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
    Mystik, 28 Apr 2010 @ 12:35am


    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 640x480 (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 640x480 16x9 Anamorphic Digital and try to convert that to 1280x720 or 1920x1080 (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.


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