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November 6, 2010

Off into the Sunset

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:12 pm

If you’re the type to read Engadget, you’ve probably heard of the “Analog Sunset.”  If not, you probably think it’s what used to happen at night before the Internet was invented by Al Gore.  Either way, it has implications on your next Blu-ray purchase that you might want to know about.

Effective January 1, 2011, new limitations will be introduced on Blu-ray disks and players that prevent you from watching content in it’s full HD glory. 

Will this affect you?   To find out, just look back.  Rather, look in the back of your Blu-ray player.  If it connects to your home theater through the “component video” instead of through the HDMI output, then it well may.  What will happen is this:

You’ll get a newly released Blu-ray disk that will contain a special “constraint token.”  This token will prevent your BD player from outputting the content in all its HD glory through the component video port.

What are they doing this?  And who be they!?

They are doing it because the component video output is analog and does not have any digital copyright protection built in.  They are the AACS licensing authority comprised signficantly by the studios who wish to protect their goodies from unlawful copying.

So, where does that leave you?  Don’t panic just yet.  Most likely, if you’ve invested in recent televisions and other A/V equipment, you can just unplug your component cable and swap it out for HDMI.  And, if not, then you probably don’t care that some of your new content will look, well, the way it looked on the old system you still have.

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