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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're thinking of buying a Sony WEGA KD34XBR2 [see: http://www.sel.sony.com/SEL/consumer...efinition.html ]. This set has a built-in HDTV tuner, 16:9 ratio, and is an all-around fantastic looking TV.


HOWEVER, the following article from the L.A. Times makes me wondering whether or not this set is going to be obsolete in a year or so. Since it's also in the $4,000 to $4,500 range, we're not sure.


We're VERY much interested in YOUR input and feedback -- please send it to [email protected] as well as an attachment to this thread.


Thank you very much!


=============

04/17/2002

San Francisco Chronicle

BUSINESS DIGEST

New anti-piracy standard may strand owners of HDTVs


Six major consumer electronics companies announced their support yesterday for a new, piracy-resistant digital connector for high-definition TV sets, DVD players and other devices.

The long-anticipated move could bring more high-definition movies from Hollywood studios, which have pressured the electronics industry to add copy-protected digital connections to their gear. But it also spells bad news for about 2.6 million people who have already bought HDTV sets, all but a handful of which have no digital inputs.

"I think we've got a grandfathering issue that we've got to manage very carefully," said David H. Arland, director of US. government and public relations for Thomson Multimedia, maker of RCA sets.

The new connector, called the high-definition multimedia interface, or HDMI, is a variation on the digital video interface, or DVI, used to link personal computers and their monitors. Built to handle high-definition video and six channels of audio, it transmits a vast amount of encrypted information in one direction only and thus is virtually unusable for recording.

The specifications for HDMI still are being developed by Silicon Image Ire, a Sunnyvale chipmaker, and the six electronics companies - Thomson, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Sony Corp., Hitachi IA., Philips Electronics and Toshiba Corp. Products with HDMI connectors aren't expected for a year or more.


Los Angeles Times
 

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Welcome to the board! There has been a lot of discussion about DVI and the copy protection it uses (HDCP). Just run a search on this board for DVI or HDCP and read some of the threads about it. Myself, I just bought a $4400 HDTV instead of waiting a few years to see how DVI and HDCP work out. You will want to read the various threads and see what you think. No one can predict the future or answer the question for you. At this point in time, no one really knows to what extent, if any, HDCP will be implemeted to.

Again, welcome to the board.


-Andrew
 

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Your are better off asking a magic 8 ball since no one really knows what the future holds.


Just because someone has an idea doesn't mean the public will accept it.


VCR's had the same issue when they were coming out!



Dave
 

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You ought to look at other HDMI threads in the past few weeks. Every conceivable question has been asked and guessed at. The problem is that we have very few facts available. Among the facts we DO know are:


There is no firm universally agreed upon HDMI standard. Only 2 studios endorsed the standard at the press release which means that many more have issues still.


Silicon Image is working on a chip set which cannot become final until the standard is cast in concrete. It would take a miracle for final HDMI chip sets to be available any sooner than a year.


It will take some more time for the CE manufacturers to incorporate these chip sets in their hardware. It isn't enough for just set /projector manufacturers to have the interface, there must also be source components with HDMI. STBs will all have to be converted over to HDMI output before any downrezzing to occur.


I just bought a Marantz projector without ANY digital input capability and I'm counting on three years of use before any chance of being downrezzed. And by then I'll probably have a new pj that does a true 1080 resolution rather than just 720.
 

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I think it will be 3-4 years before anything happens in this area. And, it will more likely affect the HD recorder hardware than the TV sets and tuners that many of us will still be using at that point. They are having enough problems getting the public to buy mass quantities of HD hardware. This kind of stuff would dampen it even more. Nobody would buy anthing if was going to be made obsolete so easily. Remember, the game here is to convince everyone HD is the way to go, period.
 

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Read the specs recently for a new Zenith HD STB coming out in August and it has the DVI/HDMI built in. Also, specs for a new Samsung box also had the connectors built in - think that one is due out in July. Both have MSRP of $799 and $699 respectively.
 

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I may be off base with this response (I'm sure we'll hear about it if I am), but I think this is the simple answer to your question:


The Sony WEGA KD34XBR2 is an integrated HD receiver - the HD tuner and the display are all-in-one. Unlike "HDTV-ready" sets which require a separate set top box (STB) to "tune in" the digital signal and then send it via a cable to the appropriate input of the HD-ready TV, this Sony model does it all internally. So the issue of HDMI is irrelevant for this set - at least as far as broadcast programming is concerned.


Actually (and this is where I wonder whether I am missing something), since HDMI involves only a new interface - anyone whose STB/HDTV-ready TV combination which currently works will continue to work for viewing broadcasts. The HDMI interface under development is intended to thwart putting a recording device between the STB (or other HD source) and the display to record HD programming.


So I think as far as broadcast HDTV goes everybody's fine. The problem would be with other sources such as HD DVD players. If these are marketed using outputs other than what your Sony has inputs for you'll have a problem with such a player. The Sony has Firewire - which means it works fine with digital camcorders - but I don't think it has DVI. And it definitely doesn't have HDMI.


So if you want to start enjoying HD broadcast TV now and a superb picture from your current DVD player, go ahead and buy the Sony (or other HDTV set). It will not stop working if and when the HDMI interface is implemented. It just won't work with any HD-DVD player that doesn't provide Firewire or component video outputs.
 

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Off base? Sounds like you nailed it, to me. Key words are "if and when." I seem to remember what happened last time different manufacturers came up with their own "standard." It was for a technology known as AM Stereo. And look what happened, there.


If they do make 2.3 million sets obsolete, Joe Public will be afraid to invest in the next round.


And, if they make 2.3 million sets obsolete, they're going to have a class action lawsuit like they've never seen before. Or Congress is going to be blindsided with pressure in an election year. Imagine if the automakers (Hollywood) convinced tiremakers (HDTV manufacturers) to only make 14.7" tires starting with the new model year, meaning there would be no more tires made to fit cars sold this year or in years past. You'd have to buy a new car when your tires wore out. What do you think those car owners would do?


Doc
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by HDCblGuy
Welcome to the board! There has been a lot of discussion about DVI and the copy protection it uses (HDCP). Just run a search on this board for DVI or HDCP and read some of the threads about it. Myself, I just bought a $4400 HDTV instead of waiting a few years to see how DVI and HDCP work out. You will want to read the various threads and see what you think. No one can predict the future or answer the question for you. At this point in time, no one really knows to what extent, if any, HDCP will be implemented to.

Again, welcome to the board.


-Andrew
Hi Andrew,


Thank you very much for your kind welcome. But it also hits the nail right on the head.


My problem -- as a lay person -- is that I have NO idea what to "search" for . I'm drowning in acronyms and newspaper/magazine articles that refer to things that do not even explain what to be looking for or what context.


Arguably y'all could say that any person with so little technical background has no business buying a high-grade TV -- but hey, y'all love a challenge, right?


But please accept my warmest thanks for pointing my nose in the right direction - you guys rule!


Daniel
 
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