Avatar Blu-Ray Customers Not Enjoying Their DRM-Crippled Discs

from the annoying-your-customers-doesn't-stop-piracy dept

The film studios apparently should have spent as much time making sure their DVD new release DRM actually works with popular Blu-Ray players as they did on their new 28 day new release delay scheme. Avatar, which of course Netflix and Redbox users now won’t be able to rent for a month, was released on DVD last Friday. While the title’s hype and box office success easily translated to disc sales records, AdamR writes in to note that some customers were rewarded for their purchase by finding out the disc wouldn’t play on many Blu-Ray players. While some users are able to fix the problem if they can manage to download new firmware that plays nice with the new Avatar DRM, new firmware for players like the Samsung BD-UP5000 doesn’t (and may not ever) exist. It’s almost as if the studios are trying to perfect the art of annoyance when it comes to Blu-Ray — something that has helped contribute to the platform’s less-than-anticipated adoption rates. While DVDs have always been loaded with unskippable crap (that ironically pirates don’t have to deal with) newer Blu-Ray DVDs seem to enjoy taking this to an entirely new level — with even more unskippable previews, promotions and warnings downloaded to your player via broadband.  Somehow the studios continue to believe that layers of seemingly-endless annoyances (DRM, delaying new releases, unskippable "features" — none of which pirates experience) are actually going to help keep piracy at bay and physical media relevant forever.


Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Avatar Blu-Ray Customers Not Enjoying Their DRM-Crippled Discs”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Craig (profile) says:

Re: Idiot comments

WTF do you mean by “…wait[ing] for the old people to die off.”?

My parents are old-timers, and both are very computer literate and they also have a Blu-Ray DVD player, which, they’ve learned the hard way, has been basically crippled by DRM bullshit. Personally, I will never buy another DVD. I don’t need the “don’t steal a movie” finger-wagging when I JUST FINISHED BUYING THE FRAKKING DVD, nor do I want to sit through ten minutes of Disney ads where they copyright stories that are, in fact, public domain.

I am convinced more and more that people are just plain stupid. Too many years of TV dumbing us down, I suppose.

senshikaze (profile) says:

Re: Re: Idiot comments

no finger wagging from me. I am a proponent that we change piracy and pirates to stealing and thieves. I feel it is a much better description and you an throw other people’s misplaced moral outrage back at them when you don’t care. I for one, am a thief. and damn proud of it.

Take your morals and shove it.

Koala Meatpie says:

Re: Re:

I agree. I don’t worry much… For the same reason that all the late 70ies and 80ies IP is comming back into style (Look at the slew of comic books movies scince the early 2000s) Later on, DRM and all the copyright business will die off.


Because the younger generation that had t live and walk through all the muck will eventually take power.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: the easy mostly legal way

what is the file size of the avatar bluray?
In australia, a potentially large file would cause issues in a couple of ways –
1 – downloading a full bluray image would take days, I imagine. I have never tried it, just the thought of it gives me headaches.
2 – downloading something like a full bluray image would almost certainly decimate most people bandwidth caps, which would result in dial up speeds for the remainder of the download/month.

I know it is different in America (I assume your location), but even then it still isnt legal. The point remains that studios are breaking peoples experiences, for a movie they are really excited about.

Is it even legal for them to change the DRM restrictions so that it wont play on existing bluray players?

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re: the easy mostly legal way

you problem is solved under Many conditions..
A DVD is a RAW(uncompressed) format.
AVI/DIVX/… are all compressed formats.
Then you remove the RIDDLE of DRM, and the file will be about 1/4 the size, AT MOST.
Figure the Full movie will be in PARTS.
DVD size in chunks about 750 meg EACH and 1-2 DVD’s(6-7 parts on each disk).
BR Disk, Im not sure yet..but CHUNK size might be 2gig. so about 2-3 files.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: the easy mostly legal way

Sweet Jeebus, your post is so full of stupid I don’t know where to begin.

DVD is not uncompressed. DVD uses MPEG-2, which is a form of lossy compression. Given, it’s perceptual and high-enough bitrate that it looks good and can even be comrpessed further with good results, but it’s not uncompressed or even losslessly compressed video.

DRM does not bloat the file size by 300%. In fact, it doesn’t affect the file size in any significant way whatsoever.

As far as those “chunks” go, the main reason you see VOB files smaller than 2 GiB is because at the time the DVD format was specified, many operating systems and utilities had problems dealing with files larger than that. I’m not sure how BR disks are laid out, but so called “large file” support is the norm now, so there’s no reason to have a single stream in more than 1 file.

What’s more, BR discs are normally 25 or 50 GiB (for SL vs. DL discs). That’s a lot more than 2-3 2 GiB “chunks”.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 the easy mostly legal way

“This is the only protest they will understand.”

Sadly, no it’s not. If a large number of people boycott, they will just claim that “piracy” is taking away their sales. They will either make up numbers to support these claims – as they do at the moment – or they will claim that the current level of “piracy” are unprovable due to more underground encrypted methods being used. they will never admit that their problems are down to their own actions.

Even if nobody actually “pirated”, it would get used as the scapegoat for their losses.

The only real way to force their hand is for people to insist on only buying non-DRMed, non-region controlled products. But, since the biggest titles are often the most infected and the masses tend to be morons, this will never happen.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 the easy mostly legal way

The only real way to force their hand is for people to insist on only buying non-DRMed, non-region controlled products.

Why would that work? If their complaints about piracy and business models are not fact-based, why would shifting demand from DRM media to non-DRM work any better than shifting from DRM to nothing?

If the DRM-encrusted blockbusters are not making as much money as the MPAA think they should, they’ll go to Congress (or just bypass Congress entirely) for new laws regardless of what else is happening in the market, whether that is nobody watching movies anymore, everyone downloading illegally, or buying non-DRM movies.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 the easy mostly legal way

“If their complaints about piracy and business models are not fact-based, why would shifting demand from DRM media to non-DRM work any better than shifting from DRM to nothing? “

If people were to boycott *everything* and the sales of *everything* drops as a result, there’s no particular message that will be heard. The corporations will stick to their scapegoat of “piracy”.

If, on the other hand, sales stay within expected levels, only with the sales shifted from DRMed/region-controlled crap to more consumer-friendly items, this sends out a message that’s more difficult to ignore.

“If the DRM-encrusted blockbusters are not making as much money as the MPAA think they should, they’ll go to Congress (or just bypass Congress entirely) for new laws regardless of what else is happening in the market, whether that is nobody watching movies anymore, everyone downloading illegally, or buying non-DRM movies.”

Agreed, but the case is that much more difficult to prove if it ever gets there. The question of why the large numbers of non-DRMed media had increased while the DRMed sales had plummeted would have to be answered in court.

There would also be more chance that some sense would be seen by the studios before trying this (as with the record companies when they abandoned DRM) – a few successful trials of non-DRMed media would confirm the message that’s being sent.

I admit that’s optimistic, but it’s more realistic than hoping that the studios would do the right thing if a blanket boycott were successful.

PRMan (profile) says:

Re: Re: the easy mostly legal way

Actually, the judge in the Tenenbaum case hinted that she would look very kindly on a download in which the party already owned the material but was downloading for “format shifting” purposes.

I would say that while buying it and downloading it may result in a series of legal events that you don’t want to be part of, it may ultimately be legal.

DCX2 says:

Re: Re: Re: the easy mostly legal way

I imagine there might be a few caveats here. If you buy the DVD and download the Blu-Ray, that’s probably not kosher. But if you buy the Blu-Ray and then download something that is equal to or lower in quality, that’s probably fine. I doubt they would even bother taking that to court for fear of losing.

kyle clements (profile) says:

but its already been pirated

You would think the studios would…I don’t know…check to make sure the movie isn’t already out on the pirate sites.

Which it is.

Avatar has been downloadable for weeks now. It’s too late for DRM, since it’s already out there.
What reason is their to ruin a legitimate user’s movie watching experience after the damage has already been done?

Thats kind of the whole point of digital, you only need one copy to have infinite copies. They can DRM up the new disks all they want, those copies that are out their now won’t be stopped by it.
It’s like putting on body armour after you’ve been shot. It’s a little late to do any good at this point.

Prince Manjee (profile) says:

Re: but its already been pirated

Logical and concise Kyle. The fact is I saw my room mate watching the copy he downloaded DAYS after we went and saw it at the IMAX.

Trying to defuse a bomb that has already gone off is just another example of poor strategies by the film industry leaders. Like the record companies and RIAA left a HUGE gap in the market for iTunes to come in, this is the gap the MPAA will have exploited as soon as someone with a lot of money and a little balls comes to market with a workable platform. HULU was a good start in the right direction, but until you can force the hand of the studios or educate them on the technologies of the 21st century pirates will continue to exploit the stupidity of the members of the MPAA.

The movie it self has value thats why customers want it, however their methods of distribution add negative value to the product their by making it “cheaper and easier” to acquire through other means.

Also if you plan to make someone watch 20 min of commercials just to watch your movie then don’t charge for it. But If I just paid you $20 for a disc then I should have bought the right to put that disc in and hit play without any obstruction.

As some one noted earlier, the pirates do not put up with high prices, commercial offerings, or DRM crippled distribution. Why would any one CHOOSE to be a paying customer if it is more easily accessible and cost effective to pirate? In most cases of black market offerings the cost is higher and acquisition is more difficult, that is not the case with digital goods.

Too many film industry execs with MBA’s and JD’s and not enough with common sense and a set of balls.

But as long a they push their failed business model, the demand on pirated materials will remain high and as such the pirates will supply that demand.

Cheap electronics, Tax Free Buying only at PriceHonest.com

Del Boy says:

Blueray or Pirate bay?

I have no problem forking out £14.99 for Avatar on Blueray.

…..but if it means that I have to endure 5 or 10 mins of rubbish before the main feature EVERYTIME I want to watch it then no-thanks.
As a consumer I am fed up with paying for something just to have advertising stuffed down my throat… Its like paying for Sky & still having to endure the frequent & long ad breaks (So long now I frequently forget what program I am actually watching).
Whats the next ploy having unskippable ad breaks every 15 mins on the dvd’s & bluerays.
Its going too far, and encourages pirate advert free viewing. More fools them.

BBC has 4 high quality tv channels & numerous radio stations all for £11 per month: AND NO ADVERTS. Best value by far.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Blueray or Pirate bay?

> but if it means that I have to endure 5 or 10
> mins of rubbish before the main feature EVERYTIME
> I want to watch it then no-thanks.

I recently rented a movie that had a full 17 minutes worth of ads and nonsense before the movie would start. And not only did the disc disable my FF button, “Next Chapter” button and my “Menu” button, but it even disabled the *power* button and told me I couldn’t even turn off my own DVD player. The only way to stop the ads once they started was to pull the plug from the wall. The arrogance of these people is astounding.

Bill Fry (profile) says:

Havent had any issues on my Sony Player

While I noticed sign up at Best Buy warning customers there was new software to update their players to play AVATAR this did not hold true for the Sony players. I didnt have to do anything and it played jus fine, I also did not see any trailers or added warnings it went straight to the movies title screen and I clicked play. Maybe all the other brands didnt get their players right the first time, bummer for them..

AJ says:

They will never learn....

Why in the world would anyone want to buy their DRM encrusted POS disk that you can’t skip the previews on and it won’t work in some players? I can think of a few other reasons why you wouldn’t want to buy the disk, but the above is at the top of the list. How can they really expect the people forking over the money to stop downloading when they release this crap?

If the AA’s want to win the war against pirates, the AA’s need to loose their war against the consumers.

Look at the options! Buy a drm infected Blue Ray that may or may not work on your player, can be scratched / broken / lost, can only be played in certian regions, you can’t skip the previews, and calls you a thief when you play the damn thing even after you buy it.

Or download it in hours, play it on what you want, when you want, where you want, and never have to worry about a scratched/missing disk….

Give the people what they want, and torrents will vanish. They only exist because of a need, remove the need and everyone wins….

soulsabr says:

Re: They will never learn....

Always buy what you wish to view; that is the right thing to do. Then rip your disk and you have what you wanted in the first place; the movie and no commercials.

Secondly, torrents will NEVER disappear because, despite what you think, there are millions of people out there who will steal whatever they want because it is easier and cheaper and they just don’t care.

I buy then I rip. It’s fast, fun and easy.



yes we need to call kids and disabled people and hard working people thieves for a piece a plastic that costs 50 cents and you charge 80-$ for. AND we ned to call them thieves for acquiring stuff that is 49 years old because in canada its a 50 year copyright and we need to make sure that the actors and musicians get paid ( CRIA lawsuit buy 300000 artists OF ALL NATIONALITIES ) and that the labels get govt money when they have record profits ( Quebec govt gives warner brothers 75 million as they setup a games shop in montreal- PS his own son used BITTORRENT got caught – slap on wrist)

so arrest the son of the CEO of warner brothers first toss the fucker into jail so we can pound his ass like a good lil rich boy.

AND then labels also need all that ACTA laws so that no more non commercial use is alowed and in canada you would get the 20000 dollar infringment fine for commerical infringment. Then when poor guy cant pay he goes to rpison for 2.5 years , ( THIS IS PER MUSIC TUNE )
so to YOU #18 you come with all that acta and bring the swat team cause you can only get life in prison once and im a take a few assholes out on the way.

( GEEE isn’t this new attitude i have great and who created it ?- YOU #18 , YOU AND YOUR GREEDY KIND, WE WILL ROCK YOU )

is this moral enough for you

Coyote says:

Which commenters actually bought Avatar?

I would assume it is the ones who are saying the disc plays normally and doesn’t have any un-skippable crap.

DRM sucks, but upgradable DRM is part of the BD standard and something that should be anticipated for by the manufacturers. If your really “high-end” BD player doesn’t have a firmware upgrade *cough*Denon*cough* it’s not the media company’s fault.

Also, BD rips are not full quality. The sound is often very downsampled.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Which commenters actually bought Avatar?

“DRM sucks, but upgradable DRM is part of the BD standard”

One of the reasons why I, among many others, refuse to buy Blu-Ray. I don’t appreciate paying a premium only to be lectured to about not being a “pirate” or blocked from playing my legally purchased disc that I bought while on holiday in a different artificial “region”.

It’s bad enough that I have to use VLC or something similar with DVD to skip the moronic messages and can’t play other regions’ discs on my primary DVD-capable device (Xbox 360) – when I have legally paid for the content – without having to worry about firmware, internet connection and the like.

“If your really “high-end” BD player doesn’t have a firmware upgrade *cough*Denon*cough* it’s not the media company’s fault.”

Nor is it the customer’s fault, hence the complaints. There’s a very easy way for the firmware “upgrade” not to be an issue – make all discs compatible with the basic firmware. One easy way to do this is not to enforce DRM “protections”.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Which commenters actually bought Avatar?

“It’s not the media companies’ fault.”

Yes, it certainly is. They are the only ones who force everyone to adopt their crap DRM schemes. These schemes are anti-consumer, but lame consumers aren’t smart or organized enough to be able to assert their wishes. The “demand” side of the free market is broken, and the supply side can run roughshod.

Why would Hitachi put DRM into it’s hardware. It doesn’t behoove them. And then a buyer of Hitachi has to pay for the DRM that they don’t know they don’t want. Whose fault is it that these machines are designed to NOT WORK in a variety of situations, some which occur by accident? It is the media company’s fault.

Their role is like that of a bully (MPAA) tricking a mentally handicapped person (OEM, Denon) to fire a gun at an unaware innocent victim (consumer). You say not to blame the MPAA, they didn’t do anything wrong.

AJB says:


I did everything they asked… expensive cables, updated/upgraded software and firmware, expensive players… and it would not play BluRay after hundreds of dollars until I purchased a program to circumvent DRM. I don’t copy, I don’t share, but I’m forced to break the law to view my legally purchased movies. What a country! Completely in the pocket of the entertainment industry.

And I have come to the opinion that BluRay is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the American public. There is only marginal quality difference. I did a test with a BluRay and a regular DVD which was upscaled and COULD NOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE. BluRay is just a gimmick to foist DRM on the paying public and extort billions of extra cost from their legal users. I no longer get BluRay… just a waste of money and it only makes me mad.

Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Re: Blu-Death-Ray

There is only marginal quality difference. I did a test with a BluRay and a regular DVD which was upscaled and COULD NOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE.

Are you just color blind, fully blind or are you using a std def TV?

The sound, definition and color spectrum on Blu is in a completely different league from DVD. If you need a connect-the-dots illustration watch 2001 on blu ray, then just *try to watch 2001 on DVD (or vhs, honestly.. the DVD was so bad). (Oh, and use a BD player or at least a high-quality BT for your comparison.)

That being said, this case is just another great illustration of why DRM is useless crap and unforgivably stupid, as are unskippable ads on a purchased, sorry “licensed”, product.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Blu-Death-Ray

In other news, visual quality is highly subjective and reliant on the visual acuity of the individual’s eyesight as well as the combination of equipment being used.

It’s the same way that many people literally can’t tell the difference between FLAC and MP3. That while audiophiles will wail and howl about how inferior MP3s are to their preferred format, many just can’t tell the difference between an HD and upscaled SD format.

That’s the way it is, and no need to attack or question another’s opinion on this subject. It also illustrates how dangerous the studios’ tactic is if they’re trying to depend on merely offering a higher def image to try and make more money from the masses.

Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Blu-Death-Ray

That’s the way it is, and no need to attack or question another’s opinion on this subject.

Granted, in retrospect my comment was slightly more acerbic than necessary.

Still, even for the least AV sensitive, I challenge anyone with a tiny HD set replete with crappy speakers to the “2001 BD vs. DVD Comparison”. Several Kubrick movies use crazy color filters and audio which simply could not be conveyed using DVD coding. The difference is striking, as is the movie (on BD).

OK I’m done writing like a Bluray evangelist.

DRM sucks.

Big Mook (profile) says:

Re: Blu-Death-Ray

Of course it looks the same on your small TV. Most sets are too small to really take advantage of HD to begin with. Either that, or you are legally blind and should not be participating in this debate at all.

There is a huge difference on bigger TVs (mine is 65″, queue the penis size jokes now), and BluRay is the best picture and sound quality going. DVD isn’t awful, but BD is awesome in comparison.

I’ll take BluRay over DVD and especially over crappy quality downloads every time.

BigKeithO says:

Re: Re: Blu-Death-Ray

Brand new Samsung BD-C6900 3D Blu-ray player on a brand new Samsung 55 3D LED TV and I’m with the other guys. Sure Blu-ray looks slightly better but not enough to really care about it. My wife is all about picture quality and she gave Blu-ray a big “meh” after watching it, told me she was disappointed it wasn’t better. Last I checked my eyes still worked as well.

The sound on the other hand is pretty cool. You get some really nice sound on those discs.

Big Mook (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Blu-Death-Ray

If this is the case, why did you waste all that money on HD and BD equipment? BD is an order of magnitude better quality over DVD; I’m guessing that in your case, something ain’t set up correctly or you would see it, too. Of course, it also could be that your sitting 20′ away from the set, in which case it won’t make much difference and kinda defeats the whole purpose.

Then again, maybe you’re one of those people who can’t “see” Magic Eye 3D stereograms, either.

Of course, I have had to “fix” the configuration of several friends’ TVs and players because they didn’t have them set correctly and were disappointed with HD and/or BD quality. They were each pleasantly blown away once I corrected the settings, though.

BigKeithO says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Blu-Death-Ray

OR you just want to believe that Blu-ray is so fantastic that it will BLOW EVERYONE AWAY!! Yes the picture is a little sharper, sure, but it isn’t mind blowing. How exactly do you measure “an order of magnitude” by the way? To me it is slightly better than DVD, nothing to write home about and not worth the premium in my books.

And please don’t patronize me Mr. A/V God. I understand how to hookup components and fiddle with settings on a TV thank you very much. Just because I don’t see what the big deal is with the hype behind Blu-ray doesn’t mean I’m a noob.

55″ set, couch is 12′ away. We are close enough. What I don’t understand is why Blu-ray fan boys can’t come to terms with the fact that not all people worship the format. It looks pretty good, let’s leave it at that.

Oh, I “wasted all that money” on equipment so I could watch movies in 3D at home. It’s pretty cool actually, too bad the glasses are so expensive. Really I could care less about Blu-ray other than that is the only format for 3D movie viewing at the moment. I don’t consider it a “waste” just because the picture quality doesn’t wow me as much as it does you. I can still view movies in 3D and believe it or not there is additional content I view other than Blu-ray. Crazy I know, but I also watch TV and play games on the setup. What a waste of money…

tubes says:

Re: Re: Ha Ha

Not necessarily if you’re just downloading the movie that sounds just about right. Usually they rip all of the other BS out of it trailers, extras, FBI warnings & it always makes me laugh when they leave the “Piracy” advertisements in it though. I just downloaded the 1080p mkv version of Avatar it was a little over 10gb in size & it plays perfectly on my PS3.

R. Miles (profile) says:

Just a couple of thoughts...

First, the issue with that specific Samsung player isn’t unique and it’s been reported before. Apparently, Samsung isn’t making good BD players to begin with, and the firmware issue just compounds it. Thus, if you’re looking for a BD player, shun Samsung until they work out the issues.

Second, articles like this only inform those in the know, given another just recently stated this particular movie is breaking sales records, meaning, people simply don’t give a damn about DRM. If they did, then this movie wouldn’t be breaking sales records.

Consumers are the least educated in this regard and the only time they’ll have a problem with it is when the movie simply won’t play. However, a telephone call to customer support will return them to their happy state once a firmware is updated.

DRM? Meaningless as along as it can play. Unskippable previews? Bathroom/snack breaks.

It’s a losing battle against DRM on movies when the majority of consumers simply just doesn’t give a damn.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Just a couple of thoughts...

Maybe it isn’t a big deal for tech savy people but my parents would be totally confused. They wouldn’t have their Blu-ray player connected to the internet so how would they get the firmware update installed if they even figured out that is what was needed?

They have a computer but don’t own any flash drives or even any blank CDs so either of these methods would be a less than ideal.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Just a couple of thoughts...

Because you feel that “It’s a losing battle against DRM on movies,” should those that are knowledgable about the issue merely sit back and accept it? I completely disagree with your view.

Because the average consumer in uneducated in this regard, we need to continue the fight against DRM and work to educate the public. It angers me when I play one of my DVDs (Blu-ray or old school) and get the stupid FBI warning about piracy. I bought the damn DVD, so I’m not a pirate! Besides, as I am Canadian, the FBI are an irrelivant entity, but that’s beside the point.

If the government used drugs in our water supply to maintain control of the public, but the vast majority of the public were “the least educated in this regard,” those that were educated have a moral duty to spread the word. At least I would hope that some would do so. This issue is not quite at the same level, but my point is clear. Just because the majority are unaware of the issue is not reason for the rest to be lemmings.

R. Miles (profile) says:

Re: Re: Just a couple of thoughts...

Because you feel that “It’s a losing battle against DRM on movies,” should those that are knowledgable about the issue merely sit back and accept it? I completely disagree with your view.
Whoa, I did not say this. I said it’s a losing battle. Fight the fight all you want, but as written, how long do you think the fight will last if the majority simply don’t care?

I’ve written letters to movie companies on my views against the DVD ads and locking of controls, but 6 years later, it’s worse, not better.

I stopped fighting by refusing to buy their products. I certainly don’t expect to see others take this approach, as the article clearly indicates.

Just because the majority are unaware of the issue is not reason for the rest to be lemmings.
The problem is, though, the majority are aware. One can’t expect people to not notice they can’t skip previews, right?
Yet the majority are the ones electing to continue purchasing rather than fight, leaving the few out there to spin their wheels on “education”.

People have bitched about this for years, nothing’s changed. The news this movie broke sales records is a significant hit against those fighting the fight, wouldn’t you agree?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Just a couple of thoughts...

You say that you’ve “stopped fighting by refusing to buy their products.” That, in itself, is a form of passive protest. Unfortunately, as you are but one in a billion, it will have little significant impact, but it is still fighting. If only more people would either a) stop buying or b) vocally protest, perhaps things will one day change. Without fighting, though, there will never be change.

People might be aware of the issue of being unable to skip the anti-piracy message, but many are unaware that there is an alternative. This, sadly, is the product of complacency of the consumer. I’ve talked with less knowledgeable people and they tend to feel that the message was required to be put there, so they don’t feel that there is any recourse.

But most regular consumers are unaware of the presence of DRM on a Blu-ray disc. I spoke with my brother-in-law who is a computer trainer and I was shocked when he said he never knew that there was such a thing. With all the press that DRM gets, most people just simply don’t know about it. For most people, it really doesn’t matter all that much to them such that they will research it. After all, they buy a DVD, they play the DVD and they’re happy.

With Blu-ray, they buy a disc, they attempt to play the disc and, oh, ummm, it doesn’t play. They either assume that there is something wrong with the disc or that it is incompatible. It seems that every manufacturer has that standard party line that some discs are incompatible with some players and people just accept it.

These incompatibilities should not exist. They exist because the standard allows for changes and deviations. In one way, it’s nice, but it forces obsolesense, screwing the consumer. It also means that firmware updates are the way of the future.

So people may have bitched for years with no change, but we must continue to bitch and hopefully the lemmings of the world will hear the message and fight back.

cysco24 says:


Article isn’t to clear. Blu-ray and DVD are 2 different formats. There is no such thing as a Blu-ray DVD. DVD is mpeg 2 and Blu-ray is h2.64 encoded. Blu-ray rips have DTS audio so the claim of HD rips having downsampled audio is incorrect. There is the compressed rip (1080p around 14gb), a full copy would be about anywhere from 25gb to 49gb and is probably available already. Just clearing things up. At first read I thought that DVD format was not playing well in a blu-ray player. Now I see it’s blu-ray disk on blu-ray player.

DragonRiderIL (profile) says:

Blue Ray et al

DRM is a means by which a company can suck more money out of the consumer. It prevents me from taking my movie and say… watching it on my iPod/iPad (though there are some movies that come with digital downloads and such). It prevents me from making copies of my valuable, yet fragile disks(how many DVDs have I replaced????). To the gentleman above(AJB), there is indeed a VERY perceptable difference between upconverted DVD and a BD, if you are unable to see this significant(um, order of magnitue) difference, then either you do not have your players wired correctly, or your TV is unable to display full 1080p. Try again.

DRM is a good idea, but the implimentation is very poor. DRM excludes and denies fair use principles. It denies the consumer choice and the abiliity to protect their investment. There are many excellent reasons to fight DRM. The incovenience is certainly a good one, circular logic is another… Price is high partly because they have to keep upgrading drm to prevent copying… but, time and again, it has been proven(SONY) that DRM ONLY affects your legitimate customers and in part drives those to piracy… priates do NOT see your adverts, your warnings, your preview and MOST IMPORTANTLY – THEY NEVER SEE YOUR DRM – Only the ones that are interested in actaully purchasing your product are subjected to the added cost of DRM on the players and on the media…

Anonymous Coward says:

for those old enough to remember, dvd at the start had many of the same sorts of issues. this disc would not play on that player, this one read this format, this one didnt read that format, and oh god, those dvd9 and dvd15s blew out a whole bunch of players. karl i would think someone like you would remember this.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The problems you describe were while the DVD format was maturing and becoming standardised. It was the nature of the beast for such a brand new format and was not by specific design. Those problems quickly disappeared as the format matured and became widespread.

Here, on the other hand, Blu-Ray is at the point where it is meant to have matured. Any format issues should have been ironed out during the battle with HD-DVD. However, that haven’t because in this case they *are* by design. We’re not talking about incompatibility and using early adopters as glorified beta testers as in the DVD days, we’re talking about people being specifically targeted by DRM that assumes they are criminals.

That’s the difference, and it’s quite a significant one.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

nope sorry. bluray has not matured as a format because it is not a dominant format. many people are still on dvd / dvd widescreen which offers a picture quality at least as good as what they get on ppv tv. dvd was quickly a format winner over vhs because it was so much better, bluray isnt getting the same uptake. bluray really is still in the early adopter phase.

Overcast (profile) says:

No – maybe they’ll understand this too:


Email them.

I asked if it was legal to download a copy off torrent so I don’t have to watch the commercials over and over again.

I send them a nice pissed-off email about how I paid for the damn DVD I don’t think it’s a ‘deal’ when I can’t skip over the commercials. Let’s assume I REALLY like the movie and would watch it a few times – that would be really annoying.

The best part is that I only bought one copy for my Dad for this Birthday – I *might* buy another copy for me and a friend *IF* they respond appropriately on the email.

That would be:

1. Say it’s ok to download the torrent once I’ve bought the movie.

2. Offer to send a disc for free without locking it down so I have to endure the commercials.

The other option is that I buy something else, like maybe baseball tickets or something that doesn’t involve the movie industry.

This is really getting on my last nerves, between my father and myself we probably own 500+ DVD’s. But I’m getting SICK of buying this crap like this.

Patty (profile) says:


Watched a 10 gig download version several days ago. I would pay to see the 3D version but it did not play in local theaters. I sorta agree with one of the early posts saying we will just have to wait for the old folks to die before we see change although retiring will do the trick as well as death.

The war on pirates will be even less successful than the war on drugs. All the efforts at stifling only leads to greater innovation on the part of the pirates. There are now very professional blogs covering and reviewing the quality of the latest pirated releases and sites announcing openings at private trackers. Somebody throw the RIAA and MPAA a towel so they can throw it in.

Joel (profile) says:

So now...

Now we have to buy the commercials/previews we are forced to watch?

How about you put the commercials/previews in a separate section of the disc?

I think more people would watch them if they didn’t feel like they were forced…I think I have seen some DVDs do this and I actually selected the previews that I wanted to watch and when the movie came out I went and bought the DVD or saw it at the movies. If you force me to watch commercials/previews, I’ll go to the bathroom and make popcorn while the menu comes up and I won’t watch any of them.

Freedom says:

Apple and BluRay...

I love to hate Apple, but this got me thinking about how Apple has refused to put BluRay in their PCs (yes, PCs!). I first I thought it was just licensing (Apple being cheap), but now I’m realizing it is about consumer experience and if there isn’t one thing that Apple does do well is try to ensure the consumer has the best experience possible.

When you constantly have to update your player and potentially BluRay Drive (on PCs) as well with firmware updates just to get movies to play – what a hassle. The fact that a consumer even has to worry about these updates each time a new release comes out is a joke.

Life isn’t supposed to be this hard guys – I’m buying a legit product – it should just work on licensed sanctioned players – period. Anyone that buys a BR disk is part of the problem and voting to continue the system.

If you let someone walk over you, it isn’t too long before they own you. Selling you values for some 1080p goodness just seems a bit shortsighted to me.

For what its worth, I stopped by both DVDs and BRs after buying a few and getting stuck in preview hell where my family had to literally wait for 20 minutes before we could watch the main movie. I’ll be damn if I’m going to pay $15 to $40 (or more) for a disk that I’ll watch once on average and have to waste 10 to 20 minutes of my life and have that choice taken away from me. If I pay that sort of money, I expect to get a restriction free copy. What’s next – me having to pay the MPAA to tie me to a chair, use an eye speculum and force me to watch the ads as well?


BigKeithO says:

You Guys Know About Chapter Skip Right?...

You guys do all know that chapter skip works on all of those previews and everything right? I can even skip the FBI warnings and the “Your going to HELL you dirty pirate!” warnings with my player. I can’t press “menu” and get right to the menu but at least I’m not waiting 20 minutes to get to it. Better than nothing.

BigKeithO says:

Re: Re: You Guys Know About Chapter Skip Right?...

I don’t think anyone here is lying. Read the title of the comment Paul. Seems like a valid question to me.

I just assumed everyone is complaining because they can’t press the menu button and go straight to the movie menu, not that they can’t skip the previews and crap one at a time.

Worst case couldn’t everyone just fast forward? That also works for me on everything except the copyright and FBI warnings.

BigKeithO says:

Re: Re: You Guys Know About Chapter Skip Right?...

Samsung BD-C6900. I’ve yet to run across a preview or anything that I cannot use chapter skip on. I didn’t realize it was this big of an issue for everyone else.

I think there was 1 FBI warning on Pineapple Express that I couldn’t skip. Nothing else comes to mind, and I ALWAYS skip that crap. Annoying as hell.

dweeb (profile) says:

The only real difference I can tell between blu-ray and dvd is the sound. Most blu-ray has some form of a DTS sound. Most dvd’s have 5.1. I have several dvd’s with DTS sound and with an up scaling dvd player, there really is no difference between the two formats. Not one person I have tested can tell the difference between the two.

Sharp 40” LED TV
Panasonic upscale DVD player
Yamaha DTS capable receiver
Sharp Blu Ray

If I bought a moviealbum on VHScassette format, do I still own the rights to that songmovie? Does the purchase carry my ownership through all format changes?
I think it does.

Oh, and I’m waiting for a firmware update for my Sharp Blu Ray.

Mystik says:


What an argument over DVD v. BD.

Remember some people can still be using composite video from DVD > TV. In which case BD will look that much better. Using HDMI with a up-converting DVD player will look a lot better because there is no Digital > Analog > Digital conversion going on.

But you do have to keep a few things in mind when doing any comparison. This is a summary not a detailed write up.

MPEG/2 v. H.264. Almost all older codecs are not near as efficient as H.264. This results in less quality for the encode. Without getting too technical.

The level of compression and/or bit rate that was used to encode the video. When DVD was released the only TV sets were all SD with a resolution of 640×480 (480i). Everything was encoded knowing it would be converted by the players from Digital to Analog and that 480i was the max. resolution.

Cheaper DVD’s where the movie is on a DVD5 not a DVD9 means that the movies are more compressed. As *ALL* video compression is *not* lossless you cannot regain that quality.

On my setup I can see the compression artifacts on every DVD I watch when played on the Toshiba DVD player (composite) and the PS3 or XBox 360 (HDMI).

When you take 640×480 16×9 Anamorphic Digital and try to convert that to 1280×720 or 1920×1080 (both non-anamorphic) resolutions with high compression, tons of lost data, outdated inefficient codecs and it will never ever be the same or even close to the same.

Thanks to artifact blurring and other so called up-conversion techniques it is less visually annoying than it used to be. For me I can count the hairs on actors heads or the pits on their faces in HD, something I cannot do with DVD. No to mention the fact I have seen things I missed that were blurred on DVD’s.

At the end of the day it is not about what is better or worse, we all know you cannot take dog crap and turn it into a gold brick. It is all about individual perceptions and what is best for the person. If he/she is happy with the up-converted DVD quality that’s just fine.

As far as more people to stop buying protest goes that’s harder.

Most people get up in the morning drink the coffee and drive to work. If they hit a pothole in the road they get mad for a few minutes and say how they hate the city that don’t take care of the roads. Before they even get to work they forgot all about that pothole. It is usually when the pothole does damage to their car that they complain to the city. Placated with “we will fix that when we have money”, they return to their daily grind.

The point being 99.9% of people will accept whatever is thrown at them until it reaches a point that it has a drastic impact on their lives, or more importantly, their bank account.

People accept commercials as they have been there for so long, just like that pothole probably has.

As a person who teaches and assists people in moving away from DVD/BD to Digital Files, I find most people fear this change or are pre-programmed to simply accept what they are told (Backup / Format Shifting = Illegal = Bad) it is hard to convince them to adapt to new thought processes and/or to new technologies.

As far as the IP industry goes it is akin to you earning 200,000 a year and then someone saying they are going to switch you to a new way of figuring your salary but they cannot prove exactly how much you are going to earn. Would you simply say sure move me over to that way of getting paid now please! That’s the way the see it from on high! We need to be assured of this $ before we move forward.

It is not as much about being greedy as it is what they are used to. Since the economy went sideways many people used to earning hundreds of thousands per year are now having to get used to earning 10% or less of that a year. Ask anyone who has experienced that it is not easy to scale back or change the things you are used to.

More importantly their whole business model is clunky and wasteful. It is certainly not easy to have to change the entire business model, especially when it is easier to lobby to retain that model and that lifestyle.

The Internet has fundamentally altered everyones lives and upset many business models. We are still in the early days of the changes, rest assured there are many more to come. In this age we don’t need TV Networks, Record Labels, Newspapers or most of the old information / entertainment business models. All these models are based around a central necessity, the fact they were the only source. But now Studio’s can stream movies and TV shows direct to people’s homes, no middlemen needed. No bloodsucking networks, aggregators or cable companies required.

They all know this. They are fighting for their very relevance in the new age of information consumption. They will lose in the end as obsolescence approaches them. In my opinion it will not be the people that cause the end, but the money men behind these companies as they will see greater revenue and more benefits by replacing the old models with new more profitable ones.

Just my humble opinion.

FyI: I can you’re wondering my den setup is a …

Mitsubishi 65″ DLP
360 Elite – PS3 – PS2 – Wii
Toshiba SD DVR
Toshiba (outdated composite) DVD Player
Popcorn Hour C200
Yamaha 9-1 Receiver with 2 klipsch front bookcase speakers and 4 Klipsch surround sound speakers. I still have to replace the sony center channel and add a subwoofer yet.

60% full 30 TB Fully Mirrored 3U Array connected to a dedicated 1U Intel Xeon Server to serve to all the PCH (Popcorn hour’, yes I have 3) and the 360’s (again, yes I have 3) in the house.

My awesome Giganews account and 2 6 Mb/sec DSL connections.

tracker1 (profile) says:

An idea...

Wonder how much it would cost to have a few thousand cheap round red stickers with yellow lettering stating “DRM Infected” on them, and simply affixing them to the wrapper on some store shelves.. there’s no actual damage (since it’s on the wrapper), and it isn’t a lie. Maybe if a few thousand people did the same, people would wake up.

Andrew in Cincy says:

Studio's ENCOURAGING piracy

I’ve always felt it wrong to dowload movies illegally. However, now I’m not so sure. I purchased Avatar for BluRay and it was great. I liked it so much that I decided I’d like to have a copy playable on my iPad. Of course, I can’t just burn the Bluray legally so I was prepared to pay for it on iTunes. BUT, iTunes only has standard def, which looks AWFUL on the iPad. Why they don’t have HD download available anywhere is beyond me. A genius studio decision I’m sure. So, what does that leave me to do other than download it illegally?

Not a fucking criminal says:

DVDs only play full-screen mode on computer DVD players.

Got the disk home tonight and went to play it where I watch most of my media (i.e. not on the 50″ screen collecting dust behind me). WMP just locks.

3 tries with Nero Showtime and it finally comes up. Full-screen. No way to change it.

Thinking MAYBE I got a mis-packaged disk, I slip it into my rarely used HTIB and boom. Full screen. Getting REALLY fucking sick of being treated like a criminal for shit I bought legitimately.

Alice1980 (profile) says:

I got the solution

Since the release of Avatar Blu-ray disc, many people have been trying to find a way to defeat the latest BD+ Copy protection technology adopted by Avatar, but in vain. However, the R&D elite of Aunsoft Studio do not give up the opportunity and got the success after day and nights’ efforts. Without the third-party software, Aunsoft Blu-ray Ripper will support Avatar automatically.

meh (profile) says:

fuck drm.. hooray piracy I guess

I am willing to buy content.

I am not interested in paying for the masochists experience. I will spend my money to play media ON MY TERMS: this is not negotiable

hollytards don’t get it.. instead they’re exacerbating a TINY piracy problem by turning would be “casual pirates” into FULL BLOWN PIRATES

brilliant! that’s liberalism for ya

Jessy Brown (user link) says:

I like this one

Leawo DVD Ripper on one hand, is a professional DVD converter for you to rip, backup, edit and convert DVD to video in variety of formats. It helps to backup DVD to hard drive without quality loss; it enables you to trim, crop and watermark DVD video for better visual enjoyment; and it rips and converts DVD to AVI, WMV, MP4, MP3, 3GP, MOV etc for playback on media devices like iPhone, iPhone4, iPod, iPad, PSP, PS3, Apple TV, Zune, Xbox 360, Blackberry, Archos, Creative Zen, etc.

William A. Kuns IV (profile) says:

Idiot comments

I am an “old person,” too, and I know more about computers than a whole LOT of these wet-behind-the-ears snots. I am also a charter gamer; I’ve been gaming since Atari Pong came out. I began studying computer administration, architecture, and programming BEFORE the internet was publicly launched. No, who we need to wait for to die off is all the FRAKKING IDIOTS…but, sadly, the odds of winning the lottery fifty times in a row is far more likely to happen.

The problem is that the morons developing DRM for their media releases is that they did not have properly educated and trained instructors; they fail to TEST the DRMs they develop as they should:
1) Test on a number of platforms.
2) Test playing with a number of applications.
3) Test with and without various codecs, et cetera.

Don’t do this, and you alienate your target market. I don’t buy Blu-Ray media because my experiences have not been consistent. I can never tell if a given title will play or not, and Redbox and Netflix don’t give refunds. Stick to conventional DVDs until the idiots twig to the fact that their “enhancements” aren’t generating the expected sales.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...