Encryption of digital transport streams has historically been ineffective at stopping _all_ attempts at making unintended copies.
Sure they can do something that would prevent the average consumer from "accidentally" being able to make full quality recordings, but some determined hackers seem to invariably get through most systems out there (eventually).
A few examples:
DVD encryption is compromised
SCMS DAT (audio) over SPDIF has been defeated
MPEG2 video has been extraced from TiVo devices
I am not sure why there is a such a big push to move
to digital standards for HDTV ouput (e.g. DVI/HDCP).
Many have argued that the current analog outputs are
more than capable of showing the full picture quality
currently being broadcast.
The push to DVI seems dangerous in that it provides a
digital interface that could be recorded digitally
unlike the current analog outputs that have to be
recorded with analog equipment (W-VHS) that introduces
generational quality loss.
If the push to digital output is for cost savings
then it makes sense. If it is for better picture
quality then it is alot of effort for a small gain.
If it is a response to the few W-VHS analog recorders
out there then it seems misguided.
Anyways - this all seems a tad bit academic at this point
with WinTV-HD and HiPix cards able to record the data
stream in full digital with nothing (currently) standing
in the way.
I guess I would say that the industry will continue to spend much time and effort to propagate flawed copy protection systems that perhaps help keep some control of content, but the announcement that someone has defeated the HDCP system doesn't seem too surprising considering the history of related technologies.
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