AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been away from the forum for most of the summer and have only recently started reading & posting again, and I am concerned by the various copy protection announcements that have come out recently from DirecTV and others.


I've been reading the various posts on this subject as well as copies of some of the actual announcements and must admit to being more than a little confused. I'm posting this question here in the hopes that my fellow LCD projector owners (who hopefully have had time to digest and understand these issues) will be able to offer some clarification.


My NEC VT540 XGA LCD projector accepts 720p and 1080i HDTV signals via its 15-pin VGA port. I have three sources for HDTV signals that feed the projector:
  • An RCA DTC-100 (used only for OTA broadcasts)
  • A DISH 6000 (used only for satellite HDTV on HBO and Showtime)
  • An accessDTV HTPC card (used to view and record terrestrial HDTV broadcasts)


I am relatively unconcerned about these HDTV sources becoming obsolete; I spent relatively little money on them and only view them as stopgap solutions on the way to a truly integrated solution for receiving and recording HDTV broadcasts.


On the other hand, I am extremely concerned that new copy-protected devices will not emit an HDTV signal to my VT540, a $3,000 device that I do NOT plan on replacing anytime in the near future. Can someone quantify the legitimacy of this concern, and under what regimes (OTA, satellite or both) my HDTV viewing is threatened?


Thanks...


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

Scott Gammans
The Scooterplex Cinema 1


[This message has been edited by Scott Gammans (edited 07-31-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,129 Posts
I feel your pain. The consumer control devices that being discussed relegate our projectors to high-end NTSC display devices. Your fears are for real. No converter boxes. No retrofits (except maaaybe the Mitsu sets). Write Congress and the FCC today!

Sorry.



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

The button is labeled "Play", not "Pay". STOP the MPAA!

Our Silent Angels

Please visit The Manny Page!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
You will want to follow the HD HW threads.


What is currently sounds like is that content providers can at will downrez our existing and future RGB/Component/Analog STB outputs. If I read the agreement correctly this will be the default on any content that is tagged with anything with the exception of copy freely. So yes the expensive part of your HDTV is at risk of being obsoleted. Only devices which support 5c and HDCP will be able to display HD content that is tagged with any form of copy protection.


Regards,


Brian
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,564 Posts
I would suggest you call NEC customer service. You won't get an answer, but your call will be logged. If enough of us do this we will at least get the manufacturers attention.




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

Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Scott, here’s how I read the tea leaves. This may end up being totally wrong, but it’s my prediction on what’s going to happen:


This upgrade cycle, although painful for early adopters, is going to happen. It’s only partly driven by the studios. The other side is the hardware manufacturers who want to knock down production costs, and get more HDTV into more homes by going all-digital. High quality, multiple D/A-A/D conversions are expensive, compared to keeping everything in the digital realm, all the way down the wire. The hardware manufacturers know that the only way the studios will agree to an all-digital HDTV interface, is with the inclusion of bulletproof copy protection.


These new industry agreements have only just been hammered out. All the display hardware in the pipeline (including the hot new Sharp 16:9) was developed before anyone knew anything about this new digital interface. And you can bet that all the projector manufacturers are now scrambling to include the new encrypted interface on any HT-oriented display that hasn't already been locked into production. Projectors that are seen as "business presentation" devices will remain unchanged. They'll just side-step the whole issue.


My prediction is that you’ll still be able to watch the following HDTV content over your current 720p and 108i analog connections:


1) Sports, because it's supported by commercials, and the networks see it as a HDTV showcase.


2) OTA broadcast, because it's politically and legally impossible to encrypt.


I seriously doubt that the industry is going to down-res the above HDTV content to 480p. This is their escape clause, so they can still say that current HDTV sets in the showroom (and in the pipeline) are "HDTV compatible". Most retail stores still demo HDTV by showing local OTA news broadcasts anyway, so nothing will change in the short term.


The big issue is with "premium content" (i.e. movies). The only way you'll see premium content HDTV at full 720p or 1080i resolution is with the new all-digital, encryption handshaking hardware. If you don't have that setup, then these movies will be down-res'd to 480p on your analog component inputs. This will happen VERY soon. The studios, HBO/Showtime, and the cable and satellite companies are probably assuming that the majority of people who bought "HDTV ready" hardware can’t tell the difference between 480p and the higher res formats. If anyone complains, they'll just explain that this is "new" premium HDTV content, that requires "new" hardware.


So that's the real issue. How much do you care about seeing recent release pay-per-view movies in HDTV, and how much do you care about being able to conveniently time-shift HDTV on a PVR? If that's important to you, then your current display hardware is toast, and it’s time to start saving for the new digital input, encryption-friendly hardware that will arrive in 6-12 months.


There is one upside to all this. I'll bet people will be raving about the picture quality on next-generation projectors, once all the D/A - A/D conversions are knocked out of the signal path. However you feel about the copy protection issues, it's a better way to deliver the video signal to the display.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I am new to HT and about to buy a projector. Does this mean that I should wait for 6-12 months until this new technology is added to the lines???


Any help would be most appreciated.


Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,586 Posts
And here is something from another thread, that I figured I'd repost in one of these threads to see if anyone knows the answer right off hand. This is me answering a question from someone else, or rather saying that I don't know the answer:


Quote:
Let's say I'm watching a fishing show in HIDEF, no copy protection flags at all and I have a 1999 projector with a DVI connector, will it work? Or is the HDCP still required for my DVI connection to work?
You know, that's not something that I've heard answered. Do the STB and display negotiate all the time on the fly as to whether the data coming over is going to be encrypted or not, or is just always encrypted, period and the set told whether it can decrypt it or not?


Clearly the protected content must be encrypted over the digital connection, or we could just yank it off. And, given that (as I understand it) the encryption used from the provider to STB is not the same as that used from the STB to the display, the STB has to be doing that encryption. Would it be worth it, complexity wise, to skip the encryption step for unprotected content, vs. just always encrypting it and letting the set decrypt it?


Probably this should be asked on one of the raging encryption threads and perhaps someone can answer it who has dug into the specs.



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

Dean Roddey

The Charmed Quark Controller
[email protected]
www.charmedquark.com


If it don't have a control port, don't buy it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So basically what you are saying is that my HBO and Showtime HDTV viewing is threatened, but my OTA broadcasts are probably safe.


Well that sucks. And to pile insult on top of injury I don't even have a real senator or congressperson to whom I can complain... being a D.C. resident and all.


Crap.


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

Scott Gammans
The Scooterplex Cinema 1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,225 Posts
Scott, I may be reading the tea leaves different, but here is how I see it:


1) All existing installed DVI displays and any available in the next 6-12 months are toast, because they DO NOT or WILL NOT SOON contain the decryption electronics, and therefore are only usable for unencrypted HD content. Current DVI owners are screwed.


2) Existing RGB analog displays such as the LT150, VT540, G15 DiLA, etc. MAY continue to be usable, although of course they will continue to suffer from the degradation inherant in D/A conversion, transmission through a shielded video cable, etc. There is no danger of copyright infringement due to an analog display, because of the inherant A/D conversion and resulting signal degradation required before HD content could be duplicated. I don't know of any hardware that can hook up to a VGA cable and record anything.


Of course, time and technology march on - it may be that the new DVI-based, de-cryption-capable displays outperform the older analog VGA interfaces to such an extent that your projector will be the first thing you want to upgrade!


3) Once again you MAY be able to get some form of PC-based solution that will drive your analog projector display, as does a software DVD player today. It depends on how they interpret the video overlay signal - is it "an unencrypted digital signal transmission" or not? At least in the case of DVD player software, it has not been interpreted as such, so far. However, your AccessDTV card will not be usable unless the software that drives it can be modified to satisfy the MPAA decryption requirements - I give that a 50% chance.


4) Your DTC100 and Dish 6000 HD receivers probably cannot accept a firmware download that will enable decryption, and thus will forever be restricted to HD display of unencrypted HD content only.


Other interpretations of this mess are possible, and equally likely.


Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Gary,


You have written a provocative post that raises several interesting issues, to which I respond:
Quote:
I don't know of any hardware that can hook up to a VGA cable and record anything.
Unfortunately, I do: the JVC SR-W5U and SR-W7U W-VHS recorders do exactly that (Greg Quinn, who lurks around the HDTV Recorders forum, has a W5U). Granted, these machines run several thousand dollars, but that's certainly within the range of prosumer pricing... and well within the wherewithal of the pirates the MPAA seems to be trying to ensnare with this technology.
Quote:
Your DTC100 and Dish 6000 HD receivers probably cannot accept a firmware download that will enable decryption, and thus will forever be restricted to HD display of unencrypted HD content only.
I cannot imagine that DISH, with its strong support for HDTV, would leave its loyal early adopters in the dust. I would be very surprised if they didn't at least come up with some sort of trade-in credit or a buyback program for obsoleted 5000 / 6000 units. DirecTV, on the other hand (which is only interested in adding more QVC channels to its lineup), doesn't give a rat's arse about HDTV and wouldn't hestitate to screw the forty-one diehard HDTV subscribers that it still has. DirecTV bites even more than 5C/DVI/HDCP.
Quote:
your AccessDTV card will not be usable unless the software that drives it can be modified to satisfy the MPAA decryption requirements - I give that a 50% chance.
You're more optimistic than I am... I give them a <10% chance. Don't get me wrong... I love my accessDTV card, but let's face it: the company that makes it is a tiny mole on the rump of the consumer electronics industry. I highly doubt they will have the resources (read: $$$) to pay Jack Valenti & co. whatever ridiculous licensing fee or royalty schedule they come up with in order to gain the keys to the 5C/DVI/HDCP kingdom. As far as my accessDTV card is concerned, I have already written that $500 off and will simply enjoy it while it lasts.


By the way, I e-mailed and called NEC Technical Support today to add my voice to what I hope is a chorus of VT540 A/V enthusiasts who worry for the future usability of their beloved projectors. If I hear anything back I'll post here.


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

Scott Gammans
The Scooterplex Cinema 1


[This message has been edited by Scott Gammans (edited 08-01-2001).]
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top