Blu Ray Gets Worse

analogholeDon’t get me wrong. I love Blu Ray in concept. But there are some real problems, and most of them come from AACS and the studios’ RIAA-style campaign to make Blu-Ray a closed system. I’ve gone over my problems with AACS licensing fees in the past but today I learned that AACS is requiring Blu-Ray players manufactured in 2011 to only output SD over component, and in 2014 no analog outputs at all. That means you’ll only get HD video through HDMI, which will maintain the AACS copyright protection. Now, as most people know, AACS was broken several years ago. Anyone who wants to pirate & distribute Blu Ray movies can do it using simple digital methods. The analog hole is likely to be exploited only by people who have already bought the disc and are making backup copies or a copy for their buddy. These people are not destroying the Hollywood business model. They are movie enthusiasts. It’s FairPlay all over again. Have we learned nothing from the music business?

On a personal level, I have no HDMI cables in my home entertainment system. I run everything component. My TV is a couple years old, and doesn’t support HDCP over HDMI. My a/v receiver is component-only, because when I bought it three years ago, that was the only affordable option. Remember when you could buy a TV for a few hundred bucks and it would last for 20 years? Sure, looking back on it now they were terrible, but that’s not the point. My Blu Ray player is outputting 1080i59.94 video over component, and it looks great. I’m not recording that video to my computer and making illegal copies. I’d need to buy a card for that, and it would be a huge hassle. I’m an expert in video technology, and I consider it a nightmare. Who could possibly be exploiting this?

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