Saturday, August 06, 2005

HD for indies: The HD Analog Shutout - no HD on your HDTV

I don't know if Mike will get a chance to recap his latest HD for Indies post here, so I'm going to go ahead and link to it for him, it's worth reading in full if you've got the time. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Movies don't want to be trapped in freaky, proprietary, locked up formats.

It looks like the Hollywood studios are requiring use of an HDMI connector with HDCP (hardware device copy protection) for high definition video content on next generation formats, HD DVD and Blu Ray. [...]
So what does this mean? Imagine you spent $2000-$5000 on an HDTV a couple of years ago. You're into all this new tech, you love it. So HD DVD and Blu Ray discs actually ship, and you plunk down $500-$1000 for one of the first players (assuming you're OK buying into one of two competing standards) and you take it home and pop it in your player. Woops, your set lacks HDMI with HDCP, you only have HD component analog connections. Even though they work with all of your other high definition gear, the player will quietly downsample your HD signal to standard definition. You watch the movie, and frankly, it doesn't look any better than your regular DVDs that play on your kids' $50 player. Box it up and return it, you don't think it's worth it. You could be watching a regular DVD on a $50 player on a $300-$800 TV and it would look pretty much just as good...

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