Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Hubris of Sony

Tom's Hardware writes:

In an announcement last night, the Blu-ray Disc Association, led by Sony, representing one of two competing high-definition DVD formats, stated it will simultaneously embrace digital watermarking, programmable cryptography, and a self-destruct code for Blu-ray disc players.

Wow! I am a firm believer that ordinary non-tech folks would never let a thing like DRM get in the way of buying consumer grade electronics. But copy protection schemes like self-destruct code and requiring a permanent internet connection to play the movie in your hand will drive consumers away from Blu-Ray. And I'm also a firm believer that if Blu-Ray fails, the PS3 fails.

More insight @ slashdot.


Blogger blackvelvetjesus said...

This reminds me of the original DivX player that Circuit City pimped back in the 1990's. The DivX player had the same ridiculous contraints, more or less. The only thing to survive that debacle was the DivX format.

Linear optical storage is old hat. Sony and friends need to invest in emerging technologies instead of trying to promote incremental improvements in existing technology.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Darkstar said...

I'm all for incremental improvements, if they're really improvements. I mean, I prefer quantum leaps, but I'll take either.

But the idea of a permanent connection to the internet being required in order to watch a movie that you've already bought and possess is just, well, insane.

And the idea of buying a bluray disc and having it self-destruct on you is an enviromentalist's nightmare. If the technology takes off, there'll be more of these in garbage dumps than AOL CD's.

Surely there's got to be a better way, give even current digital technology, than building a distribution system that requires that you throw away a dead bluray disc every time you watch a movie.

12:14 AM  
Blogger blackvelvetjesus said...

Ovonic Unified Memory is the future. Linear optical storage is crap compared to OUM.

12:55 AM  
Blogger FuzzyDave said...

BVJ beat me to the DivX comment.

7:42 AM  
Blogger clu said...

I'm perfectly happpy with optical media for movies, because the media only has to be fast enough to play the movie.

Though I don't think HD movies are a quantum leap over standard DVDs, they do look significantly nicer. I would have preferred the next standard come out later, supporting a resolution that's 4x better than 1080. I read somewhere that in order to capture all but the finest nuances of a 35mm film, you need about 4000 lines of resolution.

The whole internet thing is D-U-M dumb. Not only will people have to buy new expensive teevees, they require internet to fully enjoy HD content. What if my internet goes down right before I'm about to start a movie? The more requirements/restrictions you put on a consumer base, the less likely that base will adopt it.

The self destruct code is different from self destructing media.

From Tom's Article:

This controversial technology would require that disc players maintain permanent connections to content providers via the Internet, making it possible for discs that fail a security check to trigger a notification process, enabling the provider to send the player a sort of "self-destruct code." This code would come in the form of a flash ROM "update" that would actually render the player useless

That's right! It artifically breaks your Blu-ray player if it thinks you're breaking copyright restrictions. Brilliant!

8:21 AM  

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