At 10:40 AM 4/20/2004, R. A. Hettinga wrote:
"While it's unfortunate that security on the current DVD format is broken
and can't be reprogrammed, HD is what really matters. Once studios release
high-definition content, there will be little or no distinction between
studio-quality and consumer-quality," said Kocher. "This means that HD is
probably Hollywood's one and only chance to get security right."

The major problem facing Hollywood in protecting their HD content is that it runs smack up against an installed base of millions of HDTVs with only ACV (analog component video), including mine. These consumers were promised by the FCC that they would not be left to twist in the wind when newer set-top-box to TV connections evolved and it does not appear technically practical to retrofit these sets to accommodate encrypted DVI or Firewire inputs. The FCC has already stated they do not support broadcast flags for pay content and unless they back-peddle on this Hollywood appears to have only three other options: restrict the availability of HD content to cable broadcasters, prevent the sale of devices that can capture HD quality content from ACV, or insist that the resolution of ACV signals be degraded when "copy restricted" content is being broadcast.

The first will bring great howls from existing HDTV owners with only ACV. The second is probably impractical since illegal devices (little more than 3-channel A-D converters on a PCI card) are sure to be produced and only a small number in the hands of skilled movie releasing groups are required to widely disseminate their content via the Internet. The third option is also sure to bring major complaints from existing set owners.


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