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Television Media Your Rights Online

DRM Group Set To Phase Out "Analog Hole" 417

Posted by kdawson
from the next-we-encrypt-the-output-of-your-optic-nerve dept.
eldavojohn writes "In yet another bid to make your life a little more annoying, our DRM overlords at the AACS Licensing Authority have released a new AACS Adopter Agreement. The riveting, 188-page PDF will inform you that — in the name of Digital Rights Management — there will be new limitations set on devices that decrypt Blu-Ray discs. HDMI already has the awesome encryption of HDCP between the device and the display unit. But Blu-Ray still has the Achilles heel of analog players that allow someone to merely re-encode the analog signal back to an unencrypted digital format. So if you have an analog HDTV, hang on to those analog decoders and hope they never break; by 2013 you won't be able to buy a new one. Ars points out the inherent stupidity in this charade: 'Particularly puzzling is the fact that plugging the so-called "analog hole" won't stop direct digital ripping, enabled by software such as AnyDVD HD. And even the MPAA itself recommends using a camcorder pointed at a TV as a way to make fair use copies, creating another analog hole.' And so the cat and mouse game continues. On that subject, DVD Jon's legit company just brought out a billboard ad for his product doubleTwist next to Apple's San Fransisco store. It reads, 'The Cure for iPhone Envy. Your iTunes library on any device. In seconds.' So while he's busy taunting Apple, I'm certain there are others who might have some free time to look at Blu-Ray and the 'uncrackable' AACS."
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DRM Group Set To Phase Out "Analog Hole"

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  • DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by portnux (630256) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:20AM (#28307771)
    That is one compelling reason to not upgrade to Blu-Ray, if you ask me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      Sadly, there are no non-DRM'ed alternatives. The downloaded stuff is the only other option and it has even *WORSE* DRM.
      • Re:DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:27AM (#28307901)
        That's funny, I've never seen any DRM on the stuff I download ;)
        • Re:DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tjonnyc999 (1423763) <tjonnyc@gmaLIONil.com minus cat> on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:37AM (#28308075)
          Yeah, me neither. Also, what are those "previews" and "FBI warnings" people are complaining about?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by elrous0 (869638) *
          LOL, no LEGAL alternatives.
          • Re:DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

            by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:40AM (#28308981) Journal

            And that's the problem.

            When you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.

            Since they are so late to the game at even thinking of providing legal downloads, and those downloads are still so amazingly technically inferior, they couldn't compete with piracy even if they were free, and they're not.

            The sad thing is, it's trivially easy to compete with piracy, but so far, I don't see anyone besides Hulu even making a decent effort -- and even Hulu is questionable, as piracy is still a convenient way to break them out of that player and skip the ads.

      • Are you sure, there are no alternatives?

        Just small example: www.starwreck.com

      • Re:DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Abcd1234 (188840) on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:03AM (#28308481) Homepage

        Piracy. No, seriously. These people are creating new rights for themselves, by locking up their content in a way that was never intended by those who invented copyright. Copyright exists for one single purpose: to create an incentive for the creation of new content, and it was structured as a time-limited monopoly, not a perpetual one. As such, I have absolutely no qualms with breaking the laws they've bought over the past 50 years.

        Now, if you do have problems with piracy, might I suggest this alternative: by the Blu-ray disc, thus paying the content creator for their work, and then download a pirated copy. At least then you can still avail yourself of the rights (such as format shifting) that they're trying to take away from you. Of course, this still rewards the content creators, thus encouraging further attempts to restrict your use of the material you bought with your hard-earned cash...

        • Re:DRM (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:15AM (#28308673) Journal
          Can you try calling them entitlements? When you call them rights, you play into the hands of those you philosophically oppose. Telling someone you want to take away a group of peoples rights always sounds bad and closes the discussion before it's begun. Tell someone you want to take away a group of peoples entitlements and suddenly they want to discuss the merits of your proposal.
          • Re:DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

            by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:42AM (#28309011) Journal

            Well, it's not even that...

            The fact is, none of these are so much the creator's rights, as their ability to restrict yours. Put in that context, it suddenly becomes very clear whose rights are being violated.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Reziac (43301) *

              "The fact is, none of these are so much the creator's rights, as their ability to restrict yours. Put in that context, it suddenly becomes very clear whose rights are being violated."

              Good point. The more so if you also happen to be the creator of the work, but no longer own the rights to it thanks to some usorious contract.

          • Re:DRM (Score:5, Informative)

            by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:12PM (#28309465) Homepage Journal

            I like to think of them as incentives. That's all they are, really. Copyright law when originated actually was based on the understanding that information, once made public, naturally becomes public domain... that this is GOOD, and to be encouraged... and they encouraged it by a temporary artificial monopoly with the end goal being MORE PUBLIC DOMAIN WORKS.

            The propaganda by the beneficiaries of this public largess has been so successful that most people now actually think that copyright violation is stealing, actually think that information in MY head can be someone else's property... actually think that this is natural and proper. Insane.

            Copyright was an incentive. Like a government small business loan, enterprise zones, tax breaks, cheap hydro power for industry, taxpayer subsidized NFL stadiums, whatever.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Abreu (173023)

          Or buy the Blu-Ray disc and support the efforts of those who develop ways to bypass the restrictions of the media you have bought so that you can view it on Linux, create backups, etc.

          God knows I have had to make several copies of my kids' DVDs (once I had to use gdd_rescue!)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nitehawk214 (222219)

          Now, if you do have problems with piracy, might I suggest this alternative: by [sic] the Blu-ray disc, thus paying the content creator for their work, and then download a pirated copy.

          You have got to be kidding me. You want me to go through hoops in order to play content, then pay them for it? This would give them reason to put even more draconian policies in place since they are actually making money.

          The only way to hurt these guys is to hit them in the wallet. If I can't get the movies and music I want legally without hassle... I will simply seek out different movies and music.

      • Re:DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by silanea (1241518) on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:24AM (#28308777)

        The users of ThePirateBay may beg to differ. It is maddening, really. I can get everything there in wonderful quality, convenient and widely usable formats, and usually in a timely manner. Music in lossless quality, current episodes of US TV shows in HD quality and without any commercials, HD films with both original audio and translations - no regional discrimination, no formats that only Windows Mediaplayer can handle, no forced trailers, anti-piracy propaganda or "you may not do x, y and z with this film" nonsense, no annoying menus that take the better part of a minute to actually present me a button to watch the film, and I can freely convert all of it for my portable devices and take it with me. Plus the catalogue is huge! Even really obscure stuff that no retailer carries is available there. I have yet to see any commercial offering that even remotely comes close to this. The only feature I miss in the Bay is an option to directly send money to the artist(s).

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          It should be that easy to view the product you have purchased, in whatever format is convenient to you. You are, after all, not paying for the format it's in - you're paying for the movie/music.

          The only feature I miss in the Bay is an option to directly send money to the artist(s).

          Yeah, that would be nice. However, because you don't have that option, you /are/ paying for the original product before downloading in this super-convenient format, right? Because you think that you should be paying for products and services you enjoy? I'm sure that's what that vast majority of bay users do, would

          • Re:DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Rary (566291) on Friday June 12, 2009 @01:08PM (#28310369)

            Yeah, that would be nice. However, because you don't have that option, you /are/ paying for the original product before downloading in this super-convenient format, right? Because you think that you should be paying for products and services you enjoy?

            But, by doing that, people would be discarding their ability to influence the market, thus causing the market to fail.

            You see, if a producer is providing a product that isn't to your liking, what is supposed to happen is that you turn to the competitor instead, thereby informing the producer through your lack of purchasing their product that the product is not what you want. This, ideally, will influence the producer to change the product in order to compete.

            If, however, the black market is the only competitor, and you try to "do the right thing" by buying the product and then getting its more convenient equivalent from the black market, you are telling the producer that their product is what you want, and therefore failing to influence the producer to change their product in order to compete.

            So, most people see the choice as this: either buy the product as its offered and accept its limitations, or go to the black market to get what you want and send a message to the producer that their product is not acceptable.

            What GP was saying is that he'd like to send the appropriate message to the producer, while still rewarding the creators for their effort (note: creators != producers).

    • Re:DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

      by qortra (591818) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:36AM (#28308059)
      I haven't upgraded for that same reason - however, keep in mind DVDs had DRM too. It just sucked.
    • by mark-t (151149)
      Uhmmm... look around...

      What else is there?

    • Yeah, I just upgraded to .mkv from tpb. Saves me the hassle of yet another clunky box under my tv and repurchasing every movie I already own.

    • Re:DRM (Score:5, Informative)

      by noidentity (188756) on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:08AM (#28308549)

      That is one compelling reason to not upgrade to Blu-Ray, if you ask me.

      I think you mean "downgrade". But don't worry, if you get the pirated version, it won't have this restriction (and you will be able to start the feature immediately, without all the unskippable warnings, advertisements, and menu animations).

  • Obligatory (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I for one do not welcome our AACS DRM overlords!

  • And wish them a heartfelt "goodluckwiththat".
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by GreenTech11 (1471589)
      I hope they have baked cookies for the angry mod that will be outside thier offices tomorrow morning

      Angry mobs like cookies..

  • by Nerdfest (867930) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:23AM (#28307819)
    I'm still stuck with these ridiculous analog eyes and ears. Stupid forced upgrade path.
    • Que the dystopian Sci-Fi short stories!

      Actually, instead of making them mandatory by law, it would be more the "American Way" to make them a part of the normal way of life, much as happened with TV and automobiles. Are we free? Clearly not. Why is HD TV being foisted on us? At least half of us didn't want it. (I no longer get PBS reception. Analog signals degrade gracefully. Also, analog TV audio is a *very* useful low-power and robust information source in post disaster conditions. I know this firs

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by EdZ (755139)

        Why is HD TV being foisted on us?

        HDTV and digital broadcasting are unrelated.

  • BluRay? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Is that still around? Everywhere I see that carries any BR disks, the inventory is next to nothing now.

    When are these companies going to give up with BR? The format just wasn't going to catch on since most people see plain DVD as "good enough". And, in fact, it is, for the most part. Sure, BR is "better" but when you're watching a movie, you're not going to be able to tell the difference unless you're watching closely, most of the time.

    Also, they can take my SD CRT television when they pry it from my co

    • Re:BluRay? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Viol8 (599362) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:44AM (#28308195)

      "When they wise up and replace LCD/plasma with viable technology,"

      The screen technology isn't the issue - its all the digital decoding that goes in inside the TV. The days of LCD screens having noticable lag are long gone though I'll admit they're still not as good as the best CRT. However , LED screens will be along in (hopefully) 5 or so years and it will leave LCD and plasma as a footnote in the techno history books as its way better than either picture wise plus it uses less power.

      • Early models are already for sale. Samsung has been selling them for a while now [samsung.com]. The price needs to come down to be a great alternative, but the power savings of having the pixels generate light rather than having a harsh backlight shining through the screen should help.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Please stop spewing this blatant misinformation. Those TVs are LED backlit LCDs. The pixels don't generate any light, they only block light. Samsung does *not* make any LED TVs as far as I know, it's all marketing lies. They should get sued for it.

        • Re:BluRay? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Luyseyal (3154) <swaters AT luy DOT info> on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:41AM (#28308993) Homepage

          Indeed while the Samsung LED TVs are not true LED TVs [wikipedia.org], I noticed that they are using free software in them. Page 91 of the fine manual [samsung.com] reads...

          • This product uses parts of the software from the Independent JPEG Group.
          • This product uses parts of the software owned by the Freetype Project (www.freetype.org).
          • This product uses some software programs which are distributed under the GPL/LGPL license. Accordingly, the following GPL and LGPL software source codes that have been used in this product can be provided after asking to vdswmanager@ samsung.com.
            GPL software: Linux Kernel, Busybox, Binutils
            LGPL software: Glibc, ffmpeg, smpeg, libgphoto, libusb, SDL

          Kinda neat, though I wonder what kind of VD they have in mind for their software manager...
          -l

    • Re:BluRay? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:51AM (#28308285) Homepage Journal
      As somebody who crossed to the other side- I can agree.

      I got a nice 50" plasma and decided it was time to upgrade to blu-ray to make sure I'm geting the most out of my set. So I went out and bought myself a nice Sony Blu-ray player and set out for an adventure. At first I was a little dissapointed, I needed a flash drive to get BD-LIVE to work, but none the less I was determined to get everything out of my $300 that I just plopped down. I plugged in my USB drive and started up BD-Live, only to find out it's literally just trailers for other movies. Why is this a feature? There are other "BD-Live" apps, which if I recall correctly, are written in Java. I always thought the idea of Java really opened up the doors for the platform, but it turns out nobody cares, nobody's trying for anything revolutionary. There's a program to Re-Edit a movie with your own notes and captions, and there's this trailer app. And you need the disc in to use them.

      To keep this short, I'll say this, the BD-Live features seemed like something the studios should be paying me for. I really don't understand why a new venue for advertising to me is a feature I should be excited about.

      Anyway, the picture quality itself was good, but rewind, fast foward and similar features responded so slowly, that they were useless. It felt like the remote just wasn't connecting- but if you pressed the button once and waited five minutes, it would eventually pause/rewind/fast foward.

      I decided I didn't like it, and returned it for a samsung with netflix and pandora- oh what a mistake that was. The features were minimal. No animated menus, clunky browsing, impossibly slow, same issues as the last- but this one had tracking off on both digital and analog audio signals. I can't make my audio receiver make the audio faster- only delay. The TV, unfortunately, don't have any such feature for the delay. How annoying.

      TLDR; Blu-Ray has been aroung long enough that it should be a stable technology. They're selling shit for big prices trying to convince people it's better, but it's worse than DVD (and dvds and players are cheap). There's no reason to upgrade. Even if the picture is nicer, I don't care.

      P.S. I'm returning my last Blu-Ray and not buying a new one.
      • Re:BluRay? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:26AM (#28308817)

        Blu-Ray has been aroung long enough that it should be a stable technology. They're selling shit for big prices trying to convince people it's better, but it's worse than DVD (and dvds and players are cheap). There's no reason to upgrade. Even if the picture is nicer, I don't care. P.S. I'm returning my last Blu-Ray and not buying a new one.

        Good plan. You were lucky. If AACS thinks that stopping an analogue hole is going to help anything at all they are seriously stupid, people are breaking copy protection on blu-rays all the time just to watch their discs:

        I recently built a new computer and decided that while I was upgrading hardware I would buy a blu-ray drive and see the latest and greatest. So I went to Target and first was completely shocked at the prices of new blu-ray. That's okay, even since the winter holidays the blu-ray discs have been on sale fairly often (e.g. buy two get the third free) so that at least brings the price down to DVD levels. I bought a few movies I thought would look good in Blu-ray like the newest version of Bladerunner and pop it into my drive and VLC won't run the blu-ray movies because of the DRM. No problem, I boot windows and start up the powerdvd that came with the drive and low and behold, I get a helpful message that my widescreen monitor is not HDCP compliant so I can't watch the movie in high resolution. So I head over to doom9 and download dumpHD, but no dice, my drive has had its firmware updated and that blocked the access key dumpHD was using. Okay, well, I thought, I'll get anyDVD and strip that copy protection right out. So I do that and now the movie plays at full resolution, except that the powerDVD that came with my drive is a crippled copy and won't play surround sound, only stereo. No problem, I go back to vlc which now helpfully plays the un-DRMed m2ts files and play the individual movie files (just not the virtual machine). Only problem is now I have surround sound, except if the disc has DTS, the channels are mixed up so the center channel is the surround and the surround left is the center and the surround right has nothing. What I'm left with is having to boot into windows to run AnyDVD, then run eac3to.exe to strip the DTS sound file to an AC3, then run tsmuxer to remux the sound and video files, and then watch that using VLC (not to mention the amount of hard drive space I need for these movies is huge).

        All of this crap just to watch my legally purchased blu-ray movies on my legally purchased blu-ray player on my legally purchased computer. What a load of horse shit, I hope Sony goes completely completely out of business and blu-ray goes extinct.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by CopaceticOpus (965603)

        I've had a better experience. I bought a PS3, which is the best Blu-Ray player out there. It plays perfectly with none of the glitches you described, and if there are any future firmware updates needed, it will be the first to get them. I also play games, so I get a lot of value from it.

        I don't buy movies anymore, since I realized how rarely I re-watch movies. I also don't get cable. I have a Netflix subscription with Blu-Ray, which provides me with all the movies I could want. I really prefer watching TV s

    • Re:BluRay? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:56AM (#28308371) Homepage
      BluRay really does look better. A lot better than a DVD. However, most people aren't willing to pay extra to get that better experience. Just like everybody could spend $3000 on a computer to play all their games at ultra high resolutions with really high framerates. But they don't. Because whatever quality they get is good enough, and the extra money doesn't justify the cost. If they really wanted to make BluRay catch on, they would price the discs the same price as DVD. A new movie isn't worth an extra $10 just because the resolution better. I'd rather buy 3 DVDs than 2 BluRays.
    • This forced upgrade to a technology with a terrible, inherent flaw (tearing and lagging from any significant motion, even with the best, most current technology) is unacceptable. When they wise up and replace LCD/plasma with viable technology, I'll be on board but until then, to hell with this cheaply done forced upgrade crap to appease people who like shiny new things.

      The issue isn't the tv technology, it's your nearby broadcasting station. I actually saw the exact opposite. I never could get a few channels (huge name ones at that, like ABC) in chicago on SD. Once we got our HDTV we got perfect crystal clear HD signal in 1080 on just an old shitty pair of bunny ears from the SDtv, including channels I never could get before, as well as ones I didn't even know existed. And that was in a basement apt. Once the stations go full power on the digital channels the tearing issu

    • Re:BluRay? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DrLang21 (900992) on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:05AM (#28308513)
      My biggest problem with Blu-ray is that there's a huge entry cost and the return is little to none. Most of the movies in my collection were never filmed in high definition, so the quality improvements in switching to Blu-ray would be minimal. To get those minimal improvements, I need an HD TV, a Blu-ray player, and then I need to pay the exorbitant extra cost for Blu-ray media. I can understand why the entertainment industry doesn't understand this though. They still have not figured out that originality and quality of story are far more important than special effects and rehashed garbage if they want people to continue to legitimately purchase their product.
      • Re:BluRay? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:38AM (#28308947)

        Most of the movies in my collection were never filmed in high definition

        I thought about this too, but I realized something: movies shot with analog film have a much better resolution than the DVDs they were later transferred to. Unfortunately I can't find a nice link right now for it, but ultimately the resolution of an analog film is determined by the size of the light sensitive crystals used on the film roll when it was shot. Regardless of what that is, it's much better than the 720×480 (for NTSC) that DVDs are. A blu-ray is getting closer to the resolution of the original film that was lost with the DVD that followed television standards. E.g., when I watched full metal jacket on blu-ray on a big monitor, you could actually see the graininess of the film. I don't remember seeing the last time I watched the movie on DVD. Maybe it's because they needed to do a restoration and re-master before they cut the blu-ray, but I was impressed.

        • Re:BluRay? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by cyberjock1980 (1131059) on Friday June 12, 2009 @02:09PM (#28311321)

          From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-definition_video [wikipedia.org]

          Most major motion pictures are shot on film. Film is a very high resolving medium, with resolution measured by testing its ability to resolve pairs of black and white lines, the unit of measurement is cycles/mm - one "cycle" consists of a pair of lines and is equivalent to two pixels, one black and one white. Film by itself can commonly resolve from 50 c/mm to 400 c/mm (100 pixels/mm to 800 pixels/mm) depending on emulsion stock. However, since the image on film is formed by exposing it through a lens and this lens also has its own resolution limits, the final resolution on the photographed negative is always less than each component's individual resolution.

          Depending on the year and format a movie was filmed in, the exposed image can vary greatly in size. Sizes range from as big as 24 mm × 36 mm for VistaVision/Technirama 8 perforation cameras (same as 35 mm still photo film) going down through 18 mm × 24 mm for Silent Films or Full Frame 4 perforations cameras to as small as 9 mm × 21 mm in Academy Sound Aperture cameras modified for the Techniscope 2 perforation format. Movies are also produced using other film gauges, including 70 mm films (22 mm × 48 mm) or the rarely used 55 mm and CINERAMA.

          The four major film formats provide pixel resolutions (calculated from pixels per millimeter) roughly as follows:

          Academy Sound (Sound movies before 1955): 15 mm × 21 mm (1.375) = 2160 × 2970
          Academy camera US Widescreen: 11 mm × 21 mm (1.85) = 1605 × 2970
          Current Anamorphic Panavision ("Scope"): 17.5 mm × 21 mm (2.39) = 2485 × 2970
          Super-35 for Anamorphic prints: 10 mm × 24 mm (2.39) = 1420 × 3390

          In the process of making prints for exhibition, this negative is copied onto other film (negative interpositive internegative print) causing the resolution to be reduced with each emulsion copying step and when the image passes through a lens (for example, on a projector). In many cases, the resolution can be reduced down to 1/6th of the original negative's resolution (or worse). Note that resolution values for 70 mm film are higher than those listed above.

          Typical high-definition home video uses the following resolutions:

          1280 × 720
          1920 × 1080
          Usually when studios master movies for home video release they use assets in high resolution and then master them to 1920 × 1080 and/or 1280 × 720. For standard definition applications (e.g., DVD or SDTV), they are also anamorphically compressed and mastered to 720 × 576 (PAL) and 720 × 480 (NTSC).

          So yeah. Even those really old movies will look much better in HD since the original films from even 1955 exceed 1920x1080 resolution. Quite a few old movies I see that weren't recorded in digital film are 'grainy'. That is, you can see the grains from the film.

  • by tjonnyc999 (1423763) <tjonnyc@gmaLIONil.com minus cat> on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:25AM (#28307869)

    HDMI already has the awesome encryption of HDCP between the device and the display unit

    As usual, an encryption system that (likely) cost millions to develop, can be defeated with a simple device.

    http://www.hdfury.com/ [hdfury.com]

    Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with this company in any way; this is not an endorsement, only a link to a potentially useful resource.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rsmith-mac (639075)

      For varying levels of "defeated" at least. That's just an HDMI to VGA converter, apparently one that has a valid HDCP handshake, but none the less one that's ultimately only useful for taking advantage of the analog hole. A HDMI->HDMI/DVI HDCP stripper would be far more useful, and much more impressive. Who even has a RGB input on their TV these days?

      • by tepples (727027)

        Who even has a RGB input on their TV these days?

        Pretty much every HDTV at Walmart* has both RGB and HDMI inputs. Yes, they have HDMI, but they also have RGB. If you mean "RGB and no HDMI", that might include people who use a PC monitor to watch TV, who used to use a TV tuner card in the days of analog TV.

      • by Big Boss (7354) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:56AM (#28308369)

        Um, anyone with an HDTV has an RGB input. They call it component video, and it's been available on every HDTV ever shipped, and some newer SDTVs. HDMI and DVI are quite new in comparison. The HDFury claims to be able to take HDMI/HDCP and output component 1080p. That's a damn handy device when paired with older non-HDCP displays and things like the HD-PVR that can record component and output h264 digital streams.

        Irritating as hell that one would have to spend a couple hundred on something like that when we have perfectly capable component video inputs and outputs though.

        • by DinDaddy (1168147) on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:58PM (#28310213)

          Component is not RGB in spite of the color scheme they have chosen for the connectors. It is split as luma (brightness) and two chroma channels where the third color channel is derived from subtracting the two sent from the brightness. RGB explicitly sends a red, green, and blue color signal, with sync sent either separately or muxed into green.

    • by AcidPenguin9873 (911493) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:48AM (#28308253)
      The HDCP authorities can revoke that device's HDCP key for violating whatever clause in the HDCP license agreement (not allowing analog holes, for example). Then any new Blu-Ray discs will have that device's key on a revocation list, and those discs won't play back with it. I don't think any HDCP keys have been revoked yet, and who knows if any ever will be, but the mechanism is in place to disable devices like this from being used on future media.
      • There have been some key revocations for software players, but I'm not aware of any for hardware ones.
      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:03PM (#28309303)

        this is another reason to boycott drm that is part of bd.

        the 'disable' list.

        do you want your video card, tv (etc) marked as 'do not run' ?

        its RISKY to even mount a BD disc, given that it has unknown malicious (truly, if you think about it) code.

        "a virus with every movie. for no extra charge."

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      The idea that they can close the analogue hole is itself ludicrous. How do they intend to get the image to my eye balls, by beaning it directly into my brain?

      Presumably they know that their efforts will be futile, and their goal is to make it harder for people. Problem is, it only takes one person to rip a disc and torrent it, and everyone can get it.

      All they will do is put off people who would otherwise buy their products. I really wanted to play GTA IV but ended up giving it a miss because of the really n

  • I took a lot of guts to crack DVD encryption, but it takes even MORE guts to take on Apple. Those guys will sue someone who even looks at them funny.
  • Not true... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771)

    ... This will only annoy people who *buy* their crap. Problem solved!

  • Sound Familiar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by segedunum (883035) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:31AM (#28307971)
    Presumably, this it the 'analogue hole' that they have talked about 'fixing' for a number of years now with a number of DRM companies coming out of the woodwork to say they can do it, ripping off some money and then disappearing with their directors retiring to some island somewhere with naked women?

    Any techology that relies on a device sold and physically owned by a consumer denying access to said consumer is doomed to failure. Rinse and repeat.

    It's one of the reasons, but certanly not the main one, why I am totally non-plussed by so-called 'High Definition' and BluRay. I did try setting up a theatre system once for someone with a receiver box relaying video through HDMI to a TV. HDCP refused to play ball because the BluRay player didn't like the arrangement. Hmmmmm. Not only do I get to not watch something because of a DRM system, I also have to buy completely new content that is currently a lot more expensive. Bound to be a success.
    • Re:Sound Familiar (Score:5, Insightful)

      by segedunum (883035) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:37AM (#28308089)
      On another related note, I was going to say that if BluRay and AACS do end up getting reliably cracked and 'free' copies of films can be made then the bizarre twisted thing is that it might just end up making BluRay ubiquitously popular and give it the critical mass it needs to pull DVD back.
  • by javacowboy (222023) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:35AM (#28308035)

    The content industry has not made a compelling case for me to ditch my DVD collection. My upscaling DVD player makes most of my DVDs look great on my HDTV. Why should I subject myself to DRM and an incomplete spec by upgrading?

    What's more, if Apple succeeds in making HD downloads seamless and reasonably fast with their new compression technologies (and/or internet bandwidth improves significantly in North America), then it's game over for Blu-Ray. Why should I invest in Blu-Ray and bother driving to a brick-and-mortar store when I might not have to?

    Apple left out Blu-Ray from Macs for a reason.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why would you "ditch your DVD collection"? You realize blu-ray players work just fine as upscaling DVD players, right? This notion that you either do not have a blu-ray player or you do and therefore must throw out your existing collection of movies is common on slashdot, and absurdly stupid. This isn't VHS->DVD, there is perfect backwards compatibility here. If you aren't interested in blu-ray, that's your prerogative. But this and the other common slashdot reason for not adopting (DRM; you know, just

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Blu-ray has a 2-3 year head start on marketplace penetration, and Apple hasn't even managed to match the most basic of features (video resolution & # of sound channels), much less matching video/sound quality or allowing any bonus features. Overtaking Blu-ray with downloads at this point will require divine intervention.
  • Ignore them? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:37AM (#28308079) Homepage

    > "I'm certain there are others who might have some free time to look at Blu-Ray and the
    > 'uncrackable' AACS."

    On the other hand, one could simply ignore BlueRay altogether. Believe it or not, you almost certainly can live without it.

    • On the other hand, one could simply ignore BlueRay altogether. Believe it or not, you almost certainly can live without it.

      Yes, it is possible to live without watching new movies once DVD goes the way of VHS, but I would imagine that most Slashdot users would not want to go that far.

    • Re:Ignore them? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jedidiah (1196) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:59AM (#28308399) Homepage

      I suspect that we will see the same thing with video that we did with music.

      The normal consumer when presented with the choice between "quality" and "convenience"
      will choose convenience. The ability to have the bulk of your DVD collection in the
      palm of you hand where ever you go will probably be considered more desirable than
      image quality on a large screen that you many not have or may not percieve or may
      not care about.

      Give a kid the complete Ben 10 in the palm of his hand and he
      won't even realize that there is a much bigger TV in the room.

  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:38AM (#28308093) Homepage

    ..but to rip them a new a-hole.

    Seriously, how do you stop the analog hole? Stop the laws of physics? The Human sensory organs are analog. At some point, you are going to have an analog signal traversing the gap from the output device to the human.

  • Just wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThePhilips (752041) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:39AM (#28308109) Homepage Journal

    And even the MPAA itself recommends using a camcorder pointed at a TV as a way to make fair use copies, creating another analog hole.

    Just wait for MPAA to get a wind of watermarking and demand camcorder makers to embed watermark recognition to disable video capture of the oh-so-precious intellectual property of theirs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Shatrat (855151)
      That would be great.
      Then I could turn off any camcorder by displaying the watermark somehow. Depending on how they implemented it, it could maybe be as easy as a printout of a particular frame of the movie.
      Then I could just wander around disney land and crashing weddings ruining peoples home videos.
  • If any of their lawyers are listening, I have a very novel way of plugging their "analog" holes. Contact me for details and to set up a consultation.

  • by SteveHeadroom (13143) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:43AM (#28308189) Homepage

    Kiss my analog hole.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:45AM (#28308215)

    Now I know why TV died in the era of Star Trek. People just got tired of all the DRM.

    On the up side, they did invent warp drive and transporters...

    So, maybe DRM isn't all bad.

  • opting out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by viridari (1138635) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:46AM (#28308229)

    I don't own a Blu Ray player. I briefly owned an HDTV but went back to the old analog TV. Sorry, but I'm opting out. The digital entertainment revolution today isn't selling anything that I'm buying. If that means I miss out on things, so be it.

    When it was easy to back up a DVD, I legitimately purchased over 600 movies. As the copy protections became increasingly difficult to work around, I simply stopped buying. Hollywood stopped getting my money. I took all that money that I was spending on DVD's and bought a motorcycle instead. Now instead of sitting on the couch wasting 90-120 minutes of my life at a time, I'm spending that time enjoying getting around (rain or shine) like never before.

    It's been a year since I ditched the HDTV and maybe 2 years since I stopped buying DVD's. I don't miss it.

    Don't like the terms they are giving you? OPT OUT!

    • by stox (131684)

      Let us all know how well that analog TV is working after today.
      ( For those who have been in a coma, today is finally the cutover day to DTV )

    • Re:opting out (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MaWeiTao (908546) on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:13PM (#28309477)

      Don't like the terms they are giving you? OPT OUT!

      This is a very important point. Far too many people nowadays complain about some service or technology but hand over their money anyway. It reminds me of this idiot post I read recently where people were complaining about a game developer. This guy actually posts that he was going to buy this particular game anyway, but he was going to give them the finger on the way out the door.

      Congratulations, what this guy has accomplished is the equivalent of being kicked in the nuts and giving the attacker a back rub in response.

      The clearest message a consumer can make is to not buy products from companies they're not happy with. And this means not pirating as well, because by pirating you're merely saying that the demand exists and thus justifying the constant push for DRM. These companies are obviously convinced that some day they're going to develop totally effective DRM.

      Don't like it? Don't buy it. Especially considering that none of this is really a necessity for living. There are other, potentially more fulfilling, ways to entertain yourself.

  • Does anyone anticipate the average person actually needing these technologies in the near future? As opposed to just wanting it to watch something movie.

  • by fermion (181285) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:59AM (#28308407) Homepage Journal
    I certainly wonder if Blu Ray is going to replace the DVD. The DVD certainly took long enough to replace the VHS, even though the VHS has disadvantages. Though the VHS was infinitely more user friendly, put it in, watch a movie, no 5th grade animation, no unskippable adverts, things like audio commentary made the DVD a compelling alternative. Combine this with the fact that the DVD was simpler to copy than the copy protected VHS that were popular at the time, and it was a reasonable choice.

    But the DVD did not have netflix streaming. The DVD did not have online instant download purchase and rental. The DVD did not have the legacy of broken promised that the DVD delivered. Who believes that producers are going to invest in fully utilizing the Blu Ray features.

    It seems to me that given the increases in bandwidth and processing power, in five years the movie industry will be at the place that music industry was a few years ago. Desperately trying to protect content, adding increasing layers of copy protection to the media, and losing sales because they made the purchase product so much less attractive than the alternatively acquired product. The reality is that the DVD is easy to crack, but sales are still very strong. Back in the VHS days, the copy protection did little to stop the coping of tapes.

    If the copy protection is done right it will be transparent. More than likely no one will care. But I suspect that the copy protection will add costs to the products, which will make them less attractive. I suspect we will see DVDs for a long time, and when they are gone, people will just download the content. I can't imagine that Blu Ray will ever be a major player in the average household. It will be like plasma tv. An interesting plaything for people who can afford it.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:24AM (#28308793)

    Even with modern electronic equipment. I don't see why you cant just Tap the signal after it has been decoded and before it goes to the display. Sure it is a hardware hack but like all DRM technology it just needs to be broken once for it to be useless and spread on the Internet.

  • Phase Out... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hAckz0r (989977) on Friday June 12, 2009 @11:29AM (#28308845)
    What is really "phasing out" is my money going into their bank account.

    With DRM you can never win. No matter what they do, since you have the keys, the published algorithm, and the encrypted data, you can always reproduce the output. If they lock the keys in the hardware it is still obtainable. They can only blacklist large sectors of hardware after you do that. Blacklisting everyone's high priced video player equipment after they spent big bucks on the device is financial suicide to say the least. What, you think that polititons and layers won't buy the same equipment you do? The DRM Group may control the specification for the system but systems can always be reversed engineered, holes in the data pathway can always be leveraged, tapped, diverted, or recorded, etc. The outcome will never be any better than a pure escalation of the age old measure, counter measure, counter counter measure, at infinitum. I ask the 'DRM Group' to just remember, it only takes one person to copy the media to an unprotected format and the game is over. Hundreds of millions of dollars in research, design, and remanufacturing all wasted because of one person that didn't like not being able to watch the movie that [s]he just bought. And then there are always the professional bootleggers that have REAL resources. When does it all end?

  • Permanence (Score:5, Interesting)

    by argent (18001) <peter@slashdot.2 ... m ['nga' in gap]> on Friday June 12, 2009 @12:14PM (#28309489) Homepage Journal

    And so we move another step towards the future described in Karl Schroeder's novel Permanence, where even the military has to pay microtransaction fees continually to keep their equipment running... even when they're chasing down people who refuse to take part in the "Rights Economy".

  • by Chris Tucker (302549) on Friday June 12, 2009 @01:48PM (#28310979) Homepage

    ...to TV DRM comes to BluRay and all players sold in the United States tomorrow.

    In two weeks, you'll pay US$50 for a player made in China on the gray market that'll have a backpanel FULL of ports, each one squirting out the unencrypted video and audio, as well as region free.

    You'll also be able to get at the same time, the "upgraded" digital to analog TV converter, also equipped with RF, composite, digital, etc, in/out ports for your old analog TV.
    With an easily removed label: "Not to be used for avoiding DRM!"

    In three weeks, Mac The Ripper, Handbrake, FFMPEG, etc, et al will have upgraded versions.

    In a month, TPB, Demonoid, all those NZB sites, etc, et al, will be back to normal with unencrypted rips of all the latest DVDs, ready for downloading.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday June 12, 2009 @02:57PM (#28312075) Journal

    Blu-Ray does have an important use, for backups and data storage. I plan to get a writer as soon as the price drops a bit.

    Blu-Ray video? Enh. I seen it. I not impressed. It's just not the leap in quality that we got with the switch from VHS to DVD. Assuming well-crafted content (anyone can make a crappy DVD, or a crappy Blu-Ray disc), the weak link for the majority of consumers will be the TV. Except for a small collection of videophiles and the people who just have to have the latest thing, it's not worth the cost or the trouble. And the more restrictions enforced by content owners, the less it will be worth the cost or the trouble.

    So, if I'm understanding this right, content owners are scheming to make life miserable for the few videophiles trying to use a mostly unnecessary video format. Yeah, that sounds like a business plan.

  • by jellybear (96058) on Saturday June 13, 2009 @10:40AM (#28319767)

    Okay, finally. But when do they plug the wetware hole? I had a conversation with a friend who told me about a movie he had seen. I ended up knowing about the plot and some scenes in the movie. How can we prevent this, plz? Can you please make it so after a person watches and enjoys a movie, you erase their memory so they can't just go around remembering it whenever they like? That'd be kewl.

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?

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