Curtis (cjkline83) wrote in hometheater,

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection

So, this may be an inapropriate post, but seeing as how it deals with the new HDTV standard (ok, not that new), I thought those who did not already know might want to learn something new. I, myself, just found this out tonight as I've been totally ignorant of the HDTV standard, and now, all its hidden encrpytions.

Did you know, that most new HDTVs are equipped with High-bandwidth Ditial Content Protection? Windows Vista also employs this clever little hindrence. Basically, if the source device (say, a Blu-Ray player, or Windows Vista) deems your display or output device to be "compromised" or unable to support the DCP signal, you will automatically receive a downsampled output, instead of the content you, the end user, paid for.

I don't know about you, but I am simply outraged. I'm sure this all slipped under the noses of almost every end user, except those especially knowledgeable in the electronics market. I can see no viable reason for implementing such a cripling technology. It would be the same thing as your car equipped with a sensor, and if you didn't put the highest octane fuel in your tank, the car would refuse to start, or would run at a decreased speed.

Can anyone play devil's advocate and prove me wrong on this, for the sake of my sanity?
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Oh, its worse than that. HDPC's also have to comply. So if your new super duper video card does not support HDCP, or your monitor, you cannot get hi res if the content publisher sets the HDCP flag.

Thankfully, so far, none of the new HD_DVD nor Blue_Ray disks have that flag actually set. That means you can get full HD on any equipment that supports 1080i/p. But it's a matter of time until someone, likely the Mouse, turns on that flag.

as far as i know, there is no reasonable explanation for such a technology. it's a knee-jerk reaction to unfounded fears and will only hurt both them and us in the long run.
Yup, that's the way it is in HD land.

Fortunately, HDCP became useless when both the Blu-ray and HD-DVD copy protection schemes were cracked last month. HDCP is supposed to be the final link in the Content Protection chain, intended to prevent users from "tapping" the digital signal going from player to screen. This would make creating bit-perfect copies impossible. With AACS cracked, we can now make bit-perfect copies right at the source.

Having said all that, I've long since come to the conclusion that publishers have the right to publish their material in any way they see fit. You and I don't have some given right to see the latest movies or hear the latest music. If you don't like the locks publishers place on their releases, don't buy it.