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COMPUTING

From...
Computerworld

DVD-hack concerns delay audio products

Image

December 2, 1999
Web posted at: 8:49 a.m. EST (1349 GMT)

by Martyn Williams

(IDG) -- Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which is better known by its Panasonic brand name, expects a six-month delay in the launch of DVD Audio products as the format's developers scramble to find a new copyright protection system.

DVD Audio was to use CSS2, a newer version of the content scrambling system (CSS) employed on DVD Video. Those plans are now in disarray after the CSS system was hacked a month ago, the company said Wednesday (see "DVD encryption hacked," link below).

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"Because of the hacking on DVD Video, industry people are worried about the possible hacking on DVD Audio, and so people are talking about much stronger protection," said Yoshihiro Kitadeya, a spokesman for Matsushita Electric. "Matsushita will propose a new system of copy protection with a much stronger key and completely new encoding system."

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The company, together with Toshiba Corp., Intel Corp. and IBM, came up with the CSS2 format and are now studying a replacement. Once agreed, the four will propose it to the DVD Forum for standardization.

"The delay will hit all planned products with a capability to play DVD Audio," said Kitadeya, who added that the company anticipates a launch in mid-2000 for the format. A spokesman for Toshiba said his company was looking at a similar delay as the new system is worked out.

With products now planned to begin hitting the shelves in the summer of 2000, the format will have lost a year on Super Audio CD, a Sony-developed next-generation audio CD format. Sony began selling Super Audio CD products in Japan in May this year, and around 70 titles are already available for the format, which is mainly confined to use by audiophiles at present.



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