Further proof that next-gen optical formats are horrid

(via CDFreaks)

In case you had any thoughts about buying a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player as soon as the first such devices hit the street, please reconsider.  The first generation of these new hi-definition formats will not be fully functional:

As HD-DVD and Blu-ray are getting ready for their launch under the interim license agreement for AACS copy protection, all the first round of players launched under this agreement will not offer any managed copy support, regardless of what interfaces the player may have and no firmware updates will be made available to offer such support either.  Basically, all players released under the interim license will function as basic players.

“But Randy,” you may say, “I don’t plan on copying next-gen optical media.  Why would I care if managed copy support is not available?”

Well, for one, leaving out this feature means the devices are not specification-level complete.  I personally have no use for hardware that is released before a spec is complete and functionally buildable.  Furthermore, once the spec is finalized, these first-gen devices won’t be upgradeable.  If anything changes in the spec that requires certain managed copy support features to be present, you’ll have a high-end paperweight which will be unable to play the media it was purchased to play.

In the finalised AACS specification, a minimum level of managed copy support will be mandatory.  Despite early concerns about Blu-ray’s additional copy protection layers – BD Plus and ROM Mark, these should not directly affect the format’s ability to handle managed copy.  Users who are interested in equipment supporting managed copy are advised to wait until the time comes when the AACS spec is finalised and players start supporting this.

Sure, I’m probably over-reacting.  But media companies don’t care about consumers.  If there was concern for consumers, the Sony rootkit fiasco never would have happened.  Don’t let these companies sell you something that isn’t complete.  Don’t give your money up for equipment based on unfinished specifications unless the hardware you buy is guaranteed upgradeable to final specifications.  Don’t let the companies get away with screwing early adopters just to get hardware out by an announced deadline.  Demand finished products, especially when the device is supposedly better than what you have now.  Wait for final specifications before you put down your money.

[tags]HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, consumer abuse[/tags]