According to one of Microsoft's key representatives to AACS, Blu-ray and HD DVD players will never require a dedicated internet connection to play back an AACS-protected movie. However, if you want to take advantage of features like managed copy, the player will most likely need access to the internet.
As Doherty told us, the first Toshiba HD DVD players to be made available in April, the first Sony Blu-ray players due in May, and models released thereafter under the so-called AACS interim licensing agreement, will not require any kind of Internet connection just to be operable, as some had earlier warned. Under the terms of the interim agreement, however, these manufacturers must agree to abide by whatever the final terms of the AACS specification state, particularly with regard to how they should implement managed copy. It is this provision which will enable users to make limited backups of purchased, licensed media.
"We do expect, in most scenarios, that that managed copy is going to require an Internet transaction to perform the copy," admitted Doherty. However, he added, managed copy will not be a mandatory feature of high-definition players. In other words, not only will playback of AACS-protected content not require an Internet connection, it will never require one.
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