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09/04/2005 Archived Entry: "Privacy to be a loser in the DVD format wars?"

BOHICA. It looks as if privacy will be the loser in the current DVD format wars. I'd been wondering why the electronics industry should be so very, very eager to change a technology that's this beautiful and wildly successful. I'm sure there are good reasons (higher definition being one). But this explains a lot ...

On top of that, consumers should expect punishment for tinkering with their Blu-ray players, as many have done with current DVD players, for instance to remove regional coding. The new, Internet-connected and secure players will report any "hack" and the device can be disabled remotely.

"A hacked player is any player that is doing something it's not supposed to do," Setos said, adding the jury was still out if regional coding would be maintained or scrapped.

I'm not sure how any "consumer" benefits by having a DVD player that's net-connected and constantly monitored by industry snoops. I'm sure they'll come up with something to make snoop capabilities alluring. But if "any player ... doing something it's not supposed to do" is considered to be hacked and is disabled remotely, there will be a lot of screwups and ticked off purchasers.

Posted by Claire @ 10:41 AM CST

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