NEW YORK –
As the world sang Auld Lang Syne to
2010, American’s were also bidding adieu to viewing
high-definition video over the analog outputs on Bluray
That’s because Jan. 1, 2011, marked the first phase
of the so-called “analog sunset” in which any new Bluray
player introduced to the market will only output
high-definition video content over digital HDMI ports,
which for all particle purposes emit signals that are not
recordable by conventional consumer products.
Players introduced last year and earlier can still be
sold with the HD analog output capability (via component
video and RGB jacks) through the end of the year.
As for legacy Blu-ray and HD DVD players, the ability
to deliver an HD signal over analog jacks will be left
up to the studio holding the rights to the content.
The Advanced Access Content System, managed by the AACS LA, is a form of DRM to restrict access
to and copying of content on Blu-ray or HD-DVD
discs. The AACS LA lobbied for and won the right to
use of an Image Constraint Token (ICT) which when
set on a title will instruct supporting HD players to
down convert the analog output to SD (480i or 576i)
Content carrying these “down-rezzing” instructions
must indicate that fact on the box, and content released
prior to Jan. 1, 2011 must continue to function
as the purchaser originally intended it would.
The final stage of the sunset comes in 2013 when
Blu-ray players will no longer carry analog outputs at all.
The analog sunset only applies to Blu-ray and HDDVD
players using the AACS system. Set-top boxes
for cable and satellite TV services are not included,
although some providers include similar technology
in their technology and voluntarily down-rez certain
HDTV content as instructed by the content rights