Why HDCP must die!

Why HDCP must die:

1 There is no encryption or copy protection that cannot be circumvented. (Remember when SONY's billion-dollar disk protection scheme was felled by a dude with a felt tip?) Blu-ray and HD-DVD copy protection already have been circumvented, and the days of HDCP are, of course, numbered. The only people truly limited by such ill-conceived 'copy-proofing' schemes are law abiding consumers. A pirate's life for me.

2 HDCP cannot be fully implemented, and is virtually useless as it is currently implemented. Currently, you can still play HDCP content over composite, component, VGA, etc., Although downscaled. With composite, I'm told the downscaling is not all that significant. Below certain screen sizes, it should be imperceptible. One can still easily copy such content through a composite or component line with little loss in resolution. So, while it does not really prevent copying of such content, it does make it an expensive headache for the average consumer to enjoy the full capabilities of Bluray, HDTV, and HDMI. This encourages consumers to simply forgo any or all of these (as I am considering with my new HTPC build.) If HDCP is ever fully implemented (which would mean HTCP content will play only through an all-HDCP HDMI/DVI device chain) then most of their potential market will be cut off, because customers either have one or more non-compliant devices in their system, or must use component or composite connections at one or more points. Furthermore, I have read several reports of some systems having a lag between the audio and the video caused my multiple seconds-long security handshakes along the respective device chains.

3 According to my latest research, it is still impossible to 'split out' the audio in a surround sound system while sending the video on to an HDTV. Apparently, the creators of HDCP assumed we all wanted to enjoy high resolution 5+ megabit per second high definition audio through a pair of tinny built-in TV speakers. Good thinking.

4 HDCP requires customers to spend extra money on extra electronics in every component of their home theater system. For their extra money they get no extra benefits, but rather a decrease in the capability and compatibility of their system. Sign me up.

5 The owners have jealously constrained PC harware manufacturers' implementation of the technology, and even now, with 'HDCP compliant' hardware (such as there is) you cannot get full HDMI resolution audio through those PC-base HDMI components. (I could be wrong on this point, as there are 2 sound cards now available which send audio over HDMI ports, however their specs are somewhat vague, and I have difficulty beleiving that current chipsets would have the native capability of handling the full 5+MBPS bitrate of full HDMI audio, when until very recently the maximum acheivable output was 1.5 MBPS via S/PDIF). I recently tried (very hard) to configure an HTPC with harware support for HDMI/HDPC/Bluray with Dolby Digital and DTS surround, and ultimately threw my hands up in disgust. The technology just isn't there.

In short, HDCP deserves to die. Horribly. It is a stupid technology implemented stupidly by stupid people. DIE, HDCP!!!
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  1. Bitter are we??
  2. Ever so slightly. ;)
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