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HighDef Content to Require New Monitors

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the upgrade-fever dept.

Displays 607

QT writes "Ars Technica has an interesting article on how HDCP figures into Microsoft and Apple's future OS plans. Not only will future HD content not play in pure HD on most existing monitors (it will be degraded, or not shown at all), but high-end monitors today don't support HDCP yet. HDCP has been coming for 3+ years, but geek fantasy items such as Apple's $3,000 30" Cinema Display don't even have support for it yet! The end result is that when Windows Vista ships (and Apple's next OS), most people won't be able to watch protected HD content on their computers."

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607 comments

My god: it's struck already! (5, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374562)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

Re:My god: it's struck already! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374642)

Um ... I thought selling more hardware is the poiint of new "standards" and "enhancements" like DRM etc.

Re:My god: it's struck already! (3, Interesting)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374785)

Well, I guess that I might have to wait a few days until someone releases a crack for the new protection scheme so that I I can enjoy content that I've already paid for. Unless MS or Apple pay for my new hardware I won't have any other choice.

funny thing... (0)

rd4tech (711615) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374566)

So, no hardware supports is officially yet, but with Vista you can watch it on you pc (under reduced resolution anyway)...

No, only what he THINKS Apple will do (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374568)

Yes Microsoft has plans to incorperate full-on video DRM.

But Apple has never said they will - this article just postulates they will have to.

Well, before ITMS would not people have also postulated that it would be impossible for Apple to sell songs without DRM that would restrict CD burning? After all, that was the standard of the time.

Some companies are smart enough to realize that obsoleteing millions of monitors is Not Smart, and will avoid doing so if they can. And Apple has shown they can avoid the more onerous restrictions set forth by giant industries that would rather have it otherwise. And making millions of computer monitors obsolete is right up there in terms of gall.

So the story poster would have been wise to note the speculative nature of the topic instead of proclaiming it as fact from Apple.

They didn't have to put DRM in iPod. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374685)

They didn't have to put DRM in iPod.

But they did.

Steve Jobs will again be the great enabler for DRM.
Next time it's video.

Re:They didn't have to put DRM in iPod. (3, Insightful)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374702)

What DRM did they put in the iPod? You can copy songs off of and on to the iPod freely. You can output the full quality of all music (such as it is) to any device. You even get unprotected digital outputs from iTunes with the Airport Express or other digital device. Where's the rights management again? We're talking about a system that would NOT SHOW CONTENT on unapproved devices. There are no parallels in iPod/iTunes.

Re:They didn't have to put DRM in iPod. (1, Insightful)

Radres (776901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374742)

Uhh, you can't copy music files that you stored using iTunes on an iPod from the iPod back to the computer, unless you use a 3rd party product, like ml_ipod [mlipod.com] for Winamp. So I wouldn't exactly call that "copying freely". Music downloaded from iTunes cannot be played on non-iPod players, and certain music services like the new Napster do not allow their songs to played on the iPod.

Mounts as drive (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374778)

Sorry, but I can get them out easily as the iPod simply mounts as a drive and I can copy what I like out. Yes the filenames are obscured but since the ID3 data lives in teh file it's a moot point. 3rd party tools just make it a little handier.

Re:No, only what he THINKS Apple will do (2)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374755)

And making millions of computer monitors obsolete is right up there in terms of gall.

Yup.

But only if you want to watch HDCP on your monitor. Moreover if you also use an affected OS.

I wonder how long before we have a box which sits between your monitor and your video card which reports itself as HDCP compliant, but in reality outputs a digital signal for recording.

Re:No, only what he THINKS Apple will do (4, Interesting)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374776)

I wonder how long before we have a box which sits between your monitor and your video card which reports itself as HDCP compliant, but in reality outputs a digital signal for recording.

The box [spatz-tech.de] exists already, but it's illegal thanks to the DMCA.

Re:No, only what he THINKS Apple will do (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374780)

Um, who fucking cares what they proscribe as product or punishment. Hardware DRM will be bypassed maybe not now but eventually by consumer level need overcoming any shortcomings of incompetence by sheer force of numbers. I can imagine any DRM as pervasive as they are talking about will be the hobby of every senior in engineering for many summers to come.

Circumvention (4, Interesting)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374571)

Well from simply reading the summary it sounds like all the protection is being held in the OS, therefore couldn't an Open Source OS circumvent this protection. Just load it up in Linux and none of us nerds have anything to worry about. In fact, we could put it in Linux rip off the DRM and burn it to whatever media we need, then we're home free for whatever format we need, DVD, CD, Blu-Ray, even playable back in Windows and Mac.

Re:Circumvention (1)

h8mE (748976) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374583)

Or "crack" your existing OS, while less geek worthy I'm sure this will take place as well :)

Re:Circumvention (1)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374591)

Once they realize that, we'll be fighting to keep that ability in F/OSS operating systems. They'll try to make the protection mandatory, and ban or severely discourage the use of operating systems that don't support it.

Re:Circumvention (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374727)

Once they realize that, we'll be fighting to keep that ability in F/OSS operating systems. They'll try to make the protection mandatory, and ban or severely discourage the use of operating systems that don't support it.
That's only in the USA, and maybe one or two ass-licking banana republics. So the rest of the world is safe and shall not be concerned.

Re:Circumvention (5, Informative)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374600)

You need the driver that authenticates to the display. I doubt very much that will be (legally) in any OSS drivers.

Re:Circumvention (4, Insightful)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374657)

Then I will never, ever use it. I will never purchase hardware which makes me jump through hoops to do legal things.

And to the content industry, I will never buy or rent, or watch your content on these terms. You will be replaced by artists who do not insist on such things.

-- Bob

more of the same (4, Insightful)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374709)

I will never purchase hardware which makes me jump through hoops to do legal things.

I certainly sympathize, but you do realize that all (legal) DVD players already have this property...

Mike

Re:more of the same (1)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374779)

I don't own one.

I do have a DVD-player in my laptop (because it came with one), and promptly downloaded the RPC patch to fix it. I do own a couple DVD's, but they were all gifts.

Re:Circumvention (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374749)

Why not? There's a world outside of the USA, and not every country has a DMCA equivalent. Quite the opposite - there are many European countries, for example, where "fair use" actually still means something. So someone could just develop a driver outside of the USA and put it up on the web; it might not be included in the standard kernel tree, but it would be available, at least.

The same thing has happened before, too. Remember the International Kernel Patch that added crypto support to the kernel back when in the days when Phil Zimmermann was being investigated for PGP and when it wasn't clear whether you could legally export cryptographic software from the USA? The same thing just might happen again. Or as another example, take OpenBSD - it's been developed in Canada, not the USA, ever since the project was born, for exactly the same reason.

Re:Circumvention (2, Interesting)

xjerky (128399) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374605)

I don't think there's any guarantee that the DRM can be easily stripped. Has anyone successfully removed DRM from WM 10 content yet?

Re:Circumvention (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374648)

Yes, but those were implementation bugs, not full blown cracks - and one needed to have a license to some of the content to begin with. The holes were patched by MS very quickly and new content depends on a patched media player.

I managed to break WMAs however with a high success rate, but newer ones are again fixed against that patch.

Nonetheless, it will happen, there just isnt enough demand yet.

Re:Circumvention (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374610)

Look up "Trusted Hardware" and you'll have your answer.

The black magic needed to run those components dealing with DRM most likely will NOT be open sourced, or made available to FOSS programmers.

FOSS will be limited to "degraded" output -- until it is hacked. Then the lawyers will be turned loose...

Re:Circumvention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374712)

Unless they put the codec in specialised chips I fail to see how you can fail to hack the OS to rip the decoded stream. It is going to pass in decoded form through unprotected channels.

Re:Circumvention (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374788)

I disagree. With the adoption of Linux in some form by many of the big players in the content CREATION area I suspect there will be software drivers available. They have to test the content that is created on something, and it's much easier to debug it on the host machine where it was created instead of moving it to a Windows box. Also, we are seeing Linux in things like set-top boxes and handhelds, so I think you will see FOSS versions that work with DRM before long. Just remember the bigger they are the harder they fall. MS won't be on top forever. In my view, DRM is doomed to failure in it's current form. Now encrypting the full media and requiring some hellacious long key to decode it might work but it would add to the cost of the Hardware to incorporate the technology to decrypt at 30 fps, full screen.

Re:Circumvention (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374698)

If you could crack the DRM in Linux, you'd be able to crack it just as easily in Windows. It's not a question of not being able to play HD content at all, it's about not being able to play protected HD content. Not all HD content will necessarily be licensed. Anything unprotected could still be easily made to playback in any OS, while protected content would have to be either cracked or played with an approved player, in any OS. Using Linux just means you're more likely to not have an approved player available, so you wouldn't have a choice but to crack it.

Re:Circumvention (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374753)

To add to what I just said, so that it's more in-line with the grandparent post... The content is protected from the get-go, not just in the OS.
Right now there's only two ways you are watching HD content legally[...] you're either grabbing it from over-the-air (OTA) signals, or your cable/satellite provider is sending it to you, guarded by their set-top boxes. Let me point out the takeaway: the content is supposed to be secured. Video from the cable/satellite providers is encrypted and protected. The OTA content is not encrypted, but let's not forget that the broadcast flag was designed in order to add DRM controls to OTA transmissions.


So the content is protected to begin with, the OS won't be able to play it back without the appropriate drivers for the appropriate monitors in question. This is all assuming that the broadcast flag actually means anything real, but then, I haven't heard anything in the last month or two about whether the broadcast flag is truly dead or truly enforceable

Circumvention may be legal (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374748)

IANAL, but Section 117 of the U.S. Copyright code [cornell.edu] would seem to permit circumvention if its needed to use some software on a particular machine.

To avoid lawsuits (HA!) the creator of any software that lets non-HDCP machines use HDCP media would need to make double sure that they don't even breath a word about infringing uses.

Re:Circumvention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374770)

"Well from simply reading the summary it sounds like all the protection is being held in the OS, therefore couldn't an Open Source OS circumvent this protection."

Only if you find a distributor who is willing to get his arse sued off.

Re:Circumvention (1)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374794)

Then Linux gets ruled a circumvention device (like DeCSS) was and it becomes a felony to traffic in it.

Giving a friend a copy of linux would be as illegal as giving him an ecstasy pill.

Linux user: Officer, that's X windows, not X-tasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)!
Officer: That's even worse! 5 years in FEDERAL PRISON, NO PAROLE.
Linux user: I should've just been a drug dealer instead - probably get a couple years in STATE prison and get time off for good behavior, parole, or perhaps even a suspend sentence and probation. Well at least Perl 6 will be out by the time I get released. :)

Good. (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374575)

So Hollywood will lose a bundle on this harebrained scheme.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374637)

First time. More lobbying, tougher laws, a few tens-hundreds-millions later we'll live in a society where computer and entertaiment corporations form an effective oligarchy determining global access to information. Maybe it's because people can't see past the 'money' part, in fact can only see the money part as if it were the highest possible principle, that this madness is being allowed to happen.

Wait for it... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374577)

and DVDJon, our Lord and Saviour, will break this nonsense scheme in 3..2..1..

Good (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374581)

That means nobody will watch "protected HD content," thereby killing this idea from the get go.

Re:Good (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374626)

Actually, even though you and I are tired of all the DRM crap, I don't think the average person gives a damn. If it plays on his DVD and his (admittedly, the one he has now, no upgrading) TV, he will continue to rent/buy DVDs and watch them, because all the DRM is transparent to him.

Re:Good (3, Funny)

uradu (10768) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374752)

IF it is transparent, and (s)he has to spend no extra money on new equipment. But judging by the fragility of many of the new DRM schemes being tried out, I doubt DRM will end up being so smooth and transparent as to not upset the Wal-Mart crowds. After sufficient returns of Scream 10 because Bubba "The Tooth" McFartsy couldn't play it on his 19" Orion TV because its DRM was incompatible with his Memorex Blu-Ray player, which was three firmware versions behind and required a broadband connection to update itself (which Bubba of course doesn't have), Wal-Mart may just have to back off supporting such Bubba-defying DRM schemes.

Re:Good (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374758)

1) Create specification for DRM encumbered HD video
2) Distribute movies that contain the DRM encumbered HD video AND the non-DRM encumbered LD video. Make sure the non-DRM encumbered LD video works on existing hardware and is no worse than what ppl are used to getting now.
3) Continue this for a year
4) Hit the market with new hardware that plays DRM encumbered HD video, so if you buy one, all your existing media looks twice as sharp as it did before.
5) Sell your DRM hardware like hotcakes
6) Continue this for a year
7) Break the functionality that allows slow-adopters to view the films in low resolution on non-supporting hardware
8) Boardwalk with Hotel

Damn copy protection... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374585)

Are they going to use region-encoding as well, so you can't look at a US monitor in Australia?

Re:Damn copy protection... (3, Funny)

Skiron (735617) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374789)

You would need fucking good eyesight, so I doubt they would enforce that... or would they?

More info (4, Informative)

SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374586)

There's a bit of info about all this over at DRMadness [drmadness.com] as well, though it's aimed specifically at Blu-ray and HD-DVD (but that's HighDef content as well, isn't it)...

Until High Def is below $300 (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374594)

it's not worth bothering with.

Of course, for the first while, all the HDTV-philes will want HDTV that costs more than $2000, and settle for sets that cost more than $1100, while most of us will settle for $600 sets.

Microsoft? (1)

jargoone (166102) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374595)

Um, what the hell has this to do with Microsoft? HDCP has to do with hardware, and last I checked, Microsoft doesn't sell monitors.

Somehow it's always their fault, I guess.

Re:Microsoft? (5, Informative)

OG (15008) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374687)

The idea is that Vista will determine whether or not your system has an HDCP monitor. If it does not, it will either play the video at non-HD quality (downsampling, I suppose) or not play it at all. Thus, the OS will force you to upgrade your monitor to an HDCP compliant one if you want to watch HD.

Microsoft could choose not to implement this, thus allowing HD to be viewed on Legacy monitors.

1. Load gun. (4, Funny)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374596)

2. Aim at foot.
3. Pull trigger.

Re:1. Load gun. (1)

iphayd (170761) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374746)

You forgot

4. ???
5. Profit!

Where ??? equals "Sue gun/bullet manufacturers because they didn't have a warning that damage to your foot could ensue"

John (1)

zabagel (731529) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374601)

When Windows Vista ships (and Apple's next OS), most people won't be able to watch protected HD content on their computers.

How long will it take DVD John or some other like minded individual to find a loophole in the protection on these discs? I'm guessing (or at least hoping) within the first month of the release of Vista.

HDCP is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374607)

HDCP is already dead given the wide opposition of consumers against such types of controversial technology. I can watch HDTV on my existing LCD big screen and would never pay a premium and support any DRM related technologies.

correction (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374609)

The end result is that when Windows Vista ships (and Apple's next OS), most people won't be able to watch protected HD content on their computers LEGALLY."

about 30 days after the first piece of media is released I'll be able to watch it under linux and BSD in full resolution as someone will have foundand released a crack/hack/mod/whatever.

They are wasting their time trying to "protect" this stuff. all they are doing is finding new ways to piss off the legit consumer.

So don't buy their crap (5, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374617)

Seriously. Hollywood has an organized boycott coming for this. Not only are they screwing every HDTV owner who lacks HDMI or DVI/HDCP inputs (a huge number of sets were sold with component only inputs), but now they plan to screw computer owners over too. Just don't buy their shit. Let the new Blu-Ray and/or HD-DVD decks sit unsold on shelves for a year or two and watch the these cartels shit their pants with all that unsold inventory. Maybe they'll even respond to consumer wishes afterward!

But it won't happen spontaneously. An organized boycott is the only solution. --M

Component (3, Interesting)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374692)

Component video might not be protected. HDMI/DVI transmit digitally, which is what has content providers worried. Since component is analog, and because of the large install base you noted, it might not require HDCP. (pure speculation)

Re:Component (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374725)

Component video will not be protected, because no one has invented a way to protect it (yet). Instead, component output will be scaled down to 480p, so that it's no longer HD.

If you want HD, you need HDCP.

Re:So don't buy their crap (1)

Profcrab (903077) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374790)

You wont need an organized boycott. I still cant believe that with all the obnoxious DRM they have included all new media technologies that they missed the part where we actually have to purchase the products. Do you really think that people are going to buy all the stuff necessary to play content at a higher resolution? I think the entertainment industry is making a huge miscalculation that is going to screw them over. It probably wont be nearly as bad for them as it will be for the tech companies that have dumped millions into these DRM technologies. I wonder of the tech industry will be as apt to help the entertainment industry afterwards.

What this will cause (4, Insightful)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374619)

1) Ordinary people won't bother watching HD content on their computers - it will be too cumbersome.

2) Pirates won't care, as always, ripping to DivX or whatever and then watching as usual.

3) Ordinary people will discover DivX rips (family, friends of pirates) and watch HD content, not knowing that they're not supposed to. The pirates will mumble something about bad big corporations but they won't really care as long as they can watch the latest episode of Lost.

When Will These Idiots Get It?

Re:What this will cause (1)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374774)

Ordinary people will discover DivX rips (family, friends of pirates) and watch HD content

Correction, it should read, "Ordinary people will discover DivX rips (family, friends of pirates) and watch downconverted, low quality HD content.

That's OK, I wasn't going to pay for it anyway... (4, Interesting)

javaxman (705658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374635)

The end result is that when Windows Vista ships (and Apple's next OS), most people won't be able to watch protected HD content on their computers.

That's OK, I was planning on boycotting and/or stealing and/or disabling the DRM on any such protected content anyway. If they don't want me to see it, I'll avoid buying it, thanks anyway. I'd download or create ripped DRM-less versions if forced too.

Spending a lot of time and effort downloading or ripping content will still be a lot cheaper than buying a multi-thousand-dollar monitor. Besides, most NTSC content is acceptable anyway...

Re:That's OK, I wasn't going to pay for it anyway. (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374719)

Actually, I was just considering not watching TV or movies any more, reading a good book and using my computer to access a few forums and do some writing. The kind of output coming out of the entertainment industry is so bad nowadays that I can't imagine anyone putting any effort into protecting it, or stealing it. It's all crap, and it isn't worth consideration. The whole battle seems like a bunch of silly bastards battling over who gets to eat the most shit from the dungpile.

So they won't buy it! (1)

theraccoon (592935) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374636)

...most people won't be able to watch protected HD content on their computers.

And when people realize this, they simply won't BUY protected HD content, and it'll end up like DVD-RAM. They're shooting themselves in the foot -- it's that simple.

If they don't buy it, how will DRM be crammed down (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374697)

...most people won't be able to watch protected HD content on their computers.
--
And when people realize this, they simply won't BUY protected HD content, and it'll end up like DVD-RAM. They're shooting themselves in the foot -- it's that simple.

What's DVD-RAM? Is that like a Frisbee?

Not quite like DVD-RAM... (1)

Chad Page (20225) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374764)

... since DVD-RAM (like 802.11a) is actually useful. It's just not common, but it's still out there and definitely has it's niche for people who want the most reliable read/write optical media.

I think the example you're looking for is DivX, which is no longer of any use to anybody, since the authentication server has been offline for years... all of the disks are just coasters now ;)

Content should be free then! (4, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374638)

If they want us to invest so much money in friggin' DRM'ed players, why don't they just give away their content in lo-res so only those wh ocan afford it, will be able to see the HD?

I ain't spending any money on a HD movie if all i'm getting is lowdef. If I already paid for it, why should spend even more? I just hope someone declares DRM to be inconstitutional or something...

Perhaps it will be (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374783)

In a sense it sounds like they're planning to do that. They realize that they can't protect the low-def signal with existing hardware setups.

If they figure that over time people will be buying mostly the new high-def hardware, they could well be planning to stop prosecuting people for infringing the copyright on the low-def signal. They're not going to "give it away" in the sense of making it easy for you, but it might no longer be worth their effort to stop file sharing of the low-def video feed.

Their efforts are always concentrated on what will make them money. If there are only a few people downloading the low def signal, it won't be worth the effort to sue those who do. That's not making it legal, but it does "decriminalize" it somewhat.

Which would be funny, actually: they'd be figuring that content which is perfectly tolerable today might be unacceptable tomorrow. If it falls out as I'm suggesting, they'll figure that you might as well download the low-def version, because they hope people will spend the money (via cable TV or DVDs or TiVo download or whatever) to buy the real thing.

It's actually an excellent question for Slashdotters of various stripes. Would you be willing to settle for it in low-def, but with the restrictions removed, or would you commit whatever money it takes to get the real thing? (The third option of course is to go to the trouble of breaking the DRM and getting the best of both worlds, at the cost of inconvenience. The answer presumably depends on how inconvenient it is.)

It's getting to be time (3, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374641)

It's getting to be time for a consumer revolt, along with a few decapitations.

What if they threw a Hi-Def party and nobody came?

Or to put it another way, just how many times are you going to let these people pick your pocket? We could just say that what we all have today is already good enough! .

Re:It's getting to be time (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374713)

What if they threw a Hi-Def party and nobody came?

If they throw a HD party, everyone will.

Remember, it's the pr0n industry that drives computer video tech.

Dongle anyone? (2, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374643)

Can't this problem be solved by the simple addition of a dongle that connects between the video port and the monitor? The dongle would then give the pre-HDCP monitor the capability of receiving HD video that requires HDCP.

Re:Dongle anyone? (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374695)

The studios don't want this because then you just hook up a recorder to the output of the dongle. Sure, it won't be quite the quality of if you were to get the clear content, but it'll be as good as what you would see on the TV.

The idea of HDCP in the first place is to make it nearly impossible to put a recorder anywhere behind the actual screen.

no (1)

RelliK (4466) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374745)

The whole point of HDCP is that there is *nothing* between the "protected" content and the output device that could be used to retrieve the decrypted signal. Your dongle could be connected to some sort of recorder instead of the monitor, making the end-to-end encryption useless.

Article Text in case of Slashdotting (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374645)

One of the more touchy subjects crowding my inbox lately relates to how Windows Vista will fail to render High Definition video in "pure" High Definition on most existing monitors. There's quite a bit of hemming and hawing over the probability that Windows Vista users will have to buy new monitors to see anal HD content. Let's get a few facts out on the table before we oil our rags and tie them to our spears, because there's a considerable amount of misinformation out there.

First of all, High Definition content is not what you get on a DVD today. Most DVDs are 480i (upsampled to 480p by many anal quality players), the same as broadcast TV (but without the distorted colors). HD content is essentially everything above the 480 lines: 720p, 1080i, and 1080p (the last one is currently rare).

Right now there's only two ways you are watching HD content legally (I'm not including BitTorrent or USENET in this example): you're either grabbing it from over-the-air (OTA) signals, or your cable/satellite provider is sending it to you, guarded by their set-top boxes. Let me point out the takeaway: the content is supposed to be secured. Video from the cable/satellite providers is encrypted and protected. The OTA content is not encrypted, but let's not forget that the broadcast flag was designed in order to add DRM controls to OTA transmissions. As far as the content industry is concerned, both channels of anal distribution need to be secured.

But there's a catch. The old adage that if you can see it, you can pirate it, sticks in the craw of the content industry. To make matters worse, DVI delivers high-quality, essentially perfect video. While great for us, it's also great for counterfeiters who can use DVI to get at a pristine video signal, regardless of DRM enforcement. This is the background to the birth of High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). Developed by Intel, the technology provides a two-part cryptographic scheme to control video transmission and delivery at the very end of the video display process. Technically speaking, HDCP is content protection, not copy protection. Restrictions on time-shifting, copying, sharing, etc., will all be handled by the likes of cable/satellite boxes, DRM schemes, and the like. HDCP, in short, simply anal guarantees that whatever content restrictions are in place are enforced by authenticating both the transmitter and the receiver. (For more information, see this great article describing how this works in the 1.0 specification.)

The upshot of all of this is that display devices need HDCP support. If a monitor or television supports HDCP, HD content will be playable on that device (provided that it hasn't been cracked). If a monitor doesn't support HDCP, one of two things will happen at the discretion of the content providers. It's a possibility that a given studio may simply refuse to allow the content to be displayed at all. More likely, the studios will allow for playback on unauthenticated devices with purposely degraded anal quality. The thinking is that Joe Consumer will be more likely to pay for HD content than seek out pirated content that's not in HD. Talk around the industry suggests that many studios will degrade content to a 480p level by passing it through a constrictor, although we won't really know until products start shipping.

Now, HD DVD is already on board with HDCP (although HD DVD looks like it's dying), and Blu-ray is expected to follow suit, since HDCP is already supported by many high-end anal TVs now in the market. Those that doubt Blu-ray's eventual support for HDCP should keep in mind that the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) recently began touting itself as more secure than HD DVD, adding BD+ and ROM-Mark as a compliment to AACS. HDCP is a reality of the future market.

Where does that leave Microsoft? It leaves Microsoft in the same place it leaves everyone else in the consumer electronics industry. The company, which as you may know includes a Media Center amongst its products, obviously wants to be able to support the playback of true HD content, and this means that they have to support HDCP (and they will, across their entire OS line). Or, let me phrase this in another, more contentious way: if you think Apple is going to turn down HDCP despite being DRM advocates themselves (Hello, FairPlay!), with the result being that it will be impossible to view new content in full HD on Apple hardware, then you're kidding yourself. DRM in this context is unacceptable, in my opinion, but the studios (so far) are entitled to license their content however they want, and anyone who wants in the game will have to follow suit. This is the equilibrium that exists in the anal market today, and barring legislation to the contrary, it's going to stay that way.

Marcus Matthias, anal manager of Windows Digital Media at Microsoft, informed me that Microsoft is committed to Windows offering all the benefits of consumer electronics devices, and this means fully supporting the specifications in play in the consumer electronics arena.

        "Any device--whether it be a PC or consumer electronic device--will need to ensure compliance with the specified policies otherwise they risk being unable to access the anal DVD content. Clearly we think that offering next-gen DVD content on the PC is much preferable to having the PC excluded from accessing this premium content," he said.

Indeed, Microsoft doesn't really have a choice, and neither does Apple. In fact, if you've been following this game, you'd know that the only reason we're not already stuck in this quagmire is because anal DVD players were grandfathered in, and are exempt from upsampling rules.

So yes, Microsoft is a bit ahead of the curve on this, but that's partially because of their (very long) development cycle--we are talking about an OS that's at least 14 months away (my guess). And while anal PVP-OPM (Protected Video Path-Output Protection Management)--which provides a secure path from applications to HDCP output (techdoc in Word)--isn't entirely finalized, the general framework is a certainty.

Apple will be on board too, possibly with the release of Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5). Tiger saw the light of day in April, and with the company intending to release Leopard around the same time as Vista, that means that we'll be seeing anal support on the Mac (powered by Intel!) probably around the same time as the release of Windows Vista. And until then, we'll all be scratching our heads as to how our Linux friends will solve this quandary, because HDCP has to be commercially licensed. Well, that is unless DVD Jon swoops in again, but cracking BDA's discs won't be as simple as cracking CSS.

Finally, while we're all in lynch mode, let me add the last anti-hurrah. TVs without HDCP, also known as most TVs in North America, are subject to the exact same problem. In 2004, HDTV penetration in the US was estimated at 9 percent. Of those TVs, most of them do not support HDCP (although TVs sold today do, by and large). However, if you're heading out this weekend to drop US$3,000 on a TV, chances are high that it will support HDCP. The same can't be said of monitors, sadly. Apple's US$2999.99 30" display doesn't support HDCP, and only a handful of Dell's various options do. If you're in the market for a new display, you might want to wait until some units are shipping with HDCP support. You might think that you'll be able to buy an HDCP stripper, but there's a problem there. Once a stripper hits the (black or white) market, all a content provider needs to do is revoke the keys used by the device. It's not a solution. Between Blu-ray's anal BD+ and HDCPs key revocation, this next generation of tech is going to be considerably harder to crack.

The revolution will be televised, only it won't be in HD unless your pockets have paid for anal display technology designed with the future in mind.

Someone has an anal fixation there! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374716)

was it the original anal poster or the karma whore?

Brilliant! (5, Insightful)

Retired Replicant (668463) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374658)

"The end result is that when Windows Vista ships (and Apple's next OS), most people won't be able to watch protected HD content on their computers."

And thus prompting people to search for ripped/pirated HD content that is free of HDCP. Brilliant!

More misinformation.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374667)

HDCP is required for digital inputs. If you're using a VGA cable you'll be fine today and tomorrow.

They're trying to close the digital-digital gap, analog will still work.

And no, you won't be able to tell the difference between an HDMI/digital connection to a high quality monitor, and a VGA connection.

"..won't be able to watch protected HD content.." (5, Insightful)

Brian Stretch (5304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374669)

..until it shows up on Bittorrent an hour later.

C'mon, there has to be someone in Hollywood smart enough to figure out that copy protection this draconian is going to seriously encourage cracking? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to do everything possible to make it easier for their paying customers to get to their content rather than making it more irritating, unreliable, and expensive?

Oh, right. Oh well, not much worth watching anyhow.

I submitted this last night and it was rejected (1, Offtopic)

DrHanser (845654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374681)

Good going slashdot editors! I guess all that matters is who sees what when.

Market forces (2, Insightful)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374684)

If I just spent $5000 on a computer and a monitor, I'd be pissed as hell if things weren't as sharp as a tack. I'd take it back, and spread the word.

Market forces won't let this one stick. People need lee-way, something that DRM systems don't do, so they are forced to go around them. Once that's done, they keep going around them.

--Mike--
Capitalism sees Capitolism as damage, and routes around it

Re:Market forces (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374703)

They'll add some realy gimmicky featuer like "press Q on the remote to swap Gilligan for Ginger to make 'Little Buddy' sequences of Gilligan's Island new and interesting." All the geeks and overstimulated consumers will go "Ya, I need dat feature real good now. Please, Mr. Salesman, please give me your busted DRMed piece of crap, and make sure to charge me lotsa money for it!"

Wrong!!!! (0)

kraemer (637938) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374691)

Just about every single DVI enabled LCD display shipping for the last two years has HDCP already. Wake up and smell the cofee....

MS enforces this and the hardware vendors help (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374721)

MS is dependant on hardware people and hardware people don't mind having MS push out another crappy OS that they can call 'superiour (... but only with our expensive new hardware)'.
Remember the uber-pointless Winkey keyboards? Keyboard manufacturers are still kissing Mickeysofts feet for that treat. The Monitor vendors will *all* jump to this.
Let's hope Apple plays it's own game in this. That way we at least have a little competition.

Protected? (2, Insightful)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374722)

"The end result is that when Windows Vista ships (and Apple's next OS), most people won't be able to watch protected HD content on their computers."

So, we'll just have to settle for unprotected HD content, then?

Isn't this just another instance of the entertainment industry not getting it? They're sabotaging their own business. How many people do they expect to be interested in downloading HD content? Probably not that many. Now, how many of those people do they expect to go and shell out an obscene amount of money for a new HDCP-compliant monitor that offers no additional benefit to the end user?

Essentially, what they're doing here is presenting consumers with a rather lopsided decision: spend more money on a monitor just to have the privelage of spending more money to view paid-for HD content that may or may not actually materialize, or don't spend any extra money and continue to download what you want off of BitTorrent/eMule/usenet.

Tough call, eh?

I bought this awesome VCR a while back... (0, Flamebait)

ThinkFr33ly (902481) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374728)

It's great. High quality video. I can even record my own stuff right off TV!

I heard of this upcoming thing called DVD... supposed to be a lot better than VHS, but it will require an entirely new player! I can't even play my existing tapes on this new hardware!

It's crap if you ask me! Down with these evil companies trying to force me to buy a new player!

HDCP Already Exists On Current HD TVs (2, Informative)

zach_smith (159760) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374731)

Remember the limitation here is on computer monitors. I don't plan to watch Blu-Ray discs on my computer, I've got a dedicated HDTV in front of my couch for that. Most HiDef TVs (plasmas, LCD, DLP, CRT) have supported HDCP for about 2 years. So unless you have one of the early ones with only component connections, you should be fine.

Dear MPAA/RIAA (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374740)

If it is something that has to be visible to the human eye, your DRM can be broken.

If it is something that has to be audible to the human ear, your DRM can be broken.

Welcome to the age of computers, have a nice day.

I Want My HDCP ... (3, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374751)

Lookit that yoyo, trying to watch content.
He's got a box and hooked up his HDCP.
Tries to turn it on and all he gets is static.
So he throws it back in his hovercar.

refrain I want my, I want my, I want my HDCP.
I want my, I want my, I want my HDCP.

He can't use it to watch his microwave oven.
It won't show Showgirls in wide-screen full DPI.
But he don't worry cause he's really stupid.
So he shalls out another $1000 for an extra day.

refrain I want my, I want my, I want my HDCP.
I want my, I want my, I want my HDCP.

Can't watch anime from Japan cause he's in North America, can't watch Italian soap operas if he's in Germany, can't even watch the Olympics in High Def, cause they won't let you see the CBC in DC ...

refrainI ditched my, I ditched my, I ditched my HDCP.
I ditched my, I ditched my, I ditched my HDCP.

.

.

.

can you say refund?

Re:I Want My HDCP ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374787)

I can say boo.
Boooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Hollywood is dreaming! (2, Insightful)

mjh49746 (807327) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374762)

There is no way in hell I will ever replace a perfectly good monitor just so I can watch their precious HD garbage. No way. No how! I don't need their stinking HD if that's the game they want to play.

Screen caps (1)

panxerox (575545) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374767)

Hmm, I guess the screen captures are going to be a viable option for this content, with the newer small digital camcorders you should be able to capture decent vids. (not that I would do that of course)

Uncorrect steatement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13374768)

The end result is that when Windows Vista ships [...], most people won't be able to watch protected HD content on their computers.

By the time Windows Vista will be shipped, all of us will enjoy direct neural connections...

Dell 2005FPW Users Already Effected (4, Informative)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13374791)

The popular Dell 20" wide screen (2005FPW) is already a victom of this. The monitor's native resolution is 1680x1050 and so it should be able to render 720p without a problem. However, you can't get HDTV content from either digital cable or directv receivers via DVI. Currently, going analog via Component In will get you HD, but unfortunately the monitor only offers DVI, VGA, S-Vid, & Composite. I use a Component to VGA transcoder, but the solution is neither cheap nor elegant.
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