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Avatar Blu-Ray DRM Issues

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the revolutionary-zero-d-technology dept.

Movies 376

geekd writes "Once again, DRM only hurts legit content purchasers: 'An unusual glitch has angered some Avatar Blu-ray owners. For these unlucky people, since the disc won't play on their Blu-ray players, their new Avatar DVD serves no real purpose other than to sit idly on the coffee table. ... It appears the main culprit concerning playback issues with Avatar is, ironically, the disc's DRM (digital rights management). ... Even with updated firmware, a lot of Blu-ray players weren't prepared for these security measures. Despite the security problems, bootleggers are having a field day. Pirated copies of Avatar, according to Los Angeles Times, were available as early as January.'" Reader Murpster adds that this problem isn't specific to the Blu-ray version: "Got a regular Avatar DVD and it won't play on either of my DVD players. It will play on one computer DVD drive, if I want to watch it on a 12-inch screen."

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DRM (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048716)

Everytime they shoot themselves in the foot like this, public awareness and knowledge of DRM goes up. Even though the consumers are being hurt by this, it will make them realize that it's not always as easy as "buy, own, use however I want" anymore -- word of mouth is a powerful force in this industry.

And right now, the word is... fail.

Re:DRM (4, Insightful)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048924)

not too many independents putting up $250M to make one piece of content though... so in the end, the only failure relative to the consumer was to himself. he didn't get the content he wanted.

Re:DRM (4, Insightful)

c-reus (852386) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049194)

Does spending a certain amount of money on a movie give you the right to sell a copy of the movie to anyone but only allow a subset of those people to view the movie they have bought?

Re:DRM (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049272)

my point was that the business may not be viable enough to ever spend a certain amount of money if subsets of people are sometimes not "allowed"* to view the movie they have bought.

* i'm using your definition of "allowed" which seems to be: utilize a player that does not fully implement the spec required by the media.

Re:DRM (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049382)

EDIT: missing "not"

my point was that the business may not be viable enough to ever spend a certain amount of money if subsets of people are not sometimes not allowed* to view the movie they have bought.

* i'm using your definition of "allowed" which seems to be: utilize a player that does not fully implement the spec required by the media.

Re:DRM (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049030)

DRM is basically "Pay and pray".

Re:DRM (4, Funny)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049322)

Pay and pray that they do not alter it further?

Re:DRM (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049058)

I'm increasingly convinced that "consumers" do not associate DRM problems with DRM itself -- rather, they view it as one manufacturer's problem, or even just a flaw in the DVD mastering. When the same DVD plays perfectly on another DVD player, that just "validates" that the DVD player was at fault, not the DRM.

As such, wide-scale problems like this aren't viewed as *DRM problems*, just a DVD player problem.

Terms like DRM are thrown around, but I don't see them sticking in the minds of most consumers. It's just another 3-letter-acronym that tech people like to use so much.

Re:DRM (5, Insightful)

dnahelicase (1594971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049368)

I'm increasingly convinced that "consumers" do not associate DRM problems with DRM itself -- rather, they view it as one manufacturer's problem, or even just a flaw in the DVD mastering. When the same DVD plays perfectly on another DVD player, that just "validates" that the DVD player was at fault, not the DRM.

As such, wide-scale problems like this aren't viewed as *DRM problems*, just a DVD player problem.

Terms like DRM are thrown around, but I don't see them sticking in the minds of most consumers. It's just another 3-letter-acronym that tech people like to use so much.

I disagree completely. DRM does stick in the mind of consumers in a case like this, and they do not blame the players, but do blame the disc.

As soon as one disc doesn't work, they stick another disc in to see if it works. When the previously owned disc works just fine, and the new one does not, they blame the new disc. I imagine quite a few get upset, return the disc in exchange for another just like it. Then they get frustrated when two in a row don't work, call their IT Guy/Friend/Teenager and ask why. I/they explain DRM to them, how they must wait for an update to come out to play the disc, and nobody is happy.

Even if they ask "do I need to buy a new player?" The best answer I have is "Who knows? A new one might have a better firmware, might not."

Re:DRM (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049274)

You wouldn't steal a car. You wouldn't steal a handbag. You wouldn't steal a mobile phone. You wouldn't st... DISC ERROR.

Re:DRM (4, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049330)

Whatever this does - it will essentially make it a PR win for the downloadable non-DRM-infected versions.

But of course - the movie industry will be VERY silent about problems caused by DRM.

It only takes one way to crack an encryption and the content is out of the box - and every player does contain means to decode the encrypted content. As soon as somebody is able to go into it a non-DRM version of a movie will appear, and it will also miss the hated copyright warnings that is pestering us to death.

Troubles with the plot (5, Insightful)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048722)

One could argue that DRM actually fixed this movie. :)

Re:Troubles with the plot (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049232)

It's a shame one can only achieve a maximum score of 5 for a post. That one deserves at least 10. You have made my day.

Re:Troubles with the plot (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049324)

Like the plot was only thing in a moving picture.

Not to mention that it wasn't the plot that sucked, but the cheesy lines full of clichés, the weak portrayal of groups of characters, and Sam Worthnothington.

When you troll an otherwise good film, at least do it right.

Paying for content? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048730)

HAW HAW

Don't buy blu-ray. (4, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048738)

It isn't worth the price premium when you can't backup and it won't play without more tools to prevent you from backing up or even watching it.

Re:Don't buy blu-ray. (4, Informative)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048778)

Price premium = $2 more at Target.

LOL!!!

Nice try though!!! Keep playing!!!

Re:Don't buy blu-ray. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049000)

That and the player itself. Not insignificant.

Re:Don't buy blu-ray. (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049270)

My player was $99 (the same as my first DVD player) and it also does Netflix streaming. Maybe not insignificant, but pretty reasonable. I've found that I use the streaming way more than actual discs. I have had one disc (Ponyo) give me trouble due to firmware issues, which I ended up downloading & watching in Japanese with subtitles instead - good for the kids' reading!

Re:Don't buy blu-ray. (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048976)

Price premium = $2 less at Walmart.

Re:Don't buy blu-ray. (5, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049074)

Actually the ripping tools work fine on it, and it the only way I could watch my legal shop-bought copy of Avatar was to rip it to disk and watch it from there, so they've failed completely.

actually, I can back it up (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049364)

I buy Blu-ray because I can rip the movies and transcode them. Including Avatar.

Try that with streaming or other DRM-laden options.

And the price premium is almost 0 for this movie. It was $19.99 at all major stores including Amazon, and you get a copy of the Blu-ray and the DVD for that price!

For the record, I didn't buy this movie. But if I did want it, I wouldn't have hesitated at all.

That's not a bug, that's a feature (5, Funny)

vm146j2 (233075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048742)

Because when only criminals can watch movies, then ... er ... all the children will have guns. Or something.

Re:That's not a bug, that's a feature (5, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049108)

When only criminals can watch movies then everyone will know how to hack their way into watching a movie they bought with their hard earned money.

If DRM needs to be bypassed it will be bypassed.

Fighting the free market. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048752)

That's what happens when you try and fight the free market using technology.

Already cracked. (4, Informative)

brunascle (994197) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048756)

The stable release of AnyDVD HD (6.6.3.4) doesnt support Avatar, but the beta version does ( http://forum.slysoft.com/showthread.php?t=40115 [slysoft.com] ). It took me longer to update the firmware on my bluray player than it took me to update AnyDVD HD. Though the actual ripping still takes about 4 hours...

Re:Already cracked. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048952)

I wonder if the latest vlc can play it?

Digital Restrictions Management (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048760)

the main culprit concerning playback issues with Avatar is, ironically, the disc's DRM (digital rights management).

What's ironic about that? If you had expanded the acronym correctly, you would probably understand that it's just consequential.

Re:Digital Restrictions Management (4, Funny)

ShadyG (197269) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049246)

Ironic, you know, like rain on your wedding day.

Re:Digital Restrictions Management (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049350)

Ironic, you know, like rain on your wedding day.

I'm glad we can all keep on making fun of that song, even 16 years later...

It's a little too ironic...

No matter (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048766)

This was a bare-bones release anyway. I'm waiting for the double-dip release which will inevitably contain a metric assload of extras. I have no desire to watch the movie again (although I did enjoy it strictly from an entertainment point of view)...I do, however, have great interest in watching any making-of featurettes that may be included.

DRM issues or no, I'm steering clear of this release.

Re:No matter (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048846)

Plus, the quality of this release, by which I mean the DVD or Blu-ray, is not particularly good.

This is not from the master. This is from an analogue print, the transfer is soft, there's excessive edge enhancement and loss of low-contrast detail during movement due to excessive noise reduction, and what's with the diagonal noise? The BD+ code does not, in fact, watermark the video, so I have no idea.

I do know I won't be getting this one. You should definitely wait, especially given that AVATAR is essentially a 'spectacle' movie, where frankly the video and audio quality matters a lot.

Re:No matter (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049230)

This is not from the master. This is from an analogue print

WTF?

I watched the movie in 3D at a Digital Imax theatre. Clearly there exists a really beautiful digital copy they could have downsampled. They instead did a transfer from film? Why oh why would they do that?

Are you sure of this? Do you have a reference?

Re:No matter (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049260)

you are on crack...the movie looks absolutely superb on BluRay.

Leave the quality reviews to people with eyes.

Re:No matter (4, Informative)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049306)

"This is not from the master. This is from an analogue print"

Mods, the parent is bull-shitting. I own an Avatar blu-ray and the audio and video quality is outstanding. In the latimes interview, James Cameron even stated that he wanted to use all the available space in the disk just for the movie to ensure highest possible bit-rate

Re:No matter (2, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049012)

This was a bare-bones release anyway. I'm waiting for the double-dip release which will inevitably contain a metric assload of extras. I have no desire to watch the movie again (although I did enjoy it strictly from an entertainment point of view)...I do, however, have great interest in watching any making-of featurettes that may be included.

Yeah, I got the release and I'll probably buy the double/triple dip version when it comes out. I will admit though, that the mastering is quite good and the bitrate is high (the movie's 46GB). Perhaps my one and only complaint would be the lack of high-bitrate audio (it's just 48kHz/24bit - not 96/192. And no, the reason for the high bitrate is not because you can hear those high frequencies, it's the aliasing - a brick-wall 20kHz filter causes tons of distortion. But let the filter work from 20-odd to 48/96kHz, and it can be really linear).

It is one blu-ray to use to show off your home theatre setup, though. Also, there's less dynamic range compression, so you'll have to crank it up, literally.

Pfft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049068)

I'm waiting for the 40-year anniversary edition on Gren-Ray. Imagine watching the movie in 6D!

You don't see me buying the Planet of the Ape VHS edition. [amazon.com] I just bought the Blu-ray version two years ago! [amazon.com]

Re:No matter (5, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049082)

I do, however, have great interest in watching any making-of featurettes that may be included.

They did it on a computer.

Re:No matter (4, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049162)

LOL, that's pretty much what my fiancee said :-)

"Why would I want to sit there for six hours watching overweight bearded guys talk about where on the screen they clicked with a mouse?"

Re:No matter (3, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049314)

Seriously, though, modern "Making Ofs" are all the same.

Whereas the late 70s and 80s are actually interesting, because they had to do things. The "Making Ofs" for Tron and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, regardless of your opinions on the movies themselves, are actually interesting because they faced challenges that normal people could understand and met them with answers normal people can understand.

In fact, a really technical "making of" of Avatar might be really interesting to us, but because the "making of" will be targeted at people in general, it is unlikely to have more than a few seconds of really interesting technical content, because people in general do not understanding complex computer graphics issues. (Nor should they have to.) All they can say is "They made it with computers. Here, here's some shots of rotating computer models."

Tron 2 and the latest Star Trek movie are, of course, "They made it on a computer."

Re:No matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049360)

she's a keeper

Re:No matter (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049206)

Did they patent it yet then?

Download the crack. (1)

BeansBaxter (918704) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048840)

I bought the combo bluray with dvd disk. Which was fine but I don't have a bluray player so a quick google search there is the torrent of the bluray dump available day of release. Stupid. So I downloaded the disk I bought over the next 3 days. I guess I broke the law but the drm was nicely removed. Now if only computers could playback 1080P without choking on their own spit.

Re:Download the crack. (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049072)

My Inspiron 1501 running Linux can play 1080P just fine. The HDD and GPU is what caused it to lag for me. I just put the files in a RAM disk and have the CPU process the video and it plays smoothly.

Re:Download the crack. (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049178)

Are you joking? Computers have no problem playing back video at far higher resolutions than merely 1080P.

Sounds like a problem on your end, not computers in general.

Since I needed time between my postings here is a relevant xkcd comic. http://xkcd.com/732/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Download the crack. (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049294)

Actually, mediocre decoders (ffmpeg) on mediocre hardware (some Core 2 Duo laptop, for example) will not play high-bitrate/high-complexity scenes properly at all. 1080p H.264 does push today's CPUs quite a bit. This is why you want GPU acceleration. My one-year-old desktop replacement laptop lags through some 1080p streams using just the CPU, but let the GPU do the work through VDPAU and it just breezes through everything. Heck, I have an underpowered HTPC that can play everything without a hitch using one of Nvidia's cheapest cards (a 8400GS).

Re:Download the crack. (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049320)

I guess I broke the law but the drm was nicely removed. Now if only computers could playback 1080P without choking on their own spit.

They can, you just need software/hardware which works properly (i.e. x.264 GPU offload engine).

The DVD I bought (2, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048842)

has verbiage on the back that says "This disc is copy protected" Didn't stop a direct show based solution from ripping it (never does), It played fine on the portable DVD player, played fine on the $20 dvd player on the kid's TV, played fine on the computer.

I still haven't bought in to blu-ray though so I can't speak to that.

Also from the op... 12 inch screen... a 23 inch 1080p monitor is like 150 bucks, come on.

Re:The DVD I bought (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048866)

Yeah, 12 inch screen? Lame.

Re:The DVD I bought (1)

mrbene (1380531) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048938)

Yeah, 12 inch screen? Lame.

Definitely lame. Don't you know that 9.7 inches is the size of the week [apple.com] ?

Re:The DVD I bought (3, Funny)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049016)

Yeah, 12 inch screen? Lame.

Mine is larger. Otherwise, blue pill helps.

Re:The DVD I bought (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049302)

Blue Pill? I was only offered the red or green one. Dang, I got ripped off.

Re:The DVD I bought (1)

PitneFor (1758838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048904)

WTF LOL 12 INCHES. Hell the 24' monitors have a higher resolution than any hd tv

Re:The DVD I bought (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049020)

WTF LOL 12 INCHES. Hell the 24' monitors have a higher resolution than any hd tv

I imagine that when the screen size breaches twenty feet you need a lot more resolution to keep the pixel size down.

Re:The DVD I bought (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049046)

I'd love to be able to afford 24 ft. wide monitor.

Re:The DVD I bought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049316)

The usual resolution for 24" LCDs is 1920x1200, which (for watching movies) is exactly the same as 1920x1080 in practice, unless you use subtitles (which can go in the resulting black band).

And many 24" LCDs are now 1920x1080, exactly the same as, e.g., my 22" 1080p Vizio -- whose principle purpose is as a TV monitor, since it was the first screen I found less than 23 inches with 1920x1080 or better. These days, if you look for decent ones, 22 to 24 inch LCDs, whether TVs (with VGA input!) or monitors (with HDMI input!) are pretty much the same.

Unless, of course, you meant a 24" CRT, which might be 2048x1536 or so -- my best CRT is 21", 1920x1440

Serves them right for buying such a shitty movie. (-1, Troll)

z3r08urn (1122729) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048854)

Just sayin'....

pirates provide better product (4, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048890)

Too bad you don't have a choice to buy it. The movie company is treating you like a Criminal, making you sit through FBI warnings, and is providing a product that may or may not work compared to the pirate version, which is what most people want.

Re:pirates provide better product (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049226)

...making you sit through FBI warnings...

Whenever I see those, I remember the "video pirates" scene in Amazon Women from the Moon. The pirates see the screen and say, "Ooooooo! I'm sooooooo scared!". I say that and then I pull my pants down, moon the FBI warning, and then flip them off.

Of course after that, they then have every frick'in company that had anything to do with the production of the damn thing: the studio, the film company, the distributor, and every one else with their 30 second video graphic or whatever - god forbid if you watch a Spielberg or a Lucas movie! At least with video tape you could fast forward through all that horseshit.

Then you get to the menu. You select something and you have to sit through several seconds of video clip to get to the next screen. And if you have to go 2 or more deep it gets really old fast - Spy Game was like that. Speaking of which, watch out for that DVD. The zipper heads who programmed that screwed up and it won't play on many players.

Now you got me going.

Warning Requires Constant Internet Connection (4, Insightful)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048892)

From TFA:

In reality, the disc works fine; the problem stems from the Blu-ray players themselves. In order to run optimally, the firmware for these fancy Blu-ray machines needs to be updated regularly via a download from the Web. ...
If a Blu-ray player owner doesn't have a home Internet connection, the chances are good the player's firmware will be out of date.

Wow, this is cringe-worthy. I mean, Blu-ray quality is so awesome, it needs a connection to the internet! Did someone from Ubisoft work on the blu-ray spec, or was it the other way around?

Re:Warning Requires Constant Internet Connection (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049348)

Where on Earth (or even Pandora) does it say you need a constant internet connection? They were just implying it has to be downloaded regularly for updates, not constantly.

Consequence of copy protection; is a fail (3, Informative)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048896)

FTA:

In reality, the disc works fine; the problem stems from the Blu-ray players themselves. In order to run optimally, the firmware for these fancy Blu-ray machines needs to be updated regularly via a download from the Web.

Of course they need this, to try and avoid the problems with older DVD encryption that had to store the keys on the disk and the player.
Hence easily broken.
Still, it's a bit of stretch to think that everyone who has a Blueray DVD, (especially a stand-alone one), will be able to keep it updated via the tubes.
As always, DRM punishes the honest customers, and is busted fast by the hackers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AACS_encryption_key_controversy [wikipedia.org]

Re:Consequence of copy protection; is a fail (4, Informative)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049124)

To make matters worse, the first few generations of Blu-ray players don't have any network connection at all.

Re:Consequence of copy protection; is a fail (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049370)

As far as i know, even if they dont have network connection they can still firmware update through other means.. Im pretty surethe Blu-Ray spec demands the ability to upgrade firmware.

BD+ issues (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048916)

Yeah, I ran into issues. Played fine on my PS3, but didn't on my blu-ray equipped HTPC.

Turns out it was BD+ - the Arcsoft folks issued a patch the next day and it worked perfectly.

But those with older players also had BD+ issues and many a firmware update is reuqired to fix it.

BD+... now why did we let Blu-Ray win again? HD-DVD had none of this crap... just the leaked AACS key.

Re:BD+ issues (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049114)

Well, Blu-ray hasn't "won", it's just HD DVD already lost.

I don't think BD can "win", as in become a successful format, while this kind of crap is going on. The studios supporting BD over HD DVD was a stunning set-back for high-definition video, but at the time too few people understood the issues with BD - most of us who pointed out BD's DRM was the height of stupidity were dismissed as only interested in issues ordinary consumers didn't care about (because ordinary consumers don't want a reliable playback system?) - for there to be any resistance.

Blu-ray remains a niche format. With high profile cock-ups like this one, and a complete unwillingness by the BDA to mandate fixes to the flaws, it'll probably always be one, living out its last days as Laserdisc to DVD's VHS until both formats are replaced by something viable, popular, cheap, and great.

Re:BD+ issues (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049192)

Was your PS3 with or without the latest Firmware that removes OtherOS?

Re:BD+ issues (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049258)

Was the Laser Disk beaten by VHS?

Sometimes failure is just failure.

Take them back (5, Insightful)

bobjr94 (1120555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048926)

If you want the problem solved, take your copies back to best buy or walmart and exchange them 4 or 5 times. Tell them this wont play, it must be faulty. If that becomes so much of a problem with hundred of returns at each store, they will complain to the distributors about how many returns they are getting and how much it is costing them. If walmart is not happy, things will be changed.

Re:Take them back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049076)

Like Best Buy is going to take back an open movie.

BWahahahahahaha

Re:Take them back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049100)

This was my thought exactly. This is what will happen en masse...no one is spending 30 bucks on a blu ray that won't work...they will take it back, and take it back again, and again if needed.

Re:Take them back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049220)

Walmart will not care they will just dump it back on the manufacture. That is the way they work.

The TFA blows it. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048930)

TFA says "In reality, the disc works fine; the problem stems from the Blu-ray players themselves. In order to run optimally, the firmware for these fancy Blu-ray machines needs to be updated regularly via a download from the Web. "

Uh, no, Mike Ryan, the disc does not work fine. If it did it would play in existing Blue-ray players without requiring a firmware update. Instead, the disc uses newer DRM that was essentially guaranteed to cause this problem, and the blame for the defect is put on consumers for "failing" to keep their Blue-ray player permanently attached to the internet so the Blu-ray DRM overlords could update (and rescind) earlier DRM. And media shills like you repeat the lie.

A disc that works fine would, you know, work fine. And failure to play *at all* isn't an examples of Blue-ray players not behaving "optimally", it is an example of **failure**. DRM fail.

Pirated product is actually better! (5, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048940)

When will the studios ever figure out that the DRM isn't stopping piracy at all, and only hurts the honest customers?

It's a bitter irony that the pirates offer a better product: it will play in any player (no DRM), it probably doesn't force you to watch an "FBI warning", it probably doesn't have a commercial about how evil it is to pirate things, and it probably doesn't have endless trailers for other discs.

And it seems like discs get more and more annoying over time. Now it's not just the FBI warning, but also a studio logo, a distributor logo, a warning that "if you listen to the commentary, the views expressed may not represent the official views of the movie studio", and then finally an annoying long intro sequence (that may contain spoilers) before the menu finally appears to allow you to actually play the movie. The trailers are usually skippable but all the rest are not! You have to put up with this stuff anytime you want to watch the movie! Again, I'm pretty sure that the pirates don't do all this stuff, making the pirated product better.

Once anybody, anywhere in the world, has released an illegal copy of your content, it's all over. No amount of DRM that punishes the honest customers can get that content back once it's on the Internet. Why do they even try?

steveha

Re:Pirated product is actually better! (3, Insightful)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049042)

As said xkcd before. pirate this comic : http://xkcd.com/488/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Pirated product is actually better! (2, Insightful)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049296)

Nope, no shit warnings, just beautiful 1080P movie right from launching the H.264 file. kind of funny how the 720 and 1080P versions where out on launch day ( the TS files anyways, @ 50GB ) and people can't play the damn disks in their legit players, way to go movie companies, way to go.

let me get this strait... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048944)

Due to restrictive policies put in place by the big evil corporation to restrict the power of people who own the material, I can't watch a movie about a big evil corporation who is restricting and stealing from a people who own the material?
Wow. I think I figured out why the natives were blue.

Re:let me get this strait... (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049176)

Oh, please mod parent up, he may be an AC, but he definitely have managed to nail down the irony of the whole farce.

Class Action Suit? (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048946)

Where are the class action law suits for this crap?!? Isn't it fraud to sell something that you know is broken? Essentially the movie industry selling a plastic and aluminum coaster and billing it as a full length feature film. The only way to make these idiots stop putting DRM on everything is to cause them serious financial pain when they do...

If you own one of these discs call an attorney!

Re:Class Action Suit? (1)

cjmnews (672731) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049284)

If you read the article it tells you that the Disc is not broken. It works fine. It's the owners of the players that didn't update their players that caused the problem.

Oh, and if you find the box or instructions for the player it will state that an Internet connection or manual update is required to keep the player up to date. These owners didn't pay attention to that and they are seeing the consequences.

So there is no basis for a lawsuit...

I don't believe BR is good enough to warrant the money for the player, so I am sticking with upconverted DVDs until forced to switch.

So its not the new BD+? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048964)

Weird that it would effect the DVD market as well since the main issue is the new BD+ copy protection, which was just reversed by some crackers. Maybe they can write an update for your bluray player and get it to work.

Re:So its not the new BD+? (1, Insightful)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049112)

Come on now - you know that getting around the protection to a legally purchased product is illegal. Not only illegal - but it encourages terrorists and heroin addicts. Think of the children, please ?

ironically (4, Insightful)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 4 years ago | (#32048966)

"It appears the main culprit concerning playback issues with Avatar is, ironically, the disc's DRM"

That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:ironically (2, Informative)

Harold Halloway (1047486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049062)

Quite right. I think the OP thinks that 'ironically' means 'predictably'.

Re:ironically (1)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049278)

I guess the irony is due to Avatar being an anti-stablishment movie, where a large corporation that is just worried about its profits try to screw people around. See, life imitates art.

Re:ironically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049308)

"It appears the main culprit concerning playback issues with Avatar is, ironically, the disc's DRM"

That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Someone using the word ironic in an incorrect manner? Inconceivable!

Re:ironically (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049372)

The story was submitted by Alanis Morrisette, clearly.

Time to stand up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048972)

With all of the bogus policies such as rental limits, untested security and numerous other problems, the people need to stand together or the all powerful entertainment industry will keep at it.
We need to freeze out these companies make them loose money until they finally catch up to the times, show them they are not untouchable and we are tired of them experimenting on how to squeeze a few dollars out of us. They spend billions on trying to stop illegal us, at the cost of honest users, raising prices and having almost no impact on the illegal users. Honest users need to say enough, get with it or get lost. If the writters can have a walk out and mess up good shows, why can't we? Not like the people in the industry are not already overpaid fatcats that think they own us.

Try this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32048988)

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Thanks for the warning. (1)

Harold Halloway (1047486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049008)

I won't bother buying it then. I'll wait for it to come on TV. Which, extrapolating from the time it took to go from cinema to DVD, will be about three weeks.

Alanis? Is that you? (1)

coaxial (28297) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049054)

It appears the main culprit concerning playback issues with Avatar is, ironically, the disc's DRM

I fail to find the irony in this. DRM always interferes with playback.

DVD (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049060)

Avatar plays on my 1996 (5?) Phillips-Magnavox DVD player. It also plays on our 3 year old Toshiba, 5 year old Sony, and 2 month old phillips, made in china, cheapo. It will be interesting to see why ppl are having issues with the DVD's.

As to Blu-Ray, only total idiots pay the high prices and allow somebody else to kill your movies. The fact that you might upgrade your player and it PURPOSELY kills your encoding MAKES ZERO SENSE WHY ANYBODY WOULD BUY IT. And if you check the license, it is not only legal, but you have ZERO RECOURSE. IOW, you do not own the movie. They own you.

Avatar is just a rip-off anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049088)

The original, Dances with Smurfs [wikipedia.org] , is much more entertaining.

It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049126)

Stop buying DRM crap.

Streaming HD video (2, Interesting)

rennerik (1256370) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049150)

Conceivably, Internet speeds will only increase in the next decade. I think 60-100 mbps average household connection by 2020 isn't that far-fetched (and it may, in fact, be significantly more). At that point, streaming HD video into homes would not be difficult at all, and I think more and more distribution houses are going to start doing just that.

Case-in-point: DRM on streamed video can be implemented significantly more thoroughly than via physical medium. I wouldn't be surprised if Blu-Ray/DVD releases stopped being the norm and instead people bought streaming rights to a film from a co-op like Hulu, or straight from distributers like Universal/Paramount/etc. They can continue to charge ridiculous fees like $25-$30 per film, with extras, etc. And you get "lifetime" access (lifetime in quotes, of course, because it will never be like that if you never actually own a physical copy) for that price... or they can do things like "rent out" movies (which would put rental houses out of business; precisely what these publishers want, since because of the doctrine of first sale, they don't see any profit from rentals; this would eliminate that completely) for $5 a day or something. They can even sell the extra features separately for a few dollars a piece.

And if they implement the DRM correctly, encrypt the stream itself, and black-box the decryption system (via a TPM-like chip or something along those lines), it's very possible that it will be *extremely difficult* to pirate future content such as movies. They can even somehow embed the user's ID into the stream (via watermark/stegonography; I'm not an expert here so bear with me), so if pirates did manage to grab and release the stream, somehow, they can track down the source and prosecute.

Finally, this system would basically always work. Users wouldn't see the problems they're having right now with DRM, and, on top of that, they won't have a bunch of DVDs/Blu-Rays lying around that they'd have to find room for. Plus they get a searchable catalog and a bunch of other stuff that comes with having a purely digital library.

Not saying it's a good thing, necessarily, just that it's probably inevitable.

Re:Streaming HD video (1)

kanguro (1237830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049362)

They said DVD was unhackable. The said that bluray was "secure". Caution is advised on talking of such matters.

Re:Streaming HD video (1)

JerryLove (1158461) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049386)

But how well will it work in the minivan when the kids want to watch it, or on the plane when work is flying me somewhere?

What are the DVD problems? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049156)

Is it something specific to Windows or to Mac OS X or both, or some weird on-purpose bad titles/tracks numbering? Anyone has more info about the technical side of the problem of the DVD version? And is the problem only on region 1 DVDs?

Insert Witty Subject Here (1)

harl (84412) | more than 4 years ago | (#32049288)

I feel like I should have a standard "I told you so" post that I paste in for stories like this. Since I don't it's story time.

Yesterday I went to store and tried to buy a copy of the Ironman DVD. They (multinational big box electronics retailer) were all out. WTF? An item with almost zero unit cost and you have none available. I went home.

Based on the standard ~1.3GB of DVD rips it would have taken me less time to download it than to go to the store, 20 minute roundtrip plus browsing time. And I would have ended up with a copy of the movie.

I beg to differ ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32049336)

They make the geekiest coasters ever! I can't wait for the box set. It's like getting a whole designer set of coasters.

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