Archive for the 'HDTV' Category

HD-DVD Cracked

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

DiscHD-DVD discs use an encryption scheme known as AACS, which has a publicly-disclosed algorithm—the secret lies in the 128-bit encryption keys that are carefully guarded by the makers of HD-DVD players. A key was discovered and, this last week, posted on digg. It received over 15,000 diggs (which is a lot) before being removed at the request of the MPAA and the AACS Licensing Authority. The digg community went absolutely berserk, and for the next day or so every subsequent post was either about the key or had the key in the comments.

Back in January a program named BackupHDDVD was published. It implements the AACS algorithm but requires an encryption key as input, so at the time it was downplayed as the crack that wasn’t. But now, with the key, it works just fine. Note that AACS has a mechanism to disable keys, but it only works on future disc releases.

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Display Connectors Made Simple

Monday, April 30th, 2007

TelevisionHere at the Chad’s News network command center, we strongly believe in getting every possible bit of use out of our aging computer equipment. Hands-on exposure to new technology, therefore, is not something we often experience. Thus the need for articles such as the one below, which gives a good overview of current and upcoming display connectors. It covers VGA, DVI, HDMI, UDI, and DisplayPort, as well as some of their relative strengths and weaknesses. Definitely something to read before purchasing a monitor or video card.

(via Slashdot)

Sony’s Never-Ending DRM Woes

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

DiscRegular Chad’s News readers will recall the disastrous results that occurred when Sony included a rootkit as part of its audio CD copy protection. Well now they’ve done it again. They’re selling DVDs that, because of anti-copy measures, are unreadable in some players—including ones that they manufacture. Oops. Sony, perhaps learning a lesson from the last snafu, was quick to recall the defective discs and offer replacements.


Return of the Rabbit Ears: HDTV Via Antenna

Friday, February 16th, 2007

HDTVHere’s something I bet you didn’t know. Local television stations are broadcasting their high-definition signals over the air. With just an inexpensive HD antenna, it’s possible to get high-quality digital television with no monthly fee. And since it’s digital, you get a sharp, clear image unlike with antennas of old. This is a less expensive alternative to paying for cable or satellite broadcasts. The only downside is that you don’t get the non-local channels like HBO, CNN, etc.

(via Kim Komando)

More on the DVD Format Wars

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

DiscThe high-definition DVD format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD is still in progress, but manufacturers are coming up with some useful solutions. The South Korean firm LG has announced a player that will accept both types of discs, while Warner Bros. has simply decided to release its movies in both formats on one disc—one side is Blu-ray and the other is HD-DVD. Yet perhaps both formats will be a moot point, as we may see flash cards replace optical discs completely.


Ultraman Hits 40

Monday, November 27th, 2006

TelevisionFor those like myself who are old enough to remember the original Ultraman series from the late 60s/early 70s, here’s a history of the the franchise. While not that popular in the US, it’s still going strong in Japan. I have fond memories of the original series and recently got a chance to see it on DVD—man is it bad!

(via Slashdot)

Is 1080p Worth The Extra Cost?

Monday, November 13th, 2006


Short answer: not unless you’re a hard-core videophile. The reviewer had a difficult time telling the difference between native 1080p on a 1080-line display and 1080i on a 720-line display.…
(via digg)

CableCARDs Slow To Gain Acceptance, Have Problems

Monday, October 2nd, 2006


CableCARDs are computer cards that can be put into certain televisions and other related devices (think TiVo series 3). They essentially replace the set-top cable box and allow the television to directly manipulate the cable signal. The CableCARD is provided by the cable TV company and has a standardized interface so that any device with a CableCARD slot can accept any CableCARD.

The reality is a bit different. First, CableCARD acceptance is low: 200,000 users out of the millions of cable TV subscribers. This is due, in part, because only the newest television devices are compatible with them. Thus you have to purchase a new TV or TiVo to use the CableCARD. In addition, the current crop of CableCARDs doesn’t support two-way communication (think Pay-Per-View, interactive programming guides, and video on demand), so some viewers are sticking with the set-top box even though they could use the CableCard. Second, there are incompatibilities between various CableCARDs and the various television devices, meaning you may not be able to use a CableCARD in your brand-new large screen TV.…

Three Formats, One Disc

Friday, September 22nd, 2006


Can’t decide between DVD, Blu-Ray, or HD-DVD? Researchers have developed technology that can combine all three on one disc.…

Monitors – CRT vs. LCD

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006


Working at a computer store, I know that we sell many, many more LCD monitors than CRTs. For certain applications, however, the CRT is a better option. The linked article goes into the relative merits of each.…

Is The Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD War Over?

Monday, July 10th, 2006


This really comes as no surprise to me. The DVD-R vs. DVD+R format war was resolved by simply making the players compatible with both formats, and now Ricoh has managed to do the same with HD-DVD and Blu-ray. Expect to see a lot more dual-format players.…

Blu-ray Has Arrived

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006


If you blinked, you may have missed it, but the first Blu-ray movies were released last week, with the first Blu-ray player released a few days later. Initial impressions of the Samsung player were underwhelming, as was the review of one of the few available movies. Expect players to get better and cheaper, and ditto with the movies. We’re in the midst of a format war between Toshiba’s HD-DVD and Sony’s Blu-ray, but as far as I can tell, the general level of apathy over this subject is pretty high.