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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Blu-ray, HD-DVD and Managed Copy; what does it mean to us?

Blu-ray, HD-DVD and Managed Copy; what does it mean to us?

"Recently, there has been a bit of wrangling and hoopla over both of the new blue laser high definition optical formats, specifically on just how the new copy protection would be implemented on each spec. Both HD-DVD and Blu-ray are going to utilize AACS, therefore, it is set in stone that they both will offer will offer something known as "managed copies". However, there are some subtle differences and maybe even some questions left unanswered from the Blu-ray camp at least. So there is quite a bit of posturing going on and there is a lot at stake.

Microsofts Bill Gates let it be known that he was not about to back a technology that was "anti-consumer" and would not work well on a PC. No, by golly, he was going to throw his support to the HD-DVD camp and to heck with Blu-ray. Say what? Some chuckle and say "Oh, well this is just because Microsoft will never support a Sony product." But, we have to wonder, is it that simple?

Around the same time period, the PC peddling giant HP, coincidentally came out with a press release "asking" the Blu-ray Disc Association to include mandatory Managed Copy and iHD as part of its format specification. HP felt that Managed Copy and iHD would best address the fundamental technical needs of the PC and the digitally connected home. Otherwise, they were going to pull support for Blu-ray. They got part of their wish, the managed copy, but not iHD. In addition, Blu-ray leaves it up to the studios on a disc-by-disc basis, to add managed copy or not.

What is iHD? iHD, would be a way to provide consumers with enhanced content, navigation interactivity and functionality for these next gen film discs. You can use it to make legitimate copies or even to send your films about the house on a home network. It has been noted publicly (for instance the above linked press release) that Microsoft is poised to provide iHD support in the Windows Vista operating system. Surprise!" [more]

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