Post

It ain’t FUD if it’s true.

July 1, 2008 ,

In last week's post, I discussed the MPAA's petition for waiver of the FCC's ban on selectable output control (SOC).

At the end, I suggested that one possible outcome is that a content provider could shut down ALL your existing standardized output plugs, forcing you to buy a new TV, DVD player, and DVR with a special “MPAA-approved” connector plug in order to view their content.

To some people, it might have sounded like FUD, but this time the truth comes a little close for comfort.

The Sony Bravia Internet Video Link allows a TV to receive streaming content via the web. On the uplink side, it accepts an Ethernet jack (what, no wifi?) On the output side, it connects exclusively to Bravia TVs via a proprietary output “for use with DMex compatible TV[s] only”.

So far, the Internet Video Link provides Bravia owners with “access to Internet video programming, including high-definition content, from providers like AOL, Yahoo! and Grouper, as well as Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony BMG Music.”

Even though its current incarnation seems somewhat underwhelming, all we need is some bright MBA to suggest that all the Bravia needs is some nice and shiny Sony-exclusive content, restricted to Bravia owners. Sony does so love their walled garden model.

I suppose Sony is still having trouble with the concept that proprietary and closed formats, heavily laden with consumer-antagonistic digital rights management tends to lead to marginalization, if not outright market rejection. Then again, blu-ray has seemingly done well for itself, although that may have been due to the “Trojan Horse” business model.