Now for the not so bright side of HDCP and what it means to consumers today. Personally, I like how Ken “Caesar” Fisher at Ars Technica puts it:
A future so bright, you’ll have to wear HDCP-complaint shades
We’re in the midst of a a top-down, all-points-covered attempt to lock down every part of the HD viewing experience. In a nutshell, the content industry wants to see video encrypted end-to-end and passed only among approved devices that obey content access rules defined by the industry. This is not limited to the PC. Our in-depth primer on CableCARD revealed that the lock-down will also come to include the video streams from cable providers, too. In both cases, we see a disturbing trend: not only is the technology all about locking down the content, but the implementation is becoming locked down as well. For example, while CableCARD has been heralded as the great breakthrough that will allow for Home Theatre PC nirvana, the fact that CableLabs has to certify entire machine designs means that the do-it-yourself market is likely out of luck.
I suspect that the content industry may be in for a big, nasty surprise when all of this truly hits the public in the face. Never before has the rollout of the “next big thing” been so encumbered with built-in obsolescence, user-unfriendliness, and hypocrisy. Groans the world over will be heard when early adopters learn that their TVs won’t play Blu-ray movies. Folks who bought computers recently will be disappointed when they learn that their hard-earned money couldn’t buy them end-to-end support for HD content playback.
Our take: Buyer beware! Well, at least until things settle down and HD-DVD and Blu-ray compatible devices start hitting the market.
UPDATE: CNET News just post an article entitle, “New DVDs already sparking copy-protection confusion,” that you definitely checkout.
Filed in: Industry Buzz