Backdoor++ for Playstation 2

— 1:25 AM on March 27, 2000

Add another to the list of issues with the PSX 2. In addition to memory card problems and DVD region backdoors, there is now an issue with the RGB connector on the console. Take a look at this Techweb article that lays it all out in great detail.

Apparently Sony designed the PSX 2 with composite, component, S-Video and RGB connectors, all of which are protected by Macrovision to eliminate easy copying of DVDs. But now there's a cable available that converts RGB into NTSC signals. In the process, it inadvertently removes the Macrovision from the outgoing video signal.

Of course, the companies that make regular DVD players aren't happy, because the DVD CCA won't allow them to put an RGB interface on their products at all. Sony is apparently using a loophole to get away with theirs, calling the PSX 2 a PC DVD player because the DVD player component is software loaded into the machine and not "built-in." Sneaky.

Another interesting fact I learned from this article is that Sony is apparently using the RGB connector as a new type of input for improved DVD playback quality. They're now manufacturing TVs with an input connector that matches the PSX 2's RGB output.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, as it could conceivably give Sony an added edge for those concerned with the quality of their home theater systems. I'm curious how this new interface compares in quality with the progressive component outputs that are starting to show up on some high-end DVD players.

Even if the quality is slightly better, I'm doubtful it would make a difference; it sounds as though the DVD CCA's rules would prohibit Sony from putting the interface on any DVD player except a PSX 2, and the sorts of people who are interested in the high-end home theater stuff will probably be pretty snobbish about watching their DVDs on a game console.

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