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Here s one less worry for those of us looking forward to Blu-ray: Sony's Don Eklund, Senior Vice President for Advanced Technologies, said that all of Sony's Blu-ray disks will be free of that digital flag that tells the player to down-rez the HD signal if there's no HDMI cable present. Called the "image constraint token," it threatens to lower the resolution to standard-definition quality if users try to output video in component format.

This means that HDTVs that aren't equipped with the HDCP copy protection will still be able to play the new discs. Eklund said that Sony was more concerned about piracy of the digital HDTV signal rather than analog signals coming through component cables. Sounds like the Sony we know and love is getting itself a clue. Now let's see if the HD DVD disk peddlers will follow suit.

Blu-ray to Debut May 23 [Sound and Vision]