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HTPC? The saviour? The solution to the format war?

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by Kazman, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. Kazman

    Kazman
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    Think about it, who is their right minds will fork out on two different players, the format war will going to kill Hi-Def, I for one will not be buying any standalone hardware until there is a winner.

    In the meantime, I think I'll go the HTPC route for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

    What are other peoples thoughts on this?
     
  2. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    The HTPC route will require the right OS (Windows Vista has the required DRM support AIUI for HD-DVD - though no news on BluRay), the right video card (as it will require HDCP output on DVI or HDMI), and the right drive. It is also possible it will require the right motherboard and processor...

    It certainly isn't going to be easy - and you won't be able to shove an HD-DVD drive into an existing HTPC - as very few (if any) have support for HDCP.
     
  3. Kazman

    Kazman
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    Exactly why I'm playing the waiting game on the Hi-Def media formats.

    Format wars suck big time!
     
  4. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    ...and the right HDCP LCD monitor too; and there are hardly any of those around.

    StooMonster
     
  5. AML

    AML
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    If you think about it, you would need the right OS, HDCP card, monitor.
    Much more expensive in the long run than buyng a player.
    (as long as you already have an HDCP TV)

    All this HDCP nonsense is killing the HD market a lot quicker than any format war.
     
  6. Welwynnick

    Welwynnick
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    The thing that really got me interested in AV was watching DVDs on the PC instead of the TV. I couldn't believe how much better it was; how much of our DVD collection was being hidden by the player/TV. I think it's only been since PCs hit the 1GHz-ish mark that they have been able to process SD video in real time, but they are now able to de-interlace and scale and display video on small, expensive high-resolution monitors, and make the most of the format.

    There is a big step up to processing HD video, which after MPEG4 decoding will have about 5 times the bandwidth to process. I get the impression that, fast as computing develops, we are only just there yet. However, yesterdays bleeding edge soon becomes today's commodity, and PCs that capable and affordable will surely be with us when the necessary stored and broadcast material become available.

    That may make them a very cost-effective dual format video player and processor - think how little run-of-the-mill DVD drives and video cards cost now. They would have to be to compete with PS3. Roll on next year.

    Nick
     
  7. RockySpieler

    RockySpieler
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    And you will not be able to record on them either.......
     
  8. Kazman

    Kazman
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    Yup, it's official, format wars suck!!!! :mad: I'm not buying any model, will just wait for the dual format machines.
     
  9. zag2me

    zag2me
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    Give it time chaps, all this new fangled copy protection will be bypassed in no time. HTPC will definitly be the way forward, I use mine for dvd playback and hdtv playback already and the quality is awesome.

    Format wars are great!! brings prices down and gives us choice. IT doesnt bother me which format wins, especially if you go the htpc route. Dual format readers will be out in no time.
     
  10. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I don't think it will.

    A VERY expensive way forward if it is possible at all for some. HD and SD are easy peasy in comparison.

    Edited for politeness ;)

    I remain unconvinced we will see HCPC / Dual format readers in the near term. Too much has to change to make this happen, like the operating systems we currently use!
     
  11. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    If dual format drives remain elusive, is it still feasible to have two drives in the same PC? I will admit to knowing absolutely nothing about HTPC's.
     
  12. bbdivo

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    Yup you sure can have 2 drives (and more!) in your pc, however if HDCP is as much of an issue as they say then HDCP compatible video cards (ATI and Nvidia have announced them for next year) and an HDCP compliant O/S (the next incarnation of Windows will have it) would more than likely be required. It's gonna be an expensive upgrade!!! May end up being cheaper to get two seperate players, one for HD-DVD and one for Blu-Ray!
     
  13. phillfyspoon

    phillfyspoon
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    there are bluray writers coming out next year so im going to write my own HD onto 25gb discs :thumbsup: or 50gb for multiple episodes if they arnt to expspensive to buy discs
     
  14. StooMonster

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    DVD's CSS protection was only cracked because of a human error: someone forgot to encrypt a single key. If this had not happened we still may not have access to DVD contents today!

    The new CSS systems on next gen discs account for this human error problem, so even if individual keys are broken the system can remain secure.

    Why the DVD Hack Was a Cinch - 2 Nov 1999
    http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,32263,00.html?tw=wn_story_related

    StooMonster
     
  15. skeet94

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    StooMonster: Don't mean to argue with you but every hacker believes if an encryption can be created, an encryption can be broken...there's always a way :).
     
  16. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Not on a quantum-encryption system - basic laws of physics render that uncrackable. But fortunately HDCP is not a quantum encryption system. :)

    It's hard to say what'll happen with HDCP. I'm inclined to think that companies are going to be quite careful about safe-guarding their HDCP chips when the fines for not doing so will run into 7 or even 8 figures. The ability for any new piece of broadcast HD or any new HD disc to render a hacked piece of hardware permanently inoperable without warning is also not insignificant, IMO. If you were a video disc player manufacturer, would you risk allowing a few chips to go missing if the result was that many of your already-sold players could quite legally be turned into paperweights as a result?
     
  17. dan1979

    dan1979
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    I seem to remember Microsoft saying the Xbox was unhackable, then one day a mysterious video appeared on the net of two men, an xbox and a DVD-R...
     
  18. HarshKarma

    HarshKarma
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    From: http://www.securityfocus.com/news/236

    "An experienced IT person could recover the master key in two weeks given four standard PCs and fifty HDCP displays," said Ferguson. "The master key allows you to recover every other key in the system and lets you decrypt [HDCP video content], impersonate a device, or create new displays and start selling HDCP compatible devices."

    I originally read about this on Niels' website some time ago (can't find the specific page now). He hasn't published due to fear of DMCA but he's sure others will. (Note: the example above - 4pc's & 50 displays - was for someone who was experienced with IT but not necessarily a cryptographer. The insinuation was that a good cryptographer could manage it with a lot less displays - IIRC it was something like 'a few'.)

    Regarding the disabling hardware:
    If the master key is broken then all device keys generated from that master key would be broken. Can you imagine the bedlam if 100,000 TVs suddenly stopped working? Or even worse every piece of equipment from a specific manufacturer.

    While I agree the threat is not insignificant and I can see hardware being disabled if specific device keys were broken, I can't see how the large manufacturers would allow wholesale disabling when a master key is broken - it simply wouldn't be good business for them.
     

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