Sony Backs Down (Again)

I observed previously that we should avoid HDTV because, among other reasons, the next-generation HD DVD security standards isn’t supported by any equipment currently manufactured.

Well, that hasn’t changed, but at least one studio is promising to be nice:

At a technical briefing last week, Sony said that it will not use the Image Constraint Token to downsample the video output on analog HDTVs.

Why not? Well, the next-generation DVD space has been split into two standards: Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Right now, it seems that HD-DVD has a slight edge. And who is the prime mover behind Blu-ray? Sony. So this is a move to try and edge out HD-DVD in perceived quality.

Of course, the other studios could make the same pledge to counter Sony. Surprise: they have, all except Warner.

This is good news, at least in the short term. Of course, the technology still remains in the spec, and there’s no guarantee that the studios won’t turn the downsampling on in future movie releases.