As we reported last week, an interim agreement has been made available to those companies wishing to license the new Advanced Access Content System (AACS). While this has allowed the Blu-ray and HD DVD camps to move ahead and release their products on time, there is a downside to this agreement. According to an article at Ars Technica, this agreement forces AACS licensees to eliminate analog outputs by 2013.
The AACS Interim Agreement is a 106-page set of rules for those who wish to license AACS, a list that would presumably include consumer electronics manufacturers and many other technology companies. Although AACS includes, among other things, the ability to allow content owners to determine what kinds of outputs HD video is directed towards, the license also includes a forced sunset for most of those outputs. Put simply, AACS licensees must eliminate analog outputs on consumer electronics devices by 2013 to remain in compliance with the license. Forced obsolescence it is.
While phasing out analog will be a downer for some, it probably won't have that big of an impact, especially with the US switching to digital TV by February of 2009. By then most people will have purchased an HDMI compatible TV or the necessary convertors. Anyway, if you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here.