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New PS3 model ditches component HD, requiring HDMI for HD video

Posted at 13 July 2011 19:48 CEST by etdragon

Yesterday a Gamestop memo detailing a new PS3 model that would soon replace the 160GB currently on the market.  What’s particularly interesting about this memo is that it implied Sony would be removing the ability to output HD content via component cables.

The memo, originally reported by Kotaku, named the new model the “K” chassis.  From the image of the memo it appeared HD content for games or movies would require a HDMI cable.  The actual text of the  memo stated,

“The ‘K’ systems will come with an AV cable, however, if you want to play a game or watch a movie in high definition you must use an HDMI cable.”

The document went on to encourage employees to sell the HDMI cable alongside the console to increase add on sales.  The memo also clearly states that older PS3 models will continue to support HD content via component and HDMI while future models will require HDMI for HD output.

Ars Technica contacted  Sony for comment and they responded quickly that the report was inaccurate.

“The new CECH-3000 series PS3 requires HDMI only for BD movie output in HD, in compliance with AACS standards,” Sony said. “PS3 continues to support component output for HD gaming and streaming content.”

The image of the memo on Kotaku’s site clearly shows the line in which gaming and video content are both included but according to Sony you’ll be able to play your games in HD via component but not video.  It’s most likely the document itself was in error because it does kind of make sense for Sony to restrict HD video content to HDMI only.

According to the Advanced Access Content System (a DRM standard),  in 2014 all Blu-ray players will be required to have only HDMI ports as outputs.  The standard clearly states that full resolution HD video requires HDMI or DVI that supports HDCP.  It seems that Sony is taking an early step to make their device compliant with this particular standard.  Either they make the change now, or they make the change in 2014.  If they were already readying a new PS3 model it makes sense to comply with the AACS standard sooner rather than later.

For more information on why this is happening, check out our previous coverage on how copy protection is killing off component video.

Do any of you own older generation HD televisions that use component cables?  If you don’t already own the console, does this change your decision to buy?

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There are 8 comments

Zod
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 14 Jul 11 02:12
    Why are they pushing the destruction of component cables. I personally prefer hdmi, but it seems like a waste of effort. Bluray copy protection was hacked a while back. I don't think the piraters even bother with the analog hole to make copies. Seem's like remove technology probably costs alot of money, and isn't worth the effort?
    damage75
    MyCE Rookie
    Posted on: 14 Jul 11 02:21
      When the U.S. converted to digital TV broadcasts - did those free converters happen to have an hdmi input? That would sure make this conversion easier for some people with older (ancient) TV's.

      Personally, VGA is going the way of parallel. and serial, and AGP, ans PS/2, and you get the idea. I've always considered component video clumsily, but that was the best for a while, so I used it. RCA cables will eventually be extinct; because for audio we'll really use optical (or mini-rca, which is where all computers and mp3/phones are now - and headphones are going to be hard to change) or it will be wireless.

      I know display-port is at least somewhat compatible with HDMI/DVI, but it seems like the adoption of that is sure coming on slowly. We need a Government Mandate! Kidding! Just kidding.
      damage75
      MyCE Rookie
      Posted on: 14 Jul 11 02:35
        Zod - good point - DRM, Urrrg. But component video doesn't have near the quality of transmission of the fully digital variants.

        They're pushing it because it's cheaper. The 6 connectors of component (3 rgb + 2 audio) is more expensive than the hdmi chip + connector. It comes down to that and the fact that the signal is already digital - so you'd not just need the bulky rca connectors - you'd need a d-to-a chip to drive it. Not to mention the space the connectors use up on the form-factor (which can be off-set by a converting dongle - again, $$).

        I do feel your pain. I have some very expensive s-video cables holding up plants.
        ivid
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 14 Jul 11 18:16
          Nothing to do with cost. All about DRM and screwing the honest customers while not at all affecting the pirates they are trying to. Its absurd. All new blu ray players being released this year will only support HD over HDMI. What's even more retarded is that after 2013 there will be no analog outputs allowed even for SD.
          Seems like the TV manufacturers had some influence on these rules, its an obvious push to buy a new TV. Hmmm. Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba are part of the AACS licensing consortium. Wow, what a coincidence!

          Remember back in the great war of 2007 (HD-DVD vs. Blu Ray) ? They promised us we would have HD over analog for a few years and that the "Image Restraint Token" (remember that ?) would not be in effect until 2011 or so. The hardware is following suit.

          Whats next, are they going to enable the "Image Restraint Token" and screw all the customers using component with existing blu-ray players too ? I wouldn't put it past the studios.

          I wish some judge would rule that the AACS licensing provisions are invalid. They should not be allowed to dictate the BS that they are.

          Its also a bit of a loss for cable manufacturers. Or maybe anyway. They had a bit of an argument for expensive vs. cheap cables for analog cables (specially in the days of S-video), but pretty much any cheap HDMI cable built to spec is as good as a super-expensive monster cable.
          damage75
          MyCE Rookie
          Posted on: 14 Jul 11 20:19
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by ivid
            Nothing to do with cost. All about DRM and screwing the honest customers.....
            I feel your pain. I hate DRM too. But, most BR/DVD manufacturers, aside from Sony (and others), aren't involved in content production. If they could, they would sell you a box that defeats DRM entirely, but they can't legally do that. They also have to "pay" Sony for licensing every player, they wouldn't do that either if they could help it. They want to sell you hw, they aren't the ones trying to make you mad. Lite-On, Pioneer, LG - they want you to buy, they don't want to screw you over. Sony would sell you a "play once" disk if they could get away with it (and they are trying).

            I'm sure you know this, so I'll just stop at that. I get worked up about DRM as well, and the pain you have to go through to make a PC compliant. Yep, the pirates can pay for the tech to defeat DRM, for them it's trivial. So the whole DRM thing is a boondoggle, but try to convince a congressman of that - impossible..

            For audio/visual cables there is a place on the net that is fantastic. I bought a 10m DVI -> HDMI converting cable for something like $12 USD. When it arrived I was shocked, it was military-grade with gold-plated contacts, as thick as your finger and I've been abusing it for years. I am so sorry I can't remember the name of the place, maybe someone else can help out.

            Monster Cable (and Best Buy) should be sued for false advertising. The DMCA should be redacted as unconstitutional and everyone who voted for it impeached. That's my opinion...
            olddancer
            MyCE Senior Member
            Posted on: 19 Jul 11 05:04
              Bottom line is it comes down to Real Estate and Money! Real Estate is valuable and costly. Doesn't matter if you are measuring square meters of land or square milimeters of circuit boards. HDMI takes up substantially less real estate than component.
              The fact that DRM makes the Studios happy and rich and the cable manufacturers even richer also comes into play.
              Truth is 99% of the general public couldn't tell the difference between a picture at 1080i on component or a 1080p picture on HDMI. Of the remaining 1%, .1% are those of us that actually sell TVs for a living and the other .9% are terminally anally retentive Technogeeks that probably still live in their Parent's basement.
              One bonus to Component is that it doesn't take 2 minutes for the TV and other devices to actually decide that they can talk to each other.
              debro
              Blown to smitherines
              Posted on: 19 Jul 11 15:29
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by damage75
                For audio/visual cables there is a place on the net that is fantastic. I bought a 10m DVI -> HDMI converting cable for something like $12 USD. When it arrived I was shocked, it was military-grade with gold-plated contacts, as thick as your finger and I've been abusing it for years. I am so sorry I can't remember the name of the place, maybe someone else can help out.
                Monoprice.

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by olddancer
                Truth is 99% of the general public couldn't tell the difference between a picture at 1080i on component or a 1080p picture on HDMI. Of the remaining 1%, .1% are those of us that actually sell TVs for a living and the other .9% are terminally anally retentive Technogeeks that probably still live in their Parent's basement.
                One bonus to Component is that it doesn't take 2 minutes for the TV and other devices to actually decide that they can talk to each other.
                Lol.
                Interlaced (1080i) has ugly tearing, and causes premature eye-strain
                happyscrappy
                MyCE Member
                Posted on: 21 Jul 11 19:18
                  It only removes HD output for AACS protected (which is all) Blu-ray discs. This is a requirement of the AACS spec, any Blu-ray player designed in 2011 or later has to do this.

                  Output from games is unchanged and can still be HD over component.

                  Agreed this doesn't help anything in terms of piracy, pirates never use the analog hole.

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