Can we please come to a consensus on HDCP?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jon Krangel, Mar 26, 2002.

  1. Jon Krangel

    Jon Krangel Stunt Coordinator

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    I just spent the better part of today going over this whole forum, home theater spot, and AVS forum, and I STILL dont know if I should buy an HDTV. I'm in the market for two $2000-3000 RP-HDTV's and know what models I want to buy (Hitachi 51/43 inch UWX models if your interested). This whole thing has me (and most of you i'm sure) royally ticked. These TV's need to last for at least 4 years, and I'm not about to plunk five grand on a pair of TV's that wont work as advertised in a years time. So once and for all, as of RIGHT NOW, is it wise to buy an HDTV?
     
  2. Mark Norman

    Mark Norman Extra

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    If it was my money I would either buy a much less expensive TV until the dust settles or just wait and see. I completely understand your frustration, a few friends of mine have asked me the same question and my reply was the same. Sad thing is the sales reps at the local HI-FI shops still don't have a clue to whats been going on with the HDCP and DVI standard.I consistantly overhear them saying "Yep this is HDTV the wave of the future, all analog TV will be history in just a couple of years so you can buy and enjoy now or wait until your TV is obsolete"!!!!!!

    If they only had a clue......
     
  3. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    If you want to enjoy DVD in progressive scan you have to buy an HDTV. But you want a "two speed" model that displays 480p or 960i (same thing as far as this discussion is concerned) as well as 1080i. It should also have individual calibrations including convergence for both of the scan rates. Many HDTV sets upconvert the incoming 480p to 1080i which in lots of today's models results in some degradation.
    I don't have a quick explanation on how to find out which sets do true 480p (or 960i) but bring along your AVIA (Video Essentials doesn't go high enough) and see several of the test patterns including the 200 TVL resolution pattern in the store.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
    HDCP is bad news in its current proposed form. If it does come to pass and today's HDTV sets "can't show HDTV no mo' ", would HTF cease its ban on posts and articles having to do with circumventing the offending technologies?
     
  4. Jon Krangel

    Jon Krangel Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Mark and Allan,

    Mark,

    I was afraid someone would say that! As far as buying a much less expensive TV, doesnt that mean analog? From what I've seen, $2000 (or just below) is about the lowest that a decent HDTV can be found for. How much/what kind of TV would you buy?

    Allan,

    I really do want to enjoy progrssive scan DVD, and I also have an HTPC that I'd like to use with it, but I don't want to give up HD Sat/Cable. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Is there a deadline of some sort that the MPAA must meet to announce this standard?

    On the topic of scan rates, I know the Hitachi models natively scan at 540P/1080i and upconvert 480p. However, I have heard that the line doubler in them is so good that there is almost no degredation. Is this true? Also, do sets that scan natively at 480p/960i downcovert 1080i to 960i? I was under the impression that all but the most expensive sets have a single native scanning rate that they use, and everything is converted to match it.

    Thanks
     
  5. Bob_J_M

    Bob_J_M Agent

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    People often misinterpret the scope of HDCP. HDCP is only a means of providing a "secure" DVI connection. For example, if there is a hi-def video recorder with a DVI input, it cannot record a DVI connection that is using HDCP. DVI recording technology does not currently exist. Unfortunately, however, if outputs on source devices (like STBs or HD-DVDs) are unencrypted, it invites the development and widespread use of this technology. Logically, this would result in the equivalent of the situation we have with peer-to-peer file sharing of MP3 files. Content providers wish to avoid this situation like the plague and that's why they demand secure digital outputs before they are willing to release their material in hi-def format.
    Backward compatibility is one major concern that must be balanced with security concerns. The battleground between security and compatibility is in the design of the source device. Technically, the battlefield is entirely upstream of the HDCP-secured connection. HDCP is not a direct source of potential incompatibility for current HDTV owners. DTCP, on the other hand, is - as are D-Theater and DFAST, which more or less follow the spirit of DTCP. In other words, if HDCP went away today, the threat to current HDTV owners would remain undiminished.
    I advise people who are in the market for a HDTV display today to wait for DVI w/HDCP. IMO, HDCP virtually guarantees that the display will work (at full hi-def resolution through its DVI input) with whatever copy protection technology comes down the pike for the next ten years or more. The digital connection alone is worth waiting six months for.
    If you choose a display with connections that are not considered "secure," there is a chance that - at some point in the future, studios will choose to release content that your display won't be able to show at its proper hi-def resolution. As a practical/legal/financial matter, I find it hard to believe that this transition will start during the next five years. At the same time, one cannot ignore the fact that today's copy protection schemes (DVLink, D-Theater and DFAST) enable this degree of security.
    It is by no means definite that analog hi-def connections will be crippled. A watermarking technology might be adopted and, together with some legislation, it could make hi-def analog connections relatively secure. It also isn't definite that content providers will opt to use the most extreme level of security. Nonetheless, there is a significant risk of incompatibility during a non-upgradable analog HDTV display's lifetime and this risk should be disclosed to the consumer. Selling the device without disclosing this risk is tantamount to selling a SUV without a rollover warning (well, at least low-res images won't kill you [​IMG] ) To me, the lack of disclosure seems almost immoral. If the s__t hits the fan, it won't be good for business, either.
    Jon - as an interim solution, you might consider the 27" Samsung HDTV - around $1,000 at J&R. When the dust settles and you buy a larger TV, move the Samsung to the bedroom, which it seems perfect for. Also, on a 27", if you're ever limited to 480P, no big deal!
     
  6. Jon Krangel

    Jon Krangel Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Bob, again, that what what I was afraid to hear. I guess I'll wait, because right now I have a 32 inch WEGA (32FS13) whose PQ is (IMO) the best of any analog tube available, so I guess I'll live. So you think 6 months is a good ballpark ETA for this whole thing to settle?
     
  7. Bob_J_M

    Bob_J_M Agent

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