Audio News for March 24, 2007

by | Mar 24, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

Blu-ray Leading Hi-Def Sales – PC Magazine reads the latest sales numbers from Nielsen VideoScan as showing that the Blu-ray hi-def DVD format has gained momentum over the competing HD DVD format.  Sony made a key move by including a gift certificate for Blu-ray DVDs inside the boxes of their hot PlayStation3 consoles – the least expensive playback system for Blu-ray so far available. The total number of Blu-ray discs sold now exceeds the number of HD DVD discs sold. The Blu-ray version of the new Casino Royale got into the top ten sales rankings at Amazon. The Nielsen numbers reflect disc sales, not the players, and they don’t cover Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club. Also, keeping in mind what occurred with VHS vs. Beta, it is interesting to see that a few adult video titles have already been released on each of the new formats, without that industry throwing its sizeable weight behind just one of the new formats.

Copyright Trial Testing “Fair Use” Concept – A trial is going on in San Jose, CA between the DVD Content Control Association and Kaleidescape Systems testing the idea of “fair use” of a particular DVD. The DVD CCA says Kaleidescape refuses to employ the encryption method which secures the millions of standard DVDs sold worldwide. Kaleidescape, which makes an expensive and sophisticated DVD jukebox, claims it not only maintains the CSS protection as DVDs are ripped from the original disc to their hard drive, but also selectively apply a 256-bit encryption to further secure the videos. The HDMI output of their media player has the full content protection code.

The CCA, however, wants to prevent making any digital copies of DVD content. A Kaleidescape spokesman said “In other words [according to CCA], the concept of ‘fair use’ does not apply to DVD.” The 1992 Audio Home Recording Act permitted noncommercial home recording of any analog audio content as long as it was for personal use. But it said nothing about video. Fair use is explained in Title 17 of the U.S. Code, but in a manner that is subject to many different interpretations. The copy protection of both new hi-def formats is even more complex.  If the litigation is decided in favor of the CCA, the movie studios would be closer to establishing tight useage restrictions on all DVDs.

Burning HD Videos on Standard DVDs – If you own an HDV camcorder and also an HDTV you can now watch your hi-def videos in all their glory on your big screen without having to connect your camcorder directly to your set.  Pinnacle’s Studio 10.7 software has added the ability to burn HD DVD-formatted discs on standard DVD drives.  However, you will need an HD DVD player to watch the material. The capacity of the standard DVD will only be about a third of a HD DVD disc, but it should be enough for your vacation videos.

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