Joe Wilcox on HDTV and Microsoft DRM in Longhorn

Microsoft Monitor: The Four Musketeers: “Microsoft has made content owners the priority over consumers with respect to protected content. I sympathize with Microsoft’s position. The company has legitimate concerns that publishers won’t allow their high-definition content to be available for PCs. Most publishers probably wouldn’t want their HD content to be pirated and traded on P2P sites. Longhorn’s DRM technologies would work to prevent both scenarios: The pirating and unauthorized playing of protected, premium content. My question: Given the large number of PCs in use, would publishers really chuck the content sales opportunity, even given piracy concerns? I’m not convinced.”

This is indeed a shame. For all of you waiting for your Media Center HDTV this is the truth on why it is not here yet. To make PCs more not less restictive in the future is a step backward. Microsoft should use their muscle, might and legal prowess to be the consumer advocate with HDTV.

Thanks, Chris!

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  1. Interesting…. you could have just as easily said, “For those of you waiting for HDTV MCE — this is the technology that should allow Microsoft to convince CableLabs that their boxes are secure enough for CableCARDS.”

    Everyone wants to assume that Microsoft is the 800lb guerilla. However, I think that that’s a simplistic view of it all. When it comes to the cable industry, Microsoft is the weakling that gets sand kicked its eyes.

    Microsoft is trying to expand (and thus justify its numbers) further in to the CE and media market. In order to do so, they must play nice with the content providers and (for the meantime) content distributors.

    While not the popular view, it’s fair to say that Microsoft will be using this technology to give you a choice. It’s not like devices will be free of these restrictions.

    In any case, you can easily look at this news (and these technologies) as the cornerstone *for* HDTV MCE.

    It’s funny – I wrote the article (the Engadget one not the MicrosoftWatch one) to let people know about the technology and to make people aware that it should be part of their monitor buying decision process. Very few people have said, “Wait HDCP is WELL established. Why are the monitor companies pushing VERY high-end products without this? Isn’t that a bit irresponsible?” Oh well…