Constrain This, Pal

"Image Constraint Token." A piquant phrase, yes? Roll it around on your tongue a few times before I tell you what it is. OK, ready? It's the name of the flag that will down-res HDTV in the soon-to-debut Blu-ray and HD DVD formats under the rights management scheme known as AACS (Advanced Access Content System). The restriction will apply only to the player's component video outputs, because they're analog, and therefore give the studios security nightmares. If your HDTV has HDMI, you needn't worry. HDMI is digital, easier to protect, and will work at full resolution. But if you're an early HDTV adopter and component is the only HD input on your set—ouch. The Image Constraint Token will halve resolution from 1920 by 1080 pixels to 960 by 540. It is an option, not a requirement. Studios likely to use it reportedly include Disney, NBC Universal, Paramount, and Warner. Fox has argued against it and Sony hasn't taken a position. The logic behind the ICT is staggeringly faulty: Does anyone really believe that cutting resolution in half will stop pirates in their tracks?

John Pritchard's picture

Image Constraint Token. Well there goes my plan to buy a PS3.

Fedrual Harrison's picture

I think they are shooting themselves in the foot! It is the early adopter that gets the momentum going for new technologies. My family and friends have HDTVs because they saw it at my house. Not becuase they read about it in a magazine (no offense intended)or even saw it in a show room. They also saw DVD and DVR at my house. Whenever a family or friend has a tech question they ask me. Do you know what I'm going to tell them when they ask me about Hi Def DVD? I'm going to tell them don't trust the technology. It will be obsolete soon anyway just like my TV. That is why DVHS never took off. Everyone knew something better was coming soon. In the real world only 15% of Americans even have a HDTV. An even smaller percentage have it connected to a High def input. Why? they are happy with the old DVD format. Why did VOOM die? There weren't enough people willing and able to support it. I predict so it will be with Hi Def DVDs. Sure the picture is better but is it $5,000 better? (New HDTV + HD DVD) Not for me.I'm out!

8PkJSnVPnU's picture

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