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HD-DVD Wins Support of 4 Studios 355

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the start-clearing-landfill-space-for-dvd dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Looks like HD-DVD has won the latest round in the Blu-ray/HD-DVD format war. Toshiba announced today that 4 major studios (Warner,Paramount,Universal, and New Line) have endorsed the HD-DVD format. Toshiba also said it will use AACS for content protection, which is basically just CSS with better crypto & no ability to recover from security failures."
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HD-DVD Wins Support of 4 Studios

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  • Plus Minus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fembots (753724) on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:22PM (#10945001) Homepage
    Since both HD-DVD and blu-ray are using the same blue lasers, will this 'war' eventually turn out to be HD/BR-DVD similar to the DVD+/-R standards.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:29PM (#10945095)
      Toshiba may have won the battle but is destined to lose the war to the Chinese. Once the format is decided, the Chinese will pirate all the technologies needed to make the new HD-DVD discs. Further, the Chinese will simply pirate all the technologies for building the HD-DVD read/write players [phrusa.org]. Toshiba will receive no royalties from the Chinese. Indeed, Toshiba may be forced to pay royalties to the Chinese when Toshiba sells related products in the Chinese market, for the Chinese companies (with the implicit approval of Beijing) will actually steal Toshiba's American/Japanese patents and apply for Chinese patents on the exact same technology.

      The evil mind is capable of almost anything.

    • Re:Plus Minus (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gosand (234100) on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:34PM (#10945143)
      Since both HD-DVD and blu-ray are using the same blue lasers, will this 'war' eventually turn out to be HD/BR-DVD similar to the DVD+/-R standards.

      Which is fine, provided that commercial equipment can play both formats. It is a bigger deal now because they are talking about releasing content on those formats. That was never an issue with DVD+/-R, where compatability was left to the consumer to figure out. If I am burning my own DVDs, I can stick to whatever format I find works best. If I am buying a DVD from the store, it had just better work.

    • Re:Plus Minus (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Spy Handler (822350) on Monday November 29, 2004 @03:05PM (#10945472) Homepage Journal
      I don't think there will be "dual-format" drives that play both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD due to the technical differences between them. (for instance the large disparity in storage size)

      In comparison, DVD-R and +R are nearly identical formats... there is almost no difference distinguishing the two. Basically the +R format is a slightly hacked version of the official -R specification to circumvent licensing fees. Note that +R discs do not display the official DVD logo with the circle image.

    • When blu-ray and hd-dvd players people will say "How is this better than DVD again, seeing as how I don't own an HDTV and I already bought most of my library and I can play DVDs on my laptop on the go?"

      When Playstation 3 with blu-ray comes out people will be saying "Where does the line start to buy one? Oh look, it can play the HD-super-ultra-edition of Goldeneye. "

      This consortium may help level the playing field for demand for eye-candy movies (LOTR in particular helps HD-DVD) but movies aren't going to
  • How strong is it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stecoop (759508) * on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:23PM (#10945014) Journal
    Is the format security architecture flexible enough to handle...

    A guy using a camcorder while watching his TV

    Someone plugging in the composite video to a capture card

    Brute Force Attack

    To stop me from buying your DVDs

    Alginate the Movie Industry

    • by mblase (200735) on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:32PM (#10945118)
      Alginate the Movie Industry

      Alginate [google.com]? You want to cover them in medical dressings? Or possibly make them thicker and more tasty....
    • by davidwr (791652) on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:37PM (#10945170) Homepage Journal
      I predict in 10 years you'll see 3rd-world pirates using fully-digital screen-scrapers to bypass otherwise-unbreakable encryption.

      Scrape. Store. Burn. Sell on the street corners.

      The studios will never "win," they'll only be able to manage their losses.

      In the USA, it will be less of a problem as most middle-class people move to a subscription model, where they can watch what they want when they want to for a fixed monthly fee. This will take away most people's economic incentive to buy bootleg copies.

      Sure, you'll still have some domestic piracy, but if the studios price things correctly, it will be drawfed by legitimate users.
  • Whyyyyyyyyy?! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MooseMuffin (799896)
    It seemed like blu-ray was doing so well, and that maybe the winner would be clear cut and consumers wouldnt have to put up with this 2-format crap. Damn you competition, damn you!
    • amen! I was not happy about it, but I was ready to swallow the idea that blu-ray had won the format war. when I read this i thought no!!! just let one format win. one format will win, but it hard to say which one. I think Sony has an ace up its sleeve with the PSP using blu-ray discs.
  • by slycer9 (264565) on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:27PM (#10945062) Journal
    That instead of competition leading to advancements and improvements for the consumer, it's more often competition AGAINST fair USE for the consumer.
  • So, what's next? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mblase (200735) on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:28PM (#10945080)
    Seriously. HDTV is on its way to taking over whether the market likes it or not; I can live with it, I acknowledge its advantages, I just wish that capitalism had been allowed to govern its adoption instead of Congress.

    At least the need for a HD-DVD format is consumer-driven. I forget whether this particular format is compatible with existing DVD players or not, though.

    But what's next? Is there even industry talk about a post-HDTV video format? 3D video, maybe? Lossless video compression? What will the industry R&D teams do once they've got HD-DVD out the door and China's manufacturing players for US$30 again?
    • HDTV != DTV (Score:5, Informative)

      by The Cisco Kid (31490) * on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:37PM (#10945169)
      The mandate makes absolutely no requirement that broadcasts be HD (High Def) - only that they stop using analog transmission and go to digital. The FCC's motiviation is to get a lot of spectum back, and MPAA/broadcasters motiviation is they get the 'do not copy' concept.

      While I wouldnt mind if the spectrum was freed so that there could be some unlicensed bands to enable 802.11 style equipment for consumer use, I'm sure licenses for the newly freed TV bands will be auctioned off to megacorps instead. I'm just hoping that they dont just sit on them to prevent competition for high speed services.

      Why do so many people confuse High Def and Digital - they are *NOT* the same thing, nor do they always go hand in hand.

      You *CAN* broadcast HighDef in analog, and you *CAN* broadcast digital, and still be using standard definition (and if stations are forced go digital, it isnt all that likely that they will switch to HighDef)
      • Re:HDTV != DTV (Score:3, Informative)

        by R2.0 (532027)
        "While I wouldnt mind if the spectrum was freed so that there could be some unlicensed bands to enable 802.11 style equipment for consumer use, I'm sure licenses for the newly freed TV bands will be auctioned off to megacorps instead."

        Yes, they will be auctioned; part of the point is for the Feds to make money.

        " I'm just hoping that they dont just sit on them to prevent competition for high speed services"

        Unlikely; one of the basic FCC rules is that licenses must be used. If a licensee doesn't use the s
    • "Capitalism" was allowed to guide the adoptio: lobbyists from the Tv networks and film studios bitched and moaned that they didn't want Congress to force a single HDTV standard on them, and Congree agreed. That's what there are 420p, 720p, and 1080i standards, all out competing with one another, and all incompatible with each other. Versus, you know, the rest of the world, who simply picked ONE and used it.

      Remember, competition is "good," LMAO.
      • Competition when used in the "competition is good" sentiment refers to competition among products. I don't think competion among standards, particularly incompatible standards, has ever been deemed a "good thing."
    • Honestly, I'm in no big hurry to have HD-DVD content. I've got a 53" RPTV that's HD, and 480p DVDs look "good enough" on it. I get HBO and Cinemax in HD as well, but HD film just doesn't "pop" at you the way HD video content does, due to the difference in depth of field. I'm not saying I can't tell the difference, as I can, but as long as the DVD is anamorphic widescreen, I don't see the quality difference between the two as being worth buying a new player and new discs for. I'm sure I'll eventually buy
  • by Fr05t (69968) on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:29PM (#10945091)
    or at least the monkey poo fight we will see in the next few years. Anyone know which one the porn industry is backing? I'll put my money on that format.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      > Anyone know which one the porn industry is backing? I'll put my money on that format.

      I don't think I want to see porn in high definition. Seeing all the blemishes, pimples, and imperfections will detract, not enhance, the experience.
    • Anyone know which one the porn industry is backing

      Does it matter? It'll all be mastered from something camcorder-quality anyway. I don't know if I've ever seen a porn DVD that had decent quality, other than Andrew Blake stuff.
  • Windows Media 9 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bm17 (834529) * <brm@yoyodyne.com> on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:33PM (#10945130)
    Just a reminder: Both HD-DVD and Blu-ray now require the implementation of Windows Media 9 (now VC-9, or VC-1 depending on who you ask). This means that anyone using a computer to play DVDs may be subject to Microsoft licensing restrictions. Current DVDs use MPEG2 and the there doesn't seem to be much of a problem with non-profit use of it. I don't know that Microsoft is going to be so benevolent. Have they made any statements about open-source usage? They do seem to be a bit down on that lately.

    Also, anyone know how the decision is made to encode a DVD using MPEG2, MPEG4 or WM9?
    • umm, actually, no. HD dropped it because MS lied about its abilities.
    • by Hobart (32767) on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:54PM (#10945344) Homepage Journal
      Just a reminder: Both HD-DVD and Blu-ray now require the implementation of Windows Media 9 (now VC-9, or VC-1 depending on who you ask). This means that anyone using a computer to play DVDs may be subject to Microsoft licensing restrictions.
      Just a reminder: DVD and ATSC (American digital television spec, mandated by law) require the implementation of Dolby Labs AC3. This means anyone using a computer to play DVDs, or using a computer to watch broadcast television may be subject to Dolby licensing restrictions.

      Just a reminder: VideoCD (MPEG-1) requires the implementation of The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Layer 3 algorithm. This means anyone using a computer to play Video CDs or listen to .MP3 music files may be subject to Fraunhofer licensing restrictions.

      At the moment, Fraunhofer, for example, realize the futility of prosecuting implementations of software-only MP3 decoders. This does not mean they do not have the right to file lawsuits against the users and producers of such, even, should they so desire, to the point of requiring per-use license payments.

      The ogg / vorbis / theora solutions that the industry is paying no attention to are the only specs that are free of this insanity. But don't get all worked up just because Microsoft was the company whose codec was chosen instead of one of the other evil companies in mpegla.com [mpegla.com]'s portfolio, unless you want to be thought of as this guy. [penny-arcade.com]
      • by crow (16139) on Monday November 29, 2004 @03:13PM (#10945584) Homepage Journal
        As to AC3, can't you just pipe the raw stream out a digital port from your computer to your sound system? If you have a surround sound system, they've already paid for a patent license to decode the AC3, so your computer can let it do the work and avoid the patent issue.
      • No MP3 in VCD (Score:3, Informative)

        by benwaggoner (513209)
        Actually, VCD uses only Layer II audio, not MP3. There aren't any controlling patents or licensing fees for MPEG-1.

        Your general point is very apt, of course. Except for VCD, virtually all media technologies require various patent licensing, and in practice these haven't resulted in any company gaining undo control over the technology. It just means that makes of encoders, players, and/or content have to pay a fee to make the stuff. But the licensing contracts don't let a company revoke or re-negotiate the
    • I *think* MS had to give up some control of VC-1. The name is now VC-1, VC9 is deprecated.

      Hollywood is generally wary of Microsoft, and they could just pubish their discs in MPEG-2 or that H.something video codec, and you'd be clear of that mess for those discs.

      I think Microsoft is going to have to play nice to even be competitive if disc producers have a codec choice.
  • WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sahonen (680948) on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:40PM (#10945198) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:
    Revocation can help contain some attacks by preventing future titles from playing on a pre-chosen set of players. For example, if studios learn that pirates have hacked a player with a specific serial number, revocation makes it possible to author future titles so they will never play on that player.

    So just because you own a DVD player that was hacked, you won't be able to play future DVDs? That's a load of crap.
    • by Trick (3648)
      Disclaimer: The MPAA Sucks! Screw 'em!

      Now that that's out of the way... they're saying that if your *specific* DVD player was used to create illegal copies of a DVD, that were later distributed, they can make sure later DVDs don't work on it, so you don't illegally distribute those, too.

      While I think this whole proposition sucks, this is one of the few parts of it I don't have a problem with. If they can confirm that you're doing illegal stuff with the DVDs they sell you (see the sections on forensic ma
    • Re:WTF? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Josuah (26407)
      If you read further, you would see that they declare this approach not acceptable for that very reason.
    • So just because you own a DVD player that was hacked, you won't be able to play future DVDs? That's a load of crap.

      Yes, it's a load of crap. First because it's not an article.. It's a marketing piece which is about to contrast this situation to Their Solution(TM).

    • Re:WTF? (Score:2, Informative)

      by shades6666 (657396)
      So just because you own a DVD player that was hacked, you won't be able to play future DVDs? That's a load of crap.

      I'm not sure if you're trolling for people who haven't read the article or posted before you finished reading it yourself, but the paragraph you quoted was arguing against revocation. It's quite clear from the next two paragraphs and the first requirement listed.

      From TFA: Revocation is completely ineffective, however, if pirates develop tools or instructions for hacking a popular player
    • Re:WTF? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by windowpain (211052)
      The statement is ambiguous. The term "pre-chosen set" certainly appears to mean a particular model. But that would be insane.

      The article also uses the term "serial number" which would seem to me to indicate one particular player in the whole world. Your kid hacks your player and through revocation it can no longer play disks. That's reasonable. You slap the kid upside his head, make him pay for a new player and you're back in business.

      I'd like them clarify what they mean.

  • Very misleading (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JoeShmoe (90109) <askjoeshmoe@hotmail.com> on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:40PM (#10945204)
    I rarely take the time to criticize a Slashdot editor, but this posting is terribly confusing.

    Which is it?

    Is the format using "CSS with stronger encryption" in other words...once some company makes a mistake and puts the key in the clear (like Xing did with the original CSS key) then it's game over, have a field day with HD content...

    Or is it some kind of improved system that uses any of the principles in the cryptography.com article? The stuff in that article would scare the pants off anyone who believes in fair use rights and using any tactics necessary to secure them. Thankfully, it sounds like this articles is merely pointing out the dream and there doesn't exist such a magic bullet.

    But judging by the replies to this articles, it already looks like people are bemoaning and wailing the lost of fair use rights thanks to this unbelievably draconiam new system.

    My reading leads me to believe that we should all be very very quiet, wait for HD to reach a nice sizeable market penetration, then wait for the key to appear and bring about DeCSS round II.

    -JoeShmoe
    .
    • Re:Very misleading (Score:3, Interesting)

      by k98sven (324383)
      Or is it some kind of improved system that uses any of the principles in the cryptography.com article? The stuff in that article would scare the pants off anyone who believes in fair use rights and using any tactics necessary to secure them. Thankfully, it sounds like this articles is merely pointing out the dream and there doesn't exist such a magic bullet.

      Of course it does.. it's not an article! It's marketing from Cryptography Research pushing their 'solution'.

      And I must say, I'm not convinced. They p
      • The theory is that if you can introduce executable code, you can make the protection system use a slightly different method each time, making it so that a given crack will only work on a given printrun of disks.

        The reason this won't work for this sort of thing is that the hardware is staying constant, so all you need to do to get a general case break is to build an emulator.
    • It wasn't so much Xing leaking a key that undid CSS, it was the fact that the keys were mathematically related and so could be brute forced in about a week with a fast computer.

      If the key generation algorithm had been done correctly, DeCSS may not have been possible.

      • Re:Very misleading (Score:2, Insightful)

        by JoeShmoe (90109)
        The key was never brute forced. When Xing wrote their player software, they failed to encrypte the CSS decryption key that was licensed to them. It's common knowledge that the key is Xing's key, but because that key can decrypt any CSS content, it doesn't matter. To change CSS would break all the other keys, not just Xing's. There's no way to put code on a DVD to detect and exclude this key from being used. Even to this day I'm almost positive that any program that decrypts DVDs has in it somewhere tha
        • Re:Very misleading (Score:3, Informative)

          by tuffy (10202)
          That is incorrect. CSS was designed to use lots of keys so that some could be revoked on future DVDs if they were compromised. The problem is, because CSS' encryption method was so poor, Xing's unencrypted key was all that was needed to break the algorithm. So no matter what keys CSS uses on a disc, DeCSS can find a matching one in a very short amount of time.

          The Xing key helped get to this point, but it's far from necessary now.

          • Okay this makes sense except...wasn't CSS encryption 40-bit? That's obviously not as secure enough to be impossible to brute force...but it's still fairly difficult even by today's standards.

            It's not like they XOR'd it or something. When you say algorithm it makes me think of something that trivial. At some point, there had to be some kind of key used, right? So the only question was how strong was that key? I don't know and trying to google for it turns up a lot of information about DeCSS but little
            • Re:Very misleading (Score:2, Informative)

              by tuffy (10202)
              Okay this makes sense except...wasn't CSS encryption 40-bit? That's obviously not as secure enough to be impossible to brute force...but it's still fairly difficult even by today's standards.

              The Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] claims a home computer can brute-force CSS in 24 hours. I don't doubt it. But DeCSS runs in seconds, so it's largely a matter of convenience now.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:42PM (#10945224)
    By deciding to split the market asunder, the companies that cannot agree on one standard are instead creating a huge group of people that will just say "screw it", not buy either player, and download rips of HD-DVD/Blu-Ray DVD's that they can play on a computer hooked to the TV (becoming more common and certainly more comon in a year or two).

    Who is going to buy either kind of player when there's such an open question as to which will succeed?
    • I agree. Only in this particular case the war will end with all players being able to play both HD and Blu-ray. Blu-ray wont die because Sony and pretty much every electronics company except NEC and Toshiba backs it, and Sony owns several movie studios and is the worlds largest home electronics producer, and also the ps3 will use Blu-ray ensuring a decent installbase.

      And (important) the movie companies that just announced HD-DVD support hasn't made their support exclusive, meaning thay can also support Bl
    • a huge group of people that will just say "screw it" not buy either player, and download rips of HD-DVD/Blu-Ray DVD's that they can play on a computer hooked to the TV (becoming more common and certainly more common in a year or two)

      What TV?

      None of my friends here in the city own a TV or a car. None of us use land line telephones either.
  • Pirates or users? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:44PM (#10945249)

    Unfortunately, pirates will attack high-definition disc formats.

    It should be noted that the DVD content scrambling system failed not under the attack of pirates but due to legal owners of encrypted media striving to play them on an open source operating system. I think there's a lesson to be learned from that.

  • Makes me feel dirty (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:50PM (#10945299) Journal
    That article from cryptography.com, should it's seggestions come to pass, would prevent me from making copies of my discs so that my 2 year old wouldn't trash the originals. It would even prevent me from ripping all discs to a server, and making a special remote interface for her.

    What's most interesting is that "real" pirates (pressing discs for mass distribution) would likely be able to circumvent all these measures with a bit-accurate re-press. *shrug* At least we know who the industry is really worried about when they talk about pirates...you and me.

    BTW, yes, my 2 year old knows how to load a DVD player, and I print the discs so she knows which is which. I reauthor them so that the movie starts immediately without user interaction. I haven't figured out how to make her understand that the top-loading CD player in her room won't play three discs stacked like records, though. ;-) (On a side note, I was impressed/suprised to find out that it will function just fine with two discs in the player at once.)

    • would prevent me from making copies of my discs so that my 2 year old wouldn't trash the originals

      By the time this format is the standard, your kid will be, like, twelve or something. :)

      • Well...I get worked up over my wife handling my DVDs, and won't let my parents (or my in-laws) borrow an original disc from my collection.

        While this may seem a bit paranoid, I have a CD collection with the most remarkable range of scratches from casual handling. I swore that my DVDs would not suffer the same fate. Until recently, I had all my DVDs in a jukebox (I no longer own the jukebox...long story). I wasn't really happy with that solution from a payback standpoint, so I'm building a video server now
    • Is just my observation, or are there way too many stupid people in the world?

      Reading your sig, and reading about how you are making DVD backups for your presumably TV-addicted two year old, I can't help wonder if there might be a correlation.
  • Does this mean people will have to upgrade their current DVD players/drives to use this new DVD technology?
    • Does this mean people will have to upgrade their current DVD players/drives to use this new DVD technology?

      Sure. It'll just be a firmware patch automatically downloaded to your DVD player through the, um, power cord by, um, the Department Of... uh... The Interior.

    • Doubtful. There won't be a market for DVD player upgrades because the upgrades couldn't cost much less than a brand new HD-DVD player
    • Uh, yes.

      But more importantly, with the first suggestion on c.com, you'd be expected to upgrade your player every few months, after the last one was hacked. (This is suggested as a problem in the article, but - suprisingly - is only considered undesirable when applied to either a very popular model or an entire manufacturers line. So make sure you get a really, really popular HD-DVD player, just in case. Actually, I see class action written all over this, even for low-moderate number players)
  • by Trillian_1138 (221423) <slashdotNO@SPAMfridaythang.com> on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:50PM (#10945314)
    My favorite quote from the last link in the summary (on format security) would have to be the following:

    "In the U.S., the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits unauthorized circumvention. Outside the U.S., however, many jurisdictions only have conventional copyright laws that only protect creative works. Normal decryption keys do not include any obvious creative element."

    Now, jumping to the Constitution ("To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries") it is not clear that copyright must *only* be granted to works with "obvious creative element." But I liked the fact that the above comment on future security requirements acknowledged what seems to be much of Slashdot (and the tech community's) beef with copyrighting algorithms and computer software, but from the assumption that it's a GOOD thing, rather than a BAD thing.

    Just an example of how you can agree on the issue while still having mutually exclusive views on the sollution.

    -Trillian
    • "In the U.S., the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits unauthorized circumvention. Outside the U.S., however, many jurisdictions only have conventional copyright laws that only protect creative works. Normal decryption keys do not include any obvious creative element."

      That explains a lot piracy. Hollywood seems to have a lack of creative works as of late, so it must be OK to copy and distribute those. And any of the truly creative works will only play an my region 1 DVD player if I "pirate" them.
  • For computer use, WHO CARES which format gets adopted? Personally, I'd go for the one that lasts longer and has better error recovery (ie, I don't have to worry about my 50G of data going bad too quickly).

    But for the consumer movie market, I'm just about ready to give up on this whole thing. One has to ask: do you want to keep buying movies over and over as a new format comes out? VHS? Then DVD? Then Blu-Ray? We keep updating... jumping as a new format comes out. And part of the reason they keep comin
  • by vectrex (16314) on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:58PM (#10945388) Homepage
    There was a big leap between VHS and DVD that really added to the migration and the adoption of DVD by the consumer.

    My guess is that HD-DVD and Blu-ray will go the way of Minidisc. They don't add anything remotely interresting for the average consumer. The average consumer is still buying Full-Screen edition of the movies. They won't put any money on those new formats any time soon.

    Unless they pull the plug on the DVD format. Which won't happen anytime soon.
    • This is an extremely astute observation. I've been looking at this whole situation as a videophile and assuming everyone else was looking at it in the same way. But if you show the average consumer a 480i DVD then show them a 1080p HD-DVD how many would actually notice enough of a difference to warrant a new purchase? The jump from VHS to DVD was _HUGE_ and everyone was able to notice it (except for blind people I suppose); not specifically for resolution, but for the color, the contrast, and the overall qu
    • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Monday November 29, 2004 @05:53PM (#10947462)
      For one thing, the extra storage space on these new formats makes lots more extras and commentary possible.

      On the main point though - I once thought as you do that people would be happy enough with DVD's as there were and wouldn't see a noticable difference between DVD's and HDTV resolution signals. But after comparing HD broadcast movies and normal DVD's, I have to say the difference is not all that hard to see and is pretty impressive. And lots of people are buying TV's now that do offer the extra level of resolution that can take advantage of the extra resolution.

      The format will take a while to catch on though if there's really much of a standards war.
  • The question-and-answer section on this page [cryptography.com] are certainly informative. It looks like the security technology will be self-updating so that after a particular player's key is gained and resultant piracy detected, future HD-DVDs will not play on that model.

    There are a lot of states SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS to address that problem.

    However, at no point (that I could detect) does the Q&A bring up a SYSTEM REQUIREMENT for the following scenario: What happens to legitimate purchasers of a given player that get
    • They address this in TFA:

      "Revocation can help contain some attacks by preventing future titles from playing on a pre-chosen set of players. For example, if studios learn that pirates have hacked a player with a specific serial number, revocation makes it possible to author future titles so they will never play on that player.

      Revocation is completely ineffective, however, if pirates develop tools or instructions for hacking a popular player model. This is the most common kind of security failure in consume
  • Dear Hollywood (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AnalogDiehard (199128) on Monday November 29, 2004 @03:04PM (#10945465)
    I have left the upgrade treadmill on the sidewalk. My VHS player was displaced only two years ago with a DVD/VHS player and I am not going to repeat my investment in media in order to perpetuate your business model.

    HD DVD has no significant features that are of value to me. Instead of focusing on new technologies, perhaps you should divert your precious R&D resources to providing better content.

    With love,
    The Consumer

    • Dear Consumer (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NeMon'ess (160583)
      You are stupid, but we will show you the light. We don't expect Joe Shmuck to buy HDTV sets and HD-DVD players right away. We see the prices for the sets falling. A year or two after we release HD players, those prices will also come down. By that time there should be some stunning content available. Early adopters will show this off to their friends, who will get their own sets and players. We don't expect you to buy another copy of American Pie, which will work just fine on the new players. We do h
    • Re:Dear Hollywood (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dokebi (624663)
      This is the exact reason I have consciously decided not to purchase DVD's. Even as DVD standard was being finallized, Hollywood knew it couldn't support Hi-Def. There was some concern about antagonizing the consumer who had to buy the same movie multiple times--first digital, then HiDef--but to combat VCD and SVCD piracy, they went ahead anyway. And unlike VHS which lasted many years, DVD's would be made obsolete in about 5 years, to the introduction of Hi-def DVD format.

      Since I knew I'll end up buying HD
      • ...When HiDef dvd's become standardized and popular, I'll purchase movies again...

        When the next SUPERDEF on molecular cube storage (no moving parts) comes out 5 years after that, you'll have to buy your collection again. Another 5 years later, they'll have MEGADEF on atomic quantum storage devices (100 Terabytes on a chip) and you'll have to buy your collection again. Another 5 years later.....

        Don't you see the game yet? Hollywood and the electronics manufacturers want to stay in business. They will be do
  • AVC/H.264/MPEG-4 part 10/HD DVD format - whatever you want to call it... built in to Tiger [apple.com]

    Now we can only hope M$ does not fuck it up like they did with old MPEG-4 format.

  • by HarveyBirdman (627248) on Monday November 29, 2004 @03:07PM (#10945496) Journal
    CSS with better crypto

    I started at that for a full twenty seconds thinking, "What the hell kind of crypto is involved with cascading stylesheets?"

  • Missing the mark? (Score:3, Informative)

    by GoRK (10018) <johnl AT blurbco DOT com> on Monday November 29, 2004 @03:07PM (#10945500) Homepage Journal
    SPDC and Format Security

    Formats with Self-Protecting Digital Content(TM) solve this problem by enabling discs to carry their own security software that runs in a tiny security interpreter (VM) in each player. This software can identify and correct security problems in the player, re-establishing secure playback without revoking legitimate users' players. This capability is called system renewability or true renewability.


    Who thought this up? Emulation of a player's security VM in software would eliminate the renewability of the security anyway, just as a comprimised key would. You'd have to resort to revoking the ability of a certain hacked or emulated VM to decrypt the content anyway.

    This whole thing is asinine. With the right equipment you can make bit-for-bit copies of CSS-protected DVD's, thus "pirating" them withouth having to break any security whatsoever. It would be reasonable to assume this may be possible with any HD disc format as well. With any HD player, unless you integrate the codec processor into the security processor, you can probably build some hardware to get at the decrypted datastream too (169time.com [169time.com] does this type of hack).

    DirecTV and digital cable and all that use this same model, only this replaces the smartcard with essentially a more limited type of smartcard on each disc. The model works with directv because to hack it you must be able to decrypt the live stream for immediate viewing. With a DVD this is not the case - you only need to be able to decrypt it once then distribute the decrypted copy. Only one person need have a hacked piece of hardware to accomplish this. This is where the true "priacy" is taking place anyawy. All this new junk does is just make players more expensive and discs harder to watch.

  • "Revocation can help contain some attacks by preventing future titles from playing on a pre-chosen set of players. For example, if studios learn that pirates have hacked a player with a specific serial number, revocation makes it possible to author future titles so they will never play on that player."

    Yeah, so they can one by one stop the hackers, who can just spoof the serial number on their computer. And of course $30 HD-DVD players will come about.
  • A Spensive (Score:2, Funny)

    by Eric Coleman (833730)
    How many times are we going to be forced to buy Star Wars? Laser Disk, VHS twice (original and updated versions), DVD, and sometime in the future HD DVD. And by that time it will be a 6 movie set. Lucas sure does dig deep in the pockets.
    • Re:A Spensive (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drew (2081)
      that's funny. i don't remember having been forced to buy a single copy of any star wars movie. ever...
  • I read some of that stupid spdc q&a... I eventually had to just stop though.

    My mind rejects the term pirate. At what point did they run their boats up along side the MPAA and take something from them?

    It's not piracy. It's something else. It may be a crime, but it's not piracy.

  • by NitroWolf (72977) on Monday November 29, 2004 @03:17PM (#10945633)
    I just love how they talk about encryption, and how they are going to prevent pirates, blah blah blah.

    When are people going to realize that in things like this, encryption/obfuscation/etc... will only keep honest people honest. The pirates and people who have extra time will break ANYTHING they can put on a disc.

    Why is this?

    The answer is so simple, which is why it flabbergasts me that people put so much time and effort into copy protection.

    The decrypted content is IN THE HANDS OF THE END USER. Right there, that simple fact is why every possible method of copy protection will fail. If the end user has the decrypted content, it is possible to (obviously) retrieve that content by the end user (I know that's circular). Because of this, you can NOT protect a DVD or whatever from being copied, no matter what.

    It's appalling the kind of money and time that goes into trying to keep content from the user, when in the end, it's doomed to fail and it's obvious to anyone with half a brain.
  • I chose not to buy a DVD burner until +/- burners became widely available. I passed up the fire sales on +only or -only drives, it just wasn't worth the risk.

    Why? I didn't want to be caught with a losing proposition.

    I'll buy a high-capacity DVD player only if it can play all common formats.

    Message to the Media Moguls who probably aren't listening:
    Either agree on a common format or make darn sure you sell affordable multi-format drives. Otherwise you aren't going to get my money. Remember, once I buy
  • Well, this sucks.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Monday November 29, 2004 @03:25PM (#10945722)
    If the studios are for it then that means it's Doubleplus good for us. Right?
    You can be sure that this will be a user-hostile situation. M.I. type discs, "Mr. Phelps, this disc will self destruct in 5 seconds." after watching something.

    They do NOT want to allow us to keep anything.
    They want recordings to operate like PPV, pay each time you watch it, even if you've recorded or BOUGHT it.

    No matter how loud people bitch and squeal, they'll force this on people, one way or another.
    I've got a number of old TV's. Several of them are in great condition, nothing wrong with them at all, but they won't receive HD programming. So if I want HD programming (which I don't) I would have to either buy all new TV's or some sort of set-top tuners. But, no worries, they'll make me do it anyway, I've got one more year [pbs.org] of use out of my old legacy TV's and rabbit ears.
    All the local stations have begun dual-casting in HD and analog and are hawking the new technology in PSA's, urging everyone to hurry and buy a new TV set before they turn off the old.

    I like the analog way. When there is a signal problem with digital, the picture breaks up and almost completely fails and the sound is either mangled beyond understanding or is muted completely. In the old analog world (that I still live in) the signal can be weak but the picture and sound is still viewable and understandable. I can turn my old TV on, turn the rabbit ears around and get the local news. It looks like crap but it's more than good enough to get the weather report. If it were digital and the signal was that bad it would have already muted the sound and put up a message on the screen "Please stand by, acquiring signal"..

    So, just like they are forcing digital TV upon us, they will force whatever media type gives THEM the upper hand, the most control. They will NEVER gives us any technology that gives US the upper hand..

  • Encryption.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wed128 (722152) <woodrowdouglass@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday November 29, 2004 @03:35PM (#10945823)
    Even with all the encryption in the world, some part of the signal chain has to be decrypted right? they can't eradicate piracy when all a pirate needs is an EE degree and a soldering iron...
  • free shit. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Monday November 29, 2004 @03:49PM (#10945949)
    This is so retarded. The Blu-ray disc is so much more superior than this HD-DVD garbage. But once again, the studios are going with mediocre technology because they don't want people to have access to good technology.

    All they care about is that StupidPeople and StuplePeopid won't copy all kinds of movies, music, pictures, software, and other media. That's all they care about. Bunch of greedy scumbags. You wait and see. The free software movement is changing software. More and more governments, corporations, businesses, and individuals are switching every day. Right now, this software is catching up to commercial software in many areas. It has already exceeded it in others. In the next few years, it will exceed commercial software in many areas. The desktop will switch to free software. This same movement, I believe, will eventually take control of the music, movies, and other media industries. This movement will continue to grow, until the messiah shows up and everything is free in the world, and all work will be done by robots, and all we'll do is hang out at the beach and have a good time. That'll be cool.

  • by zardie (111478) on Monday November 29, 2004 @03:53PM (#10945985) Homepage
    As per subject, What's wrong with DVD-Audio encryption? It works just fine, it's already there and nobody has broken it yet.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 29, 2004 @04:03PM (#10946083)
    Whether to put up with these security provisions or not. Witness the (original) DIVX players [wikipedia.org].

    Here's a relevant story. When DVDs first came out, I was an early adopter, and bought a player in the first year or so. I figured the format was going to take off, and I was tired of the kids video tapes wearing out from repeated play.

    The first thing I did was bring the DVD player home, and pipe it through my VCR, which had multiple inputs I could switch between using the remote, rather than with a mechanical switch. Convenient. Finally, buying a higher-end VCR was going to pay off. This was all in the days before multiple video inputs were common on some types of stereo receivers, so this may seem trivial today.

    The hardware was all set up, and I put in "The Wizard of Oz" (one of the initial crop of discs I bought, this one at the request of the spouse). WTF? Fading to black and back, messed-up sound, etc. This is not what the DVD is supposed to look like! Was it broken out of the box?

    No. It was at that point I learned the joys of MacroVision video copy protection [wikipedia.org]. Now I know that it is not technically difficult to circumvent, but it was damned annoying. I was not trying, and had no interest, in video taping from the DVD. I was just piping through the VCR as a source switch. Thanks to this nonsense, I had to re-do the wiring and buy a stupid and awkward mechanical switch for the TV input.

    From that point on, I have been wary of any kind of copy protection or anything else that might interfere with the simple and valid desire to watch the video content I paid for, on the system I have, without stupid encumberances. I will *not* buy any flavour of HD-DVD player until I know that I will not be surprised some day by the thing incorrectly deciding I must be a pirate, and my license to play has been revoked. I've already been fooled once with regular DVD.

  • by Doug Dante (22218) on Monday November 29, 2004 @04:39PM (#10946433)
    AACS is the Ann Arbor Computer Society
    AACS web site [computersociety.org]
  • Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD (Score:3, Informative)

    by djohnsto (133220) <dan,e,johnston&gmail,com> on Monday November 29, 2004 @05:01PM (#10946655) Homepage
    Blu-Ray is a better format than HD-DVD. They will both include security measures to prevent copying, but:

    - blu ray has a special coating that is meant to eliminate 90+% of handling scratches to the disk.
    - blu ray holds more data (changes in materials and tolerances).

    They both require the same 3 codec support in the player (MS WM9 (VC-1), MP4 (H.264) and MP2). They both need blue lasers. They both will use next generation Dolby Digital and DTS sound formats for 7.1 (or higher) surround sound. The only reason HD-DVD is even in contention is because the manufacturing methodology is nearly identical to normal DVD. Therefore, the same factories and materials can be used to produce HD-DVD and normal DVD content. With Blu-Ray all new equipment needs to be purchased and the per-disc materials costs is higher. So, the studios are faced with the following choices:

    - Use a more consumer-friendly (scratch resistant, more data) format, or
    - Use a format that gives us more profit.

    Wonder which one will win? :(
    • One thing that keeps bugging me: 405nm is violet, not blue.

      But I guess there's no fun marketoid way to abuse the word "violet", espeically without it sounding like "violent"

      Even if they ignored that and called it Violet-Ray or something outright, they'd probably worry about losing sales to people who think it'll give them skin cancer.

      I just want to know how long it'll be before mass production of these laser diodes make violet laser pointers easy to find and afford. =)

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