"This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it."
And what is this mission? Why the mission to bring the wildly successful DVD format into the HD age of course!
I'm sure most of you are aware of this even if, god forbid, you rely on me for your home entertainment technology information!
But just in case, let's recap shall we?
Hi Def TV has been around for a while now, but there still isn't a good way to watch HD movies in your home on a packaged media (OK, smarty pants, there is DVHS and DVD is nowhere close to HD in resolution). That's where the upcoming HD DVD and Blu Ray Disc come in. They're the competing HD disc formats that are going to arrive here starting this holiday season and into next year. They're technically different and incompatible with each other. No one knows who's going to "win" (or neither) since roughly half the movie studios and electronics companies are behind each format; both have major industry players involved and the stakes are high. Of course there's always the possibility that by the time all of this gets sorted out, electronic delivery of HD movies will crush them both like bugs, but since we don't yet know how soon this will arrive on a large scale, it's off the table.
And this is where the "jeopardizing" comes into play. The movie studios have a great fear that if HD copies of their films get onto the Internet unprotected, they'll be screwed. And they believe the easiest way for such copies to get out there would be from people feeding an analog (component video) signal to a computer and that would be that since it's pointless to digitally encrypt something that eventually goes analog. Their solution? Force the hardware companies to nix the analog output all together (aka "the analog hole") or make the HD player dumb down the video to plain 'ol DVD resolution. Thus, the only way to get HD out of these new players (and both formats are more than likely going to adopt this method; the HD DVD camp has basically admitted it), you need a HD display that includes the HDMI connection, this is pretty much going to be TVs made during the last year or later. So I have two HD-capable TVs at home, neither of which will display HD on disc for me because of this inane, paranoid decision (there are about 10 million others out there like me).
A good article getting into this better can be found here and is worth a read if you're interested in this.
This may sound like sour grapes, and it is to an extent, but I've been looking forward to watching HD content, something besides Jay Leno, on my sets for a while now and basically I'm SOL. Thanks. Maybe I'll just sit this one out and wait until the iTunes equivalent for HD movies arrives.