DRM Prevents AppleTV From Working On Some Hardware

from the thank-you,-DRM dept

Kevin Stapp writes "The infinite wisdom of the entertainment industry has decided to place DRM on AppleTV downloads that can make the content incompatible with many hardware configurations. If your hardware doesn't support HDCP you can't watch content you legitimately rented via AppleTV. Now that's a great way to treat a PAYING customer." This seems to happen all too frequently these days. DRM isn't being used to prevent copying, but it sure does make life a lot more difficult for users. Whatever happened to Steve Jobs being against DRM? Oh, right, that was only for music, not video.
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Filed Under: apple tv, drm
Companies: apple

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  1. identicon
    Mike Coop, 27 Feb 2008 @ 9:44pm

    Actually, the article is totally accurate...

    Nothing to see here. This isn't a discussion about digital rights management (DRM), which protects files. This is a discussion about high bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP), which is the link protection used on HDMI and DVI, and is also available on DisplayPort. If you're playing out high definition content (720p/1080i/1080p) on an HDMI interface, the source and the sink (display) need to be able to properly negotiate protection of the link to allow the content to play. No HDCP, no content playback.

    TFA is accurate...and, the author also points out that one can view the content via the analog hole by using component (analog) connectivity.

    To the earlier post that HDMI=HDCP, not exactly. Retailers are selling upconverting DVD players by the truckload. These devices play out existing (standard definition) content via an HDMI port, but do NOT utilize HDCP. Upconverting DVD players have a scaler which takes the original SD DVD (480i on NTSC, 576i on PAL/SECAM) and converts the output to 720p/1080i/1080p for output to a display. The player and the display can be connected via HDMI or DVI, and do *not* require HDCP to function, since the source content is *not* in high definition. Plus, at ~$79 (here in the U.S.) for a decent upconverting DVD player, this was the path of least resistance for the vast majority of consumers prior to Blu-ray emerging victorious in the format war.

    So, don't take Apple to task here; this has nothing to do with them. HDCP is a spec developed by Intel, managed by DCP, LLC, and is in place due to the requirements of the content creators (studios). If you have a beef, it's not with the folks making hardware...they're simply following the mandates of the studios.

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