So much of the av world is run by lowest common denominator. TV supports HDTV but DVD is only SDTV, display SDTV. Installer doesn't have proper cables to hook-up an HDTV to a HDTV cable box - hook it up with composite cables (I've seen this done by Comcast SO often...)
Crestron showed me a solution a few months ago that blew me away - and they announced it on their website today so I can talk about it....
Problem: Distributes lots of different sorts of media around a large home. Assume that some of it is protected with HDCP, presume that content owners will continue to assert rights via DRM, assume lots of high-definition content.
Approach: Convert everything to the highest common denominator - HDCP encrypted HDMI.
Great, now we've taken the impossible signal to run and moved everything to it.....they are doing 1.3 HDMI, 1080P/60 or 1080P/24 over 2 cat5 and one Cresnet.....up to 500' runs.
Over this HDMI signal runs not only HD Audio + Video but control signals (2-way), lip-sync info, stereo audio, USB signals (remote keyboards, gaming remotes, etc.), composite video, VGA, component video and even 100BASE-T ethernet. The switcher is going to come in 8X8 or 16X16. They've discussed room boxes for the back of sets and remote input boxes. I know the cascading cables from Video switcher to Video switcher look cool but with this box, want to loop video + audio from one box to another (for distribution of 16 sources to 32 rooms, for instance) - just an HDMI cable.
I guess the 300 engineers in NJ are doing something else besides slapping black boxes around other peoples engineering. I don't think a lot of people will be following Crestron with this. Unlike most companies they have quite a few more markets to sell this than just residential (just think who else might be interested in moving a lot of video around, encrypting each frame with unique keys....just because HDCP has been broken for DVD's doesn't mean that internally generated content can't be encrypted reliably...)