Next Generation is reporting that there are secret deal afoot to keep ICT from consumers until the end of the decade. To me this all smacks of incompetence rather than conspiracy. These companies do not have much of a history of cooperation. One of them inevitably will break the deal to grab a little more market share. If consumers are hurt and HDTV penetration remains low it is only due to corporate blundering.
What do you think?
Actually this is good, I don't think there any consumers anywhere that actually want the ICT. It provides no useful functionality; it's more or less a flag I believe indicating the picture should be downgraded if an HDCP compliant input is not being used. A full hi-def image of equal quality can be displayed via component cables, DVI, and HDMI connections without the copy protection feature, so adding the ICT has absolutely no benefit to anyone except the movie studios(*). HDCP was added late in the game, so most HDTV sets out there don't support the feature. I don't think it's incompetence, I think someone finally realized that 90%(**) of their target market doesn't have an HDCP compliant set.
Not utilizing this feature will probably gain more market share for new hi-def formats as now people with HDTV sets that don't have HDCP compliant inputs (quite a few out there) can watch the full hi-def image instead of the picture being downgraded. Why would you bother buying HD-DVD or Blu-Ray if all you get is the downgraded signal? My HDTV doesn't support HDCP so I'm not buying either format as long as the possibility of ICT being enabled is looming on the horizon.
"If consumers are hurt and HDTV penetration remains low it is only due to corporate blundering."
That I agree with, and it sure appears that's exactly what's been going on.
(*) = how much benefit? Little to none I imagine, more just their peace of mind really. The downgraded signal still available is more than adequate for most people who copy/download movies, I can't imagine how it will slow/prevent piracy.
(**) = I just made that number up, I haven't seen any reliable numbers. Typically it's suggested a very high percentage of HDTV's actually out there don't support HDCP.
Out of every single stinking thing in the next-gen wars HD is literally at the bottom of my list.
Ok Sony, you have HD, but that doesnt change the fact that you're games are crappy recycled material with better graphics. :-P