February 16, 2006 4:00 AM PST

New DVDs already sparking copy-protection confusion

When the first high-definition DVDs finally hit shelves this spring, a mad scramble may ensue--not for the discs themselves, but to figure out what computers and devices are actually able to play them in their full glory.

Unraveling the mystery won't be easy. Many, if not most, of today's top-of-the-line computers and monitors won't make the cut, even if next-generation Blu-ray or HD DVD drives are installed.

That's because strict content protection technologies may automatically degrade the DVDs' picture quality, or even block them from playing at all, if the right connections and digital protections aren't in place. Even the most expensive computers sold today mostly lack those features.

Acronym soup

A glossary of DVD and content-protection terms.

  • Blu-ray: The high-definition video format backed by Sony.
  • HD DVD: The high-definition DVD format backed by Toshiba.
  • HDMI: High-definition multimedia interface, a digital connection technology increasingly used for computers and HDTVs. Usually associated with HDCP.
  • DVI: Digital visual interface, a digital connection technology often used with computer monitors.
  • VGA: Video graphics array, the analog connection technology widely used for computer monitors today. Does not support content protection.
  • HDCP: High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, an Intel-created technology that encrypts content as it passes from the computer to the monitor.
  • AACS: Advanced Access Content System, a set of content protection technologies that will be used on both kinds of next-generation DVDs.
  • Indeed, the consumer backlash has already begun. Graphics-chip makers such as ATI and Nvidia are drawing criticism online for marketing products that are "ready" for these new copy-protection tools but that nevertheless lack critical features needed to let the discs play at top quality.

    "This is a sticky issue," said Richard Doherty, an analyst with the Envisioneering Group. "It's going to be very confusing for consumers, and it's going to be very daunting" for computer makers.

    The copy-protection muddle stems from Hollywood studios' desire to avoid the film piracy that was born when tools for unlocking the encryption technology on today's DVDs began spreading online in late 1999.

    Along with a picture quality upgrade, the new generation of DVDs will be shipped with new digital rights management controls, with strict computerized rules attached saying exactly when and how a movie can be played.

    For people who buy standalone DVD players and HDTVs, this mostly won't be a concern, as the right plugs will generally already be built in.

    But computer buyers will face a far more challenging landscape. The everyday analog plug that connects most computers to monitors today doesn't support copy protection, and so is viewed as unsafe by Hollywood studios. Movies playing on a computer over this ordinary analog connection will likely be downgraded to near-DVD quality.

    Even worse is the so-called DVI plug that sends high-quality digital signals to a monitor but also doesn't support copy protection.

    That offers an even greater risk of copying in Hollywood's eyes. Studios have persuaded Microsoft to add a feature in the upcoming Vista operating system that can shut down that connection altogether, unless the computer has an Intel-created encryption technology called HDCP, or High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, turned on to guard the signal all the way to the monitor screen.

    Put another way--if the DVD doesn't like your plug, your monitor may go black.

    A newer connection technology called HDMI almost always comes with built-in encryption. If both the computer and the monitor have this installed, everything should work as planned.

    Simple question--will it work?
    Today, it's extraordinarily difficult to find information that explains whether a company's products will be compatible with the new DVDs.

    Part of the problem is that the copy protection technology for the

    See more CNET content tagged:
    copy protection, margin, computer monitor, DVD, HD-DVD

    86 comments

    Join the conversation!
    Add your comment
    K.I.S.S., darn it!
    How is it that an entire multi-billion dollar industry has completely turned its back on the KISS principle?

    This is going too far. I have neither the time nor the interest to connect these dots, which in all reality appears to hurt the legitimate movie-watchers just as much as it hurts the pirates (if not less so, since the pirates will ALWAYS be able to handle the code).

    They can't honestly think they're accomplishing anything useful with all these ridiculous standards and restrictions, can they?
    Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Had Enough
    I miss the concept of just going out and buying a movie that will play on the equipment I have. I am not going to invest in new equipment; and still wonder if it will play this disk or that disk.
    They will probably be charging an arm & leg and be wondering why the consumer isn't buying. It must be the hackers taking away their profits. Maybe they should look inhouse for the answer?
    Posted by bhrater (23 comments )
    Link Flag
    KISS principle is old-school...
    Today it's all about Fair-Use Circumvention Kits. That's just the problem with Hollywood today, they skip the KISSing and just jump right into the F***ing. Oy vey!
    Posted by Zymurgist (397 comments )
    Link Flag
    New DVD's
    I'm a consumer. Guess where my $$$$$ WON'T go!
    Posted by HUDAHAR (1 comment )
    Reply Link Flag
    Dvd$
    I'll just go without!
    Posted by paulsecic (298 comments )
    Link Flag
    The Plan for Failure...
    The DRM protection schemes described in this article amount to a complete failure out of the starting-gate. These schemes produce a nightmare for computer users, and I doubt that anyone is going to be lining up to purchase HD DVD or Blu-Ray.

    Let's put this into perspective:

    "What we're coming out with is something that's probably going to last 15 years or more...HDCP, even though not well deployed today, will be well deployed in five years...we are planning for the future." (Leake,IBM)

    "Even the most expensive computers sold today mostly lack (the required DRM) features."

    "Many, if not most, of today's top-of-the-line computers and monitors won't make the cut, even if next generation Blu-Ray or HD DVD players are installed."

    This scenario is much worse than anticipated. Blu-Ray and HD DVD ship in three months. With uncertainty and doubt surrounding HD DVD and Blu-Ray already, alienation with forms of DRM at the outset is a plan for failure.
    Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Yes, but...
    Won't it be such a good day when someone cracks the protection on these things. I think the idea for newer formats that are capable of HD quality movies are great, but the more I am reading about HD and blue-ray, the less interested I become. My 1 year old 19 lcd won't display either of these new formats apparently, and the same goes for my CRT monitors. Hollywood is just asking for a major backlash from consumers, and basically challenging people to rip apart the protection on these disks by making he DRM so restrictive. Basically, they are decreasing the value of these disks with restrictive DRM, which makes pirated copies with no DRM that much more appealing.
    Posted by Rolndubbs (194 comments )
    Link Flag
    I agree
    I'm not going to have to worry about the disc being able to play in my computer or not because I won't buy them. If I can't buy a disc without checking the HCL to see if my hardware has the built in technology to play the thing than I'm not bothering. All it does is hurt the consumer market, pirates will crack DRM it's just a matter of time, so why do they waste so much money on protecting content?
    Posted by Spyderman4g63 (9 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Major error in article
    From the article:

    "Even worse is the so-called DVI plug that sends high-quality digital signals to a monitor but also doesn't support copy protection."

    This is not true. DVI with HDCP support has been available for some time.

    HDMI and DVI are actually based on the same technology, only with HDMI adding audio support on the same cable. Many TVs have shipped with DVI connectors and HDCP support. In fact, upscaling DVD players require use of the DVI connector (or HDMI in the newer ones) for 720p or higher for the same reason that HD DVD formats do: HDCP support.

    There is another problem, however. DVI and HDMI both present the issue of limited bandwidth. There have been questions raised over whether or not the next step up in resolution will even work properly on these cables. The current high for HDTV, 1080p, might just be the limit.
    Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    No error
    The article discusses computers and computer devices, and only one supports HDCP through DVI - a retail Sony Media PC that is discussed in a recent article on HDCP on FiringSquad.

    The article is not discussing TVs and standard players. Just before the sentence you're criticizing it says "For people who buy standalone DVD players and HDTVs, this mostly won't be a concern, as the right plugs will generally already be built in." That is good enough. The base audience is not going to understand that TV/DVD player DVI generally supports HDCP, but video card/LCD monitor DVI does not, but some earlier TVs with DVI sometimes dont' have HDCP support, but some LCD monitors do, but...

    The essential point is there. DVI with HDCP is a crapshoot. HDMI essentially always supports HDCP. K.I.S.S., even in journalism.
    Posted by (39 comments )
    Link Flag
    HDCP support in DVI is vaporware (spec only no actual computer hardware)
    "DVI with HDCP support has been available for some time."

    Read the link to FiringSquad embedded in this article:
    <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_nvidia_hdcp_support/" target="_newWindow">http://firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_nvidia_hdcp_support/</a>

    HDCP support for DVI is available in specification only but not in practice. No actual computer devices support the HDCP. So, while the DVI-spec *can* support HDCP, none of the computer devices on the market today actually do.

    No videocards. No monitors. No computers. Not a single one.
    Posted by techprogress (15 comments )
    Link Flag
    Supposedly 10 LCDs support HDCP (that's it)
    I see that only 10 LCDs fully support HDCP. But still no PCs or videocards. So, no fully capable HDCP system exists for computer consumers.

    No total HDCP capable solution. 10 LCDs (only), no PCs or Videocards. No complete package.
    <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_nvidia_hdcp_support/" target="_newWindow">http://firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_nvidia_hdcp_support/</a>
    Posted by techprogress (15 comments )
    Link Flag
    The surgery was a success...
    but we lost the patience. I am running out of tolerance for the cart before the horse mentality of the computer industry. This is way beyond betamax VS, VHS as there will not be any winners with the bungled mess.
    Posted by akbar_or_jeff (14 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Original DVDs work fine....
    I don't have a HD TV and probably never will considering I watch tv once a week for about an hour and watch movies maybe once or twice a month. And even when I do watch a movie, it's usually one that I borrowed from a friend, or rented from Blockbuster. So what's wrong with original DVD's? Were they not clear enough? Does HD increas the entertainment value? After the first 2 minutes of watching the movie you pay more attention to the story line then anything else.

    So for the most part, this technology might be around for another 15 years, and I may never even see it. Does Linux have DRM? Can't someone with Linux just make a program that can rip the video regardless of any protection?

    This is all just a waste of time for these companies. It's just stupid...
    Posted by coryschulz (326 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Black and white tv is fine for some people...
    This is a personal preference of course, but since you haven't even viewed high def programming yet, why are you already saying that you don't want it? At least give it a view.

    There doesn't have to be anything wrong with original dvds in order to replace them. original dvds came out before high def sets, and now high def displays are more common, so we need a different format to make the new displays show what they are fully capable of.

    You are way off base with the linux comments. DVDs couldn't even be played on linux OSs until the CSS encryption was broken. The new DRM is very sturdy compared to the old CSS and macrovision stuff. I'm not saying it won't ever be cracked, but it could certainly take a while.
    Posted by stealt403 (48 comments )
    Link Flag
    No sense in buying these discs
    I have a collection of LPs. I can play them (well... if I get one of my turntables fixed...) I would be able to play them fifty years from now, at about the same quality if I don't use them too much.

    I have a smaller collection of CDs. I will probably be able to play them many years from now.

    I have a few DVDs. I might be able to play them ten or twenty years from now (and will have to watch the same ads before I can access content).

    You see where it's going. There is no sense in collecting stuff in the newer formats. They age too fast. With the new "content protected" schemes there is absolutely no sense in trying to build a collection. Already you would have to work hard to know if your equipment would support the discs you buy, and you can be quite certain that when you would eventually have to replace your equipment you would have absolutely no way to make sure it would support everything in your existing collection.

    and in a few years, will these formats be supported? they say they will, but you know these people. You would be able to play those things in the future. Newer equipment would be backward-compatible in 10 or 20 years. But you can be quite certain this "backwards-compatibility" would eventually mean you would be able to access the content at a lower quality, just like today they promise it would be if they are "not satisfied" with the way your own equipment restricts you. So why collect "higher quality" items if you know it would not stay "higher quality" in the future?

    The good thing here is that this can drive consumers (at least serious ones that pay and collect) to other independent sources. And if you absolutely have to have something in your collection - find an unprotected pirated copy that you can be sure would work in the future!
    Posted by hadaso (468 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Yes, But A New DVD Player Might Make Sense
    Ofer said about playing DVDs: "and will have to watch the same ads before I can access content"

    Not all DVD players force you to sit through the ads. Some ignore the commands that disable certain control functions. Here's one:

    <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.time.com/time/gadget/20041110/" target="_newWindow">http://www.time.com/time/gadget/20041110/</a>

    I wish consumers would start buying these aggressively, thus sending a msg to the hardware mfg's to get out of bed with the studios. Heck, this attitude could even transfer over to copy-protection. :-)

    mark d.
    Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
    Link Flag
    I will wait for the...
    inevitable class-action lawsuit when HD-DVD/Blu-Ray players sold on WalMart stop working because their encryption key got revoked. Imagine the backlash when customers find out after spending big bucks on new HDTV/players, they still may not be able to play the latest DVDs on their few-months-old equipments. Not to mention the early HDTV adopters who already got screwed because their TV don't have a HDCP compliant connectors. Someone should sue the content/electronic industry for false advestising or something.
    Posted by (6 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Wake Up Consumers
    Why would any Consumer purchase HD Equipment or Content at this point, and not for the next 5 years until the dust has settled. Hardware Manufactures have lied to us regarding HD ready Graphics Cards and Displays, and will not compensate us for this Crime, they have literally robbed us of our hard earned cash Period.
    Posted by Motospark (10 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Agree 100%
    You are absolutely right. I will not buy any of these new DVDs; I am not going to put myself at the mercy of greediest and dumbest companies ever appeared on earth: Hollywood Movies companies.
    They are going to dictate what I can and what I cannot watch? Are we kidding? Of course they can set any kind of rules for the products they want to sell but I am also free not to buy them. i canhappily live without buying any DVD for as long as I want; movies companies could not survive three months without sales. As for the objection that the majority of the people will not be affected because they play DVDs on stand-alone players just check the increase in the sales of "MediaCenter" based PCs to verify as more and more people are moving toward a new way to handle their media products.
    What is most ironic is that Microsoft and Intel have been pushing people to the concept of "Digital lifestyle" etc. for years and now, under the pressure of dumb and shortsighted companies and the best politicians their money can "enroll", are going to kill an un-born, potentially huge market. Shareholders wake-up!
    Posted by Fritzly (3 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    solution = MS buy TW
    so if MS buys TW and WD etc then everything will pay on your media center PC, but not your Mac, and definitly not Linux.
    Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
    Link Flag
    Compatible with existing HDTVs and home theater receivers?
    Any word if the inputs/outputs of existing home theater receivers and HDTVs will be compatible with the new standalone DVD players? If not then this will be a problem.
    Posted by S B (1 comment )
    Reply Link Flag
    For Older Equipment, No
    Unfortunately, a lot of equipment will NOT be compatible with these newer high def DVDs. My HDTV, for example, is around 3 years old and it only has component connectors (no DVI, no HDMI) and therefore the MPAA says I can now only watch lower resolution video on it. Basically, my investment in next-generation DVD is worthless, as I will get only a minor increase in quality over existing DVDs. So unless I spend ANOTHER 1500 of my hard-earned dollars buying a new set with the connectors they like, my old set (and receiver too, it switches between my three component video sources) is just a pile of expensive junk.
    Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
    Link Flag
    Compatiablility
    If they are compatiable with current devices then the standalone devices will have the RGB/sync connections that are currently used. If so, then all this will do is inconvenience the average consumer by rendering his otherwise capable equipment useless to watch HD. The hardware mfrs. are going along because it implies a forced upgrade for everyone thay they can blame on the studios, so they get to benefits with none of the onus.

    As to the pirates? Pirates will simply get a RGB encoder, cost about $1200 or so, and, if necessary, a macrovision filter and continue to steal. And in countries which do not respect copyright, various devices to subvert the copy protection technology will quickly show up.

    Maybe the studios just don't want HD DVD's to be playable on computers. They certainly seem to be headed that way.
    Posted by smfriedland (9 comments )
    Link Flag
    bye bye loyalty
    well, i have invested thousands in my love of film.

    ...with over 1000 DVD's in retail packaging, 2 x 32" lcd tv's, an upscaling dvd player with hdtv tuner, and a 5.1 surround sound system i have finally reached what i consider the end of my love affair with hollywood.

    i am not a pirate, but i swear to the greedy film industry that if my current setup can not play hddvd's with the simple purchase of an hddvd player, then my love of film ends here.

    enjoy the memory of having loyal fans hollywood, because i think this is the last time you will ever see them again.

    ps... intel and microsoft... shame on you.
    Posted by travisfells (6 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Don't worry, Patch coming soon...
    How comes the Industry is trying to "screw up" the customers, like it did with so many items already. I can thank these stupid people for the last life (out of five) of my DVD player for playing DVDs from diferent Zones...

    Anyway, how stupid, very stupid is the Industry, don't they know it's hardly a matter of a month or so and the code will be cracked and sent all over the globe. Naturally they'll make laws too, and well, they're a laughing stock!!!

    Really do not worry at all!!!!!! Patience.

    Sony had found the "ultimate code" and got it screwed up!!! With the right tools one can copy any Sony protected DVDs and music CDs, and it plays beautifully.

    My father used to work in a prison. He said: You make the rules &#38; safety tighter, the prisoner has got time and skill and always ends up one notch ahead!!! See!!!

    And don't be silly folks, let the stupid ones pay for the test, in six to nine months time it'll be all over.

    Scoobeeedoooo-bedooooo!!!! or shalala!!! if you like it better!!!
    Posted by ericchappuis (6 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Its already cracked
    Dont worry, HDCP was already fully cracked months ago.

    Just avoid buying PCs with the DRM cripppled 'VIIV' chipset from Intel, and with an appropriate 'patch' and you should be fine.
    Posted by richto (895 comments )
    Link Flag
    I like the analogy
    Comparing prisoners to DVD consumers, it's pretty accurate!
    Posted by Mutex (40 comments )
    Link Flag
    It's about $$$$$$
    To simply it's all about $$$$$, never mind the rootkit DRM, that will come with this killer product!

    For the industry, is literally, trying to force the cosumer, to spend an average of $20K plus in expensive total equipment upgrades

    And then in addition, there is the $100k plus to replace existing library stock dvd's!(old stock reissued in new formats)

    In the interim, the industry, will consider ways to kill all fair use, and seek to enforce some kind of annual license fee or pay per view to rent the product only(triples the annual corporate profits)

    Choices, to be led by the nose, needlessly spend $$$$, or wait until the smoke and mirrors used here are removed!

    Choices, don't you love them!
    Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Just Say No
    Just say no and boycott their stupid and draconian products. Drive fascist Hollywood into bankruptcy. That's their karma. They can't make movies worth watching anymore anyway.
    Posted by (9 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Why?
    Perhaps my outlook is old fashioned, but between being forced to upgrade to digital and high definition anyway, and combination of getting older with poor eyesight, I find the differences id the HD world not great enough to stir my wallet in paying for anymore "latest and Greatest". It is not fair or accurate to lay the blame only on the Studios, half of the problem is hardware vendors trying to make their offering into a "must have" item. Seems to me it is a case of software trrying to cactch up with the latest in hardware. Not buying the hardware will also greatly influence the how the industry will adapt also. Can't see them stopping DVD sales if no one buys Blu-ray hardware???
    Posted by Sir Limey (43 comments )
    Link Flag
    They can keep cause I am not buying it.
    No amount of passive entertainment is worth the trouble or the expense. If recent movies are any indication of things come I am not missing anything.
    HD is no substitute for a good plot.
    Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Mmmmm HD capture
    Let's get real folks. With todays LCD monitors reaching 1080p with excellent color space, black levels and contrast why not just record it directly from the monitor. Maybe with something like a Hi Def video camera? And then maybe if not up to snuff in quality lets run it through an editor. Hey lets just use the TFT header in the display. If I can see it, it can be pirated. So what is the real issue? Hollywood needs to get a grip. Talking about greed.

    Not a pirate or poster, just a user.
    Posted by XFI155 (1 comment )
    Reply Link Flag
    Amateur approach....
    Getting a camera into the loop is the second dumbest idea. Using
    an editor to improve video quality is the first dumbest.

    IF you can put the image on the monitor, you can record that same
    data flow, then run it thru the appropriate compressor to get the
    final version. That's how DVD's are ripped to .avi format. Works
    great.
    Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
    Link Flag
    The consumer is always rite!!
    This is a Way to break the consumers back at best, and make life easy for the dishonest.
    Posted by quash_bug (18 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    I bought it I should be able to use it
    If I pay for a nice shiny new DVD I should be able to play it on damn piece of equipment I want. I handed pover cash for it now I want to watch it. I don't want to have to fork out hundereds of pounds upgrading my perfectly good computer just to add an encryption feature I don't even want. What happened to the thought that encryption was bad (USA even classified it as a weapon in export laws didn't they).

    Windos Vista? Intel encryption? Does this mena I have to buy an Intel chip and run vista on it to run a DVD? What happens if I want a Linux machine with an AMD cheap (or a Mac?). This is yet more vendor lock in designed to punish consumers.

    And I like the way they are restricting the rights of people who are legitimaly buying the DVDs, are they really trying to decrease Piracy, it looks lioke there providing more incentive to pirate stuff, a pirate version may actually play on my PC.

    It will be broken sooner or later, If a peice of hardware/software can decrypt it to display it then a piece of hardware/software can be designed to decrypt it to capture the data off it.
    Posted by booboo1243 (328 comments )
    Link Flag
    only problem i see
    Maybe I am not giving everyone a fair shake, but I fully expect that Sony's PS3 sales will be used to boost blue ray into popular contention as several hardcore gamers and parents will buy this product to have it and to play nextgen games on it. I also expect that several people will buy the new gear heedless of the ramifications. So, all this talk is well and good, but dont expect too much fro joe schmoe who doesn't care/ doesn't want to care.
    Posted by techguy83 (295 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Exactly
    The vast majority of consumers will not balk. If you've seen the image from Blu-ray on a good HD set, it is absolutely stunning and far, far better than even progressive DVD. I've been holding off buying an HDTV set for two things:
    - HD CableCARD TiVo
    - Blu-ray

    Both are coming out this year, so I'm already shopping around for an HD set.

    I've been following Blu-ray and HD-DVD since they were just 'next generation optical media' and didn't have spiffy names, and I'm well versed in HDCP, HDMI, et al. I, and a number of people I know, just don't care. I plan to buy a PS3, which automatically puts Blu-ray in my home. I'll probably buy a BD recorder/burner at some point too.

    But for the average consumer, they'll never notice since most people don't use their PCs - even Media Center PCs. The other issue that everyone seems to be ignoring is that the discs *MAY* be restricted. It is up to the publisher. The standards *allow* them to restrict playback, but it is their *choice*. So all those ranting about the standards forcing this, etc, are idiots. If a disc required HDCP and won't play on your DVI monitor, or it is down-rezzed on your component connections, that's because the publisher selected those rules. There is no reason that BD, or HD-DVD, cannot play at full resolution on any output! (Modulo the connection handling it - such as some HDMI connections only going to 1080i and not handling 1080p.) The choice is in the publishers hands, the standards just give them options.

    And, as the article said, publishers may start out with lax rules to prevent the kind of backlash seen here, and down the road, as more and more users have modern systems, start making new releases tighter.

    AACS actually supports more flexibility for consumers than CSS did for DVD, with managed copy.

    I accept DRM as a fact of life and I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I buy music from iTunes, and I used to strip the DRM with JHymn just because I could - until iTunes6. And if that is patched, I probably will again. I also strip the DRM off my TiVoToGo files to use them on other devices. I'm sure, eventually, some hack will be found for AACS, but until then I can live with it as is. I own over 1,000 DVDs and I've never felt the need to rip any of them.
    Posted by megazone (138 comments )
    Link Flag
    Shocking
    It's a shame that something like this will only make torrenting even bigger.
    Posted by Scree (6 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    My exact thoughts
    Does this mean I'm going to have to spend more time downloading the latest Hollywood crap and manufactured music?
    Posted by City_Of_LA (118 comments )
    Link Flag
    Copy via DVI? How??
    &gt;Even worse is the so-called DVI plug that sends
    &gt;high-quality digital signals to a monitor but also
    &gt;doesn't support copy protection.
    &gt;
    &gt;That offers an even greater risk of copying in
    &gt;Hollywood's eyes.

    Why? How? Do DVI "tuner" or capture cards even exist? I'm pretty sure tht if they were at Best Buy or other popular retailers that I'd have one. I don't get the paranoia. If us customers, uh sorry, I mean pirates don't have the tools available to copy by DVI, then where does this fear come from?

    At least I haven't made any high-end hardware purchases recently that are effectively voided by this situation. And I ain't gonna buy any graphics cards or LCD monitors or other related items until this situation is cleared up. How long will that take? Will there be drivers for Linux? (I'd be very happy with closed-source Linux drivers ala NVidia's regular graphics drivers are today, I'm not an OSS fundamentalist I just want things to work)
    Posted by amigabill (93 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    HD Capture devices
    do exist but are sort of illegal.

    New laws are either in play or about to be that makes video capture in high definition a big no - but if you search the net you'll find quite a few.

    Whether they have dvi input I can't say, most are geared towards capturing HD signals from cable or satellite, which still use coax to connect to traditional HD tuner boxers, which in turn use DVI to connect to your TV.

    I suspect, however, that quite a few do have DVI inputs, so which the appropriate anti-macrovision software installed capturing HD movies would be possible.
    Posted by ajbright (447 comments )
    Link Flag
    Forgot HDCP in Alpha-soup
    The real story here is about HDCP but it wasn't in your 'soup' list...
    Posted by BartleyF (14 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    They Are Putting Petrol Into Their Own Fire!
    The more you try to treat non-pirating and honest consumers like criminals, the more consumers will turn to piracy. If you throw a criminal into jail, they become more of a criminal when they get out. I think you can see my analogy.

    What the movie studios should do is try to maintain their existing margin rather than trying to increase it and get more sales growth at the same time.

    The EBIT margins of movie studios have doubled since the introduction of DVD. Now they are getting too greedy which will in-turn hurt them because their greed will fuel more piracy.

    Look at the financial woes of Sony! They put themselves in that position by being too anal. Now the movie industry is following Sony's philosophy and they are going to get hurt too because as you can see from every poster here....no-one will bother buying BD or HDDVD.
    Posted by Azzuro10 (41 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    it gets worse...
    as you pointed out the movie industry is greedy, the hardware makers are facilitating their plans and government is also helping them along the way to restricting how the consumer can use products they've purchased.

    In the ideal world for corporate america every product they sell would die conveniently after so long freeing the consumer to ..well consume again! I don't believe like some conspiracy nuts do that the hardware manufacturers are in collusion to do such a nefarious thing, no instead their actions are guided by one thing the hunt for that all might dollar and ever rising profits.

    After all corporations be definition require increasing profits to look good in the eye of the investor, stable profits in a publicly traded company are almost as unpaletable as no profits. So corporations are compelled to reinvent the wheel, compelled to sell what their customers don't need but say that they do, compelled to change "tiny" things from model to model to provide the illusion of advance to compel consumers to buy more.

    There is a reason that software companies are falling all over themselves in an effort to switch from shrink wrapped to services based software. Why is MS offering Office "live" ?? Because by selling access to office over and over again, they can make far more money for far longer period of time than if they continue to constant, feature bloat, point upgrade, force users to buy, software cycle we've been dealing with for 20 years. With software as a service they have the ultimate ability to charge us per hour, per document or even per character if they wanted. You may think being charged per character for writing a word doc. is outlandish now, but then if I told you 20 years ago that there would come a day when you couldn't make personal copies of videos that I've purchased for your own private use use, or told you that one day for each computer you have in your home (living room, kids room, office..etc.) You'd have to buy a separate physical copy of a desired windows OS...you would have laughed at me then, but those restrictions are reality today.

    Getting back to the restrictions on HD playback, it's the same game all over, the restrictions secure (albiet temporarily) a profit sector fo the companies. They look at these sectors not because they are having hard times now (they aren't) it's simply because they must continue to have growth to be successful...and this gets us into a philosophical debate over how capitalism works. How can an entity that requires endless growth compete fairly in a market with limited resources??? Short answer, look at evolution and competing species (the model for the free market mind you) the answer is, it can't.
    Posted by sent2null (25 comments )
    Link Flag
    I refuse to submit...
    Well, this is one consumer who won't be buying into the whole new media set-up.

    I refuse to buy a computer that has built-in DRM. If that means that I can't buy the parts needed to build a new system in the future, so be it. It's my hobby, not my living.

    I will not buy Vista; XP works just fine for what I do with my computers. It's not like the switch from 98 (which crashed on me twice a day) to XP (which is stable on my machines.) I'll just make sure that I have all of the updates current and archived when Microsoft decides to stop supporting the OS.

    I will not buy a software format that restricts my Fair Use rights. Nothing's come out of the film industry in the past few years that I will miss owning, anyway; what I want to collect is already released -- I can get it on a compatible disc now. The same goes for the music industry -- 99.999% of the current product is dreck; I haven't been the target demographic for 10-15 years. The last CD I bought was about six years ago, and THAT was a compilation CD of '70's music. What I want to own I pretty much DO own. And what passes for entertainment on American television -- no thanks. The last thing I saw that I enjoyed was Doctor Who 2005, and I had to BitTorrent that.

    Don't get me wrong, though. I LIKE new toys. I bought my first computer in 1981 and have owned at least one ever since. I was the first on in my circle of friends to buy a VCR and the only one to get into laserdisc; I've always owned a nice TV and sound system. However, it's always been on MY terms -- what I buy, I own, and I do with it what I want. If the powers-that-be who run the entertainment industry have decided in their infinite wisdom that I'm not a valued source of income, I'M not hurt by it, they are. I have music, movies, books, video files and games to last me for a long while, so they can go scratch as far as I'm concerned.
    Posted by Hallie Miles (18 comments )
    Reply Link Flag
    Dr Who 2005 Availability
    "The last thing I saw that I enjoyed was Doctor Who 2005, and I had to BitTorrent that."

    This show starts running here in the US on SCI-FI Channel in March. As to DVD Copies, BBC Video USA has announced the Region 1 Release (it was already Region 2 released in the UK last year) as of 4July2006 (it was due to release this February but it was pushed back when Sci-fi Channel picked up the show to give them the needed 13 Weeks to air it first).
    Posted by rarpsl (34 comments )
    Link Flag
    Cheers
    ..
    Posted by nonstopdoc1 (29 comments )
    Link Flag
     

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