Blu-ray Copying – Will It Work? – The AACSLA (Advanced Access Content System License Authority) has now posted the specs for the new digital rights management system allowing so-called “managed copies” of Blu-ray media to be made for personal use. The copies are still protected with AACS or Microsoft’s DRM and the studio decides how many copies may be made. All Blu-ray equipment manufacturers have been operating under a provisional licensing agreement and had to agree to new licenses last week. Hardware makers are not required to support managed copy though most will.
Entirely new Blu-ray hardware will be required; existing players cannot leverage the feature. And unless the new Blu-ray player has broadband Internet access, users won’t be able to make a personal copy of Blu-ray content. Studios can also charge consumers to make copies if they want to. The programming of the managed copy discs is complex and confusing. The key details aren’t yet known. So for now managed copy consists of no more than a serial number and web site; next year AACSLA will allow companies to fill out forms describing the copy rules and price schemes. Left out of the whole picture are Apple’s iPhones and iPods. But what value is viewing a Blu-ray image on those tiny screens anyway?
Boxee Internet-Video-On-TV Service Beta Debuts – Computer and video geeks are fascinated by the public introduction of the only such open-source service. The software, which allows you to see videos from content partners and play music and videos from Boxee, is free, but they have also introduced a physical set-top box which looks like a semi-submerged cube and costs about $200. The Boxee Box has an RF remote and can be used anywhere in the house. It includes Wi-Fi, Ethernet and outputs for HDMI video, optical audio, analog stereo audio, and two USB slots for webcam, external hard drives, antenna, or memory cards. Boxee partners create various content apps which run inside the software like mobile phone apps. Global music searches to Pandora and Last.fm are in the works.
AMD Promises Demo of Forthcoming Blu-ray 3D Standard at CES – AMD hopes to be first at the gate with a working demo of a Blu-ray 3D technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month. They even claim that compatible products and solutions will be available as early as the second half of 2010, even though at the moment format specs are still a work in progress. There may be AMD-made 3D chips in future Blu-ray players, and a complete overhau of home theater system may be needed to enjoy 3D visuals. Get ready for dealing with some confusions and conflicting systems.
Pioneer Corporation Alliance With Chinese Retailer – Recognizing China as an important market, Pioneer has announced a strategic alliance agreement with a major Chinese home electronics mass retailer, Suning Appliance, which expands the sales of Pioneer’s existing AV products in China, and also allows Suning to use the Pioneer brand name on a line of flat-screen TVs which are being developed in cooperation with Pioneer.