Monday, March 13, 2006

Hollywood thanks its best customers

Derek Slater is not too impressed at how Hollywood go about thanking their best customers.

"Adam Thierer celebrates HDCP and HDMI, which help ensure that your HD content can only be used with crippled devices that obey Hollywood's commands.

Adam appreciates new software that allows him to make nifty uses of his own digital media, like (circumventing DRM to) rip DVDs onto his computer. You'd think he'd be more sympathetic to the damage these restrictions will to early adopters of new tools.

You see, plenty of early HD equipment - TVs, projectors, graphics cards, receivers - doesn't support this content production. When consumers, for instance, get a new HD-DVD, they'll get video of below HD quality (down rezzing). On products that lack an analog output, they might not be able to watch at all -- not because the equipment isn't technically capable of playing HD, but because Hollywood doesn't trust them.

That's how Hollywood thanks its best customers, the early-and-often adopters. It breaks their compatible devices and forces them to repurchase products they already own. Contrary to Thierer's suggestions, the migration to these devices is anything but "natural." What's natural about consumers being forced to throw out their current HDTV and buy another with less features? What consumer wants that?"

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