if there's no legal method for getting HD content, they'll just get it illegally over the 'net until there is.

          So the industry had better think long and hard about how much they really want to be pushing consumers.
          • by theJML ( 911853 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:49AM (#14793258) Homepage
            What about the fact that DVD Players don't work for life!? I mean, if I buy a HD-DVD Player, get me 30-40 HD-DVDs (not a huge number by any stretch) and then the player dies, WTF? I have to Re-Buy ALL of my movies?? THAT is why I won't by something that's tied to the player.
          • That sounds like a great way to kill sales.

            You don't get their point of view.

            Their point of view is like my boss's when it comes to paying employees. "If I lay off three people (out of 8), then I make that much profit from their salaries" he thinks. He doesn't think "if I have three extra people around at a time when it gets super busy and we make lots of sales, then the company will grow, and not totally drop the ball. So I should generate more sales".

            The MPAA is thinking "if we bootfuck our customers and
      • Oh, sure...and you could resell a DIVX, too.
      • The RIAA doesn't have the power to overrule the "first-sale" doctrine.

        They can't use the law to prevent you from reselling it, but they're perfectly within their rights to make disks that are only useful to the first owner. If they can come up with a disk that self-destructs when it leaves your house, the first-sale doctrine hardly impedes them from doing so.

        • If they can come up with a disk that self-destructs when it leaves your house

          Using magic?

          If the disk isn't writable, and if the disk doesn't require some kind of external activation, then this is impossible.
          • by a_nonamiss ( 743253 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @01:05PM (#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.
      • Doesn't matter if they don't technically have the power. Technically they don't have the right to search files on your computer without explicit permission, but they do anyway (because you've made those files available to anyone who asks.) Whether they can make a case or not has no bearing on their decision to sue; the suit is designed to bully the defendant into settling through the threat of hideously expensive litigation.

        IANAL, but I'd like to see the above concept tested in court (i.e. does making fil
        • IANAL, but I'd like to see the above concept tested in court (i.e. does making files available via p2p applications mean that you forfeit any right to contest the validity of a search for the purpose of discovery?) Seems to me that you should be able to refuse the examination of your computer and the files contained thereon the same way you can refuse a search of your person or property without a court order.

          But you deliberately made a subset of files on your computer available to the world to search and

    • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:54AM (#14792611) Homepage
      Here's the thing that I don't get about attempts to control content like these: Doesn't this just smell ripe for a class-action lawsuit? Seriously I can see a group of pissed off owners of these devices crying "Fraud" over the fact that the player automatically downgrades the signal to their televisions. Throw a few smart lawyers into the mix and you've got a huge mess on your hands. Years of bad PR at the very least. They are also running the risk of having either the courts or the legislature or both of stepping in, and despite all of the money thrown at the political groups, having them create new laws which prevent them from doing or requiring the hardware manufactures to do this sort of stupid sh*t. So why risk it? Are the profits so great that they'll risk the entire business? Isn't anybody in these companies trying to think of a smarter way?

      Granted they could always hope for the sweet sort of deal that NetFlicks got, where nothing really happens to the companies in question, but last time I checked that deal was starting to go down in flames...
      • Region coding (Score:5, Interesting)

        by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:50AM (#14793267) Homepage Journal
        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.

        http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/17-tbt_e .htm [wto.org]

        I'm kinda surprised the EFF hasn't shown any interest in pursuing this.
        • Re:Region coding (Score:3, Informative)

          by Zeinfeld ( 263942 )
          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

    • by williamhb ( 758070 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:58AM (#14792655) Journal
      "If I pirate will my life be easier than going the legitimate route" should be the one question that these media content owners need to answer. And they fail over and over again
      At first glance it seems to me it's not just "will my life be easier" - with these silly rules if you're the owner of an older HD-TV then pirate copies (without the protection and consequent 'down-rezzing' of the component video) could potentially give you 4 times the resolution of what you'd get from the legit version. Way to give the pirates a competitive advantage on quality as well as price, guys!
    • This will be hacked within a few months of it coming out the same way CSS was

      That's a fairly optimistic point of view. If memory serves, CSS was only hacked due to one stupid manufacturer leaving their keys visible.

      Look at music. Although DVD Jon broke Apple's original FairPlay encryption, they updated it almost half a year ago, and it still hasn't been broken. Now, if an incremental update to a known DRM system protecting low-value files and designed to be easy to decrypt (to run on iPods) has peo

    • Some random points (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Phreakiture ( 547094 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:37AM (#14793089) Homepage

      Some random points that occur to me:

      • I have a 27" TV. It is an early, analog HDTV, but at that size display, unless you are sitting really, really close to it, 960x540 will be plenty
      • Joe 6-pack, when his TV breaks, will probably buy another SDTV. Until his TV breaks, he will not buy another TV. He doesn't want to spend $700 on a TV, never mind $2000+ when he can have one for $99.99 at Wal*Mart.
      • As such, Joe 6-pack will not adopt HD-Ray, because DVD is sufficient. His SDTV is barely capabale of exceeding VHS quality, so DVD will look only slightly better than VHS to him, and HD-Ray will look no better than DVD.
      • I reap a significant benefit with my 27" HDTV even watching SDTV content, because of it having a deinterlacer. This was a major selling point for me. There is some minor banding (which is a little annoying at times), but for the most part, the picture is fantastic, even at SDTV.
      • Short of DV and D8 casettes, which are used for shooting home video and not used for distribution of commercial content, DVDs are the highest-quality SDTV medium you will find in most homes. Technically, they are EDTV, because the MPEG stream may be encoded as progressive scan (and many DVD players can play them as such, and deinterlace interlaced streams), and the resolution is well above that of even the cleanest of composite video signals. DVDs look fantastic on my 27" HDTV.
      • 960x540 is only 50% better than 720x480. Many store that sell TVs still can't get an HDTV signal to demo their HDTVs, so who is going to notice that HD-Ray might be better than DVD?
      • HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are starting a format war, and people will, therefore, stay away in droves.

      The bottom line is that it doesn't matter. HD-DVD and Blu-Ray will die if they can't clearly show superiority to DVD and their competition. Doing what they are doing, they will fail to show superiority to DVD in many installations. They're stillborn.

      Now, you have to keep in mind that, as a Slashdot reader, you are part of a minority. You are technologically literate, and probably willing to dish out more than most people to get better technology. The majority don't care about the technology, just as long as they can see something. Hell, quite frequently they don't even care whether or not the aspect ratio is right, or know what an aspect ratio is! The view with which you and I approach technology is going to be skewed, period. We are technophiles, and most of our friends are technophiles. Most importantly, we who would be interested in this technology if it weren't such a clusterfuck are the minority.

      HD-DVD and Blu-Ray will die.

  • Yeah, we all know how well having a digital stream helps protect content. Most piracy is conducted over the internet, which is digital media? OK. I don't think this is going to stop, slow down, or hamper piracy in any way. It's a way to get more HDTV's sold to the people who were already suckers enough to buy them the first time (videophiles don't count, they always buy the latest thing, I'm talking about regular Joe's who now will hate HD).
    Good job, everyone.
    • As the only supported digital interfaces will imply encryption over the wire, I would say that it will be more secure.

    • Most piracy is conducted over the internet, which is digital media? OK. I don't think this is going to stop, slow down, or hamper piracy in any way.

      The intended effect is to have a secure pathway from the media right up to your eyeballs. Adding protection like this attempts to defeat any would-be crackers who intend to steal the media by recording the digital stream rather than trying to break the DRM on the disk.

      Of course, if HD DVD is going to screw over early HDTV owners, I can see only one market respon
      • "A small digital to composite converter that you plug in between the player and the TV. It would securly decode the data into a high-res composite stream, then send that to the television. Voila! We're back to sqaure one."

        If you replaced the words "TV/televison" with the word "pirates", it would have more "oommff". Nonetheless, a very nice summary.
  • by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:46AM (#14792506)
    Someone is going to make a lot of money selling Chinese digital-to-component adapters for all these HDTV owners - at least if HDTV actually goes anywhere.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      That will probably be illegal do to DMCA. But who cares, everything is illegal due to DMCA these days.
    • The problem is (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 )
      At least at this time, I don't think it can be made all that cheap. That converter is actually going to have to be an active device with some deceant circutry. You have to accept HDMI/DVI in, with HDCP, decode that, then feed it through some high bandwidth D/A converters, amplify and output that. Given the price of devices that do similar things (DVI to VGA for computers, for example) I'm not optimistic on pricing.
      • Re:The problem is (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @12:03PM (#14793450) Homepage
        I doubt the DVI -> component would be in that device. All that device would need to do is to strip HDCP and give you a clean DVI output (handy for many computer monitors too) and then a regular, legal converter device. Wasn't there recently a slashdot post about how HDCP was breakable and mostly because it was supposed to be implemented in less than 10000 gates? I'm thinking two ports, one small low-power chip. Hell, with luck you can feed that into another DVI/HDMI device with DVI/HDMI input for the converting, or do they all scale the content down no matter what?
  • Any suggestions?

    Doesn't the FCC have anything say in this? Aren't they supposed to be in charge of standards?

    Wasn't it supposed to be a national priority to encourage people to adopt HDTV?
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:47AM (#14792528) Journal
    Looks pretty cut-and-dried to me..

    • I'm not so sure if it's so simple, as HDTV and HD-DVD are completely different standards. I don't think the DVD Forum is obligated to make HD-DVD compatible with all HDTV's. IMO this is a good thing, hopefully this will cause a backlash against media DRM schemes.
    • 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.
  • The old boy network is too busy arguing amongst themselves over which "standard" will reap them the most rewards to spend any real time considering the effect of these decisions on mere consumers...the people who are supposed to lap this stuff up at their local electronics store and video rental outlet....

    I think I'll pass.
  • by SeekerDarksteel ( 896422 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:48AM (#14792535)
    Ok, so they're going to limit the analog outputs to 1/4th the normal resolution. And what the hell do they think that's going to solve? Most of the people downloading movies are not overly concerned about the quality. Hell, a lot of copies are made by hand held cameras in movie theaters, with plenty of shaky video and noise disturbances from the crowd. Besides, the vast majority of people aren't going to want to download a 20GB file to watch a movie when they can download a 700MB one.

    Congratulations, you have prevented nothing.
  • Companies always seem ready to screw early adopters. Which doesn't make any sense to me, since the early adopters are typically the source of the largest margins in retail spaces. They absolutely have to have it as soon as possible and are willing to pay a premium... only to get burned for it later. It seems to me that you'd want to nurture your early adopters rather than screw them.
    • Yes, but... isn't there an inherent risk accepted by early adopters?Shouldn't they know that the market is not mature yet, and changes are inevitable? I mean, I am not saying that this is a good move by the HD-DVD folks... its pretty useless and arbitrary, but a product or product line is going to adapt to changing conditions as it matures. The folks that jump on the "ooh, shiny!" train a bit early should know that. Still, in this particular instance, they have a right to bitch, because, as I said, I think
    • Except early adopters are like sheep. They'll bitch and moan, but when HD-DVD comes out most of them will throw in the towel and buy a new 65" plasma HDTV that supports the protected input. Early adopters tend to have tons of disposable cash (or are very stupid with credit card debt) so its not a big deal. They'll just put the old HDTV in their bedroom and use it to watch TV.
  • by onezan ( 908534 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:49AM (#14792544)
    As an early adopter, i am among the screwed.

    I'm not too worried though, i will wait. Wait for the second generation of cheaper devices to flow from the secondary players in the DVD player markets (the "no-names"). these most assuredly will have the "secret back-door" keycodes to enable full HD over component.

  • Movie pirates watch grainy hand-held movies with babies crying and people coughing and walking in front of the screen while enjoying the recorded-in-a-coffee-can audio. I think 960x540 would be a step up for most of them.

    Just another fine example of how honest paying customers get screwed over while those that break the law get a better deal.
  • I would love to see owners of old HDTVs file class action suits against the vendors of their HDTVs. They were promised higher resolutions, they lead the way to making the costs go down for the people who bought HDTV later. They spend more money and went through more trouble to get HDTV resolutions, but now their getting screwed. And do you really believe that when they were sold the set they were told "sure, your set will do 1080i, but when HD-DVDs come out we won't let you have that resolution.

    • What do you think the specific damage is that should be claimed in the class action? Who is doing the damaging? Did that defendant really make binding promises to you?

      I think the early adopters knew what they were doing and the risks they were taking.
  • by brain1 ( 699194 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:55AM (#14792620)
    This is shaping up to make the VHS vs Beta wars look like a border skirmish. The real losers are going to be the consumers that suddenly find their beloved $2500 HDTV and $300 HD-DVD they just got has been suddenly obsoleted by some jerk that thinks the entire buying public is a bunch of pirates. Their attitude is that they need all these restrictions just to keep US - the public - honest? Go jump in a lake!

    IMHO, the MPAA, RIAA, et. al, are going to make the consumer public so mad that they essentially put themselves out of business. What then? Add more DRM and restrictions to products claiming their plummeting sales are due piracy?

    I'll just pass on HDTV until these jerks finally self-destruct and we can get rid of them.

  • ... if their pirated movie "only" has a resolution of 900x500-something ?
  • Can I use a DVI-to-Component video or HDMI-to-Component adapter to get around this? Just wondering since I didn't RTFA.

  • by A nonymous Coward ( 7548 ) * on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:57AM (#14792647)
    They keep finding more toes to shoot off, antagonizing their customers one segment at a time, hoping the remaining customers will be oblivious. Bang at the early adopters, bang at the mass market, bang at the computer users, bang bang bang ... pretty soon they won't have a leg to stand on.
  • HD DVD to Screw Early HDTV Adopters

    This will only change when the majority of consumers stop respond to these kind of actions with the expected, "Thank you sir, may I please have another."

    If HD fails in the marketplace, and I mean utterly fails , the MPAA might start to get the idea.

  • by stilleon ( 601857 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:02AM (#14792694)
    My mom purchased a Sony HDTV two years ago (I told her to wait because of unresolved issues like these, but did she listen????). It only has HD component ins as HDMI and so on were not even spoken about. I see that Sony is part of the AACS defining group. Well, they advertised that their HDTV was the future of TV (obviously not), and that the component inputs would be capable of accepting HD from future products (that's what the sales guy said). Well, they sold a product that they are now crippling its abilities. Is it possible for early adopters to sue to get compensated for now having to buy a new set just to use HD-DVD or Blu-Ray?
  • by enrico_suave ( 179651 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:04AM (#14792707) Homepage
    This type of a-hole (analog hole) closing tom foolery is already in place with "upscanning" HDTV players designed to take the 480p and output it at 720p/1080i/etc. You get 720p via digital (so called protected) outputs, but get crap (low rez) out via analog component. In effect the DVD upscaling device you bought is intentionally crippled out of the box.

    The end game doesn't look good for fair use, and the ability to move content around freely between devices :(

    • You know the funny thing is almost all HD sets will give better quality images over the "crap (low rez)" outputs. The scalers used in most HD sets are quite a bit better than the ones in low-end scaling DVD players.

      My Sony Grand WEGA is noticably better when the DVD player is 480i and the TV is told it is getting content that needs a 3:2 pulldown and it does its own scaling up to the 768P of the DLP chip.

      But most people never tell their TVs that the content is something that needs de-interlacing and pull do
  • I personally liked the tone of this blog posting. [writersblocklive.com]

    I really do get tired of companies that think consumers are there for them to screw over, instead of understanding that to be successful they need to be selling what consumers want.
  • 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 CinciTech ( 953424 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:08AM (#14792754)
    "...try the exact same thing again." Or maybe more appropriately was Ben Franklin's quote: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

    So they release one copy protection after another, spending gobs of money that translates to increased cost to the end user, and ultimately they're all cracked in less time than it took to develop them. Why not try a different approach for a change, instead of having the audacity to think that eventually you can come up with an unbreakable copy protection?

    The bottom line, (imo), is that some people will always pirate, and some will always pay the asking price. Forget about these two groups, and focus on the people in the middle who would buy your product if you simply made an offer they'd be interested in paying for. Piracy is about getting something for less than what you could get it for off the store shelf, and unless you cut costs and lower DVD prices, these people are going to copy/burn/download/bootleg your product unless you make the retail package, (being more than just price) more appealing than the piracy route.

    As it stands, what I see here is that you can legitimately buy the DVD, and play it at reduced resolution on your early HDTV, or you can wait for the copy protection to be broken and get a pirated copy that plays at full quality. Where's the incentive for buying your product now??
  • These disks are far too easy for big companies to tamper with. I'm sick of hearing about anti-piracy lockouts, rootkits and hoojiggers like that. Why should I put up with digital encryption and conversions?

    I'll invent a new format! A simple one! A fantastic format that's still as portable as a DVD! Perhaps...yes...I'll put still frames of images on a reel. And it will spin, making the sequential images appear to move! To the drawing table!

  • This will be better for piracy. Legal HD-DVD will run on 1/4 of the pirated version! Jeez, I just sooo want to spent my money for legal movies... :(((
  • F this crap, my vision is bad enough from years of monitor glare that i cant tell the farging difference from 10 ft' away anyhow. I'll keep my regular old tv or just BT the crap i want and watch it on my PC thanks. These jerks can all go fly.
  • I spent almost $9000 a few years ago an a HDTV compatible projector (a Sanyo PLV70). It has a DVI input, but oh wait. I can't even connect it to my HDTV receiver from Timewarner. It says it misses content protection thing. Right.... So I connect it using component. I do love the quality of the image, it is amazing. Even compared with today's projectors it does seem to do the job pretty well. Besides the fact that it is a rather big projector, but then it is hidden, I don't see ANY reason to change it. Excep
  • As part of the New! Improved! switch to all-digital television, Congress is going to spend several billion on subsidizing replacements for outdated TVs in the USA. [1]

    Anyone care to bet that the money from selling bandwidth (which was the original reason for the push) is more than consumed by the subsidy to Asian electronics companies and the MPAA?

    [1] No, I'm not fool enough to think that anyone but Congress will get new 52" HDTVs out of this.

  • Why not stay away from the entire HDTV thing? After all, by the time copyright suits have had their way HDTV might have been so neutered as to be a complete waste of time. For many folks, HDTV will probably mean a slightly better picture while watching football on a widescreen down the pub, but after a couple of pints of Dogbolter they really won't notice the difference. Until massive LCDs cost a couple of hundred bucks, it really isn't going to be on most folks' radar.

    I thought HDTV sounded like a great
  • This is only good news, folks. Those people who were early adopters are going to raise such holy hell - first at Best Buy to the poor schmuck selling High Dev DVD players, then they will call the DVD player makers, then the DVD makers, then their congresscritters.

    This will finally be the frist massive fuck you to the consumers by the tiny movie studio industry that will be so blatant and so obvious that even My Mom (tm) will understand that they are being fucked.

    Something will have to give, and i guarantee
  • ... count the owners of analog-input only displays are part of the market they expect to be buying their DRM crippled discs, and use the low sales statistics to "show" there is even more piracy than ever before when asking Congress to establish more draconian laws to let them squeeze everyone for even more money.

  • Clearly the ??AA is sewing up the media stream path between their studios and our corneas and eardrums. But this is only going to work in the US, and to the extent that the US can push its laws onto other nations. Given the popularity of the US abroad these days, I don't expect complete success in forcing our IP regimens overseas.

    If Bollywood and other foreign media areas don't smell opportunity here, it's because their scent receptors are burned out. Agreed that American media appears to be our one export
  • I'm disgusted with the high cost of content, and furious with the over-zealous DRMs that are already present in DVD usgage. Clearly it will be worse with HDTV - its entirely likely that I simply wont bother to upgrade to HD format. You may say "oh but you wont be able to watch ANYTHING", I'll say "so what?" I suspect that internet-based on-demand video is going to be the preferred alternative to CATV/HDTV for enough people that DRM restrictions will be eased in order for the hardware mfg's to remain compet
  • Marketing 101 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HermanAB ( 661181 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @12:42PM (#14793886)
    Market the product at hugely inflated prices to early adopters. Change the system slightly and tell the early adopters about the fantastic new features in the new product. Sit back and sell the same product to the early adopters all over again.
  • by csoto ( 220540 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @12:45PM (#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 seanellis ( 302682 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @02:07PM (#14794755) Homepage Journal
      Sorry to reply twice to the same post, but I was struck by one of the headings on the site (follow the About HD DVD link from the home page):

      "Designed to meet Hollywood's highest expectations"

      Aha. Not the Customer's highest expectations. Hollywood's. That makes me, the customer, feel so much better, since we know how customer-focussed Hollywood are. I'm so much happier without the temptation of skipping the copyright notice for Finland on my DVDs, and I'm glad of the sense of suspense waiting for stuff to come out on a region 2 disk.

      Hollywood's highest expectations, as always, seem to be "Make money. Make more money. Make other people produce so as to make more money." (Hmm. Sounds familiar...) Maybe that should be "consume", not "produce".
  • by phlegmofdiscontent ( 459470 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @01:42PM (#14794511)
    Here's the way I see it:

    Cheap players
    Cheap discs
    I can copy (though not always legally)
    I have a Blockbuster online account
    I can play on any DVD player
    I can lend to my friends (or borrow)

    Expensive players
    Expensive discs
    Draconian copy-protection
    Competing formats
    I don't have HD, so upgrades in quality are nil
    "Might" be backwards-compatible (depending on format)
    Might not be able to borrow (or lend)

    I've already upgraded my collection from VHS, I really don't feel like laying out thousands of dollars for limited or no gains.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle