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Discussion Starter #1
I have just completed a frustrating (but not at all surprising) exchange of e-mails with NEC Customer Support regarding NEC's plans to ensure that its VT-series projectors will still be able to project HDTV once 5C/DVI/HDCP arrives. In a nutshell, NEC said that they have no plans to do anything.

BUYER BEWARE! If I had to do it all over again, I would not have bought my VT-540 projector.


Here is the entire exchange of e-mails:

Quote:
Date: 08/01/2001 03:38:55 PM

From: Scott Gammans

To: Technical Support/East/NECTECH/US

Subject: vsdxxx MultiSync VT540


I would like to know NEC's plans for ensuring that my new VT-540 will still be able to display full 1080i and 720p resolutions in light of upcoming 5C/DVI/HDCP standards.


--Scott Gammans
Quote:
Date: Monday, August 06, 2001 2:01 PM

From: TSC VSD [mailto:[email protected]]

To: [email protected]

Subject: Re: vsdxxx MultiSync VT540


The VT540 specifications state that it will display 1080i and 720p and will always be able to display those [sp]reolutions.


Regards,

NEC VSD Tech Support
Quote:
Date: 08/06/2001 01:12:05 PM

From: Scott Gammans

To: TSC VSD/East/NECTECH/US

Subject: RE: vsdxxx MultiSync VT540


Yes, but what will NEC do about ensuring that I can view HDTV from sources that only emit a digital 5C/DVI/HDCP signal (versus the analog HDTV signal that the VT540 currently accepts)?


--Scott Gammans
Quote:
Date: Friday, August 10, 2001 8:53 AM

From: TSC VSD [mailto:[email protected]]

To: Scott Gammans

Subject: RE: vsdxxx MultiSync VT540


What is it about the 5C/DVI/HDCP standards that worries you?


Regards,

NEC VSD Tech Support
Quote:
Date: 08/10/2001 09:00:28 AM

From: Scott Gammans

To: TSC VSD/East/NECTECH/US

Subject: RE: vsdxxx MultiSync VT540


My concern is that the VT540 does not have the HDTV digital interface that will be required shortly for the copyright protection that these new standards mandate. Since HDTV set-top box manufacturers will be forced to cut off the analog HDTV signal whenever the HDTV source providers tell them to do so, I'll be forced to watch down-converted non-HDTV video, since the VT540 won't have the necessary DVI interface.


While the VT540 technically is still an HDTV-capable projector, I'm afraid that I've spent $3,000 on a unit that -- because of its lack of a DVI interface -- will soon have no analog HDTV sources to project!


THAT'S what I'm worried about!


--Scott Gammans
Quote:
Date: Friday, August 10, 2001 2:08 PM

From: TSC VSD [mailto:[email protected]]

To: Scott Gammans

Subject: RE: MultiSync VT540


No company can give any guarantees about changing standards in the industry. The VT540 was manufactured with specific functions and capabilities and will be able to perform within it's stated specifications. Please see the attached specification sheet for the VT440/540 projectors.


Regards,

NEC VSD Tech Support
Quote:
Date: 08/10/2001 02:37:23 PM

From: Scott Gammans

To: TSC VSD/East/NECTECH/US

Subject: RE: vsdxxx MultiSync VT540


In other words, what you are saying is that NEC will not offer any kind of upgrade path (such as a DVI retrofit) to ensure that its expensive HDTV-compatible projectors will **STAY** compatible with these new anti-consumer standards. Nice.


You realize, of course, that no one is going to want to buy a HDTV projector from NEC if NEC won't guarantee that it will still be able to **project** HDTV a year or two from now.


Thank you for clarifying NEC's position on this subject. Your comments are being posted at http://www.avsforum.com so that potential buyers of VT-series projectors will have fair warning that their $3,000+ investment will be incompatible with HDTV come 2002 or so. If NEC cares to change its customer-unfriendly policy regarding this issue, please let me know and I will be happy to pass along this information to my fellow A/V enthusiasts.


--Scott Gammans
You have been warned.


------------------

Scott Gammans
The Scooterplex Cinema 1


[This message has been edited by Scott Gammans (edited 08-10-2001).]
 

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You know I really do not see a problem, I for one think NEC is correct in their stance. Firewire is a feature. Try walking in with a 486 computer and tell them you want to run windows 2000. No one is forcing you to watch HD material, this is just part of the upgrade process, every electronic device has a certain amount of time before it will be replaced with a newer model that says "new" on its packaging. This is part of the upgrade game, just accept it or turn amish http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif .




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System info: Projectorless once again!, Dalite 60X80 Matte White, ATI Radeon 64mb VIVO, ATI 7.1 player w/DC's O IRE patch , WinME.
 

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There is a problem. But it's mostly related to the nightmare that is coming for the manufacturers who have been selling TVs of the future! When people find out that their TV of the future is a "never will be", there will be outcry.


As the little boy said in The Sixth Sense...I see lawsuits.


--Les
 

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I don't buy into the "upgrade" theory.

It's true that NEC is building this as a computer presentation projector that works with today's HDTV standards.


The problem isn't with today's displays, the problem is with the plan to make them all obsolete in the near future.


The 486 running Windows 2000 analogy doesn't work because the manufacturers never promised that the 486 PCs would run future operating systems, whereas all of our HD displays did indeed promise to run HDTV programming.


RGB and Y PbPr IS the connection standard for HDTV, and only the MPAA and manufacturers are working to change that, making all current equipment obsolete.


If they had never promised that HDTV was the future, and that these displays would be HDTV compliant, there would be no problem.


But they did promise that, so it will be there obligation to make a "rosetta stone" converter, or buy us all new/HDTV compliant displays.


But as of now, none of the manufacturers have been forthcoming about this secret obsolescence plan for fear of retaliation.


So Scott, don't feel bad about your purchase, as most of us are in the same RGB boat as you are, but until some manufacturers admit that they have this future DVI/Firewire/DFAST plan, we have only speculation to go on.


Enjoy your DVDs and HDTV today and we will fight that future HDTV connection standards war when the battle lines are finally drawn.


-Dean.
 

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Yeah ok I see the HD ready point that makes sense. But those TVs will always be HD ready just not 5C/DVI/HDCP ready. I suppose the 486 thing wasnt the greatest analogy, how about a recent one with DTS DVDs? I remember selling my Sony 7000 so that I would have a DTS capable machine, no big deal just roll with the punches.
 

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Scott, I've asked this question many times, in many forums.

The consensus seems to be, If any company (Save Mits) will not provide support for the new standards, there will be a hack, errr, way around it.

The MPAA had the same fears about VCRs and DIVX and most recording devices!!!

As you, and they, now know, their fears were unfounded. VCRs have generated MUCHO income for them, and DIVX was so bad, that the public said.. NO WAY!!! Hence, DIVX is history.

Somebody will provide an STB that will incorporate the new standard. (For a price of course!!!)

I think that a wait and see attitude would do well for our blood preasure!

If they decide to not give the early adopters of HDTV an upgrade, you can BELIEVE there will be Lawyers lined up around the block ready to take on this BS. This assumes that congress would not act on our behalf before the legal people tear it to shreads!!

In the mean time, enjoy your pj, 'cause if and when this thing EVER passes, you'll be ready to purchase the latest and greatest anyway.

Cheers, VB
 

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While I generally go along with upgrades by manufacturers when I see new features yet this is like DIVX ENABLED not anything to give better quality or provide anything other than a way to provide pay per view by the MPAA.


This is NOT a FEATURE or BENEFIT its a SCREW THE USER device. Its amazing there is this little outcry so far. The main reason is there is no seperate software to buy and we are used to buying via PPV.


getting off soapbox..don't mean to sound like a newsgroup post


Larry


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G15 D-ILA

Lexicon MC1 7.1 system

Radeon Based HTPC

NHT, velodyne & bag end speaker systems
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Right on, Larry!


We should ALL be mad. We should ALL be furious. The consumer electronics industry, in cahoots with the MPAA, has basically given every single owner of an HDTV set the big ole kiss off.


3.1415926 / Pi / whatever-your-name-is, I did not buy my $3,000 projector six months ago with the expectation that I would have to upgrade it in another 18 months! And DRS, I'm sorry but the computer analogy is a bit lacking. Sure I upgrade my computer every few years, but not my monitor! And that's what my VT540 is--a big, expen$ive monitor that is about to be made obosolete by the chowderheads that came up with these BUL***** anti-consumerist schemes!


Well I for one am not going to wait for the battle lines to be drawn. We have to let consumer electronics manufacturers know right now that without us, there wouldn't BE a steady build-up of interest in HDTV. We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore!


------------------

Scott Gammans
DFAST is EVIL! BOYCOTT ANTI-CONSUMER 5C/DVI/HDCP MANUFACTURERS!
The Scooterplex Cinema 1
 

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Well, the reality for most people here in the US is that they can't even SEE any HD content at all. Me included.


If you don't live in a major city, you are SOL, unless you want to get an 18" dish, and EVEN THEN, you're only going to get a couple of channels.


So, if the powers-that-be want to implement whatever copy protection, if it means I start getting some content, then I'm all for it.


And I say that as the owner of not one but TWO devices that will be crippled - a VT540, and a Hitachi HD-ready tv.


Finally, there's no guarantee that the proposed schemes will even be viable. I say don't worry - be happy. Nothing has happened yet.

 

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OK, I'm a bit confused by all of this (and I'm guessing others are as well). Are you saying...


1) Once this new standard takes hold, your existing decoder box will stop sending a usable hi-def signal out of the RGB output.


OR


2) All new STB's that come out will only have this new digital output (and no RGB output) making your existing projector incompatible with these future STBs.


If #2 then, unfortunately, that's the life of an early adopter.


If #1, then I completely agree that this is unacceptable. However, whether the complaint should be taken up with NEC or someone else, I'm not sure.


Scott
 

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I just wish that everyone (especially congress) would realize that the MPAA not providing content is just a paper tiger. The government should just tell them, "look...we've been designing HDTV for awhile now and you should have spoken up then. The interface is set, so either provide your content on the current system, or don't. Case closed."


If that were to happen, I think we would still get our HDTV content. The MPAA would crack...an untapped market would be there for the taking. They would do it, or someone else would. The networks perhaps..."Made for TV" movies would take on an entirely new meaning. Premium channels could easily nuke the theaters once everyone has an HDTV. HBO could just make their own movies. The MPAA just wants to have it's cake, and eat it too...which it may be able to.


Brian
 

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I'm sure we're all frustrated with this, but the reality of the situation is that most manufacturers are not going to retrofit existing display devices.


That said, I am 100% confident that some black-market device will appear from Asia to do the 5C to Analog conversion. PITA, yes, but could it really be any more expensive than a Dish 5000 Modulator? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Andy K.



------------------

"L T One-Fifty

Did your light guide the wisemen,

to baby Jesus?"
 

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Do we really believe that the studios, cable and satellite providers and equipment manufactures are prepared to:


a. royally piss off all existing customers who

bought "HDTV ready" equipment; and


b. limit their market to only customers who own

equipment which hasn't even been produced yet.


Or do we believe that another box or new cable or satellite receiver will be developed which will decode the encryption and output to current and past technologies.
 

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Scott, whooaa!!

I did not mean to imply, that because you recieved a response from NEC that you did not like, all is not LOST!!!

I, like you, and others on this forum, have invested $$$$$

in HT Equipment!!

I, like you, am pissed at the current state of affairs!

(BTW, my name is Victor)

I was trying to give you the info that I've received from asking the SAME question many times!!!

I UNDERSTAND YOUR FRUSTRATION!!!

You're not the 1st person to receive such a response from the likes of, Sony, Toshiba, Nec, etc, etc.!!!

I've read many such responses from these people who produce HDTV ready TV's!

It is of no consilatiaon to us who have spent $$$ on our HT's to hear a response from these people that makes us feel cheated!!!

Sooo... what are your options???????

Be pissed!!!!... or...Work with the rest of us, in concert, to help each other get what we, as early adopters of this system deserve!!!

Let your frustration help the rest of us!! VB

A system that delivers on the promise!!

I'm with you on this one!!

VB
 

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You should be mad, but not at NEC, unless they are the ones leading the charge to move to a new incompatible standard.


If I make an NTSC television and offer it for sale, am I responsible for providing upgrades to all my customers if for whatever reason NTSC was replaced with an incompatible standard? I understand your anger, but why direct it at NEC? This isn't their fault - they built a unit that supports a certain published standard. If it does what it is advertised to do, you have no beef with NEC.


Where you should be directing your anger is at the MPAA, the standards bodies that set these things, and the stations that abandon their pledge to provide broadcasting in a certain format.


You should also be mad at yourself, perhaps, for paying the price for being an early adopter. When you jump on a new technology that is not firmly established, you are taking on a certain risk that it will not turn out the way you want. I have a box full of beta tapes in my basement to attest to that.


Question: When all the rental outlets dropped Beta and made all those play-only beta decks instantly obsolete, should the manufacturers have provided free VHS units to all their customers? I don't believe you would think so, and I don't see how this is any different.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Knuck:
Or do we believe that another box or new cable or satellite receiver will be developed which will decode the encryption and output to current and past technologies.
Ding! Ding! We have a winner.


And if not, sounds like you and I should go into the conversion box business.


Another prediction: These boxes will be free to previous buyers of HDTV technology in order to avoid mass lawsuits.


--Les




[This message has been edited by arrow (edited 08-10-2001).]
 

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Nothing is free, Les (although it'd be nice...). I think that everyone should understand that buying an HD compatable display device in 2001 is hardly an "early adopter". That would be the people buying high end PJ's in the 90's, getting ready for the upcoming HDTV programming that was promised would be standardized and commonplace by 1999-2000. Especially since the ATSC governing body over HD stipulated that all major broadcasters be broadcastin in major metropolitan areas by now. That being said, it is unfortunate that we are looking at yet another BS technological barrier invented by the jackasses at MPAA,but hardly a suprise. Scott, as much as I sympathize with your potential plight, I have to say it's not NEC's fault, nor is it their responsibility to remedy the situation, due to the fact that the rules are being changed in the middle of the game. Look at it this way...prior to the MPAA throwing monkey wrenches into the HDTV gears, the only reference or guidelines pertaining to HDTV were those set down by the ASTC. Consequently, NEC (and everybody else, for that matter) did their job(s) in designing HD compliant equipment. Remember, your PJ wasn't designed yesterday, but probably a year or more ago. These products don't go from a twinkle in the engineer's eye to delivered product overnight - it takes at least a year or 2 to get them out. Now you're seeing the DVI input's coming out as a response to the potential need for it - not as a screw job to everyone who didn't get one. It's not a perfect world out there, but there are ALWAYS end-arounds. Sit tight, and if this whole mess escalates, you can be sure that there will be a plethora of affordable DVI to analog RGB decoders on the market.


Mike


PS: if you're really having a bad day with this, go read my friday chuckle over in the CRT forum. That should put a smile back on your glum faces.


[This message has been edited by M NEWMAN (edited 08-10-2001).]
 

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Les:


Why don't we start developing our prototype now, sell power pre-buys and promise it will be available in two weeks.


Brian
 

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To do this legally is tricky. The DCMA forbids decryption. I don't know if you can get something like the Mits Promise upgrade and build something around that will put out component. At that point it truly is a converter and doesn't decrypt a damn thing and might be legal.


------------------

Ken Elliott


[This message has been edited by kelliot (edited 08-10-2001).]
 

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I think that it serves no purpose to get angry or raise a stink now.


The one card that the MPAA has been playing up to now is restricting movie distribution in HD format in prerecorded media.


Violet laser DVD players have been tested at consumer MBTF reliability levels for well over a year now, and C3D Fluorescent media is conspicuously quiet lately, even though their 28GB DVDs (based on inexpensive red laser mechanisms) were due for sale this March at under $500.


But the MPAA is withholding prerecorded HD content until they can control the copy protection to support their pay-per-view schemes.


I say let's just wait and see when the manufacturers formally announce these digitally connected displays, HD peripherals, and most importantly HD media.


When the HD content genie is let out of the bottle, it will be difficult to put him back in.


I'm actually guessing that the unannounced "carrots" in this non-compliant DTV connection scheme could be the announcement of movies like the Original Star Wars trilogy, Indiana Jones movies, E.T. and all of the other big blockbuster films that are conspicuously absent from DVD distribution today, suddenly made available in this new copy protected prerecorded HD digital media.

Whether it is in the form of D-VHS or HD-DVD will be uncertain.


But if we make a big fuss about this now, then the MPAA will continue to hold off (possibly indefinitely) on the release of movies in HD format. Once the HD movies are out in HD, then it's another ballgame.


Remember that the studios are currently enjoying great home video sales already from VHS tape rental and purchases (which the MPAA tried to stop), and record growth in DVD rentals and sales (which they tried to control with DIVX), so they are making money just fine without selling One movie in HD format.


So if it's too much of a pain (bad press, web campaigns) to release any movies in HD, they will just wait, and we will just have to make due with DVDs until THEY are ready.


But if we stay informed of the DTV plans and product announcements, then we will have a real target to hit, rather than an elusive ghost of potential future products, guessing at the impact that it will have.


I also have MANY HD displays and peripherals today, so I'm displeased with how these plans are shaping up, but I want to make an effective impact on the situation, rather than working off of anger and rumors and stay in the shadow of this MPAA spectre.


-Dean.
 
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