Just some common sense:
1 - The display is HDCP compliant
Translation: No such luck expecting the Mac to operate in any way shape or form in such a way as to 'snoop' 'redirect' 'save' or in any way access any INBOUND signal. PERHAPS and this is a long-shot
Apple *could* have a mechanism in place that would determine if the signal was tagged 'NO COPY' (or whatever term they use in HDMI DRM lingo) and then based on that determine if the iMac could gain access to the signal... Somehow I think its safe to assume that this is not an actual feature of the new iMac...
In short: Until otherwise confirmed its a safe assumption that this is a good approximation
of what happens.
Once an INBOUND signal is detected some manor of the following events will take place.
1 - If the iMac is booted it will probably do one of two things:
- Prompt the user that a video signal is now present and to shutdown the system if you wish to view the content. The mac will then 'shutdown' the OS and possibly put the CPU/Mobo into 'half-power' state. But don't take this to mean that the CPU of the iMac actually has access to the signal itself... There are a number of ways that you could engineer a motherboard so that the CPU could be told THAT a signal has been detected and still never provide an electrical PATH to said signal.
- Do nothing at all since for the iMac to work AS a display it must be powered down 1st (this is MY speculation not based on any actual facts).
2 - If the iMac is powered OFF then the iMac will power the display and show the incoming signal (the computer will not boot).
Now as stated above this is ONLY what I believe to be the process based on the fact that Apple would be crazy to allow access to an inbound signal and allowing the computer to run WHILE a protected HDCP signal is being decoded is a HUGE risk and something I don't think Apple would take any chances with.
- People boot Macs into Linux all the time!
- People hack OS X to run on TONS of different (non-Apple) hardware
Combine the two mind-shares and throw in a DASH a general desire by MANY on the net to circumvent HDCP and unless Apple made the possibility to CAPTURE the decoded HDMI signal ELECTRICALLY IMPOSSIBLE
(aka hardware designed to make SURE it couldn't happen) then the net.hackers would have a field day and overnight TENS/HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of 'unexpected
' iMac sales would occur overnight and very shortly following this bonanza the lawsuits would fly faster then light itself.
Sorry but as much as I'd like to think otherwise... I'm pretty sure Apple designed the hardware in such a way that the decoded signal would NEVER be seen by the CPU/Mobo no matter what OS was running at the time ... not ever.