Dear Sean (and other versed folk in the subject of HDCP etc ad nauseum).
I have, perhaps too soon, jumped into the HDTV arena, presently 100% over the air programming. I am using a sony 4:3 XBR set which will do 1080i inset in the 4:3 screen, a Sanyo PLV-70 projector for my theater room, and a Dell 1980x1200 24" flat panel monitor which has Y/Pr/Pb and DVI. As you can see, NONE have HDMI/HDCP. I run mostly Y/Pr/Pb inputs from a Sanyo SIRT-165 over the air settop box.
A while back, Sanyo lets me know my older SIRT165 is not compliant with the notorious broadcast flag and that I should update my firmware. I get a free CD and special serial cable to do the upgrade. I don't do it. Both of my SIRT165s tune over the air just fine as they are now.
So on Day 0 when the broadcast flag is enabled, exactly what is supposed to happen to those of us who were early adopters? I bought my equipment in good faith that it would operate over a 10 year depreciation period like my last TV set.
Does HDCP only apply to the new generation of HD-DVD systems or does it also pose a threat to people who use HD primarily over the air? If it affects those of us who used to enjoy over the air programming with our monitors, analog patch cables, and set top box tuners, are we all going to be left with a bunch of computer monitors and no multimedia support?
How important is the HDMI interface jack? I realize it handles two way encryption packetized data to handshake with an authorized monitor - but for the vast number of non HDMI monitors out there do they become worthless overnight? If all of my equipment suddenly is worthless for over the air viewing for which it was purchased, I will personally lead a letter writing campaign to the advertisers who support the HD contenet until the networks turn off their flag. If HDCP is needed to view a HD-DVD - then the obvious goes there as well - I won't buy a new HD DVD player nor software for 10
years until I replace my monitors.
To summarize, a non backwards compatible interface design only serves to slow the advancement of technology as the early adopters will not support it.