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Ok, I have a solution to the HD problem at hand (at least for all of us with component in only HDTVs). It's called...a bribe! Or more specifically, a prepayment of royalties. Here's how it would work:


The MPAA and studios don't care about anything except making money. The key here is not encryption, or content, or whatever. The key is how can the studios maximize their revenue. The answer is...we'll pay. An average DVD retails for 15-20 bucks. The publisher/owner of the content probably wholesales it for 7-10 bucks. Assuming their bottom line, before taxes, is 9%, they make about 75 cents a disc (note: these are approx numbers...I am not an industry expert).


So what if I said, ok MPAA or whoever, what if I agreed to buy 100 discs right now? They would get 75 bucks. 100 discs is probably more than the average (I said AVERAGE) hdtv guy will buy. But we'll just give them the profit.


The implementation would work like this: a special chip in the decoder box, which outputs full 1080I HD, decodes the HD stream, and allows it to flow through component outputs. Every box manufactured for this standard (the ONLY needed standard) would require the purchase of this 100 dollar chip and $25 goes to fab the chip, the remainder to the "HD Group".


The HD group would represent the majority of content owners. The split would have to be agreed to, and it would be difficult of course, but for essentially free money, they could work it out. Smaller studios (usually owned by the larger studios) could either buy in or be out of the deal.


So, an HD box would cost 100 bucks more than it otherwise would. Keep in mind that people would still be buying DVDs...this would basically be gravy.


Now...SHOULD we have to pay? No. But, if this would guarantee me the ability to continue using my older HD set with new HD material...then it wouldn't be the end of the world. In fact, the cost could be more like $40 royalty and $20 fof the chip...the assumption would be that retailers, already facing a high cost item, would not increase markup on the incremental amount, at least not by much. No, we shouldn't have to pay. No, they (PPV, special programming) don't have to broadcast HD. Yes there would be a bandwidth issue...but I'm sure they could work around it.


Is it dumb...kind of. But it's an idea...
 

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Since I was the one that suggested paying local (non)DTV broadcasters for waivers so members in a non-HD market could get their CBS from Dish, I guess I can't come down too hard on this idea. Of course, my thought was roundly criticized for paying foot-dragging broadcasters for a privelege that most of us think they shouldn't dis-allow anyway. The result, of course, was predictable - a great many of those that were excited about finally getting CBS HD from Dish soon found out that the local cabal has no interest in accomodating their needs, and their hopes were summarily squashed.


Whil I myself would never pay for the "privilege" of keeping my HD equipment fully-capable (I simply think that the MPAA is too evil to pay them a bribe), I'll admit that this is about the only way to prevent them from screwing all of the early adopters. The problem, of course, is that such a scheme would interfere with eventual plans to take away fair-use privileges and convert everyone over to pay-fo-play.


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ABC = Another Boring Channel. Watch CBS on Monday Nights!
 
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