Thank you HP

Hewlett Packard has formally asked the Blu-ray Disc Association to add Managed Copy and iHD to the final specs (HD Beat story). The addition of these two specifications, especially mandatory Managed Copy would be the final (or one of the final anyhow) nail in the coffin of HD-DVD. Mandatory Managed Copy, and initial cost savings to the replicators, is about the only advantage HD-DVD has over Blu-ray. Managed copy allows you to copy a disc to your media center PC and distribute the content around your house. It keeps you from sharing it over the Internet however. iHD I honestly never heard of until now, and I don’t know if it is truly needed, and if it indeed can been implemented on Blu-ray. I guess it deepens on if iHD is Windows based, or if it can be ported to Blu-ray’s Java based engine. Certainly Intel would probably support Blu-ray in addition to its already announced support for HD-DVD if Managed Copy was added to the specification, I am not sure if they would demand iHD or not. Microsoft is another story, but if Managed Copy and iHD were added, I would guess the format war would basically be over and they would support Blu-ray if HD-DVD was no longer a viable option. Fingers crossed.
Of course on the bad side, both HD-DVD and Blu-ray will not output their HD signal on the analog outputs. Even if your HDTV has DVI inputs, unless it is a version that supports HDCP, you will still get the same regular def signal that the analog input people get. This is all to protect the content, and personally, I honestly don’t have that much of a problem with that aspect of the move by the two camps. Far more frightening is some of the draconian protection measures in their formats, most notably Blu-ray which can lock a player from putting out any HD signal, or blocking certain discs all together. The threat of having to replace your fancy Blu-ray drive with a whole new one because somebody somewhere hacked on is insane, everyone is made guilty even if they don’t apply the hack. I can see applying the lock if they can detect you adding the hack, but to lock it regardless…