January 9, 2007 | By Derek Slater

CES 2007: The (Hopefully) Eternal Analog Hole

If you want to liberate your media from its DRM chains without circumventing them, you are increasingly dependent on the analog hole (all your digital outputs are belong to Hollywood, right?).

We've already talked up the Neuros MPEG4 Recorder on this blog, and at CES we found a similar device called the iRecord. You can record any analog video or audio output direct to your iPod or PSP using this gadget. While Hollywood says it's illegal for you to rip your DVD to your iPod, you can copy the DVD this way. (And how else are you going to get your shows from your TiVo Series 3 to your iPod? Hollywood and the cable companies killed TiVoToGo on the Series 3, you'll recall.)

Here's another cool CES product that depends on the analog hole: the Slingbox Pro (now with component analog inputs, so you can digitize and sling your HD video content to yourself over the internet).

And one more: the SanDisk V-Mate Video Memory Card Recorder SDVM1, a video memory card recorder similar to the Neuros MPEG4 Recorder we reviewed.

All these devices are about placeshifting (aka spaceshifting), and all of them depend on the analog hole. Hollywood doesn't want you to have this capability (at least until you pay extra for it). So we expect Hollywood will be back at work in DC this year trying to get laws passed to plug the analog hole. Stay tuned.

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