I wasn’t happy as many were not when they announced that the Live would not work with netflix and that the Plus version was needed. The problem was the lack of macrovision in hardware support on the SMP8655 so the Plus uses the SMP8654, other than that the two chips are identical .
So today I see that the popbox has been released and the planned netflix support is not shipping with it. They are using the SMP8643 which also does not support macrovision. It seems odd to me that both WD and Popbox both announced for months they intended to support netflix then suddenly come out and say they cannot. It can take months to choose a chipset for a product and I am wondering if netflix did not string these companies along with possible netflix support to only tell them in the end , sorry not going to happen.
The more I think about it the more it makes sense. WD for months allowed users to request the feature and repeatedly told people that it was one of their highest priorities and they were looking into it. I doubt they did that with the intention of making people mad when they had to tell them they would not get it with the current hardware.
Netflix made a deal to use Macrovision back in 2007. Could companies like WD have planned to run macrovision in software and at some point were denied being able to use that by macrovision ? The reason would be simple. Macrovision gets far more licensing money from hardware sales than software, about a 110% difference. There is no reason that the hardware in the WDTV LIve or popbox could not run a software version of Macrovision unless they refused to license it.
Macrovision is a company with a anti-consumer past. I have dealt with them since the VCR days when they would scramble the AGC on tapes to prevent recording. Numerous people had trouble playing tapes. The VCR wouldn’t read the signal correctly causing distorted colors and loss of tracking. This wasn’t copying but playing a legally rented tape. When people complained they were told to buy new hardware.
I would really love to know how all this played out , but coorporate speel being what it is we will probably never know.