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Analog sunset begins, all the new Blu-ray players will only output HD via HDMI

The chicken littles have been worried about this since long before the first Blu-ray (or even HD DVD) title was ever released, and the first step towards the analog sunset has officially come. Any new Blu-ray player announced after January 1st 2011 will only output HD via HDMI -- players that started shipping last year can still be sold until the end of this year though. If you just love component video, you might figure you'll be able to get a player today and continue to enjoy it for years to come, but maybe not. You see the studios also have the Image Constraint Token (ICT) which when set on a title will tell every and all Blu-ray players to down convert analog output to 540p. The only reprieve is that if its set on a title, it must be marked on the box, and of course it can't be retroactively set (any title you own now will continue to play exactly the same way it does on your existing players). We're waiting for final confirmation, but apparently the ICT hasn't been an option to studios until now so start looking for the icon on your latest purchases. The final stage in the sunset is 2013 when analog outputs will be removed from Blu-ray players completely, but we suspect we'll have better things to worry about by then like ultra HD or digital distribution.