What you don't seem to get here is that all of that was put in place because HBO, Cinemax, etc, demanded it. DirecTV didn't do it on a whim to piss off customers.
Exactly, while DirecTV is obviously the one putting the HDCP signal into their stream they are doing so according to the request/demand from the channel owner (namely HBO, Cinemax, and I think Starz/Encore now too).
I guess where I am lost is that the aim of analog sunset was to kill off HD by non-digital (read controllable) means but the directv implementation kills SD out of composite outputs if hdmi is not present.
And it suggests using component cables instead of hdmi?
Isn't this backwards? Anybody can explain?
You're confusing two different things. Analog sunset is something completely seperate of HDCP.
HDCP is used to maek sure there isn't some sort of capture device hooked up to the HDMI output allowing a person to make a perfect digital copy of the program, and stuff like that. In this case it so happens that when the HDCP handshake fails the DirecTV receiver locks down all video outputs, not just the HDMI output. I'm not sure that this was necessarily requested/demanded by the channel providers, or if it was just the easiest way for DirecTV to implement HDCP. I'm thinking they might be able to keep the other video ouputs working correctly while shutting off the HDMI output but it would be a lot more difficult so they haven't bothered to do so because the vast majority of people will never be effected by this. The only people who are effected are people who are using a receiver to feed more than one TV from multiple outputs, which I don't think was ever anything DirecTV approved of, they just didn't care enough to keep it from happening because they knew most people wouldn't do it.
Analog sunset is the eventual lockdown of component video outputs so they can only output 480p as a maximum resolution. This is usually done by including something called the Image Constraint Token (or ICT). When they embed the ICT information into a programs data it tells whatever device is playing it that it has to downscale that material to 480p if component video is being used. The Blu-Ray association is supposed to start using the ICT flag soon but I don't think they have started yet. The only Blu-Ray I ever heard of having the ICT flag set on it was a European version of one of the Resident Evil movies, and the studio said it was done by mistake and offered replacement discs to people who had problems with it. I have never heard of any talk so far of the cable/satellite TV providers starting to use ICT. But, I can see it happening eventually if Blu-Ray starts using it and there isn't a huge backlash.
Edited by Beerstalker, 18 July 2012 - 10:53 AM.
Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
-by Jack Handy