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Thread: Universal opts not to downscale HD content; ICT dead on arrival?

  1. #1
    twisterX's Avatar Poster
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    [news=]One of the nastier capabilities of both Blu-ray and HD DVD allows for content holders to force image quality degradation onto users whose TVs aren't quite up to snuff. The original plan was simple: if a TV lacked a secure HD input (i.e., HDMI or something else supporting HDCP), studios could instruct next-generation disc players to reduce the quality of the video output to something less than 720p. This has been billed as an anti-piracy measure, inasmuch as it is designed to keep the pristine, full digital HD signal away from anything that's not locked down. Consumer advocates have attacked the plan, however, saying that the only thing it is likely to stop is honest people from enjoying their discs' full HD potential.

    Following on the heels of Sony, Universal has confirmed that they will not be using such capabilities to downgrade video on their offerings, at least for now. This marks what looks to be a major studio to turn away from the so-called image constraint tokenóthe name given to the AACS software functionality that allows for downsampling video to 960x540 (approximately NTSC). Paramount, Disney and Twentieth Century Fox have all backed off of using the ICT, leaving Warner Brothers as the only major studio saying that they will use the it. According to BusinessWeek, sources say that Warner will use the ICT on "at least some" of their initial titles.

    The question is, why are they forgoing ICT? For now, it looks like good business sense is driving the discussion. Even today, not all new TV sets support HDCP, and the vitally important "early adopter" crowd contains no small number of people with HD sets that were sold before the HDCP requirements were known. In short, most of the studios understand that launching new, expensive players alongside rather expensive movies could flop if the ICT is used extensively. After all, a Blu-ray player may cost $1,000, but if you can't get anything much better than existing DVD playback, why bother?

    If this is the studios' motivation, we should expect the ICT to become more prevalent as the penetration of TV sets with HDCP support increases. There's always a chance that studios will shy away from this functionality entirely, but holding your breath is not advised.


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  3. News (Archive)   -   #2
    I for one see this new technology only as a way to store more data on a single disk not as a media content provider. Besides, who in the world needs a disk that can hold 25gig of data for a single movie? I already find the extra disks with extra content usless as it is. Why in the world would I want a movie with 20gig of extras.
    Last edited by Appzalien; 03-30-2006 at 01:44 PM.

  4. News (Archive)   -   #3
    Tempestv's Avatar Engineer
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    a twenty gig storage disk would be great. I think the idea behind using them for video is that they would use a format that is higher deffinition- clearer, better video and sound. when the burners fall to under $200 I will get one, unless I win the lottery or something in the meantime.
    Plan for the worst, hope for the best


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