[opendtv] High-Def Forced To Down-Convert

  • From: Monty Solomon <monty@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: undisclosed-recipient: ;
  • Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 08:54:35 -0500

In deal reached by eight-company consortium
By Paul Sweeting  1/23/2006

Some buyers of HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc players might not get 
everything they bargained for.

In a deal reached this week after tense negotiations, the 
eight-company consortium behind the Advanced Access Content System, 
created for use by both high-def formats to prevent unauthorized 
copying, has agreed to require hardware makers to bar some high-def 
signals from being sent from players to displays over analog 
connections, sources said.

Instead, the affected analog signal must be "down-converted" from the 
full 1920x1080 lines of resolution the players are capable of 
outputting to 960x540 lines--a resolution closer to standard DVDs 
than to high-def. Standard DVDs are typically encoded at 720 
horizontal by 480 vertical lines of resolution.

The 960x540 standard stipulated in the AACS agreement represents 50% 
higher resolution than standard-def, but only one-quarter the 
resolution of full high-def. Whether a particular movie is 
down-converted will be up to the studio.

The players will be required to recognize and respond to a digital 
flag, called an Image Constraint Token, inserted into the movie data.

If the flag is set to "on," the player must down-convert the analog 
signal. If set to "off," the player can pass the full high-def signal 
over the analog connections.

The studios are divided over whether to require such down-conversion 
and are likely to follow separate policies.

Hardware makers had generally resisted the requirement, but under the 
new deal, ICT recognition will be included in the AACS license that 
all device makers and playback software vendors will have to sign.



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