Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Not Switching Yet

I'm intrigued by Apple's announcement of AppleTV. It looks like it will kind of, well, suck... at least at first. We'll see how it evolves. For now, you won't be able to download shows from iTunes straight to your ATV box, nor will you be able to use a USB stick for extra storage. It won't support ripped DVDs, nor DivX files.

But, via BoingBoing, this is the interesting bit...
The Apple TV device has HDMI and component outputs. As of the launch, it doesn't have the HDCP anti-copying technology.

As you might imagine, this is an issue to media companies and they aren't sure if they'll supply HD content. They want money but they want 'security'.

Consider that the Xbox 360 has video component HD out (no HDCP) and the Apple TV will have HDMI and component out (no HDCP).

Is the de facto standard now set by Apple & Microsoft?
Obviously both systems will be all DRMed up anyway (Fairplay and Playsforsure, we can assume) but HDCP is a truly nasty bit of technology. To see it be spurned by both Apple and MSFT makes my heart grow a size for these companies, if only a bit.

The other bit of speculation is that the hardware in the AppleTV box will be easy to port the open-source, free, MythTV software. That would give it the functionality it currently lacks, and might make me buy one after all.

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