|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Blue Ray DRM
bluraysucks.com Home News Contact RSS My Friends Why you should
boycott Blu-ray and HD-DVD It is with great regret that I inform
you of the ways in which the movie industry wishes to ruin your
enjoyment of high definition movies at home. If you've ever watched
HDTV, you know how amazing it is. At 5 times the resolution of
normal television, it looks fantastic. And the quality of the movies
on a Blu-ray or HD-DVD disc is even better, because of less
compression. I want it, and you want it. Right?
Well, there's just one problem. The movie industry assumes you are
a criminal, and has added technologies to Blu-ray and HD-DVD that
vastly restrict your potential enjoyment of their HD movies. I
don't want it, and you don't either. Here's why.
(Note: There are a lot of acronyms on this page, so first, some
DRM - Digital Restrictions Management - technology to restrict what
you can do with media you purchase AACS - Advanced Access Content
System - the DRM infection used for both Blu-ray and HD-DVD BD+ -
an addition to AACS for Blu-ray discs, that provides additional
restrictions to what you can do MMC - Mandatory Managed Copy - a
theoretical way for you to make a legal copy of a movie HDCP -
High-bandwith Digital Content Protection - Encryption of data over
digital connections HDMI - High Definition Multimedia Interface -
A digital connection found on most new HDTV's, all HDCP compliant
DVI - Digital Visual Interface - Precursor to HDMI, found on many
older HDTV's. However, many DVI connections are not HDCP compliant,
making them worthless for Blu-ray and HD-DVD. ICT - Image Constaint
Token - Downsamples HD output to standard resolution when hooked
up over analog (component) cables. MPAA - Motion Picture Ass. of
America - trade organization representing the major movie companies
RIAA - Recording Industry Ass. of America - trade organization
representing the major music companies
Reasons to be outraged
* How old is your HDTV? If you bought it prior to 2005, and
there are over 3 million of you who did, the MPAA thinks you
shouldn't be able to watch HD movies in high definition. They
are insisting that your TV supports digital encryption via an
HDMI port or an HDCP-compliant DVI port, which these earlier
TV's lack. If you have to stoop so low as to hook up your shiny
new player via, God forbid, analog (component), the industry
thinks you're not worthy. There's a fun little surprise they
built in to Blu-ray and HD-DVD for people just like you, and
it's called the Image Constaint Token. If it's enabled on a
movie, and your connection does not support HDCP, then the
movie is downsampled to 1/4 its native resolution, which is
essentially the same as a standard DVD. While no movies have
yet been released with the ICT enabled, know this: It will
happen. It's just a matter of time.
* Thinking about buying a new HD-DVD or Blu-ray drive for your
computer? If you want to use it to watch movies, think again.
You'll need to buy a lot more than just the drive. Remember,
analog = BAD, digital encryption = GOOD. You'll need to open
up that wallet of yours for a brand new HDCP-compliant video
card, AND, an HDCP-compliant monitor. Notice the word compliant.
That is very important. There are some products that just claim
to be HDCP "compatible", but they will NOT work for viewing
high definition movies.
* AACS means that Blu-ray and HD-DVD will never be compatible
with free software, affecting nearly everyone that wants to
view these movies on their computer but isn't running Windows
or Mac OS X. While this is a minority of computer users, they
should not be ignored. Some might say history is doomed to
* Excited about Mandatory Managed Copy? Don't be. While it
theoretically allows things such as making legal backups and
streaming content from one part of your house to another, the
studios have the option of charging you money to do that.
Current HD players don't even support MMC. Your player also
has to be connected to the internet. That's not inherently bad,
but is certainly open for abuse. What if you don't have an
available internet connection close to your home theater? What
if you don't have broadband? The MPAA humbly requests that you
cry them a river. It's hard to believe they even considered
something like MMC, considering this. Choice quote: "Even if
CDs do become damaged, replacements are readily available at
affordable prices". Translation: please purchase another copy
of content you have already paid for, thank you. There is a
very interesting interview with an HD-DVD rep here about MMC.
* Ladies and gentlemen, I have proof that the MPAA and RIAA
want to eat your children.
To them, DRM is more important than human life. Wow.
* "Hacking" your player, for example to remove the region
coding, or playing a bootlegged disc, may lead your player to
self destruct. (Applies to Blu-ray only).
* There are a few other restrictions the MPAA originally
requested, but since they're such a nice and friendly group of
people, they went easy on us. They had planned to require that
your player be connected to the internet at all time for it to
function, so they could monitor its usage and make sure you
weren't up to no good. Also, they considered having each disc
being playable by only one player, meaning that if you played
a new movie in your player, your friend couldn't watch the same
disc in his player. How thoughtful!
Other reasons you don't need HD-DVD or Blu-ray
* The jump from VHS to DVD was dramatic and obvious - superior
video quality, digital surround sound, non-degrading storage
format, multiple audio tracks, etc. The jump from DVD to the
next generation does not provide any benefits other than higher
resolution, which to be fair is a great reason to want that
upgrade, but there is nothing else. Cool menus and new interactive
layer? People just want to watch the stinking movie. Better
sound? Bah. 5.1 channel Dolby or DTS is pretty much the best
it's going to get. Do you really want more speakers behind you
than in front of you?
* Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD will be a format war, leaving both consumers
and retailers very frustrated. Do you want to gamble with
investing thousands of dollars in a technology that may not be
around in a few years? Some studios will only release their
movies on one or the other format (Sony Pictures obviously will
only do Blu-ray), which means if you want access to all possible
movies, you will either have to buy both players or get a
* New technology is expensive. HD-DVD players are $500+, and
Blu-ray is $1,000+. Most of the movies retail for over $30.
For computer storage, blank media will also cost around $30
minimum. Surely these costs will drop over time, but at the
very least, you should consider waiting a while before joining
* The biggest lie of all is that we even need these new
technologies to have HD video on a disc. DVD video has been
around for almost 10 years now, and since then vastly superior
video compression technologies have been introduced, namely
MPEG-4 and all its variants (h.264, DivX, XviD, etc). These
compression formats are absolutely amazing in regards to size
vs quality. A hi-def movie in any of these formats could easily
fit onto a dual layer DVD, which holds about 9 GB. The only
problem is that you can't really 'update' your existing player.
In the consumers' best interest, what they would do is release
new DVD players that not only supported these newer formats,
but also had the ability to be upgraded for future technologies.
We wouldn't need these expensive blue lasers to fit more data
on a disc. Unfortunately, this solution doesn't line the pockets
of shareholders and executives, so it is unlikely to happen.
* The public is not ready for a new format already. A lot of
people have spent a lot of money building their DVD collections,
a format that just became mainstream ~5 years ago. Do you really
want to go out and replace all of those movies? These new
players will be backwards compatible with your old movies for
sure, but if you just blew a grand on a shiny new player, you're
going to want to watch your favorite movies in all their HD
glory, right? Haven't you ever heard someone say, "Well, looks
like now I have to buy another copy of the White Album" ?
If you have suggestions to add to this page, or additional links
with more information, or anything else, please comment below.
Be sure to check out the news as well, updated as often as there
is news about Blu-ray, HD-DVD, or AACS.
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