Quiet on the Set, Why Blu-ray and HD DVDs are for Suckers, Take Two

Hollywood reportedly in agreement to delay forced quality downgrades for Blu-ray, HD DVD: ars technica is out with a pretty good post this morning saying that Hollywood is close to ditching their “protected path” stupidity that would turn your Blu-ray and HD-DVDs into worthless garbage if you don’t have an HDMI connection on your latest and greatest brand spanking new plasma TV.

I blogged about this a while back with my post, “HD-DVD, Don’t Believe the Hype, Why the First HD-DVD Player, Toshiba’s HD-A1, Sucks the Big One.”

The fact that you must have an HDMI connector in order to watch the higher quality HD-DVD or Blu-Ray DVDs is just plain dumb. I don’t have an HDMI connector on my 43″ plasma and as much as they were hyping the crap out of this technology at CES I’d never buy a player that didn’t support my TV.

For me, the difference between regular DVD and HD DVD is incremental at best. Nowhere near the jump from standard definition TV to high def. Regular DVD is already pretty good, certainly better than standard definition cable. While I might be willing to invest in the technology if a clear format were chosen *and* if guaranteed that it would always play every Blu-Ray or HD DVD I put in it, I in no way will support something that provides me no benefit at all.

And I won’t be held hostage to Hollywood’s nefarious claim that oh we won’t use our cripple technology, we just want it in case we change our mind later. And then according to Ars Technica you have a secret agreement between Microsoft and Hollywood to try and trick people into buying players in the earlier years before Hollywood uses their bait and switch power to turn your HD DVDs incompatible on the device that you just bought.

From Ars Technica: “The conundrum isn’t apparently lost on the consumer electronics industry or Hollywood. According to German-language Spiegel Online, there is reportedly a behind-the-scenes, unofficial agreement between Hollywood and some consumer electronics manufacturers, including Microsoft and Sony, not to use ICT until 2010, or possibly even 2012. Without providing more details, the report suggests that Hollywood isn’t exactly happy with the situation, and could very well renege on the agreement, such that it is.”

I’m glad to hear that Hollywood is finally at least considering how bad the possibility of a justifiable consumer backlash and big “no” vote will be to their ability to market these movies with their crippleware.

Most embarassing to Hollywood’s crippleware of course is the fact that while requiring HDMI “protected path” in order to actually watch the discs, Sony themselves did not even include an HDMI connection on their PlayStation 3.

Hollywood, Microsoft, and the entire consumer electronics industry should abandon the requirement for Blu-Ray and HD DVD players to follow the HDMI “protected path.” It is anti consumer and nobody likes technology when it doesn’t work.