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The Future of TV

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I don´t want to hijack the dumbing down thread so here is the future of TV.

In February of 2009, all TV broadcasts must be digital by act of Congress. Some areas may convert even earlier. Which means you need a compatible TV if you´re receiving over the air broadcasts. If you have cable or satellite, things will vary by provider.

I have an 11 year old analog TV. In February of 2009, it turns into a pumpkin. HD/Digital TVs are quite a bit of money. At least they´re more money than I think TV is worth. There is talk of converter boxes being available to convert the digital signal to analog for old tvs. Haven´t seen one yet and quality and price are still unknown.

The media companies are scared spitless of high quality signals going to consumers in an unprotected state. So they lobbied the FCC to require the media flag to manage recording broadcast content and what can be done with the recorded content. (mainly that you can´t keep the recording more than 30 days) Consumer advocacy largely killed the media flag, but it could be resurrected at any time.

For HD DVD/Blue ray content and projected for most other content streams, they came up with a Digital Rights Management scheme called HDCP. Every component in the signal chain must be HDCP compliant for you to view HD content. So for a home theater, you need HDCP compliant DVD player and TV. If your video signal passes through some other device, it too must be HDCP compliant. Every disk will have a blacklist of components that have been compromised. If one of your components has been blacklisted, you don´t get HD content, but a severely downgraded content roughly equal to today´s TV quality. If someone in East Timor has hacked your DVD player to steal video content, your DVD player will not provide HD playback to any device for future media. If they hacked your TV, then it too will not display HD content for future media.

Most HD TVs sold today aren´t HDCP compliant. Only Blue-Ray DVD players are currently HDCP compliant. On the computer front, the picture is even more bleak. Your DVD drive and the associated player, Video card and its drivers, Operating System, Monitor and cables must all be HDCP Compliant. That´s a scary list with too many vulnerabilities because the PC is the most likely place for stolen content.

Except that HDCP is insecure. It is a lousy encryption method and was broken a few months before any company had even agreed to use it. Encryption keys have been published on Digg.

Mostly, HDCP is bad for innocent consumers. It adds cost and hassle to every piece of equipment. It punishes consumers for others deeds.

So I see the future of TV as pretty bleak. Certainly not worth the cost, the risk of expensive equipment being blacklisted, the trampling of Fair Use rights and enriching media companies for punishing me.

Ecologically, there´s a large stream of waste product from all this too. Analog TVs, non-HDCP gear, Blacklisted gear...
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #2 of 5
Phil, I think you've listed all the right reasons, but reached a wrong conclusion.

Just look around you at all the cell phones that have become permanent apendages to peoples faces. You think the vast array of folks who have to have the latest, newest, bestest electronics are going to hesitate going that route---particularly since the HD proponents have convinced them that it's the only way to go.

You think most people won't buy into this? Go look at the number of 8-tracks that were sold.

Me, I'm like you. TV just isn't important enough in this household to go through that kind of investment.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #3 of 5

I would not panick at all, check out this forum here, the best of the net on audio, video

AVS Forum - Home
post #4 of 5
When the annoucement was made about HDTV, I saw that they will have a converter for non-compatible tvs. In fact, the article even said the FCC would offer a coupon for a percentage off on the price. My one and a half year old tv isn't compatible! We certainly don't want to have to buy a new one!

I don't see today's advances being that much different from when we switched from 8-track to cassettes to cds or from antennae to cable to satellite. The only difference is it seems to get more costly for the consumer with each advance or is it simply because the economy is so much different today?
post #5 of 5
Tv's might be obsolete, I just subscribded to: Joost™ , its the future of tv, now its only on Béta

June2007 is supposed too be for all ;)
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