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Quote:
Originally posted by DTVisCool
The two DBS companies, the majority of MPAA members, Intel and Thomson among others have endorsed the competing HDCP DVI system. Deja vue all over again...
Heavy sigh.


I've tried to make the point time and time and time again that these are not competing standards. Only the press is making them out to be, and so far as I've seen, only one or two actual quotes from any industry representative support these claims--one from DIRECTV and one from JVC, who thought so much of the standard that they neglected to put a DVI/HDCP output on their new HD D-VHS VCR, so it can't transmit copy-protected video to either of their two displays with that connection (D'Ahlia and the recently announced l'Art AV 36P902 , a 36" 4:3 HD flat-screen direct-view), unless, of course, they have some plan for a central 1394/DTCP-to-DVI/HDCP box that they haven't yet told us about.


DVI/HDCP has one tiny bit of the functionality of 1394/DTCP--it is an essentially one-way connection to carry an uncompressed video raster from a source to a display. Though it has a couple of minor advantages over 1394/DTCP, it's disadvantages are legion. Deployment of it requires either that every source device implements an HD-capable MPEG decoder, adding unnecessarily to the expense of each of these, or that there be some central device that can accept compressed video (over 1394/DTCP or some other protected MPEG-2 transport) and send it to the display through a single DVI connection, which I haven't heard anybody suggest. As I stated before, there are two displays on the market so far, with a single DVI/HDCP connection each--if I have an DBS STB, a VCR and a HD DVD Player and/or Recorder all with DVI outputs, what do I do? With 1394/DTCP, a single wire running through the network to an MPEG decoder in the display (the only point in the network where any use of the decoded video can be made) is sufficient--far more elegant.


HDCP's authentication and encryption is much weaker than the weakest authentication and encryption in DTCP. (If hackers break the stronger AKE and encryption used for "Copy Never" in DTCP, we should all worry, because those same hackers should be able to use those techniques to break into the management agents of the national communications backbone and bring large segments of the phone system and internet down at a whim). For a very short period of time, it will be difficult to capture, compress and store a DVI stream in realtime, possibly making it attractive to the more paranoid members of the MPAA. However, equipment could be fashioned today to do it, once its weak-ass encryption is permanently broken; personally, I think it will last far less long than CSS did. Additionally, any STB for a service carrying retransmitted OTA HD broadcasts better have some sort of recordable HD output, or the people distributing those boxes will find themselves very quickly in court.


Echostar has made several public statements that they will include both DVI/HDCP and 1394/DTCP connections on their upcoming STBs (personally, I think this will force DIRECTV's OEM partners to follow suit), most recently in the mid-September announcement for JVC's HM-DH30000U HD D-VHS VCR:
Quote:
According to a statement from JVC partner EchoStar/DISH Network, the satellite provider "is committed to offering the most satellite TV-delivered high definition channel choices in the United States and to that end, we plan to offer a wide set of compatible formats for viewing," said Mark Jackson, EchoStar senior VP. "We are developing a set-top box featuring DVI outputs as well as 1394/DTCP outputs. A 1394 connection can allow customers to record HD broadcasts in original form on a peripheral D-VHS device. We believe that D-VHS is an ideal and affordable recording and archiving solution for HD broadcasts and should accelerate the overall demand for digital broadcasts."
Intel was one of the 5 "C" involved in the development of DTCP--here's a link to a page on Intel's site containing the following blurb extolling its virtues:
Quote:
Keeping Honest People Honest

Digital content over 1394 can be robustly protected using Digital Transmission Copy Protection (DTCP). DTCP support device authentication, content encryption, and renewability, should a DTCP device ever be compromised. Encoding rules can be specified for content, e.g., "copy freely," "copy once," or "copy never." The motion picture industry recognizes DTCP as satisfactory to them in permitting the transmission of their content over 1394. Products, such as digital VCRs, with DTCP content protection are already available worldwide in retail. Sony and Matshusita have announced families of DTCP-enabled products for shipment in 2001. DTCP is licensed from the "5C," a group of five companies including Intel.
Thomson is listed (on this page--use the slider to get to the bottom) as a "partner or customer" of VideoLogic, a developer of 1394/DTCP/HAVi firmware packages, whose products were used in the development of Mitsubishi's 2002 Integrated sets and the "Promise Module"--you yourself pointed this out to me, DTVisCool. Sony (and their Columbia-TriStar Motion Pictures Group) and Warner Brothers have been very vocal in their support of 1394/DTCP (though both have also announced support for DVI/HDCP, as, indeed, has the licensing agency for 1394/DTCP --none of them think that the standards are mutually exclusive). Mitsubishi, owner of over 30% of the HDTV market and OEM partner of DIRECTV, has put down DVI/HDCP so harshly in their public comments that I doubt that it will be politically possible for them to incorporate a DVI/HDCP interface into any of their products (if I were Silicon Image, I would refuse to sell chipsets to them at this point).


Though I can't locate the reference right now, I read somewhere recently that Fox and Universal are thinking of releasing HD D-VHS movies by the end of the year, when there will only be 1394/DTCP equiped VCRs to play them on. Should they both decide to do this, along with the enthusiastic support of Sony and Warner, this would make for quite large library of films from which HD tapes could be published.


There are apparently 5 televisions (3 Sony, 2 Mitsubishi) and one cable STB (Sony) shipping now with 1394/DTCP connections. By the end of the spring, there should be 8 televisions (3 more Mitsubishi), a cable STB and two HD D-VHS VCRs (one JVC, one Mitsubishi). So far as has been announced, there will still only be two televisions with DVI/HDCP connectors (both JVC) and no video sources to hook into them. So much for all that broad industry acceptance.


-- Mike Scott
 

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While looking for the announcement from Universal and Fox that they were thinking of releasing HD D-VHS tapes that I mentioned in the post above, I came upon this item from the end of July. It's about a proposal to the DTLA to include some new feature in DTCP to protect OTA content. This seems certain to land them in court, since any use of "Copy Never" on OTA or rebroadcasts thereof on cable or DBS would clearly violate the 1984 Sony v. Universal Supreme Court decision. Of course, one of the tenants of that decision was that it wasn't fair to prevent all OTA television from being timeshifted because the copyright holders of some small portion of that material objected; they could go back to court and say "See--now we have technology allowing the owners of material who object to its being freely copied to individually say whether they allow it to be copied at all, and, if so, what restrictions they want to place on that copying."


Fox, Paramount and Warner all own TV networks, though Warner has licensed DTCP as-is; it's unclear what the interest of the other three studios is in this amendment to DTCP, since none of them own OTA networks that I know of (though Disney owns a channel commonly included in basic cable and DBS packages).


-- Mike Scott
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey



I think that they will be little pictures of Satan!
LOL!


-- Mike Scott
 

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My question to the above posters is this: will my current HDTV and HD tuner become obsolete overnight when all this takes place and the standards are finalized? Or will this only affect those who wish to record HD broadcasts such as owners or potential owners of HD VCRs and devices like TiVo?


It's frustrating because I just bought all my HD gear a month ago, and no one at any of the stores I looked at or purchased from was kind enough to tell me any of this!


Thanks
 

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Where will the content come from when only two of the scores of other Hollywood studios are pro the DTCP scheme? The vast majority of Hollywood studios and the two DBS companies are in the HDCP DVI camp. Thomson, the number one seller of TVs in the US, is also pro HDCP DVI.


See:

http://www.cablelabs.com/news_room/P...tv_072501.html


This is a push by General Instruments, Sony and Mitsubishi to go around the content deliverers.


Betting against the MPAA, DirecTV, EchoStar, Thomson and the PC industry is foolish. They will prevail.


Bob Utne (aka, DTVisCool)
 

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No, your hardware will not be useless. You just will not be able to view future HD PPV flics and special events. You will see them in SD.


No big deal. 480p is twice as good reception as you presently see on analog TV.


All PC and consumer electronic purchases change rapidily. There never will be a perfect system.


Buy now, enjoy, and, buy again in a couple years and keep the American economy humming. Thats a needed solution to bin Ladden-dictated terrorism.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ongopt
My question to the above posters is this: will my current HDTV and HD tuner become obsolete overnight when all this takes place and the standards are finalized? Or will this only affect those who wish to record HD broadcasts such as owners or potential owners of HD VCRs and devices like TiVo?
Do a search through the HDTV forums for the terms "5C", "DTCP", "copy-protected", "DTLA", "HDCP" and "DFAST". This has been hashed over endlessly and passionately in these forums over the past several months.


In short, all of the DBS STBs that have been sold so far that have only analog HD outputs have been rigged so that they may reduce the resolution of high-definition content that's been marked "copy-protected" in the future (in the case of one of these STBs, RCA's DTC-100, you won't be able to view such content through the high-definition outputs at all, and will have to switch to S-video or composite--it says so in the manual and, evidently, in a clear warning on the carton). These copy-protection flags can be inserted into data fields in the elementary MPEG-2 streams carrying individual programs. The programming most likely to be copy-protected are all pay-per-view movies and all or most movies on the subscription premium movie channels (HBO, Showtime, etc). You should be able to continue using your set and tuner to watch OTA HD broadcasts.


If you bought one of Sony's or Mitsubishi's new sets with an integrated ATSC tuner and 1394/DTCP (copy-protected FireWire) connectors, or any of Mitsubishi's upgradeable sets, there is a strong chance that you may be covered, though it's not for sure. Sony's CE division and Columbia-TriStar Motion Pictures Group, Warner Brothers and Mitsubishi are all pushing very hard for this standard. As I mentioned above, five other major studios seem to be in favor of using it, but they want it extended to cover OTA broadcasts, which is a volatile kettle-of-fish--as it stands right now, it doesn't concern itself with free TV, the copying of which is seemingly a "right" granted by a 1984 Supreme Court decision .


As I've said before, I think the villains in this scenario are the CE OEMs who sold all of this down-rez'ing enabled equipment to an unsuspecting bunch of early adopters (their best customers, willing to pay very high early prices), when they knew all along that copy-protection was coming before they put a single piece of it on the market.


-- Mike Scott
 

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Quote:
. Deployment of it requires either that every source device implements an HD-capable MPEG decoder, adding unnecessarily to the expense of each of these,
"it" being HDCP.


What worries me is that while HDCP requires a decoder in each STB, DTCP requires one in each display.


I'm not so much worried about whether there are more displays than STB's. I'm worried that this effectively freezes the mpeg2 standard used. Now the ATSC folks probably think this is good because OTA needs a standard shared by all broadcasters, and it may even be seen as a further commitment to current standards. Certainly the MPEGLA patent licensing folks love the idea.


And maybe even all the cable companies can agree on one standard, though I'm sure some could make an argument that it is not a very good idea.


But it is easy to see why a satellite company would like to keep its options open to use a new improved proprietary STB standard in a few years as it becomes available, simply because it could save bandwidth. And they can't do that easily if the TV's have to have decoders.


So this might explain something about the 'competing' standards, and who likes them.


It will take a few years for everybody to be using this stuff and by that time I suspect that MPEG2 will seem somewhat primitive. Though there will maybe be cheap (re)encoder chips by then.


- Tom
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DTVisCool
Where will the content come from when only two of the scores of other Hollywood studios are pro the DTCP scheme? The vast majority of Hollywood studios and the two DBS companies are in the HDCP DVI camp. Thomson, the number one seller of TVs in the US, is also pro HDCP DVI.
Did you even read my post? Show me where Thomson is pro DVI--they haven't announced anything that will have it, and they allow themselves to be listed as a "partner or customer" of a 1394/DTCP/HAVi firmware company.


And "scores of studios" my butt--there are only about seven that can be called "major"--the rest won't be able to afford not to do what they do. Those would be Sony's Columbia-TriStar Group, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal, MGM, 20th Century Fox and Disney. Two of these are already enthusiastic licensees of DTCP--that's 28%. The other five have said that they're in favor of licensing it, if it's extended to include some sort of protection for OTA broadcasts.
Quote:
This is a push by General Instruments, Sony and Mitsubishi to go around the content deliverers.
Don't forget Warner--Sony's studio divisions and Warner are major "content deliverers" in their own right. As I said, I've read that Universal and Fox were also thinking of releasing HD D-VHS titles by year's end, replayable only on 1394/DTCP equipment at that time. If all four studios do that for long enough, none of the rest will be able to afford not to.


BTW, the General Instruments brand name is gone--it's just Motorola Broadband now. Motorola's DCT-2000 and DCT-5000 STBs can have an HDD-500 high-definition MPEG-2 decoder added to it, but don't support 5C insofar as they're telling. (Though Motorola does manufacture 1394/DTCP interface chipsets and the boxes have a pair of mysterious and unexplained--and unused by my Time Warner system--1394 connectors on the back. They say that the connection between the DCT and the HDD is proprietary).
Quote:
My bet is on the MPAA. Content rules in this game. The ATSC has its head up its butt, once again. Can it ever come out with a policy that is right for the consumer and not simply be the pimps for the CE industry?
If, indeed, they endorse DVI/HDCP as an organization (can you give me a link to where a representative goes on record saying that they do?), the MPAA is not a content producer in and of itself and they cannot speak for all of their members or make them do anything collectively (obviously, since Sony's studio divisions and Warner are members). So far, no one other than JVC and Echostar has announced products with DVI/HDCP connections, and Echostar's products will also have 1394/DTCP ones. DIRECTV has announced support for DVI/HDCP, but they don't make equipment and they have limited sway over what their OEM partners do--one of them, Mitsubishi, is unlikely to put DVI/HDCP connections on anything they make. Thomson may be the overall leader in television sales nationwide, but Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America owns over 30% of the HDTV market, the largest single chunk--they've had many times more HD and ED capable models on the market than RCA has ever introduced and their name is much more palatable to the high-end market for this stuff than RCA. (My aunt is buying an HD capable set--when I suggested RCA's F38310 to her, she cringed and said "What do I know about RCA?" She was shopping Sonys and Hitachis and Mitsubishis only, and though she was eventually impressed by the RCA and considered it long and hard, she's going with Mitsubishi's WT-46809).


If DVI/HDCP actually were to become the chosen protected transport, it would be to the delight of the pirates, since it will be far easier to break than 1394/DTCP. I'd predict that within a year of it's common deployment, everything transmitted over it would be available from pirate sources, in perfect digital copies. Actually, since Echostar is planning to put both interfaces on their upcoming boxes, that will probably happen anyway. (Sigh). What a waste of effort. (Particularly since, though DTCP shifts into very strong authentication/encryption for "Copy Never", HDCP uses the same candy-assed 56-bit-key scheme for everything).


-- Mike Scott
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by trbarry
"it" being HDCP.


What worries me is that while HDCP requires a decoder in each STB, DTCB requires one in each display.
DTCP doesn't require anything (neither does HDCP for that matter). A combination of both could be deployed quite elegantly, if one of the STBs in your system could be made to decode MPEG-2 (or whatever) for all of them and had a single DVI output.


But let's face the facts--there's no way that ATSC will be changed to use any other compression standard within the useful lifetime of any set shipping in the next several years. Just deploying what we have into every household will take nigh onto forever. Red Book CD audio has been obsolete for well over a decade. You can't shift media paradigm overnight.


You're right, though--the DBS companies could switch to whatever compression standard that they wanted to, for the content that they buy and control. However, to get any real value out of it, they'd have to get the content providers to author their material to the new compression standard--converting an HD MPEG-2 transfer into Wavelets or whatever won't get you better quality than the original MPEG-2 transfer. For broadcast, the studios would still have to produce that MPEG-2 transfer. How likely are they to want to do two? Maybe they'd start authoring in "the new compression standard" and do a single transfer to MPEG-2.


-- Mike Scott
 

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I'm wondering that if you purchase a future DBS (DirecTV, etc.) with 1394 or DVI, will you be able to connect to a display device (TV, projector, etc.) that has, say, only component analog inputs, and still see HD. Or does this mean that everyone with substantial investments in current high definition RPTVs, expensive Runco or Sony G90 projectors, or $15,000 plasmas will *NOT* be able to watch HD broadcasts. Or does it just eliminate HD PPV.
 

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Thanks for all the insightful info! So I'm already paying for HD HBO on Direct TV and will have to pay again ( buy repurchasing a new set of HD gear) to be enabled to watch in the same HD resolution what I am currently subscribed to.


Makes no sense to me!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by GL
I'm wondering that if you purchase a future DBS (DirecTV, etc.) with 1394 or DVI, will you be able to connect to a display device (TV, projector, etc.) that has, say, only component analog inputs, and still see HD. Or does this mean that everyone with substantial investments in current high definition RPTVs, expensive Runco or Sony G90 projectors, or $15,000 plasmas will *NOT* be able to watch HD broadcasts. Or does it just eliminate HD PPV.
Almost certainly not. The DVI/HDCP license agreement places no restraints on the source device--it could move full resolution video in the clear over analog HD outputs while encrypting data for the digital connection, but this would make very little sense. There are expensive W-VHS decks in existence now that can make reportedly excellent copies of analog HD component video, albeit with only 2 channel stereo sound; the whole point is to try to prevent the high-definition presentation of the material from being copied, digitized (if captured in analog form) and traded about on the net or on some kind of high-capacity portable digital media, either for free or for the profit of somebody other than the copyright holder. The DTCP Adopter's Agreement says that copy-protected material output through HD analog outputs of a compliant device must first be converted to a "constrained image", consisting of no more the 520,000 pixels--one quarter as many as in a 1920x1080 image. In other words, a 960x540 image. Since these 520,000 pixels can be derived anyway you want from the source image and can then be line doubled back to the original resolution, it has the potential to look much better than any line doubled DVD, but never as good as the original image.


The DTCP Adopter's Agreement also strictly restricts the application of copy-protection--only pre-recorded media and pay-per-view can have "Copy Never" protection applied, and only subscription television can have "Copy One Generation" protection applied. Though this means that something like HD A&E or HD Discovery could have "Copy One Generation" applied (since you pay for them), according to the Agreement, since they contain commercial interruptions, additional flags would have to be inserted to keep them from being "image constrained" on output through the analog HD connections of compliant devices.


Remember, right now DTCP doesn't specify image constraints for HD OTA broadcasts, either OTA or rebroadcast on cable or DBS. So your sets should always be able to tune the HD content of the major OTA networks. (Of course, as I mentioned in a post above, the studios who own those networks are trying to get the DTLA to add some provision to DTCP for protecting OTA, so who knows, but I think that the FCC and the Supreme Court will have something to say about that). The pay television content providers are not forced to copy-protect anything--it's possible that only the very newest stuff on HBO and Showtime, etc, will be protected. We don't know how they plan to use this.


-- Mike Scott
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by michaeltscott
Though I can't locate the reference right now, I read somewhere recently that Fox and Universal are thinking of releasing HD D-VHS movies by the end of the year, when there will only be 1394/DTCP equiped VCRs to play them on. Should they both decide to do this, along with the enthusiastic support of Sony and Warner, this would make for quite large library of films from which HD tapes could be published.

www.dtvmax.com (under the bullet labeled JVC) does have information to that effect. However,


1. In a January Silicon Image press release Twentieth Century Fox and Universal were quoted as supporting a DVI/HDCP only recorder. They have never said they would release movies in the 1394/DTCP format.


2. Altho Warner Brothers and Sony support 1394/DTCP, it does not follow that they want to see prerecorded HDTV movies in the next few years.

"Warner Brothers, however, is adamantly opposed to the introduction of a second digital format, fearing it could disrupt the DVD market. Columbia TriStar reportedly is also skeptical." http://www.audio-etc.net/articles/digitalvhs.htm
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan Sh

www.dtvmax.com (under the bullet labeled JVC) does have information to that effect. However,


1. In a January Silicon Image press release Twentieth Century Fox and Universal were quoted as supporting a DVI/HDCP only recorder. They have never said they would release movies in the 1394/DTCP format.
Yes, I found that--the reference to which I was referring was much more recent, but since I can't find it, I may be mixed up somehow.
Quote:


2. Altho Warner Brothers and Sony support 1394/DTCP, it does not follow that they want to see prerecorded HDTV movies in the next few years.

"Warner Brothers, however, is adamantly opposed to the introduction of a second digital format, fearing it could disrupt the DVD market. Columbia TriStar reportedly is also skeptical." http://www.audio-etc.net/articles/digitalvhs.htm
Yep, found that too, and was gonna post here about it. Somewhere I've read estimates that HD DVDs were at least 12-18 months away, which made prerecorded VHS seem possibly worthwhile. Personally, I'd rather not mess with tapes anymore, but if its one of the few ways that I can get HD content, given that I live in a condo and cannot have DBS and OTA reception seems dubious in the very hilly area in which I live. A tape drive would also have some value as an HD timeshifting device, if it takes a while for HD Tivos to arrive. Mark Cuban made recent claims in an interview with Gary Merson that he was in negotiations with some Hollywood studios to release some titles on HD D-VHS--which studios (and why they wouldn't just release them through their existing channels) was not revealed. We'll just have to wait and see what emerges.


-- Mike Scott
 

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Interesting to note that the CEA was, until recently, called CEMA, and rightfully so. The association exists to represent the interests of its members with those contributing the most having the biggest sway.


Unfortunately, the public may be deceived that the CEA has their best interests in mind. I could go on and on about this but those of you insiders know exactly what I am referring to.


The AVS Forum may be the only impartial source of substantial

info that the American consumer can go to help make an intelligent HDTV and other CE product investment decision. I use the term "investment" since many are making a substantial purchase in hope of a high quality AV return.


The above topic is of importance to all HDTV viewers as are many others that are rarely discussed. Hope the AVS Forum continues to provide a very balanced forum where all may participate and learn.
 
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