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: avatar, blu-ray, drm

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2010 @ 2:29pm

    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.

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