HD is coming... Is Hollywood ready?

On the Hollywood scene


Thanks for your views on the current status of HD in America. Every article that mentions “Hollywood” and “HD” that I've read recently points to the fact — Hollywood is setting back the rollout of HD in America. After all, what's a great format without any native content to watch?

With today's computer technology, I can't see how anyone feels comfortable with old boys like Jack Valenti hanging around trying to keep control of Hollywood's precious content, while trying to deprive consumers of their rights. I bet Mr. Valenti can't even set the clock on his VCR, or change the IP address of his computer — people who don't understand technology should NOT be in charge of what the future holds or nothing will ever change!

I've been in the television business for over 17 years, and have been waiting for HD since 1986. The last thing we need is for Hollywood to obsolete every piece of HD “ready” equipment already sold. Consumers love spending $3000+ on HD sets that will either turn into very expensive NTSC displays, or doorstop. Hollywood has known HD was coming for more than 15 years. Why didn't they think about content protection before this point?

I agree to pay for content all the time, but I expect to watch it when I want and on whatever format I choose. It's up to me, NOT Hollywood, what my viewing options are. I'll be sure to let my Congressman know as well.

Thanks again for standing up for the consumer's rights.
David C. Palmer

Mr. Dick,

Please don't sugarcoat it; tell us how you really feel. Any consumer that has had an iMac barf up the latest purchased music CD can condense your entire page to a common two-word phrase coupled with that ubiquitous and universal one-finger hand salute, and it doesn't mean “You're number one with me!” The entire industry brain trust of legislators, regulators, lawyers, engineers and executives are no match for even one pissed-off techie/geek/nerd consumer. If Hollywood wants to raise the broadcast flag in the battle, they can expect to hear in reply a soul-chilling cry from the legions of 12-year-olds with money and time: “Dude! I got a Dell!” I can see it now… droves of soccer moms hauling the kids to court, the legal kind. It will be more entertaining than the current fare Hollywood serves up.
M.A. Edwards

WELL SAID!!! I was so happy to read your response to that moron from FOX. As a consumer who already spent $12,000 on my HD-capable system, the last thing I want is for my 50-inch plasma to not display HD any more because it's not HDCP-compliant, or my $2250 SDI-modified DVD player to not work because it has an unprotected digital output. But it figures that stance comes from FAUX, the same company who aired Star Wars in 480p, (they had to actually DOWNCONVERT to do that!) and refuses to do ANYTHING in HD. I record HD all the time with my computer because I'm never home to watch the shows when they air. Who is Scott E. Hamilton to tell me how I can or can't use the content in my own home? I'm glad not everyone in this industry is a greedy extortionist. We need more vocal people like you.
Bob Zajko, CBT
Satellite truck engineer

Well, I sent letters regarding copy protection (and my concern about the neutering of my recently purchased plasma without DVI — >HDCP connections) to about half of the members of the Committee on Telecommunications and the Internet (have to insert and stamp the remainder). It's been three weeks and I have not heard a reply from anyone. I didn't expect a flood of responses, but thought by now at least one staffer would have sent me a “thank you for the letter” reply. So at this point, I'm not sure how concerned they are about public response to this issue.
Michael Faulkner
University of Colorado at Boulder

Freezeframe winners

November Freezeframe:
Name the brand and model number of this handheld ENG/field camera. It weighed 16 pounds including lens and viewfinder. Weight of the backpack was not specified.

The correct answer was the Ampex BBC-2 portable camera.


Dale Rhodes, Videolines

December Freezeframe:
Name the brand and model number of this handheld ENG/field camera. It weighed 15 pounds and was part of a series of cameras called “Decade Two” by the manufacturer. The correct answer was the Philips LDK 11 portable cameras, which was a battery- or AC-powered camera featuring full production control either remotely or at the backpack.

There were no correct entries.

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