HD-DVD goes completely knee-jerk

Facing the inevitable truth that they are losing the battle, it’s not surprising that the HD-DVD camp will do just about anything at this stage in the game to create the illusion of being the high definition forerunner. Last week we reported about delays in the Advanced Access Content System (AACS), which handles many of the security and copy protection features of the upcoming HD-DVD and Blu-Ray formats. Just before the weekend these issues have been resolved and the AACS specs have been finalized. Ordinarily however, this delay would have set back the launch of the HD-DVD format because it takes some time for these new specs to be implemented in the hardware and the firmware that controls it.

Too much time, some execs at Toshiba must have thought because today information trickled down that Toshiba plans to launch their HD-DVD players in March still – with incomplete firmware. In order to make sure they launch the format ahead of Blu-Ray Toshiba – and potentially other HD-DVD partners – are willing to launch incomplete hardware with a number of features disabled. One could almost call these players defective because it is clear that these players will turn out to be completely incompatible with certain aspects of the HD-DVD specs and undoubtedly cause problems down the road, such as lock-ups, inaccessible features and possibly the complete rejection of select releases.

Isn’t that yet another reason why you should stay away from HD-DVD? To me it clearly is and I can feel nothing but pity for those poor buyers who will end up purchasing such malfunctioning hardware.

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