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Sony announces Blu-ray player for Europe

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 29 Mar 2007 18:02 User comments (2)

Sony announces Blu-ray player for Europe Sony Corp. has announced a new Blu-Ray player for the European market. The BDP-S1E is described by the company as ",one of the most powerful and intelligent consumer audio and video devices", it has ever manufactured. It supports 24p True Cinema, playing back video at the original 24 frames per second if the television set supports it.
The player provides full support for 1080p (1920 x 1080p) video content and can upscale DVD-Video content to 1080p. The company said that the BDP-S1E will be available throughout Europe from summer this year. However, consumers may want to hold off on investing in Blu-ray player until after October 31st.

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has mandated that all hardware released after that date must fully support BD-J, which provides interactivity features for Blu-ray movies including menus and PIP.


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2 user comments

130.3.2007 0:02

now if the anti consumer DRM system was removed maybe i would consider replacing over 500 dvd's but as it stands i think i wont bother as Blu-ray players are required to be connected to the internet to update security to enable them to play new media & with the ability to deem players bad and shut them down is my biggest reason not to purchase one. this just makes sony's xcp rootkit look like css.

The DVD War Against Consumers

Originally posted by above link business week:
Sony is championing a standard called Blu-ray, Microsoft is pushing HD-DVD. Both formats have plenty of corporate backers. The upcoming PlayStation 3 will support Blu-ray, the Xbox 360 will get an add-on drive that uses HD-DVD.

Both standards incorporate sophisticated DRM technology. The current crop of DVDs uses a copy protection scheme that encrypts the disk, but that scheme was broken several years ago and the hack was widely incorporated in innumerable freeware DVD decryption programs. The movie studios have vowed not to let that happen to them again.

BORDER PATROL. But all software-based copy-protection schemes can be broken. The only way a DRM can really work is to control all of the hardware the video data flow through, including the monitor. The problem is that at some point an unencrypted video signal is sent to a display device. It can be split off before it gets there or videotaped once it's on the screen.

The AACS (Advanced Access Content System) standard supported by both the Sony and Microsoft camps addresses this problem. The standard calls for scaling down HD content to a low resolution if the player isn't hooked up to an HDCP-compliant connection. HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) is a DRM system invented by Intel (INTC) that attempts to control video and audio as it flows out of a player and onto a display. In other words, if the player is connected to a monitor without the right cables, the quality of the image will be deliberately degraded.

Blu-ray, however, goes beyond the AACS, incorporating two other protection mechanisms: The ROM Mark is a cryptographic element overlaid on a "legitimate" disk. If the player doesn't detect the mark, then it won't play the disc. This will supposedly deal with video-camera-in-the-theatre copies.

STRANGLEHOLD ON CONTENT. Even more extreme is a scheme called BD+ that deals with the problem of what to do when someone cracks the encryption scheme. The players can automatically download new crypto if the old one is broken. But there's an ominous feature buried in this so-called protection mechanism: If a particular brand of player is cryptographically "compromised," the studio can remotely disable all of the affected players. In other words, if some hacker halfway across the globe cracks Sony's software, Sony can shut down my DVD player across the Net.

The Blu-ray's DRM scheme is simply anti-consumer. The standard reflects what the studios really want, which is no copying of their material at all, for any reason. They're clearly willing to take active and unpleasant measures to enforce this. Last year's Sony/BMG rootkit fiasco comes to mind (see BW Online, 11/29/05, "Sony BMG's Costly Silence"). The possibility that they would disable thousands of DVD players, not because they're hacked but just because they might be vulnerable, would have been unthinkable a few years ago; it's clearly an option today.

What do consumers really want? We want high-quality video and sound, of course. These days we also want interoperability. When we buy content, we expect to play it on every gadget that we own. The newest video servers require content to be copied to the hard drives, so that they can stream video throughout the house. Soon, we'll also want to take the movies that we paid for with us on small multimedia players like video iPods.

OTHER ANSWERS. I support the rights of the studios to protect their content right up until it stops me from doing something reasonable that I want to do. Blu-ray crosses this line.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Mar 2007 @ 0:12

230.3.2007 17:11

right on pigfister!! Thanks for the informative article...

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