More HD shenanigans, with this taken from HDTV UK. Dull but worthy.
Sony was among the first studios to choose to drop the HDCP enabled Image Constraint Token (ICT) as a means of protecting early HD movies from piracy. It has now been joined by a number of others including Universal, a stalwart of the HD DVD camp.
The ICT is the system that will downscale the HD image back to standard definition (540 lines) if it fails to find an appropriate HDMI / DVI compatible, HD Ready TV. This had been seen as potentially disastrous in the US where many of the early adopters of HDTV got in the game before HDMI had actually made it on the TVs.
The decision by studios to ignore this optional security feature marks an interesting change in tack for the big studios which are usually so vigorously protective of their content and tend to assume that most consumers are simply pirates waiting to emerge. It looks like the risk of alienating too many consumers from this new technology has helped overcome their fears of illegal copying, but rest assured this break won’t last forever.