Tuesday, February 17, 2004

HD TiVo later this year

TiVo and other DVR manufacturers will be releasing high-definition-capable recording devices later this year according to this article on Wired. What does this mean? For those that just want regular TiVo functionality, it means that the price on regular (i.e., non-HD) TiVo hardware should drop considerably; expect to see more package deals that include free TiVo hardware. For those that have been waiting to record shows in HD (and skip the commercials), it means you will be doing it by the end of the year.

One of the big concerns for television stations and Hollywood is content protection (although, as with all TiVo-type products, the television stations are very concerned about the ability to skip commercials). According to the article above, TiVo systems will employ a Digital Visual Interface (DVI)-driven protection scheme, which actually checks to see if an HD device is authorized to play the content. The DVI works with High-bandwidth Digital Content encryption, which encrypts the recorded information until the DVI check has been authorized. I give it about 1-2 months following the release of the TiVo HD device before there is some sort of "black-box" that will break this DVI protection.

Let's see how quickly some hacker breaks this protection scheme. Following that, let's see how quickly HD video extraction from these boxes end up on Kazaa and drive the next revolution in digital downloading . . . video.

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