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Pact Not to Use Image Constraint Token Until 2010?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the hdmi-boogeyman dept.


Devlin C. writes "Ars Technica reports that many major movie studios and several consumer electronics companies have an unofficial pact not to use the controversial Image Constraint Token in movies until at least 2010, presumably in an effort to spur early adoption. As the article at Ars notes, this would explain why both the low-end PS3 and the Xbox360 lack HDMI. The companies think it's not necessary to have right now, and they would rather shave costs than sell future-proof hardware."

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There's a point to be made (4, Insightful)

elronxenu (117773) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385191)

This is why it's important to not buy DRM-crippled hardware NOW, even if there is presently a workaround available.

There's a point to be made Self-control found dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385270)

"This is why it's important to not buy DRM-crippled hardware NOW, even if there is presently a workaround available."

Not purchasing or downloading in the first place and letting the content producer know why would have prevented this train from even leaving the station. Now we have all that and more just because some people couldn't control themselves. I hope you all are happy? Spoiled it for everyone else.

Funny, that is exactly what so many have done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385330)

I have not purchased any hardware or any content nor downloaded any which I am unable to make copies of.

If copy-ability is not provided, as it has always been provided with content in the past, then I don't want that content or hardware with such reduced-functionality, period.

Oh, and I have let the companies know very well how I feel, by spouting off regularly in fora such as Slashdot or in the companies' own blogs, and through emails to those companies, along the lines of, "Hey, I was all set to purchase your ____________, but you crippled it with DRM and therefore I chose not to." They have lost tens of thousands of dollars of sales just to me, much less the millions or more in sales they have lost to others who take this same path.

In fact, I have seen hundreds of other folks declaring their choices, too. So ... you were saying? What, are you new here or something? Have you somehow missed the 100 thousand freaking Slashdot posts criticizing DRM?

Re:Funny, that is exactly what so many have done (2, Insightful)

L33THa0R69 (610556) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385409)

Not having the flag enabled now is going to make it much harder to start using it later. After 4 years, when millions people get used to watching high resolution movies on their crippled PS3s, having a DRM flag on a movie will no longer be some technical rubbish about how they can copy it, rather it will mean they wont be able to play it at the resolution they have become accustomed to. If people are still willing to pay for a movie with this ICT flag enabled when they can't watch it in HD then the whole HD format change has been a waste of time, and pirated low resolution copys will also be good enough to pay for.

Studios are going to have to decide between selling blurays to people without HDMI hardware and losing sales through piracy. Perhaps they'll stop bitching about piracy and give up on DRM.

Re:Funny, that is exactly what so many have done (2, Interesting)

Jaruzel (804522) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385712)

Being honest about it, the majority of people who 'buy' pirated movies don't care about it being in the highest definition. The sheer fact that they got 'The Da Vinci Code' from a small oriental woman in the pub last night for only 3 quid, on a shiny DVD-R in a paper slip case is good enough for them - even if it's only standard DVD quality.

Think back to how many people had pirate copies of ET? Well all did. And it was horrible. All grainy and very dark and very green. However, the sheer buzz of actually having a copy you could watch totally outweighed that.

If I were a commercial pirate, (and I'm not, just to make it clear) - I'd happily burn the 540p downscaled HD content onto DVD - it'd look as good as DVD and most of my punters will be overjoyed at this fact.


Re:There's a point to be made (5, Insightful)

droopycom (470921) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385369)

Please go educate the masses of "average consumer".

I'll bet 90% of people of buy DVDs dont know what DRM is or what it does to them.

Consumers are just that: they consume. They buy. If the first gen DVD doesnt work anymore because HDMI, they'll just buy another one...

In a country where people pay $100 a month for premium cable, and where the main reason people buy HDTVs is Live Sporting Event, I dont think DRM will matter.

As long as Marketing is good - and the Americans are freaking good at Marketing - they'll just pay, thats just the way it works. Good luck changing that.

Re:There's a point to be made (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385472)

I believe the main driving need behind purchasing HDTVs in the near future is going to be video games. Sadly, there are still very few HDTV channels, and new movie formats take a few years to become mainstream. But the 360 kiosk in Wal-mart, Best Buy and the like is a tangible need today to buy a HDTV.

Re:There's a point to be made (5, Interesting)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385493)

Please go educate the masses of "average consumer".

I'll bet 90% of people of buy DVDs dont know what DRM is or what it does to them.

In general I think you're probably right, but I did have a surprising conversation last week with someone who definitely wasn't a computer nerd. She had basically been screwed over by iTunes and the 3 computer limit that this software imposes. (Excuse me if I don't get the exact details right -- I'm not interested in buying music in crippled formats for myself). She had activated her laptop and a couple of her work machines, but had then changed jobs and had her laptop stolen. The result was that although she still had the music, she was unable to play it at all, and I can tell you she understood exactly what was going on and she was not happy at all about it.

So it seems to me that as more people get screwed over by the music distributors, the message will eventually get out, even if only in a simple form -- "my ripped MP3s work, but my paid downloads don't".


Re:There's a point to be made (5, Informative)

solowCX (796423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385585)

I hope you at least informed her that she can deauthorize all of the computers it was previously set up on. You can then re-authorize the computers she actually wants to use. Details on the 4th bullet down... http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/musicstore/aut horization/ [apple.com]

Re:There's a point to be made (1)

LardBrattish (703549) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385653)

I'd like to know how that works in practice - Authorise on 5 computers disconnect 4 computers from the Net (or at least redirect apple to dev/null in the hosts file) De-Authorise All, Re- Authorise 5 more computers, rinse, repeat...

I'm guessing from the wording of the FAQ that you might need to actually be in posession of the computer(s) in question in which case she's still out of luck unless she can persuade her old employer to let her back in to "get her iTunes" - like that's going to happen...

Re:There's a point to be made (0)

LardBrattish (703549) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385618)

And that's the way it'll happen. A few unlucky people who hit the limit early but everyone who wastes money on iTunes or similar will end up re-buying in 10 years or less. While (some non-rotten) Red-book CDs & Vinyl go on, if not forever then at least long enough to piss off the record companies. But not long enough to get out of copyright the way things are going these days - Damn you Mickey Mouse!!!.

Y'know I'd have a lot less of an issue with the never-ending extension of copyright by lobbying from Disney if they actually bothered to do anything meaningful with their characters - it should be dirt cheap these days to bang out 300 new cartoons per year with the same old characters - you could use MacroAdobe Flash & re-use image assets for virtually eff.

Re:There's a point to be made (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385508)

American's aren't good at marketing.... other americans are stupid enough to buy the shit they sell.

Re:There's a point to be made (2, Insightful)

LardBrattish (703549) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385528)

I'll bet 90% of people of buy DVDs dont know what DRM is or what it does to them.
90% of American consumers. If you don't live in America you encounter DVD DRM regularly when you can't play legitimately purchased DVDs on your computer.

I bought a bunch of DVDs in England when I was living there then I emigrated to Australia. Now any (mainstream) DVD I buy is Region 4 not Region 2. My DVD player is region free but my Laptop is another story so I can't play any DVD I own on My laptop when I want to because you've only got 3 Region changes before it locks.

Can anyone explain to me why a 40 year old James Bond movie needs to be "protected" from being viewed out of region? Apart from corporate greed of course. Now we've got "fair use" in Australia does that mean I can legally shift my Region locked DVDs to region free?

Re:There's a point to be made (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385550)

Doesn't VLC offer region free DVD playing?

Re:There's a point to be made (4, Informative)

LardBrattish (703549) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385582)

Doesn't VLC offer region free DVD playing?

From the FAQ:-

1.2. Does VLC support DVDs from all regions?

Well this mostly depends on your DVD drive. Testing it is usually the quickest way to find out. The problem is that a lot of newer drives are RPC2 drives these days. Some of these drives don't allow raw access to the drive untill the drive firmware has done a regioncheck. VLC uses libdvdcss and it needs raw access to the DVD drive to crack the encryption key. So with these drives it is impossible to circumvent the region protection. (This goes for all software. You will need to flash your drives firmware, but sometimes there is no alternate firmware available for your drive). On other RPC2 drives that DO allow raw access, it might take VLC a long time to crack the key. So just pop the disc in your drive and try it out, while you get a coffee. RPC1 drives should 'always' work regardless of the regioncode.

So, in short, No.

Re:There's a point to be made (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385631)

Well I've used it on dozens of different DVD drives, on lots of different DVDs and it has worked most splendidly for me. So in short, IME, Yes. Though these days i use xine. And I hear mplayer is getting menu support.

No Region Encoding with Blu-Ray (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385629)

For all the Sony hate on /. it should be noted that Sony has said they won't do region encoding with Blu-Ray.

Re:There's a point to be made (1)

Finn61 (893421) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385691)

Now we've got "fair use" in Australia does that mean I can legally shift my Region locked DVDs to region free?

Sorry to nitpick but Australia does not have "fair use". The system being adopted is legally quite different from the US "Fair Use" in that there will only be very specific exceptions made for time shifting and format shifting etc.

Check Weatherall's blog for detailed legal commentary.

http://weatherall.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:There's a point to be made (2, Informative)

castlec (546341) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385816)

If you are using windows, you can install DVD43. It's freeware. Just google for it. I've noticed it causing problems with Nero so you should disable it before burning a disc. I know that similar software solutions exist for Linux but I can't tell you off hand what they are.

great? except it's one more thing to explain (5, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385204)

At first blush this may seem a happy development, and it will have been if it contributes to the ulimate demise of any future Image Constraint Token or consideration thereof in the future.

I predict one of two things:

  • the entertainment, as hinted in the article, will get cold feet an renege on what turns out to be a gentleman's agreement only, and goes ahead with the ICT anyway.
  • ICT isn't introduced, and some percentage of the shipped players and/or TV's will have something forked up because the manufacturers had incomplete information, and ICT hampers some percentage of what will be very irritated consumers.

Of course, we'll all be on point and have been handed yet one more piece of a puzzle to understand (I read the article, I'm not totally sure it makes sense to me) and be able to guide friends and family to informed decisions about what equipment to buy and how to make it work. (To friends and family: "You'll have to make sure the TV and player you buy has HDMI so you'll get to see the pretty pictures. No, wait!, You might not need HDMI afterall. Of course, you'll have to have it by the year 2010.") I'm pretty close to recommending people who have working equipment to stay with what they have. (Of course, that recommendation has the pitfall of putting them in harm's way when suddenly new transmissions and DVDs they've been persuaded to buy don't work with what they have.)

The entertainment industry has successfully lobbied to enact laws to satisfy their need to control this technology, and now they're showing they can't even manage that!

Seems like I'm ending most of my posts the same way these recent days...:


I don't see #1 happening... (2, Interesting)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385324)

"the entertainment, as hinted in the article, will get cold feet an renege on what turns out to be a gentleman's agreement only, and goes ahead with the ICT anyway."

Sony has already said they won't use it, and they have plenty of reason to follow up on that, given that they will be selling HDMI-less players.

If some or most movies play just fine over component, but some don't, the publisher of those that don't will take it in the butt in the marketplace. People just won't buy their discs, because they suspect they won't be able to play them.

So I figured that the agreement will hold for a while at least.

Re:great? except it's one more thing to explain (2, Interesting)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385654)

The whole ICT/HDMI switch over plan was pretty much doomed for failure from the get-go.

  + The vast majority of the installed base of HiDef TVs do not have HDMI
  + There's still virutally no computer support for the protocol.
  + The PR Beating that Microsoft took over the "Vista will require a new monitor" FUD.
  + The fact that HDMI is expensive enough that it apparenlty can't be used on low-end players ($500 PS3).

It was only Hollywood's arrogance that got it this far because any sane plan would have included a staged rollout. I wouldn't be suprised if they were "full speed ahead" on this until some studio exective figured out he was crippling his own TV. DOH.

The biggest thing holding back HD adoption is this endless quibbling over copy-protection standards. This has been going on for years now, and maybe someone figured out that it's time to shit or get off the pot -- that they'll never see a dime from HD unless they settle on some standards and stick to them.

So I wouldn't worry about 2010 either. HDMI is optional now, and will still be optional in 4 years. Maybe by 2015.

ummm (1)

slashes (930844) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385208)

Well, I don't see how this is a security feature if we can still copy what we're watching with just a lower quality 960x540(which is 540p btw). I think 960x540 is decent quality and nothing to cry about.

Re:ummm (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385302)

If you shell out $500-$1,500 today for an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player, then I think you're going to be pretty pissed to only get 540p when a $50 DVD player can put out 480p. The entire reason you shelled out the big bucks was to get the higher resolutions, and down-sampling is pretty screwed up.

Can you imagine buying a $100,000 sports car and having a regulator that won't let you use half the cylinders in the engine? I don't see why you defend this practice.

Re:ummm (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385435)

Of course, if you have one of the many 720p projectors or sets out there (as I do... Panasonic 700u on a glorious HUGE screen) then 1080i sources are already being pulled down to 1/4 HD (540p) and then "upscaled" to 720p.

Unless I'm watching a 720p signal (such as "Lost" on ABC, or "House" on FOX), everything I watch comes from a source which is not much higher in resolution than a 480p DVD.

There are also a ton of native 1/4 HD systems floating around out there, as they are vastly more affordable than a 1080 system. These people also gain very little from resolutions higher than what current DVD's can provide.

Which is why both HD formats are a huge freakin' waste of money, as far as I'm concerned. I might eventually move to whichever format wins, but the makers of these disks are utterly stoned if they think I'm going to bother replacing my existing library with new media just for another 60 theoretical lines of resolution.

Unless my eyes get a whole lot better, or I suddenly have room for a screen bigger than the 119" system that I have now, current DVD's look plenty good enough for me to stand pat.

Re:ummm (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385481)

I've owned two HDTVs for a while, and neither where that expensive.

I cherish the nice HD broadcasts of sporting events, Lost, House, etc. (Lost and House are the only two shows I must watch every week).

However, if we're talking about purchasing a HD-DVD player or Blu-Ray, then it is assumed you will be putting HD-DVD or Blu-Ray movies into the thing and you are getting a 720p or 1080p picture from the movie. So, we're not talking about upscaling and then downscaling. We're talking about defeating the entire purpose of paying extra solely for the higher resolution.

Re:ummm (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385483)

I might be wrong, but 1080i isn't pulled down to "1/4 HD". At worst, it's being pulled down to 1920×540, or "1/2 HD".

And jumping from 9.8mbps MPEG2 (DVD) to 36-54mbps MPEG4 (Blu-ray/HD DVD) isn't simply "adding 60 lines".

1080p HDMI 50" DLP (2, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385247)

http://www.secondact.biz/product.aspx?productid=HL -R5078W [secondact.biz] This is just an example that future-proof technology exists today, and can be had for cheap. I'm saddened to see both the cheap version of the PS3 and the 360 crippled without HDMI, but now the tag won't get used until 2010, and perhaps never. I feel a lot more comfortable about the $500 PS3 now honestly, and in 2010 if I need to buy another PS3, they should be in the $200 range or less by then.

We'll See (4, Interesting)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385253)

I don't trust this "agreement" at all, I think it only lasts until they think they have the dominant format so if they feel enough people have already moved to the new format by 2008 then they'll pull the plug on the pact at that time. It's just a manipulative tool to get consumers to be comfortable before they can pull the rug out from under them and implement their DRM. I swear I don't "steal" music or movies online but the way they treat me as if I'm a criminal, I might as well. At least then there'd be some justification for the way I get treated as a consumer.

Re:We'll See (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385295)

You might be right. Then again, maybe someone found a serious flaw with the latest DRM crap and they are trying to save face. It seems to me they've always wanted to restrict me. Why stop at the finish line?

Business as usual (5, Insightful)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385456)

The main objectives for movie companies with the new digital distribution formats and HDMI are:
1) Get consumers to re-buy their whole movie collection again in a new format
2) Move all or at least the vast majority of their movie sales for home use to a beter protected format so as to defend themselfs from what they currently percieve as their main competition - sharing of movies via the Internet.
3) Monitize or increase their profits in existing markets (for example: video/DVD rentals) and open new markets (internet distribution) while maintaining or extending their ability to control prices.
4) Increase their share of movie publishing.

DRM is the chosen mechanism by which movie publishers aim to remotelly control, enforce and even change (if an internet connection is available) any rules of their choice on the allowed uses of the movies contained on the media that consumers aquire.

Businesses being businesses, they will naturally use those remote control abilities (pun not intended) to maximize their profits - given their behaviour up to now, this will most likelly include maximizing the amount that consumers pay, up to and including pay-per-single-view.

At the same time, the bigguest part of the movie industry (as measured by sales and also, quite likelly, by lobbying power) consists of old-style, long existing, entrenched businesses - they are aiming to remain dominant beyond the next 5 years and certainly have long term strategies in place to ensure that it will be so.

It is clear to all that, before they can achieve their objectives, massive user adoption of DRM supporting hardware is necessary. Assuming that the main players in the movie industry are indeed engaged in a plan which is only expected to give fruit in a medium to long (5+ years) term, it's hardly surprising that they will start by visibly refraining from exercising the remote control that the newest DRM hardware allows them, if they believe that this will accelerate the transition from the current generation of hardware to the new (strong DRM enabled) generation of hardware.

It should also be pretty obvious, that since they haven't actually signed any contract with any consumers by which they [movie publishers] are obliged to not enable their DRM, this announcement of theirs still leaves open to them the possibility to, at any time and with no penalty to them, change their minds if they believe that the market penetration of the newest DRM enable hardware has passed the point beyond which said hardware has become the de facto standard.

In other words, their promises are as worthless as the paper they are written in.

next big thing + image constraint = chaching! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385271)

plain and simple: they are waiting for the next big thing to spur the sales (read this as: MATRIX)
having this not enabled means a shitload of sales when a hit hits the market... plus, the advantage of having nobody even tried to hack it, due the simple fact that it didn't have been activated....


Console wars are silly (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385290)

Wait a minute, this low end PS3 is getting slammed for not having HDMI but none of the other consoles have it either? WTF?

Anyway, this is anti-piracy crap and the problem with anti-piracy is that it only hurts the non-pirates. It has already been shown that the next generation copy-protections for movies can be broken. There are some mighty clever people out there who get a thrill out of doing this and not all of them live in countries that could give a shit if some hollywood studio claimes it looses billions.

Back to silly console business. The Wii is not HD and that is defended because not enough people will have HD tv's for this console generations lifespan. The low end PS3 does not have HD and is slammed for not being future proof?

This is one reason I stopped reading game reviews, because I started to notice that reviewers never heard of consistency. They would slam game A for being X and then slam game B for not being X.

Is the computer industry that immature that we can't at least attempt to judge all things equally?

Either HDMI is important or it isn't. Make up your mind. No I don't get the low end PS3 move either. Yes I am familiar with the way fastfood places offer small medium and large so that the medium looks like the better deal. However the PS3 ain't being pushed as a McD coke. At its price it is supposed to be a fine cuisine served at a top restaurant. One way to tell a good restaurant from a fast food place is the lack of supersizing.

Oh well, lets continue the endless console debate. Were we slam the console we don't like for not having the features the console we like doesn't have either.

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385321)

The low-end PS3 still puts out 1080p both in movies and games. However, without HDMI there is no guarantee the tag won't come into play. Certain movie companies can force downsampling in the movie.

The XBox 360 won't support 1080p period, and has no HDMI, period. The 360 is all about 720p.

The Wii hasn't promised any HD support at all. However, considering the Gamecube could put out a 480p image, I expect 480p from the Wii, and MAYBE 720p on some games, but I doubt it.

I'm just playing devil's advocate. I like people to have the facts.

Re:Console wars are silly (5, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385420)

480p is safe to assume for the Wii. NoJ has said they won't be getting into the HD wars, and it would be catastrophic for their system to try to push 720p volumes of pixels at it's power level. Better to compete while rendering fewer dots per pass.

1080p is the highest the PS3 will support. But from what I've heard high-def support isn't required for PS3 developers as it is for X360 developers. Expect to see a lot of PS3 games shipping with 720p as their max resolution (and rightfully so, it's a pretty good balance between resolution and effects-per-pixel).

The X360 is 1080i max.

To answer the grandparent poster, the PS3 was sold as the next movie platform for high-def televisions. Now it is getting slammed because the low-end won't support the image encryption standard Sony (and others) have forced onto us, making it potentially not a movie platform at all.

The Wii makes no pretention to High-def gaming, while the X360 is flagrantly about it while avoiding the movie debate. The PS3 on the other hand is the full deal, hundreds more than the competition, yet the part that may set it apart from the crowd is the part that simply may cease to work on a Hollywood whim.

It's not a question of whether HDMI is important or isn't. It's a question of achieving the standards set forth in your propoganda. Nintendo never said it had the most powerful console out there, it said it had a "powerful enough" gaming system with a nifty controller and a library of backcatalog games. Microsoft never said the 360 was a movie player, but rather an amazing Xbox Live delivery vehicle that had some solid gameplaying power and high-def graphics. Sony, however, always said the PS3 was going to be a movie box. But without HDMI (or HDMI upgradability), that could end at any moment. It's not important to Nintendo because they aren't selling based upon that. Sony is.

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385453)

Actually, Sony said that the PS3 would be a complete media center. Given that they will not only ship with Linux, but support homebrew content, have games, an online service, an iTunes like music shop, games, and hi-def movies, I don't see how they have failed to deliver on that promise. If neither version of the PS3 had HDMI (like the XBox 360) then you could berate Sony for not supporting their standard. However, given this new announcement, HDMI may not be that necessary. At least Sony gives the option if you want it. The $500 version suddenly looks considerably more reasonable, and those who are worried about being future-proof have their option. What I don't understand is why Sony didn't explain this calmly rather than insist that $500-$600 isn't expensive. They pissed a lot of people off with their attitude and how they handled the issue. With the PSP they said "this is what you will pay, and we don't have to sell you. You're going to pay it because we said so." Sony makes sexy hardware. They just need to borrow some of Apple's advertising-mojo now. Sony still has time to recover from this big faux-paus with a good advertising campaign before launch. Microsoft was smart to give the units away at launch with a big Pepsi promotion. Plenty of people were twisting caps and envisioning the possibility of owning a 360. Establishing the concept of ownership is a HUGE part of marketing and sales. I have no doubt Sony will eventually deliver a solid lineup of titles and some impressive hardware. Can they turn around the market's current perception of them? I'm rather curious to see.

Re:Console wars are silly (4, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385513)

The $500 PS3 looks reasonable if you want a Blu-ray drive . It still doesn't look reasonable next to the $350-400 Xbox 360 (which also promises to be a "complete media center", in case that's what people buy consoles for these days), and it doesn't look reasonable next to the $300 PS2 (which also shipped with Linux).

But yes, regardless of the details, if Sony had been more plain-spoken and not appeared to be arrogant, they probably wouldn't have gotten nearly as much ill-will as they did.

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385551)

Actually you had to pay an extra $150 for the linux kit on the PS2.

Spending $500 on the equivalent of a $2,000 PC and getting to run homebrew Linux apps on it, in addition to a BluRay drive, and oh yeah also getting a video game console that may be twice as powerful as the 360 suddenly sounds pretty reasonable.

Given that the $300 360 has no HDD, you really do have to compare the $400 360 to the $500 PS3. Is the BluRay player alone worth $100? What about the more powerful hardware, or the free online service, or Linux?

Again, it suddenly sounds considerably more reasonable.

Value for functionality, or just for some parts? (2, Insightful)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385642)

In terms of how much hardware you get for your money, sure. Consoles are usually subsidised and get good economies of scale, so they're usually excellent value for money. If you just want the hardware for the hardware's sake.

OTOH, most (non-fanboi) people buy hardware for what they can do with it, not for what it is. If you just want to play games, Wii or 360 or is better value than something that makes you pay for HD movie hardware too. If you want HD games and movies, the low-end PS3 is a good option - but only so long as the studios stick to their "gentleman's agreement" - if it even exists - and leave off the ICT flag.

Fact is, unless you get a high-end PS3, then at the whim of the MPAA you could suddenly find your "value" games+HD-movies PS3 becomes good for games+DVDs only, and not such good value as you thought.

Personally I'd rather wait a while, and buy a standalone player in whatever HD format eventually wins. Prices will be cheaper then anyway, so I'll save money, there'll be more movies available and I'll feel a lot more secure about my purchase too. Putting oneself at the mercy of the MPAA is just begging for trouble.

BTW, buying a PS3 as a cheap Linux homebrew media box I can understand - but not until when/if those homebrew media apps actually exist. Until then, it's just a box of spare parts.

Re:Value for functionality, or just for some parts (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385681)

There are something like 7,000 HD-DVD players on the market total. Not models, that is total units. Sony said they will have a million PS3's out each month when they launch.

I'd bet the cost of a PS3 that inclusion in the PS3 alone will make it the forwat winner. Does a studio want to release on a platform with 10,000 players, or 3 million players?

And given that Sony is a major movie studio in their own right with some decent clout, I don't see them shooting themselves in the foot. Maybe I am naive, but I believe they will hold to the agreement and implement the tag in 2010 (at the soonest). It makes for a good selling point in the near future. Retail stores will have time to push all new consumers to TVs with HDMI. I expect market penetration of HDTV to be pretty solid by then.

As far as games go, each generation is different. Sega was a giant, and then gone the next minute. All that being said, while I used to have very fond memories of Nintendo, I was greatly disappointed by both the N64 and Cube. Both had piss-poor third party support, and very few games in general. Multiplatform games often looked the worst on the Cube (save for RE4 and Soul Caliber 2).

I'm sure Nintendo will put out some solid first-party games for the Wii. Will third-party developers properly take advantage of the controller? Will they bother developing many titles in the first place?

The reality is that since the days of the NES, Nintendo has lost market share with each new generation (SNES, N64 and Cube). Furthermore, their business model for years has been to rehash sequels to the same properties, and rerelease games. Their big selling point on the Wii is that I can purchase old games YET AGAIN!

No thanks. I'll go the emulation route on my hacked XBox and PC. I bought NES games rereleased on the SNES, and then again on the GBA. At the moment, the Wii has one must-own title that I can see (Super Mario Galaxy). I will not buy a console for one title. I made that mistake with the Cube and Zelda. I am also a little bitter that the Cube never once got a proper Mario title in the entire life of the console.

Meanwhile, both Microsoft and Sony have arguably 5-10 must-own titles a piece that we've seen. I think Nintendo will regain some market share on price-point alone, but I don't know that I will buy one unless I see games that truly warrant it.

Re:Console wars are silly (2, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385655)

Twice as powerful as a 360? As powerful as a $2k PC? I get enthusiastic myself sometimes, but aren't these statements pretty clearly overboard?

Re:Console wars are silly (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385702)

Not really. In pure processing power, the 360 claims 1 teraflop of power. The PS3 is claiming 2.1 teraflops of power.

On top of that, the 360 can put out one 720p image. The PS3 was talking (this may be in the past tense now because of HDMI issues and not power issues) two seperate 1080p pictures.

One thing that you have to realize, is that the XBox today can handle Half Life 2. We see a 733mhz processor, 64 megs of ram, and a 4 year old GPU and we think the hardware is weak. However, it is difficult to compare console hardware to a PC. It is in fact quite different.

Given that Oblivion is a launch title that barely utilizes the 360's capabilities, and comparing that to a PC, and then back to the PS3, I think it is a fair assessment to say the PS3 will be comparable to a $2,000 PC.

Historically consoles at launch trump gaming machines at that time. The fact that a console can compete with a gaming PC 4 years after its launch is pretty impressive.

So now, I don't believe those statements are overboard.

And for the record, I generally buy each console every generation, but am primarily a PC enthusiast.

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385794)

getting to run homebrew Linux apps on it

I can't imagine this would be very useful or interesting, unless you are Saddam Hussein and are looking for a cheap compute box to run your WMD simulations on. (My favorite piece of Playstation 2 PR.)

Re:Console wars are silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385807)

>I can't imagine this would be very useful or interesting, unless you are Saddam Hussein and are looking for a cheap compute box to run your WMD simulations on. (My favorite piece of Playstation 2 PR.)

Are you really that stupid?

Ok Einstein, tell us what other computing hardware circa 1999-2000 had:

1) 6Gflops per node

2) $300 per node

3) The same low heat and power consumption per node

that the PS2 hardware has. Let me guess you are also one of the those sad fucks who likes to try to claim Sony claimed their system would have 'Toy Story' level graphics...

http://news.com.com/Microsoft+got+game+Xbox+unveil ed/2100-1040_3-250632.html [com.com]

""One of the basic premises of the Xbox is to put the power in the hands of the artist," Blackley said, which is why Xbox developers "are achieving a level of visual detail you really get in 'Toy Story.'"

xbox (1)

xmodem_and_rommon (884879) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385593)

The original xbox could push 1080i (although very few games used it because the power just wasn't there). However there are plenty of 720p games.

The Wii should be at least twice as fast as the original xbox, I see no reason why games shouldn't be able to push 720p.

Just because Nintendo's not getting into the HD wars, doesn't mean their console won't be HD capable.

Re:xbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385644)

"The Wii should be at least twice as fast as the original xbox, I see no reason why games shouldn't be able to push 720p."

The Wii is roughly equal to the 360 in power - the bogus Wii specs that have been floating around the Net notwithstanding.

The 360 is essentially a 480p system just like the Wii, but Microsoft is allowing developers to run games at 720p with screen tearing/low framerates. Which is amazing since the 360 costs about twice the Wii does to manufacture.

Re:xbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385756)

The Wii is roughly equal to the 360 in power [..]
MHz blinded fool.

Re:xbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385791)

"MHz blinded fool."


Unless you have PS3,Rev, and 360 devkits sitting at your desk you should avoid calling people fools about console power.

The real Rev system power, not the early Dolphin based systems, is roughly on par with the 360. And the Rev and 360 are nowhere in the same league as the PS3.

The Rev could easily support 720p if Nintendo decided to, but Rev games would end up like the graphical mess that 360 games are. The 360 was originally designed to run games at no higher rez than 480p. If you do the math for a 4xAA 480p buffer you will find you come out just at 10Megs....

The Rev graphics system is killer, although still nowhere in the same league as the RSX/Cell combo. It is a full year beyond the 360's which seems to have been badly botched by either ATI or Microsoft.

There are rumblings about Microsoft giving in and allowing developers to target 480p so they can get decent framerates on the system, but with PS3 games already confirmed to be running at 1080p it would be quite a PR hit.

Nintendo really went too far with their we don't care what people think about our system's power. The games will speak for themselves, but there are going to be a lot of people who don't even bother to check the system out because so many people have been passing around the BS about it only being slightly more powerful than the Dolphin.

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

javilon (99157) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385666)

It seems DRM is killing sony.
It killed their walkman mp3 line replaced by the ipod when they tried to impose their propietary DRM format onto people.

Now, their only advantage over the XBox lies onto a DRM emcumbered market. Lets see what happens.
Sony could be the first company being killed by ther fucking up people with DRM.

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385520)

"The low-end PS3 still puts out 1080p both in movies and games."

Sorry, but it doesn't. They're only putting a 1080i video chip in there as part of the cost saving, even if you can find a device that will accept 1080p over component. Sony confirmed this to AVS during E3. If you want 1080p, you'll need the top-end model.

Also, according to Microsoft, they've still to reach a definite decision about whether they need to design a way to get HDMI for the HD-DVD plugin. It'll only be 1080i, though.

Wii is definitely 480p only, no 720p. Nintendo don't think 720p is worth adding, when they haven't given it enough power to make the most of that resolution.

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385600)

Please check your facts.

The GPU is no different between the two units. Sony said flat out both models support full 1080p.

http://ps3scene.com/ [ps3scene.com]

Even the parent article mentions this. And I just discovered that the PS3 will ship with a web-browser. Nifty!

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385628)

I checked my facts, Sony are still stating to AVS that the machine will only do 1080i over component. If they're saying something else to other people that's interesting in itself, however.

Although I'm not talking about NVidia's RSX GPU, but the actual DAC chip on the end of that.

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385717)

Perhaps read the parent article in this very thread.

Both machines support full 1080p. The only difference is that without HDMI 1080p could be down-sampled if ICT tags were implemented. I shouldn't have to repeat that.

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385799)

Which article? The Ars Technica one in the story summary I read states

"On one level, he's correct. Few consumers will appreciate the difference between 1080i on a component cable (analog) and 1080p on HDMI."

I can't see any others, other than your link to PS3Scene, and that's blocked by my proxy.

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385442)

It's not about HDMI, it's about Blu-ray.

Yes, the Xbox 360 doesn't have HDMI either, but it's currently $100-200 cheaper than the no-HDMI PS3. The price difference is because if people buy a PS3, they're forced to get a Blu-ray drive whether they like it or not. And a Blu-ray drive without HDMI has been argued to be a pretty bad deal (a worse deal than simply forcing first-gen buggy hardware onto the masses, most of whom would otherwise wait to buy the cheaper/less buggy 2nd or 3rd generation players).

Re:Console wars are silly (2, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385471)

Wait a minute, this low end PS3 is getting slammed for not having HDMI but none of the other consoles have it either? WTF?
Back to silly console business. The Wii is not HD and that is defended because not enough people will have HD tv's for this console generations lifespan. The low end PS3 does not have HD and is slammed for not being future proof?

The tard-box PS3 is getting slammed for not having HDMI for two reasons:

  1. Sony promised not one, but two HDMI outputs on the PS3. We all know Sony lies through their teeth when promising system features, but if they're going promise it then they should be prepared for people to call them on the missing features.
  2. Sony is trying to position the PS3 with respect to Blu-Ray in the role the PS2 played for DVD.

By not putting HDMI on the tard-box PS3, they severely limit the tard-box's potential as a quality Blu-Ray player. Sure, this ICT pact may mean that the tard-box will play BDs at 1080p, but for how long? Anyway, Sony only has it half right this time around. The PS2 was an attractive DVD player because it was $300 at launch, not $600. Sure, the price difference is the same percentage-wise (an average of $500 for a stand-alone DVD player vs. $300 for a PS2, an expected average of $1000 for a stand-alone Blu-Ray player vs. $600 for a PS3), but they misjudged what consumers consider "affordable". At $300, people would look at the PS2 and say, "$300 for a game machine that also plays DVDs? Sign me up!" At $600, people are looking at the PS3 and saying, "Is this game or that movie worth $600?"

The Wii has its own set of problems with respect to HD signals. Sure, Nintendo is banging the drum about gameplay, which is all well and good. However, one can't help but think that their justification that HD is unnecessary because most people don't care is predicated on the lousy sell-through of Gamecube component cables. Why did Gamecube component cables sell so poorly? Because Nintendo, in their infinite wisdom, decided that they would only sell those cables directly. Unless you happened to live in the Redmond, WA, area where you could visit Nintendo's store (which is very well hidden, BTW), the only way to get your 480p on with the 'cube was to order online and wait 6-8 weeks for delivery. They used the same justification to remove the digital output port from the cube in later revisions ("Nobody's buying the component cable, so nobody must want 480p. If nobody wants 480p, let's save a couple bucks per cube sold and get rid of the port entirely"). I bought my cube for Metroid Prime, and though I rarely play it anymore I'm glad I bought it when I did. Had I waited another year or so, I'd be stuck with composite or s-video outputs and that just sucks (it's more difficult for me to properly hook up hardware using s-video or composite than using component because I already have all of my multiplexing set up with component. For component-signal hardware, it's plug and play, without even having to change inputs on my receiver or TV. Just power on the console and the mux does the rest. Anything else requires navigating a rat's nest of cables that I should clean up some day, or sacrificing audio quality and connecting everything directly to my TV ...)

While the 360 isn't perfect, keep in mind that Microsoft backs HD-DVD, which doesn't do 1080p. Since there's no HD-DVD in the 360 out of the box, one would assume that the planned HD-DVD expansion would provide HDMI output (perhaps using a pass-through like the old 3Dfx Voodoo cards did to pass through a 2D signal). Since Microsoft hasn't done much beyond simply announcing the existence of said expansion, anything at this point is pure speculation. Finally, if you look at the Xbox's life span (4 years almost to the day between the release of Xbox 1 and Xbox 360) and extrapolate forward, you can expect another Xbox console (Xbox 3? Xbox 720? Xbox Next?) in 2009, just in time for this ICT cut-over. Whether a 4-year life cycle for a console is good or bad is left up to the reader to decide.

Re:Console wars are silly (0, Flamebait)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385497)

You keep referring to the "tard-box" over and over again, but you insist it costs $600. Your bias is showing.

The so called "tard-box" costs $500. Get your facts straight. And I don't believe Sony ever once promised dual HDMI outputs.

http://www.trustedreviews.com/images/article/inlin e/2614-PS3.jpg [trustedreviews.com]

That was the first picture they released with the outputs. They did remove one of the gigabit networking ports since it was a feature that few people seemed interested in. However, you claim they "lied" about their specs.

The only fabrication of facts I'm seeing is in your post.

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385537)

"Microsoft backs HD-DVD, which doesn't do 1080p."

Not true. The video file on the current crop of HD-DVD discs is stored in exactly the same 1080p/24fps format as BluRay films. The only limitation at the moment is that Toshiba's player is using video output chip that only handles up to 1080i, as the 1080p ones are still prohibitively expensive. The rest of the board is all designed and ready for when they dump a 1080p-capable chip on for the 2nd generation of players (probably around the end of the year).

Re:Console wars are silly (1)

klingens (147173) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385490)

There is a crucial difference between PS3 and the rest: PS3 aims to be a blu-ray disc player for your movies out of the box. This feature is a big part of the cost of a PS3 since it needs obviously a blu-ray drive. Which is expensive.

Now why would anyone buy a player which is not fully up to spec (no HDMI out) and could be cut off playing those movies anytime in the future on the whim of a paranoid movie industry?

Consistency, at least in Video Game Reviews (1)

Cocoshimmy (933014) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385496)

If you're looking for a broad approach to video game (and movie and music) reviews, check out: www.metacritic.com [metacritic.com]

They take reviews from many sites, "equalize" them (puts them on a 100point scale), then produces a weighted average (based on biases which the editors feel the reviewers make that need to be compensated for-ie if a reviewer generally gives favorable reviews to most games his/her score will be adjusted).

I tend to find that this produces fairly good results. Your mileage may vary but its worth checking out.

The other thing is.. (4, Interesting)

mozumder (178398) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385303)

..how is anyone supposed to COPY and pirate HD video in the first place through non-HDCP DVI interfaces?

In other words, what problem is ICT supposed to solve? Are there pirates out there right now stealing from DVI signals?

Also, can't will just convert everything to unencrypted analog and digitize the output. D-A and A-D conversion these days should be no different from a direct digital connection on short-length Component video cables. And, when ICT is finally introduced, they'll just digitize the monitor output by placing a camera in front of it, or digitizing the signals going to the framebuffer or display.

Eventually there's going to be a leak of the device keys, like what happened to CSS, and encrypytion of all previous AACS discs are defeated. Although future AACS discs can ban these leaked device keys, a new set of device keys will be leaked. Especially in software decrypters. This is because the AACS doesn't actually define a PHYSICAL secret device key spec, and so these new device keys are going to be continuously leaked as they disassemble software decoders or read EPROMs. I suspect there's going to be a lot of banned devices in the MKB of AACS.

It's always going to be this cat-and-mouse game...

Re:The other thing is.. (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385338)

It doesn't solve anything remotely. There will be PC Blu-Ray and HD-DVD drives, and people will take the raw data from the discs and pirate hi-def movies that way. They're not going to "capture" and pirate via DVI.

The whole purpose of the tag is to force people to buy new hardware, plain and simple.

Re:The other thing is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385426)

This game will end with either quanticalencryption, or physical chips providing the service. Question is, when ??

Re:The other thing is.. (4, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385440)

I remember back during the DVD John DeCess trial the lawyers were having a field day describing to the press the amount of damage he may have done. They bandied about numbers in the ten figures and above. And how this facilitates organized crime.

However, bootleg DVD's were on sale on the streets of NY long before the encryption was cracked. How? Simple. They just made a bitwise copy. They copied everything, copyprotection included, so it ran perfectly fine.

If nothing else, DeCss was just there to ensure that device manufacturers paid their fees. I assume HDMI is there for a similar reason.

Re:The other thing is.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385530)

They just made a bitwise copy

More likely these DVDs came from MPAA-approved plants working a "night shift". You couldn't "just" make a bitwise copy without a copy of the master.

Re:The other thing is.. (1, Funny)

Lectrik (180902) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385463)

Eventually there's going to be a leak of the device keys, like what happened to CSS, and encrypytion of all previous AACS discs are defeated. Although future AACS discs can ban these leaked device keys, a new set of device keys will be leaked.

And the loverly golden apple there will be getting the PS3's device keys out of it's magic box, and seeing if anyone has the balls to ban that.

Re:The other thing is.. (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385719)

.how is anyone supposed to COPY and pirate HD video in the first place through non-HDCP DVI interfaces?

Serious question? There are component HD capture cards. And yes, pirates are capturing HD movies from HBO and the like and sharing them.

Imagine? (3, Funny)

6hill (535468) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385318)

the controversial Imagine Constraint Token

I can imagine it being controversial indeed.

+1 Giggletypo

HDMI, ICT, ... (1)

anzev (894391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385322)

What exactly is the correleation between lack of HDMI and ICT usage?

HDMI [wikipedia.org] according to Wikipedia is an interface, and ICT [wikipedia.org] is one of the AACS [wikipedia.org] guidelines that limits resolution depending on the carrier used (if it is not capable of secure transmission).

Also, XBOX has a high-definition output, so I don't see your point. What is missing is the HDCP (High Definition Content Protection) [wikipedia.org] which is a DRM for HDMI developed by Intel.

As far as the PS3 goes, I'm not sure, but according to this [about.com] it will also have an HDMI interface.

Re:HDMI, ICT, ... (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385467)

The $600 PS3 will have HDMI which makes sense because Sony has Blu-Ray drives on all PS3s. But wait! The $500 PS3 will not have HDMI so Sony's own format will not play to its specs (1080p) on Sony's own fucking Blu-Ray player.

gg, Sony, gg. cya in 5 years (maybe)

Re:HDMI, ICT, ... (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385684)

Good job feigning outrage, but I think if you could afford a 1080p set you wouldn't be so concerned about that extra $100 for the highend PS3.

I want a PS3 but don't want to pay Blu-ray tax (-1, Offtopic)

L33THa0R69 (610556) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385327)

Sony should can Blu-ray move playback completely in the crippled PS3 and knock another hundred bucks off the price and I'll be in there like a big dog.

This will get people hooked (4, Insightful)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385337)

Classic tactics. Get people hooked on a product they like, then the price goes up in 2010.

That's how the drug dealers round here work, and they're making good money. Should work for the movie industry too.

They'll be hoping that, by 2010, there won't be any of the old non-DRM hardware still in use.

Re:This will get people hooked (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385362)

"Classic tactics. Get people hooked on a product they like, then the price goes up in 2010."

Isn't that a colorful way of describing supply and demand?

Re:This will get people hooked (1, Insightful)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385385)

Isn't that a colorful way of describing supply and demand?

Pretty much, and don't forget inflation. The argument also depends on believing that entertainment is as addicting as recreational drugs.

Maybe it is, I don't know. But I've spent less and less time in front of the toob as I've gotten older.

Re:This will get people hooked (0, Redundant)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385584)

No, it's a colourful way of describing how the industry wants to sell a product that is "cheap" now because it is fairly open, but becomes "expensive" later when the restrictions are turned on, and you have to keep re-buying the same thing every time you want to use it in a different way.

Supply and demand doesn't work in the usual way in movie and music industries, because the supply is infinite: the goods can be replicated at zero cost. The only way of making the price higher than zero is to impose an artificial restriction on supply. The aim here is to trap people into having restrictions imposed in 2010 that they would not put up with now.

Re:This will get people hooked (1)

LoztInSpace (593234) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385449)

It's pretty similar in other ways. You think what you're getting will be great but all the good stuff was in the sample. The rest is talcum powder & ground up asprin.

I wish the movie makers would concentrate on producing content worth stealing before they worry about all this shit. Personally I haven't paid for anything in ages simply because every time I do, none of it is really good enough to warrant the price (IMO).

Drug dealer tactics (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385368)

This is exaclty the tactics drug dealers use to hook addicts. First you let the idiots have the stuff at near to no cost, and try yo make sure they won't find out what the real cost is until they are well and truly hooked. Then you can do what you like with them, make them pay any price you like, make as much profit from them as you like.

They know you won't go for this if you see up front what the final cost will be. They are dishonest, dishonorouble and decietful. And in my opinion illegal, as they seek to remove your fair rights. I don't advocate copyright violation, but I do oppose the draconian restrictions that these overlords are trying to impose by stealth.

Imagine constraint? (-1, Redundant)

386spart (725207) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385377)

the controversial Imagine Constraint Token

The movie studios have been using that one for ages already...;-)

well (2, Insightful)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385386)

Realistically, if few players are going to support this interface anytime soon, agreement or no agreement, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot to release videos that downgrade video that doesn't go over the interface.

My guess is that people buying videos won't know anything about he technologies involved just like now, but they *will* notice if some of their DVDs look like crap. A studio that puts out crappy looking videos is going to hurt their bottom line. People will figure, hey, why not just get the DVD cheaper instead of the HDDVD since it doesn't seem to be much better quality?

All this noise that the studios make about implementing these technologies with end to end encryption is pretty rediculous. The market at large is not concerned one way or the other with their anti piracy initiatives, but they do notice when the their equipment isn't compatible. There's already so little incentive to buy some new expensive DVD player that only makes a difference on HDTVs that no one has anyway that the industry fiddling with the standard at the last minute like this might kill HDDVD and HDTV altogether.

The public at large could easily forget about upgrading to the next generation. The current tv format has lasted a long time and could last much longer. That really doesn't seem like the worst thing in the world to me... I'm really pretty iffy on how dropping a couple of grand on the new equipment would improve my life in any measurable way.

Re:well (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385557)

I wonder.

Sure they'd notice if it "looked like crap", but let's be real, even with the downscaling, the contant is still higher-rez than that of current-generation DVDs.

Yes, it's downgraded, I'm still not sure consumers are going to notice or care all that much.

A CD that is poorly encoded as 128Kbps CBR mp3 is also significantly degraded, most people couldn't care less.

Hell, 99% of the movies that are transfered illegally over the net today are recompressed in ways that significantly degrades them. People overwhelmingly do not care.

If you want to watch episode X of Simpsons, it's just not that important if the picture-quality is plain old NTSC or if it's 1080p. Nor if the sound is 96kbps mono mp3 or 5.1 dolby surround. People just don't care. Or atleast they don't care all that much.

You get to a point that's "good enough" and people stop caring. Witness the lack of success for the various projects that's tried to make the "next, improved" version of the CD (SACD, DVD-audio), higher sampling-rates, larger samples, more channels. People overwhelmingly completely fails to care.

problem defining property rights (0, Redundant)

Susceptor (559115) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385387)

this DRM debate brings up soe legal issues. The companies like sony and MS are framing digital files as property, and saying that copies of files infringe on their "rights" to the files. here is the fundamental problem. law defined property as a bundle of rights that the law will enforce. if you think about it, property is nothing more then the things you can or cannot do with what you own. For example you can own a gun, but you cant use it to shoot people 9except in self defense), or you can own a home, but you cant set up a gas station on it if the area is zoned for residential. The same principle generally applies to all electronic files. What bundle of rights belong to the companies that produce content and waht rights belong to users is defined by LAW, not by some mystical or anchient system. Because electronic media as we know it today is so new, most courts have not really defined what rights property owners hold (users and content owners alike). So we are really in a crucial time right now, with the media companies trying to corner the courts into giving them more rights then the end user. DRM is a part of this, and people should be aware that whether DRM or any control system is legal or not is still up in the air since the courts have not yet determined what property rights users actually have in this new age of content. just my 2 cents -I'm an L2

An admission of hysteria? (0, Redundant)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385392)

...they would rather shave costs than sell future-proof hardware.

Isn't this an implicit admission that piracy isn't as big a deal as they've been screaming at us?

oh goody for 4 years I can enjoy "quality".... (0, Redundant)

atarione (601740) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385401)

like this....

http://www2.foxsearchlight.com/theringer/ [foxsearchlight.com]

in non crippled HD.....

YAY!!!!!! no really.....

the should worry less about image tokens and more about not making crappy movies

on the other hand they are making it easier for me to say no to DRM since there is almost nothing i wanna listen to or watch right about now.

Future-proof hardware?! (1)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385427)

Okay, off with the funky glasses. Since when do they want to sell you future-proof hardware when they can sell you a whole new unit then?? I'm surprised they aren't made to break more!

Re:Future-proof hardware?! (1)

monsted (6709) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385730)

Because it's very hard to make a piece of hardware that breaks on or just after the warranty expiry date while not having too many break before... :)

Dreamcast/Xbox Fans Commiting Suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385445)

The past few weeks have been fun to watch for those of us who have known about this for some time.

$499 PS3

1080p BluRay movies out of the box
1080p games out of the box - about 1/3 to 1/4 of the current crop of PS3 games are running at 1080p :)

There's a reason why Sony has sold over 200 million console and destroyed everyone else in the market...

makes sense (1)

ameoba (173803) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385475)

If they don't plan on phasing the tech in until 2010 then it doesn't really matter if the new consoles support it. Given the 5-year product cycle that consoles run on, when they start using the flag, it'll be just about time to get the next generation of consoles.

Xbox 360 Screwed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385511)

Nintendo isn't pricing their system as anything other than a cheap gaming system.

Sony has full support for 1080p TVs for both gaming and movie playback. And the 499 PS3 clearly was created with the knowledge that the HD/HDMI requirement was not going to see the light of day this decade.

But Microsoft is now sitting there with an expensive console that has no HD format support out of the box and can't handle 1080p regardless. It is hard to see how Microsoft and the 360 aren't completely fucked.

Who the hell would be crazy enough to spend 399 on a 360 outside of the most diehard Xbox fans?

Software HD-DVD Players? (1)

NiteRiderXP (750309) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385519)

Once software HD-DVD players come out won't this whole thing become moot. I mean are they really going to get the software to check whether your monitor is connected through an HDCP compatible link just to play a dvd.

I am sure that five years from now most of the people who are interested enough in HD-DVD will just get an inexpensive 1080p or higher LCD with a decent computer and not have to bother with B.S. And even if there are software HDCP issues, I am sure it won't be hard to break by going on the net.

Like a crack dealer... (3, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 7 years ago | (#15385549)

Get 'em hooked, and then when it's too late, you have 'em by the balls.

It's very simple - they learned that people don't want DRM, won't buy DRM. So, sell them something without DRM. Don't mention DRM. Then, years down the road when the tech is intrenched, when it's the standard, flip your little secret DRM switch.

This is literally an industry that has decided to screw its customers. Fuck them.

Then don't buy it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15385612)

I read a very good blog post [hishamrana.com] doing a simple license disection showing how much power the studios with the Image Constraint Token and the Analog Sunset. This means educating consumers now regarding this ticking timebomb.

From the entry:

The provisions of Section 1.7.1 stipulate that any AACS licensed machine such as a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player providing any analog, hence digitally unprotected, interface to be updated via a download after December 31, 2010 to degrade the signal from one-quarter 540p signal down to 480i. Even today's DVD players output higher quality 480p signal to capable video displays. The consumer is being asked to willingly pay these companies for a model of planned obsolescence where we will have to come back to purchase another player in the future even if our current player isn't broken. In other words, consumers are expected to pay for a set of features today that will be eliminated in short order to guarantee a revenue stream. For example, how many people would purchase a car at full sticker price from a manufacturer stipulating an artificial limit on how many miles it could be driven per day in two years without informing the customer? Not many. To call this an abomination would be an understatement.
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