Tuesday, February 28, 2006

HD-DVD and Blu-Ray

I wrote several months ago that Blu-Ray appeared to be closing out HD-DVD as the future high-definition DVD standard.

That was before the Blue-Ray format started strangling itself on its copy protection scheme. Or schemes, I should say, because there are several. There's AACS, BD+, and don't forget ROM Mark.

There's also BFD+. All right, I made that last one up.

Basically, Sony is so freaking paranoid about copy protection that their goal is for you to buy the discs but never unwrap them.

Sony announced today a tough new high-definition content protection scheme called LOCKBOX. Sony Vice President Leonard Purgatory describes the new scheme this way: "Basically, it allows the consumer to buy the disc but not actually open the case that contains the disc. The problem with allowing the customer to remove the disc from the case is that they then might play the disc, and as soon as video output is generated from the player, the copyright owners lose control of their content. The MPAA has decided that the risk of piracy is far to high to allow consumers to actually view the disc content.

Yes, I made that up, too, but it doesn't seem that far from the truth at this point. However, the delays all these protection schemes are causing is beginning to backfire on Sony, and it looks like HD-DVD still has plenty of life.

Here's a NY Times article (via Slashdot) that discusses it in detail (titled "In Sony's Stumble, the Ghost of Betamax"):

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