I would be extremely surprised to see any
prerecorded D-VHS tapes make their way to market. All the shipping D-VHS decks have analog HD component video outputs, making D-VHS (and W-VHS for that matter) forever a non-copy-protectable media. Publication of prerecorded tapes in that form has no less theft potential than broadcasting high value content to the current STBs without copy protection, which the studios aren't willing to do for much longer.
A new, encrypted version of D-VHS can be imagined (maybe called SD-VHS), whose decks would have 1394/DTCP in/out connectors and DVI/HDCP outputs, as well, perhaps, as HD analog component outputs, for support of older monitors. Hopefully only the newest Hollywood movies will be copy-protected, and you could use the decks to time-shift non-copy-protected stuff for display on current monitors in full HD resolution and to display copy-protected stuff down-res'd, until you chose to buy a copy-protected monitor.
It seems to me that a system for playing true copy-protected prerecorded HD media will be ugly. Since one assumes that these programs will be encrypted with keys unknown to your system, the players will have to call up a key server, authenticate themselves, establish a secure connection, identify the particular copy of the particular recording that they're trying to play and retrieve the key necessary for decrypting it. Shades of DivX, only worse: DivX only made one phone call a month; this would require a call every time you changed discs. Something similar currently goes on for impulse pay-per-view in satellite and cable, but the back-channel there is typically built-in, though some systems use phone lines (DirectTV does, doesn't it?). The thing is that, like with DivX, if you use phone lines to verify access to impulse pay-per-view (or access to the system at all), you need only make occasional late night calls to tell the headend about usage; if the user unplugs his phone, the box fairly quickly disables itself and little is lost.
Personally, if my player was going to do this, I'd want it to come with a broadband connector so I could hook it up to my home LAN and not have use my phone line. Kenwood is making a high-end CD changer that can be connected in this fashion to access CDDB servers to obtain titles for discs and tracks (actually, the Kenwood changer uses a simple serial link to the PC, which would probably do in this case also, though I'd want it to be USB; however, a broadband connector could be hooked to a router and thus not require my PC to be booted up).
Can anyone else see a way to securely encrypt prerecorded HD media without
requiring a check-in for every play? Nothing would stop a player from recording serial numbers and keys (requiring a unique serial number and key for every
copy), and maybe they even should. That way, people's players could get to know the keys for decrypting their private library and not have to look them up every time. Flash memory is pretty cheap.
O Brave New World of Digital Copy Paranoia. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif
-- Mike Scott