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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Blu-ray Disc Announces Copy Protection

Blu-ray Disc Announces Copy Protection

"Today the Blu-ray Disc Association announced it has selected AACS (Advanced Access Content System) as its content protection scheme for Blu-ray Disc media. The announcement codifies what the BDA had privately said was its likely choice all along; and, by choosing AACS, BDA matches its rival HD-DVD (backed by the DVD Forum), which long ago opted for AACS as its own content protection technology.

Both formats are now queued up and waiting for AACS to complete its specification, the status of their own specs hinging on when the content protection scheme is completed. Neither Blu-ray nor HD-DVD has officially finalized their read-only specs, pending the completion of AACS; and after they do finalize AACS, and then their own specs, you can expect a necessary QA period before either format can release product. HD-DVD still says it expects players out by end of year (recorders will be due in the first half of next year); Blu-ray expects both recorders and players to be out in the first half of next year.

The long-delayed AACS technology was originally expected in March; however, just last week a representative for AACS declined to comment on when the format is expected to be final (all the spokesperson would say was that they anticipated the spec to be final later this year). The spec is currently at its .9 version.

Blu-ray Disc's announcement of its support for AACS isn't the only way the competing next-generation optical formats have recently moved closer to parity. In June, the HD-DVD camp quietly announced it had successfully, in replication, produced 45GB triple layer discs. Although this was simply a trial run, according to an HD DVD spokesperson, the 45GB triple-layer disc should be formally to the HD-DVD spec at a September meeting of the DVD Forum. If approved, the triple-layer disc will narrow the capacity gap between the competing formats considerably, but not completely. Blu-ray already has a single-layer 25GB disc and a dual-layer 50GB disc; HD-DVD has a single-layer 15GB disc, a dual-layer 30GB, and then the triple-layer 45GB disc.

Does capacity matter to you? Which would you rather have: The three disc options of HD-DVD, or the two larger-disc options of Blu-ray?"

Related Link:
Blu-ray Disc Association Adopts Comprehensive Content Management System

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