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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is hope for those with analog HD displays. The smart-card-based SmartRight technology will add digital watermarks to plug the "analog hole". Quote: "....the SmartRight group will incorporate features that not only detect watermarks at a A/D converter, but also generate watermarking at a D/A point." At CES, the SmartRight group will quote: "....show a digital set-top box, a digital TV and a front-end box FOR A LEGACY ANALOG TV [my caps] - all equipped with a smart-card slot that can run a SmartRight-enabled card." Source: www.eet.com > Systems & Software > December 13, 2002 > "Copy protection logjam shows signs of breaking". This is GREAT news for those with a analog only (component) HD RP/FP. Dick
 

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Dick, very interesting article.


From the article:

"Frankly, some of those additional requirements [demanded by Hollywood] have nothing to do with copy protection, but a lot to do with studios' own business models," Jaboulet said.

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At least people working on solutions have noticed this also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I truly hope that the 10 months that I waited for a set with DVI/HDCP, was in vain; that a smart-card system will be used for 1080i/720p HD, using just a box (no digital inputs) so that people with analog sets will have 1080i/720p PQ. It looks like the key players are behind this SmartRight system. Still; it would take the MPAA's Chairman & CEO, Jack Valenti, swearing on video tape (with his hand on a stack of Bibles), that DVI/HDCP won't be used as the CP on the future HD-DVDs, for me to buy a non-DVI/HDCP set today. Hopefully I'm wrong. Merry Christmas and 1080i/720p to one and all. Dick
 

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What does this mean? The studios made the analog hole a rallying cry when they realized that no "flags" remain once a digital stream tagged with a flag, or a watermark, is descrambled and converted into analog signals for viewing on an analog TV. Hollywood argued that users could convert the signal back to digital, sans flags, and even redistribute the copyrighted content freely over the Internet.
 

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Here is my best understanding of the situation.


You get your HDTV signal from 3 places, cable, sat, OTA. All 3 send a digital signal that is compressed (and for cable and Sat encrypted) to a box in your home. The box receives the signal, selects the channel, decompresses and decryptes the signal. It then outputs the HDTV signal on either DVI, IEEE1394 (Firewire) or Component (Analog)or RGB (again Analog). The DVI and 1394 are digital and can be encryted, the analog currently is not encryted and thus not protected. It is possible, but not really feasible(at this point in time), to use an analog to digital (AtoD) converter to produce a digital signal from the Analog HDTV signal. This is what the MPAA is "worried about", because it could then be distributed on the internet. The proposal in the EET article is to watermark the analog signal so the AtoD would not work and hopefully the watermark would not affect your TV's ability to properly display the analog signal. Along with this I am sure they would require all current HDTV boxes with analog outputs that are not watermarked be some how disabled.
 

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Just my opinion, but I think they will end up just letting HD receivers, with analog out, just die off over the next 5yrs. or so. And for new things like HD-DVD, that will be a difficult call, not currently enough sets with digital inputs for HD-DVD to be very succesful with digital only outputs. But I can also see them not wanting to get another source started with the "Analog hole", this may end up being the real applicatioin for SmartRight.
 

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I suggest everyone go and CAREFULLY reread the EETimes article... it deals with DVB (Digital Video Broadcast), the EUROPEAN standard. It does NOT apply to American HDTV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
RSawdey: When I read quote: "....global copy protection debate" in the article, I assumed that the SmartRight group was proposing a global CP standard. Sorry if I made an error in posting this thread. It would have been great news for the owners of analog (component only) HD sets. Dick
 
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