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The Dark Side of HDCP - Why is My PS3 Blinking?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the we-have-the-machine-that-goes-ping dept.

PlayStation (Games) 233

FloatsomNJetsom writes "High Definition Content Protection is supposed to make sure you're not playing pirated content, but sometimes your devices screw up the HDCP 'handshake' (over an HDMI cable) and nothing works. This happens with some regularity with the PS3, and Popular Mechanics investigated and found a quick and dirty workaround. From the article: 'We then checked with Leslie Chard, president of HDMI Licensing, which owns the rights to the standard, who told us that HDCP is one component of HDMI that has been plagued with interoperability issues. HDCP (high-bandwidth digital content protection) is designed to prevent the interception of data — specifically copyrighted Hollywood movies — between an output component and a display. As Steve Balough, the president of Digital Content Protection, the licensing company for HDCP explains, the two pieces of hardware must exchange a key, a sort of certificate of authenticity unique to each individual device, to verify a secure connection.' The problem isn't limited to the PS3 — many HDTV cable boxes and have the same problem. The fix there? Unplugging the power cable."

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why so onerous, technology? (5, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668248)

It's a pity -- the articles roll in every day about yet another speedbump in the DRM saga and how DRM and "protection" in general makes consumers' lives miserable. Of course it's no surprise (to me), just a disappointment. Imagine if the energy spent trying to hogtie the general (and 99%+ totally honest and willing to purchase) consumer were instead applied to making the technology even better?

Making the technology even better rather than harder would only improve the landscape for everyone. TV would look better, content would be easier to deliver and use. Bang for the buck would be better. Access to everyone for things like "high-def" (pick your favorite pseudo-standard) would not be limited to just those with $5-10,000 to toss (with no guarantee your picture will be better, or even viewable).

Instead it's just one more betrayal.

Consider the very first CD player I purchased in 1983. I paid, well, I won't say how much I played for player that could only play one CD at at time. But it was heady stuff even back then. The player had a "pitch" slider to change the pitch of the music (though it also correspondingly sped up and slowed down the track to accommodate). It had the ability to program the songs in any order, and even program the starting time offset into a track, and stopping offset into a track.

And!, on the back, a 9-pin DIN out (I think that was the configuration), with the only mention in the user's manual for that output as "reserved for future use"! I couldn't have been more excited. I brought friends over and showed them the exciting new technology... they just drooled at the sight.

And I always saved the "for future use" output as the hook... I described digital output where liner notes, lyrics, all kinds cool things (of course including the de rigeur track information) would be output in some form that could be put up on a display, TV or otherwise. I 'splained how the digital format worked and how much storage there was available for all kinds of "future use" enhancements.

And, it never happened. The promise of excellent technology, never delivered. And (I've posted on this before), the notion of track info associated with CD technology didn't emerge until we, the people, did it ourselves! with CDDB!

Instead, newer generations of technology included increasingly large percentages of "slice" dedicated to controlling our use of the media, not improving the quality of our experience.

I say fork 'em.

Maybe one good thing will come of all of this -- people may get so fed up and annoyed with trying to get their newfangled entertainment setups to work right (or at all), they give up, buy a bicycle, or some hiking shoes, and get outdoors and see a different world... maybe even one with more return on investment.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (3, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668406)

I say fork 'em.

I think you misspelled "fuck." If you're going to curse, do it properly!

Re:why so onerous, technology? (4, Funny)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668634)

I say fork 'em.


I think you misspelled "fuck." If you're going to curse, do it properly!


No, "Fork them". As in, take a fork and repeatedly stab it into a sensitive portion of their anatomy.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670226)

Heh, I like the Informative mods. "Hey, that's a great idea! And I'll get so many fewer STDs that way!"

Re:why so onerous, technology? (4, Funny)

tepp (131345) | more than 7 years ago | (#17671144)

No, "Fork them". As in, take a fork and repeatedly stab it into a sensitive portion of their anatomy.
Or as in Fork their process and create a clone?

I'd rather not Fork DRM. :) One process is enough.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (0)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668776)

No, I don believe he sincerely meant fork them. He would rather split them in two, than split into them.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (4, Insightful)

jdcope (932508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669636)

Or maybe he's just one of those people who doesnt like to use profanity in a public forum.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (2, Insightful)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670412)

Or maybe he's just one of those people who doesnt like to use profanity in a public forum.
Then don't use it. If you mean "fuck" writing "fork" or "f**k" or whatever doesn't change anything - you meant to swear and everyone who reads it knows you meant to swear. So either spell it properly or don't use it at all.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (4, Funny)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670782)

"Then don't use it. If you mean "fuck" writing "fork" or "f**k" or whatever doesn't change anything - you meant to swear and everyone who reads it knows you meant to swear."

If everyone who reads it knows what was meant, what is the harm?

Don't be a rectal orifice.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17671252)

Or, he could opt to speak in whatever way he pleases rather than bend to the will of some profanity-obsessed grammar Nazi. If you have a problem with the way he writes, fork off and don't read it.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (4, Interesting)

valkraider (611225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17671948)

Except many "net nanny" filters block the sites that use the real words. So to be polite and allow people to read the site at work or at the library or wherever they may be that may have filters on - it is normal to use a substitute. But I find it funny that in a discussion about DRM restricting how people use technology you chose to tell an "author" of a comment how or how not he should write his own comments. Maybe just let the net be free and see what comes of it? Probably MySpace - but hey - we can't win them all...

Re:why so onerous, technology? (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668444)

Imagine if the energy spent trying to hogtie the general (and 99%+ totally honest and willing to purchase) consumer were instead applied to making the technology even better?

Because then it would be easier to pirate, losing them (in their estimation) revenue, defeating the purpose of additional investment.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (2, Interesting)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668522)

Imagine if the energy spent trying to hogtie the general (and 99%+ totally honest and willing to purchase) consumer were instead applied to making the technology even better?


Yes, but as we see, the "work" that goes into DRM is rather craptastic, and tends to make things that fail horribly at what they are designed to do. I think we are better off with these brilliant minds workign on DRM then things that actualy matter (say firmware, codecs, drivers, whatever).

Re:why so onerous, technology? (3, Insightful)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668670)

people may get so fed up and annoyed with trying to get their newfangled entertainment setups to work right (or at all), they give up, buy a bicycle, or some hiking shoes, and get outdoors and see a different world... maybe even one with more return on investment.

Well, people want to be more immersed in their games, and that's as good an idea as any. The way people drive these days, being outdoors is like being on the sidelines of a Burnout game. And the resolution is much better than 1080p.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (5, Funny)

Speed Pour (1051122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669524)

Hmm, the article plus your comment makes me realize that the number of features/functionality is actually going down (despite what is advertised)...the quality of the products has fallen dramatically...and the likelihood of them working is next to nothing.

Isn't the logical and absurd conclusion of that going to be a smallish curvy box (with several hundred listed features that aren't yet enabled) with a single button on it, that when pressed will do nothing...and it might actually fail to do that right? The one greatest achievement however, is that it'll be really tough for pirates to duplicate the remarkable ability for the device to do absolutely nothing. As a real twist, once it is cracked by the pirates, it'll perform better than the consumer version by far...even though it still doesn't do anything.

Hmm, add a couple another button, a video screen, and that somebody will put linux on it someday, and it's a Zune!

Re:why so onerous, technology? (1)

Fusen (841730) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672102)

that seemed like a perfectly fine interesting comment about what we could actually be facing in the future until you turned it into one of the worst flames on the zune I've possible read, and seeing as I read slashdot everyday, that's alot

Re:why so onerous, technology? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17669578)

Well, the CD-Text spec was released in 1996, according to Wikipedia. It can have album information/etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD-Text [wikipedia.org]

I used to have a CD player capable of using it, but I never found a CD with any text on it.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (1)

Serapth (643581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670278)

Of course it's no surprise (to me), just a disappointment. Imagine if the energy spent trying to hogtie the general (and 99%+ totally honest and willing to purchase) consumer were instead applied to making the technology even better? You are being way to generous to your fellow man. No way is it even close to 99% of people that are honest. Almost everybody I know that has mp3's on their computer have atleast one ( generally hundreds or thousands ) that they havent paid for. Once the VCR went mainstream, almost every household had copied movies aswell.

I would go sofar as to say, the majority of people would copy movies illegally if it was easy and cheap enough to do so. There is a reason these companies are funneling millions into DRM solutions. Yes, they are draconian most of the time, but that doesnt mean they arent needed. I know this isn't the popular view here on slashdot, but frankly DRM exists for a reason and that reason isnt to screw some mythical abberant 1% of the population.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (2, Insightful)

neomunk (913773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17671066)

It's cheap and easy to do right now, and the content providers are still raking in record profits. And speaking of VCRs, did they kill the entertainment industry? Lower their profits any? Of course not, just like MP3s and broadband haven't done anything but made even more money for the RIAA's members.

BTW, why are we being forced to spend OUR money and OUR resources protecting someone else's rights, even at the expense of our own (fair use). You do know that you pay for the DRM hardware along with the rest of the machine... And that every transistor switch in the box uses the electricity you're paying for. Not much mind you, but more than none. I'm not paying so that my rights can be abridged, or so some stuffed suit can feel better about dirty little consumer me having access to his precious boy band song.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (5, Interesting)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672108)

"and that reason isnt to screw some mythical abberant 1% of the population."

No not at all, and perhaps that's a misconception. People aren't concerned about ridiculous copy protection just as a theoretical exercise, it's more practical than that.

Copy Protection (so called DRM) exists to segment the market artificially. If you buy a CD, the record company would strongly prefer that the only thing you do to it is listen to it in a CD player. In their view, putting the music on an iPod, on a home network, etc is against their use rules and they feel you should pay more for it. After all, you're getting more use without them getting more money. DRM is a way to make sure you only use it where they intend.

Same way with DVD's. While people would buy VHS and DVD to watch movies at home, the use is more complex with computers, iPod video players (zunes!), and home networking. Again, to them, this is a way to segment the market and create scarcity where none exists.

There is a multi-billion dollar industry around ringtones! Imagine if you could just rip your CD and put it on your phone! Why...that would be more money the consumer would have and less the record company would have!

To the record companies, the CD was a big blunder. Not only does it have excellent sound (which they are already charging us extra!) but you can repurpose the music to suit your needs from home stereo, to cars, to personal music players to phones, to what else is new next week. And they don't get any more money.

Yes yes, people will make illegal copies, but this loss is peanuts compared to what they see as new markets made possible by stopping you from copying your own music to another medium.

and, I don't have a problem with them trying to get more money for the same music over and over. I do have a problem when we have the government essentially on the take to support this model. It certainly doesn't benefit me as a consumer, and apparently it doesn't benefit the artist either (http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2004-05-1 6-royalties-main_x.htm).

So your argument is superficially convincing, nonetheless, I think it's not the real reason for copy protection and DRM.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (4, Informative)

Manmademan (952354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17671522)

And, it never happened. The promise of excellent technology, never delivered. And (I've posted on this before), the notion of track info associated with CD technology didn't emerge until we, the people, did it ourselves! with CDDB!
Have to correct you here. This technology showed up with CD-Text in 1996. I have a disc that supports it (On the floor at the boutique, Lo Fi Allstars if you're wondering) and it will display track info on certain players (my sony car cd deck from circa 2000 supported it) but the format just never really caught on. According to this unofficial CD-text Faq here http://web.ncf.ca/aa571/cdtext.htm/ [web.ncf.ca] Nearly every Sony CD released since 1997 supports it, but it's not advertised and few CD decks bother supporting the format.

Re:why so onerous, technology? (2, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672078)

You're absolutely right... And, I already knew about this, but didn't want to bog down more than I'd already done in my post..

Here's what's interesting about the CD-Text, and why it really goes to my original point: It showed up in 1996, about 13 years after my first CD player! I'm pretty sure those doing the inventing could've cobbled together a text for CD a little earlier.

I, too bought some CDs excited about the new text format. But the players that could display were few and far between, and I finally opted out of getting the machines (the CDs were ones I'd have bought anyway). I guess if I thought they were serious about this, they'd have put a little more energy into it (earlier delivery, more advertising, more players). But, they didn't -- this was a huge potential for a nice leap in functionality. Heck, I'd even have considered paying a nickel or two more per disk for the extra info.

I think the record industry was lazy with this -- it wasn't interesting to them, their money was just rolling in from their cast of mega-stars and mega-bands. There was no incentive.

Some would point to the "role" of a business isn't to make everything and anything but instead to maximize profit, and rolling out the CD info as part of the product didn't fit that model. In my opinion the huge fascination with mega-dollar dealings obscured that customer satisfaction, even delight, provides, if more subtle, comparable returns for the investment. As it is now, I buy far fewer CDs than before, mostly because I resent their actions. I return any CD with copy protection built in (it's darned near impossible to figure out and know before you walk out the door with it).

Yeah, there was CD text, 13 years late, and long after we the people were already filling up the database with our own typing pools. Sony's effort may have even been an attempt to thwart the CDDB effort (I really don't know on that one).

Yup (5, Informative)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668256)

I have a JVC 5U D-VHS deck with HDMI out the back. This is connected to a Sony HD-20 digital projector via HDMI. While these units use an older HDMI spec, they also show serious handshaking problems - often in the middle of displaying content. Not only does it take seconds to handshake, but right in the middle of a movie the screen might go blank and then I'll have to yank the power plug on the VCR to renegotiate. Fortunately, with the PJ I can just switch to other inputs to clear out whatever cruft is confusing its HDMI interface.

The PJ and deck are about three years old. I assumed these handshake issues had long been dealt with. Apparently not. So... the DRM is more than just a PITA. It's plain broken.

Re:Yup (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668862)

I have so far observed it only once or twice on a JVC HD TV connected to an upscaling Philips DVD. It happens after the TV has been switched off from the mains. One more coffin into the idea of "turning your kit off to save energy" as far as Joe Average Consumer is concerned. Even in this case the Philips complains loudly onscreen and uses 480 instead of 720 or 1080i. So you still do not lose picture.

Re:Yup (1)

bdonalds (989355) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669216)

and then I'll have to yank the power plug on the VCR to renegotiate

I have a simple solution. On one, you need to hard-set the configuration to 100Mbpx/Full-duplex...whoa..never mind...whoops...I thought this was about...it seems so familiar....

The hilarious part... (4, Insightful)

sterno (16320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17671038)

All of this wonderful copy protection stuff doesn't actually stop piracy. Wasn't it just a day or two ago that there was a rip of an HD-DVD on BitTorrent? So why incorporate all these complex and onerous technologies when, in the end, all they do is make it so your paying customers have buggy hardware?

 

I refuse to believe this. (5, Funny)

linkedlinked (1001508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668278)

No way. DRM is conflicting with fair use of digital content?
*gasp* Who'd have guessed?

Re:I refuse to believe this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17668610)

Information is a completely passive entity which can be duplicated and manipulated at near-zero resource cost. Therefore, it CAN'T be controlled.

So what do the content providers try to do instead? They grab at something they CAN control. Namely, you.

You want to have your movies and play them too?! (4, Funny)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668284)

How unreasonable can you people be? I mean, after all, the companies are *entitled* to your money. You should just be lucky that they give you anything in return. Ungrateful, good-for-nothing consumers. Hmph!

Blah,blah,blah,Zonk,FUD... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17668316)

No one cares anymore. The endless FUD has either driven people away to console news/discussion sites with actual gaming news or made existing Slashdot readers so immune that the desired effect of trying to drive gamers away from the PS3 has little effect.

The PS3 is selling at a faster rate than the PS2 and the European launch is set for March 23rd. The gaming world has spoken and they don't give a damn about 'Yet Another Zonk PS3 FUD Article' - they're too busy playing insane 40 player lagfree Resistance matches...

Re:Blah,blah,blah,Zonk,FUD... (0)

thelexx (237096) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668582)

Couldn't even be bothered to read the summary could you?

"The problem isn't limited to the PS3 -- many HDTV cable boxes and have the same problem."

> The gaming world has spoken

Sounds more like one AC pissing in the wind to me.

PS3 to miss forecasts by 25% (0, Flamebait)

CK2004PA (827615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668742)

Actually, the PS3 isn't selling. And its not because Sony can meet demand, its because demand isn't there. Sony released this news and MarketWatch carried it on 1/16 , Slashdot just hasn't carried it yet and rejected my submission. Check yourself:
http://www.vgcharts.org/news.php?id=58 [vgcharts.org]

However, he continued, "The PlayStation brand doesn't appear to be helping the PS3. If NPD's numbers are correct, there are over 300K PS3s on retail shelves. That is not good for a console launch of only a million and it's not good for publishers with PS3 software."

Re:Blah,blah,blah,Zonk,FUD... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17669634)

Sony always releases a statement that their new console is the fastest selling ever, but its hardly the case, and it means nothing. The PSP was the fastest selling PlayStation product of all time, and we all know how it's crushing Nintendo in the handheld market. Also, it took over 6 months to satiate the PS2's demand in the US whereas the PS3's demand appears fulfilled after a meager 2 months.

Whats worse, HDCP crypto is a joke... (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668344)

It was reverse engineered and proved to be the biggest joke around. ROT13 would be a better method. But it doesn't matter, as it is for DMCA anticircumvision reasons, not real security.

dyslexia (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17668352)

Am I the only one who misread this as DHCP?

Re:dyslexia (4, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668982)

I hear that's a very sexy learning disability...

Re:dyslexia (1)

letsgolightning (1004592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669096)

or is that sexlexia?

Re:dyslexia (2, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669928)

This time we're sure she's a woman, right?

news flash: cheap product has problems (3, Interesting)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668408)

The 37W3 is about the cheapest 1080p LCD you can get, so one wonders if westinghouse (or more specifically, whatever chinese company actually built it) just cut corners left and right. You buy cheap stuff, you have to expect some problems.

Re:news flash: cheap product has problems (1)

snarfbot (1036906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669694)

well im suprised they were told that a westinghouse tech will come to thier house and flash thier firmware, in my day if a company released a buggy product, and it was hard to flash the bios, well you either ordered a new chip, or you mailed the bastard to the company to be repaired.

so all in all westinghouse gets my stamp of approval.

News Flash: This SHOULDN'T BE. (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670504)

Not the cheap product problems. The damn DRM. If you didn't worry about protecting mostly excrement and produced quality results and improved tech, things would probably work out better. But they want you to pay and pay and pay and pay.

Heh... Good thing I have little desire for most TV and most movies these days, eh?

Re:news flash: cheap product has problems (5, Insightful)

gallondr00nk (868673) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670636)

I always wondered who arbitrarily decided that cheap stuff deserves not to work. The way I see it, if I paid my money for something I would expect functionality out of it regardless.

Case in point; I bought a Linksys WRK-54G 8 months ago (VERY cheap), and later discovered that despite paying good money for it the product was totally worthless as a router. Wireless connections dropped every hour or so, the box needed a hard reset every day and it wouldn't cope with any more then about 250 pipes without crashing. Needless to say it got returned a week later.

As consumers why should we accept that cheap automatically means defective? Have our standards dropped so far that we don't even expect our money to go supply functional products without paying a premium?

Re:news flash: cheap product has problems (4, Insightful)

norton_I (64015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17671284)

The problem is, those cheap products shouldn't exist at all. It something is selling for less than it costs to make and test a reilable product, it isn't likely to be one. Consumers understandably look at two boxes and see that one costs half the price of the other for the "same" functionality, and buy the cheaper one. If manufacturers were penalized for shipping defective products, there wouldn't be any overly cheap products, and all would be well in the world. Except that the guy who is broke but wants are wireless router for 1 or 2 computers and doesn't mind reseting it won't be able to buy one. I can't really say whether that is a good or a bad thing.

Part of me dreams that in a world with a minimum standard of full functionality, the prices would not be much higher, but I begin to doubt that.

Re:news flash: cheap product has problems (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670848)

The cheapest 1080p TV is probably still a pretty good TV, considering a lot of TVs out there don't even support 1080i. There's even a few TVs sold as EDTVs that only support 480p. Any TV that supports 1080p is still better than half the stuff out there.

Re:news flash: cheap product has problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17671090)

37W3? 13W3 is where it's at, man. Yeah, my monitor syncs on green. Have you ever tried syncing... on green?

Re:news flash: cheap product has problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17671316)

dude, you are, like, smoking way too many prime numbers, totally!

Re:news flash: cheap product has problems (2, Informative)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#17671496)

Absolutely true. The Westinghouse is a MONITOR, it doesn't include any tuners (not that you actually need them if you have a Cable/Satellite/TiVo serving that purpose already).

Westinghouse models are cheap as dirt (comparatively). Their picture quality also seemed more washed out and less crisp than other higher priced models. (i.e. most other models)

I ended up getting the Samsung LN-S3251D (of course its in the 32" range, so it only goes to 720p).

Its not quite as cheap as the Westinghouse (still half the price of the high-end models in the same price range, for comparable quality and lots of inputs)

Its been solid, reliable, and I haven't had any issues connecting a PS3 or HD-DVR to it via HDMI (like I said, lots of inputs, heck, even my VCR tapes look good on it :) ).

I'd highly recommend it.

Its like buying CPUs, you don't always need the "top of the line" (since the price jumps so much), but you don't want the bottom of the barrel either.

Re:news flash: cheap product has problems (2, Informative)

sallgeud (12337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672094)

I have a 42w2 that was a first generation version. It has massive issues with the PS3 in 1080p mode. Basically it was sparkling on edges of any items.

It turns out that the version of it released in the first 2 months had a chipset in it that didn't comply with some specification... so it can't simply be flashed.

HOWEVER, though getting an actual RMA number took a while, the process was very friendly and customer service was helpful. They're even sending me a new box so I can get my new version.

Sadly, some abusers of the system made them change their rules about sending out a new one before they receive your return, so I'll be without 720p version of TigerWoods 07 for a week... but it'll be worth it. It'll be nice to actually see movies in 1080p, instead of the 1080i I'm forced into right now.

I hear that in the meantime I can push component out at 1080p, since none of the movies require HDCP for it yet... and worry about HDMI when the new one comes.

dickheads (0)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668410)

why must these DRM people be such dickheads? they do this which has no purpose other than screwing over the customer - I'll never buy any technology that would stop me from watching or playing something I've paid for. Sure it might not take that long to fix (taking the plug out and putting it back in until it works still could be annoying anyway) but someone above mentioned that content can be blocked out whilst you are watching (and I assume playing would work the same)... that is unforgivable.

So they screw over the customer, but at least it stops piracy so prices should be cheaper... no, that's a lie. But at least it stops "copywrite theft", right? no. They've already put one on torrent.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/18/hd-dvd_cra ck/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:dickheads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17670702)

"why must these DRM people be such dickheads?"

Because being a dickhead is how you make money in this society.

Re:dickheads (1)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672148)

SCREW THE DICKHEADS!!!

No wait, that didn't come out right...

Westinghouse or HDCP at fault? (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668426)

So is the TV not up to spec or is the spec not well enough defined? I'm assuming the PS3 is not the culprit since Westinghouse is the one talking firmware upgrades. I'm just curious if this is a real HDCP issue or just a cheap TV maker not following specs (which wouldn't be the first time a 2nd or 3rd tier manufacturer has ignored specs).

Re:Westinghouse or HDCP at fault? (1)

TwoScoopsOfPig (900069) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668838)

I'm assuming the PS3 is not the culprit since Westinghouse is the one talking firmware upgrades.


Westinghouse just has the cojones to admit that they were, in whatever part, wrong.

Re:Westinghouse or HDCP at fault? (2, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669686)

... and the fact that they'll send a tech to your house to upgrade your firmware speaks volumes about how good of a company they are. Many would say "too bad".

Re:Westinghouse or HDCP at fault? (2, Interesting)

tenton (181778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670134)

So is the TV not up to spec or is the spec not well enough defined? I'm assuming the PS3 is not the culprit since Westinghouse is the one talking firmware upgrades. I'm just curious if this is a real HDCP issue or just a cheap TV maker not following specs (which wouldn't be the first time a 2nd or 3rd tier manufacturer has ignored specs).

Well, I've had the same thing happen with my Sony TV (HDCP compliant DVI plug) and my cable box. It happens very rarely (blue moons happen more often), but it does happen (solution I use is to turn the cable box off; the TV's connected to it, too, so in effect, I'm rebooting my TV and cable box).

For it to happen so frequently (w/ the PS3 and the Westinghouse) tells me one of two things, or both. One is that the standard isn't defined well enough or people (the TV, Sony and the cable box makers) are cutting corners. I wouldn't be surprised if it's both.

Re:Westinghouse or HDCP at fault? (1)

Thundersnatch (671481) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672040)

Or he's got a serious installation problem, and heat or ventialtion issues are causing the electronics to lock up. This would not surprise me with a "westinghouse" TV, which is actually the cheapest-ass consumer electronics brand out there. Even "Vizio" stuff is better.

There's more to a piece of equipment than the specifications it sports. There's workmanship, design, quality of materials. The same reasons a lot of people will buy a BMW 5-series instead of a Ford 500 which has similar "specs" but is half the price.

There's a reason mid- and high-end audio brands thrive. I have a Harmon/Kardon audio rig that came with a 5 year warranty, weighs a ton, looks beautiful, and has worked for 12 years without a hiccup. Yet I have gone through three "cheap" Sony receivers in my basement during the same timeframe.

Re:Westinghouse or HDCP at fault? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17670754)

I'm assuming the PS3 is not the culprit since Westinghouse is the one talking firmware upgrades.
What kind of logic is that? So for every webpage that has had to have its source modified due to Internet Explorer's shoddy CSS implementation, you would say the web developer was at fault?

WTF?! (4, Insightful)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668432)

Would you like some coffin with your nails?

Why not just use DVI instead of HDMI (1)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668452)

Since no one cares about protecting digital content picture-wise of a gaming console, why not just use DVI instead (since all HD TVs are plasma/LCD and have those inputs anyway)? If not for the PS3 (since you can watch movies), why at least the not the Xbox360?

It's also nice for folk like me who don't own a TV and use a 20 inch LCD for console gaming (still no SVideo/DVI out for my Wii though....) but I'm the niche market.

Re:Why not just use DVI instead of HDMI (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668550)

While it isn't as crisp as DVI, there is a first-party connector for the 360 that allows hookup via VGA...

Re:Why not just use DVI instead of HDMI (3, Informative)

jeffy210 (214759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668564)

FYI, DVI also uses HDCP. HDMI is basically pin identical to DVI, it just includes support for audio as well, so it's really the DVI spec that supports HDCP. I'm running a HDMI-DVI cable from my cable box to my Samsung DLP. Every so often when I turn on the TV after the cable box I'll catch the HDCP warning message for a brief second before it display the picture.

Re:Why not just use DVI instead of HDMI (3, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669046)

Because the PS3 does HDCP on DVI, too, so it won't display to a non-HDCP monitor that way either. (Or through a non-HDCP console switch, etcetera; you get the idea.)

Re:Why not just use DVI instead of HDMI (1)

petabyte (238821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669264)

Since no one cares about protecting digital content picture-wise of a gaming console, why not just use DVI instead (since all HD TVs are plasma/LCD and have those inputs anyway)? If not for the PS3 (since you can watch movies), why at least the not the Xbox360?

Not to burst your bubble but my CRT HDTV has and HDMI input and no DVI input. Of course as my cable box doesn't have HDMI out, that input is largely useless for me.

Re:Why not just use DVI instead of HDMI (2, Informative)

desenz (687520) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670770)

HDMI to DVI adapters are easy to get, but it doesn't make a difference. HDCP is still present on the DVI connections.

Re:Why not just use DVI instead of HDMI (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669726)

What about dual-monitor setups? I'm using my PC and xbox360 on an HDCP compliant 20" LCD too(Dell 2007FPW). However, I also have another one that isn't HDCP compliant (Dell 2005FPW).

So what happens when I run the movie? Does it show up on the 2007fpw monitor but blur out when I drag it over to the other desktop?

I'm thinking that they'll probably just screw me and blur it out on both until I disconnect the other monitor.

Re:Why not just use DVI instead of HDMI (2, Interesting)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 7 years ago | (#17671998)

Does it show up on the 2007fpw monitor but blur out when I drag it over to the other desktop?
You're giving too much credit to the MPAA. Anyone trying to view a movie on a system that doesn't have 100% HDCP compliance is obviously a pirate trying to steal content. They will probably put a virus on your PC that will cause it to format all of the hard drives and catch your house on fire.

Summary correction (5, Funny)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668486)

. As Steve Balough, the president of Digital Content Protection, the licensing company for HDCP explains, the two pieces of hardware must exchange a key, a sort of certificate of authenticity unique to each individual device, to verify a secure connection.' The problem isn't limited to the PS3 -- many HDTV cable boxes and have the same problem. The fix there? Unplugging the power cable..." The summary was cut off short. The last line should have read: "Unplugging the power cable, and component cables, boxing it up and returning the half working piece of shit to the store."

The Dark Side? (5, Insightful)

draevil (598113) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668578)

The Dark Side of HDCP? I wasn't aware there was a bright one...

Re:The Dark Side? (5, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669202)

"The Dark Side of HDCP? I wasn't aware there was a bright one..."

There is no dark side of the HDCP really, matter of fact, it's all dark....

*thump*thump.....*thump*thump.....*thump*thump.... .*thump*thump.....

--with apologies to Old Pink

Re:The Dark Side? (2, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669882)

I suppose the developer [digital-cp.com] of this piece of shit technology was well-paid for it (MUCH more than they deserved). So I guess there's a bright side for them.

But as for the other 99.999% of the population who will be screwed by it...We're out of luck.

-Eric

NES, or "blinking toaster" (5, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668600)

From the article

annoying little technological tic that caused the sound to cut out and the screen to blink on and off when we would launch certain games. Was it the PS3 or the Westinghouse TV?
So Sony has finally caught up to where Nintendo was in 1985, right?

That was copy protection too (4, Informative)

Myria (562655) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669008)

The blinking effect from the NES was the copy protection check failing. The copy protection chip would reset the NES after a second if the cartridge didn't respond properly.

Melissa

Re:That was copy protection too (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670264)

The blinking effect from the NES was the copy protection check failing.

Exactly. The blinking effect on the PS3 is also from the copy protection check failing, albeit the TV copy protection chip rather than the game media copy protection chip.

Re:That was copy protection too (1)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17671406)

Interesting! You wouldn't by any chance happen to have some useful NES resource links for how to fix that or other problems? My original NES finally kicked the bucket this fall and it just blinks for most games (but fails in other ways for other games) so I'm hoping there's a DIY solution somewhere on the net.

Re:That was copy protection too (1)

Hollinger (16202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17671652)

This happens with legit games when the connector fails. Each of my friends has their own special ritual, involving blowing into the console, tapping the cartridge down "just right," and so on.

When you press a cartridge down, you're pressing a 72-pin spring-loaded connector. You should be able to buy a new one for $10 or so, excluding shipping (try eBay). The repair process [google.com] is very easy.

~ Mike

Re:That was copy protection too (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672032)

I've also heard that a Game Genie serves well by making contact with the connector without requiring the spring-loading to work. This wouldn't work if the problem is corrosion.

Same probems happen with Cable STBs (2, Informative)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668708)

Notably the PACE 551 HD. I had a loaner until the PVR came in, and I'd lose the HDMI connection daily with an error message stating my TV wasn't HDCP compliant (it is). I used to have my doubts about DRM. Not any more. Now I am convinced it is evil, treats consumers like criminals and is defective by design.

Re:Same probems happen with Cable STBs (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669232)

That's the same POS STB that I have, and use HDMI. I found that the box has to be turned on at the same time as the TV to handshake, it apparently only tries once. Do you have the problem where if it is set to dolby digital sound, sometimes when you change channels it will switch back to stereo mode, despite still being set to DD? I then have to just highlight the setting in the config (not change it, just highlight it) and it switches back to DD. That is even more annoying than the handshaking issue, because having ADD and HATING commercials, I tend to channel surf a lot :)

I don't think I'm the only one (4, Interesting)

letsgolightning (1004592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668724)

I'm sure I'm not the only one that sees HDCP as (a) HanDiCaP. I've not used the technology in any way and I'm not trying to comment on its merits, but when I see HDCP and that's the first thing I think of, wouldn't that be some sort of marketing failure?

It is worse than that... (3, Informative)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669042)

Ok, to start off, I have this problem with my cable box, too. If I leave the cable box on, and simply turn the tv on or off (as most people do, i bet), when I turn on the TV, the cable box tells me it couldn't establish an HDCP connection. To actually get them to handshake, both devices have to be turned on at the same time. What a bunch of BS.

The bigger problem than handshaking issues is that there are apparently multiple versions of HDMI, the latest being 1.3. Now as a consumer, how the hell am I supposed to know which version of HDMI each of my devices have? Has anyone actually seen a version number in the specs for any device? The PS3, for instance uses the 1.3 spec. If my TV uses the 1.2 spec, anything that needs to use the 1.3 spec won't display content. How are they going to explain that to the user? "well, see, the HDMI port here is actually different than the HDMI port here. They look the same, and have nothing to distinguish one from the other, but TRUST ME, there is a difference." I expect that excuse won't fly in any court should a class action case be filed. If I ever get a PS3 (after it is... oh... half the price), and it refuses to play at full resolution because my TV is only 1.2, I will be mighty pissed off. The whole HDMI/HDCP thing is totally pointless and will end up being a royal pain in the ass to everyone except the content makers.

Re:It is worse than that... (2, Insightful)

DeadChobi (740395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669416)

Boy, that sucks. When I turn my regular old television on, I don't have to worry about handshakes, DRM, blinking pictures, or any of that buggy crap. What's great about analog cable is that it works. Yessir, after reading all these horror stories about HDCP and HD televisions, I don't think I'm ever going to upgrade from good old regular televisions until they pry the thing from my cold dead fingers. When they stop selling DVDs I'll probably just pirate shows in low-def and pipe them to my TV.

The SD television standard has a total of one resolution, and only three real standards which vary by country. Not only that, my television has a cable box built in so that all I have to do is plug cable into my TV and I can watch television. Sure beats having to screw around with a box and play with it for an hour until I figure out how to get it handshaking.

In short, I'm saying that everyone who bought into the DRM-laden technologies got bit because they didn't understand the real purpose of DRM. DRM is really just designed to make your content harder to access. Reading your anecdote, it appears to be working. Anyone who bought DRM tacitly accepted the technology.

If you don't like it, vote with your wallet.

Re:It is worse than that... (2, Informative)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669852)

The SD television standard has a total of one resolution, and only three real standards which vary by country.
Not exactly. There's 480i and 480p. And other countries "standards" are not just formats, they have different resolutions and refresh rates. NTSC has 525 lines of horizontal resolution at 29.97 frames per second, whereas PAL is 625 lines at 50 frames per second. Face it, electronics will always be confusing to someone. When it works right, HD is stunning and worth the money if you are a TV/movie fan. Sports especially make a HUGE difference when watched in HD vs. SD. Being able to read all the numbers even on a whole field view is nice :) Throw in the fact that most, if not all, HDTVs have a VGA or DVI port built in, and you can use it as a computer monitor, too. There are advantages to HD, I just wish the content creators would stop being a bunch of greedy oppressive dicks about it.

Next Week on "24" (3, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669184)

"Jack, you realize what this means!!"

"Yes, the terrorists have a mole in CTU. It can only be ..."

WARNING YOUR HDTV IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH HDCP!!

"... Paris Hilton. Tonight, on NEWS at 11"

How many HDCP devices will be returned? (1)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669192)

Early adopters will be tolerant of the hicups of a new technology. They also tend to be more technical astute and will use high quality components. Can you imagine the problems that will occur when HDCP goes mainstream? When a mom buys a low end HDTV, a PS3 and the cheapest HDMI cables that Walmart sells. What's the chance that everything will work together without these issues. When kids are around, doing kid things. So the mom will return the "broken" devices. Because of the number of returns, retailers will not want to stock "defective" merchandise.

If you want something that works, wait until the copy protection schemes are broken and download the pirated copy. It's the reverse situation of the fake Rolex. The illegal copy is better than the original. This entire situation could be fixed by the abandoment of HDCP, but that isn't going to happen. As far as the PS3 goes, I guess it's broken by design.

Re:How many HDCP devices will be returned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17670328)

But they'll start claiming it's like opened software, because you could be stealing the keys! Just you wait, it'll happen.

Too lazy to log in.

HDCP with games? WTF?? (3, Interesting)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669256)

I thought HDCP applied only with certain movies that demand it. Does this mean that everything going through the HDMI port of a PS3 is encrypted? Including what Linux displays?

If that's the case, my appreciation of DRM just went from "I couldn't like less" to "wait, I think I can". It highlights the problem that technology-enforced legislation is bound to be too greedy if it has any hope of being effective.

FMV copy protection (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670460)

I thought HDCP applied only with certain movies that demand it

Does this include interactive movies like what some reviewers have called recent Final Fantasy brand games?

Including what Linux displays?

Sony OS3 and Linux both run under the PS3 hypervisor, so it's possible.

Acronyms? (2, Interesting)

theGil (1010409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669398)

Just a note, but did anyone else notice the discrepancy between the two acronymns? Early in the post, it's "High Definition Content Protection". Later, it's "high-bandwidth digital content protection". I believe the actual acronymn is the latter of the two.

Re:Acronyms? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17671894)

Well, neither of them is an acronym, as they cannot be pronounced like words.

Really, now... (0, Redundant)

devnull17 (592326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669514)

Is there a "light side" of HDCP?

Re:Really, now... (0, Flamebait)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669854)

"Is there a "light side" of HDCP?"

Yes, I believe it is laughing at the people who paid $600 (or worse) for a PS3
and several $1000 for an HDTV, so they could have a blinking screen.

<nelson>
HAHA
</nelson>

That's it, I'm staying with Y-Pb-Pr (2, Interesting)

greed (112493) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669678)

So I've got a decent LCD TV with HDMI, and a satellite box with HDMI, and a DVD player that upconverts to HDMI, and the [prize] PS3 is supposed to be on its way with HDMI....

And they're all going to go through a remote-controlled component video switch I've got on order. (Currently, I'm using a manual switchbox.) I'm "opting out" of this HDCP game, I don't like the rules, and I don't want to play.

Any Blu-Ray disc I try and which doesn't play on component will go back as "defective" or "unfit for sale." The media companies want to pull these stunts on consumers, they need our co-operation for it to work. So don't play along, stay analog.

You know what? Y-Pr-Pb looks pretty damn good. Don't think you can get 1080p on it, but the Viera screen is only 768 vertical, so that doesn't matter (to me) anyways. Flat panel monitor pictures aren't "drawn" like CRTs anyway; the incoming signal is decoded to a framebuffer for driving the display.

And HDMI switches cost too much, are hard to find with digital audio switching, and I don't feel like replacing my (otherwise excellent) AV receiver because Hollywood says so.

For anyone considering a similar solution: Compare the bandwidth of co-axial digital audio and composite video (the orange RCA plug and the yellow RCA plug). They're pretty close, right? Check out the voltage and cable impedance; they're the same. What's that mean? Any AV selector switch with composite video AND component (or S) video can switch co-ax digital audio via the composite video channel. (Well, simpler ones where it doesn't try to convert composite to S or component, or put up on-screen menus or whatever.) That means there are, readily and inexpensively available, switch-boxes that don't _claim_ to have digital audio switching, but which actually work really well. I used a $30 box from Radio Shack that did S-video, composite, and left+right audio to switch S-video, digital audio, and left+right audio. (Not all laserdiscs have digital audio tracks... yeah, that makes me feel old. And the "multiroom" feature on my receiver only works with analog audio. _That_ will get me to upgrade. Hollywood get stuffed.)

Re:That's it, I'm staying with Y-Pb-Pr (1)

787style (816008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670590)

You can do 1080p over component.

Cycle the sources (4, Informative)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669860)

I haven't had this issue with my PS3 (hooked via HDMI to a Samsung HDTV) but a friend of mine has. However he has been able to resolve it by simply pressing the 'source' button and cycling back around to the PS3 input. You don't need to power down. Re-selecting the video input seems to initiate the handshake again.

In this case the issue isn't the PS3 but rather however your television handles the HDCP handshake. As I said, mine doesn't have an issue, but I do see a brief burst of noise when a game handshakes.

Its too bad, because HDMI is a really nice connection. But HDCP is just ass. I hope Sony can do something with the firmware to alleviate the issue on these sets that 'blink'.

It's a known bug in the Westinghouse TV firmware. (5, Informative)

rikkitikki (91982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670214)

This is a known bug in the Westinghouse TV firmware. If you have one of these TVs, contact Westinghouse they'll send a rep out to upgrade your firmware.

Btw, why is a TV firmware bug in the games section? (or even on Slashdot at all?) The summary even mentions that it happens between the Westinghouse TV and cable boxes and other devices.

Re:It's a known bug in the Westinghouse TV firmwar (1)

The Faywood Assassin (542375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670970)

100% of console video game systems use a television as their primary front end. It has been this way since the Atari 2600 and earlier.

Now you know.

Beny

It's westinghouse's fault. (1)

codyk (857932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670356)

I had consistent sync / handshake problems with a 37w1. Westinghouse blamed it on the Ps3, despite obvious evidence to the contrary (would sync fine 100% of the time on one port, but with image artifacts; would only sync 10% of the time on the other) Thankfully best buy took the set back. I tested the ps3 on every other brand I could find in store, worked fine.

Big shock, new technology is implemented shoddily by cut-rate companies.

Its not the spec! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17671776)

What a lot of people don't realize, (and this comes from first hand experience) is that more often than not, failed handshaking isnt necessarily a result of the devices themselves. It tends to be because of crap quality cables.

While HDMI carries a digital signal, and thus, it carries the same visual quality regardless of the cable quality, a poorly made cable, with little or no shielding, and "leaky" connectors is going to be much more susceptible to EM interference.

If you get enough interference (it doesn't take much with a 5 dollar eBay cable), you will have occasional blackouts, etc.

I was able to solve this on 3 separate occasions for family and friends, by replacing their cheap cables with higher quality, shielded cabling.

Samsung TV and DVD player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17671806)

I have this on a regular basis between my Samsung LCD TV and my Samsung DVD player. When I switch on the DVD player I get a garbled picture on the TV, and the only thing I can do is turn the DVD player off and back on again.
But today I got something new, I got a picture, but also a very high pitched sound. Again switching the player off and back on fixed it, but it is really irritating.
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