Audio News for August 3, 2005

by | Aug 3, 2005 | Audio News | 0 comments

Restrictions on HDMI Useage – Toshiba is demonstrating via
a road show touring the U.S. their upcoming HD-DVD format and what’s to
be expected from the new (one of two non-compatible) format launching
in November with 89 titles. The HD-DVD discs will come in three storage
capacities: 15GB, 30GB and 45GB. The images are of course greatly
enhanced over standard DVD, but of great concern is that Toshiba is
saying their hi-def DVD player will ONLY output hi-def when using an
HDMI cable connection!  In other words, if your display is not the
latest  model with an HDMI input the analog component or S-video
connection will downgrade the hi-def resolution to 480 lines – standard
NTSC TV.

CEA Objects to New FCC DTV Tuner Deadline
– The FCC has proposed to
accelerate the mandated timetable for manufacturers to include a DTV
tuner in TV sets of all sizes from July 1, 2007 to December 31, 2006,
and also to extend the mandate to sets of 13 inches and less. The
Consumer Electronics Association (CES) and the Consumer Electronics
Retailers Coalition (CERC) filed comments with the FCC cautioning that
moving up the date would be difficult for manufacturers, could cause a
sudden jump in prices, and put smaller sets out of the reach of
Americans with lower incomes. CEA forecasts that nine million DTVs with
built-in over-the-air (OTA) digital tuners will be sold this year,
about 17 million next year and 27 million in 2007. CEA and CERC
mentioned that it was very important to clearly label new TV sets as to
whether they can receive OTA DTV signals or just OTA analog signals.

Self-Destructing MPEG-4 Discs? – The MPEG-4 compression codec,
standard for 3G cell phones, has had a new threatening option slipped
into its license agreement by the movie studios. Called “20/365,” the
option allows completely locking the data stream until a code is
entered. Studios could thus distribute movies encoded with MPEG-4
knowing that anyone buying the original disc or even a copy of it would
have to purchase the code before it could be viewed. Plus once the code
is entered, the movie could only be watched 20 times or for 365 days –
after which the viewer would be “locked out” and forced to buy another
code to reactivate. This sounds like an earlier attempt of the studios
to  be able to remotely lock out the ability of DVRs and VCRs to
timeshift TV programming – which was roundly denied by the Feds.
Hollywood obviously wants to seriously control public access to its
intellectual property!

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