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Media Movies Piracy

Goodbye, HD Component Video 469

glogger writes "Jim Willcox, the video expert at Consumer Reports, bids farewell to our ability to get high-definition video via the analog component-video connections on Blu-ray players. Thanks to Hollywood pirate-paranoia, potentially millions of law-abiding viewers will have their choices restricted. Quoting: 'Hollywood studios now have the right to insert an ICT "flag" into a Blu-ray movie; if it detects that a player is using an analog connection that doesn't support HDCP, it downconverts the video's 1080p (1920 by 1080) native resolution to 960 by 540 (540p): better than DVD quality but only about one-quarter of full HD quality. This ensures that high-def video is available only through the copy-protected HDMI outputs.'"
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Goodbye, HD Component Video

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  • by Assmasher ( 456699 ) on Friday February 18, 2011 @04:38PM (#35248086) Journal

    ...are legitimate users of video content, sometimes even when it isn't hi def...

    My setup is a total pain in the a** because of HDCP.

    I wanted to do something really simple this summer - show my cable box feed on the TV in our home gym (a glorified name for room with treadmill in it), so I looked at my options:

    (1)Get another Cable box for that TV - no, I'm not interested in paying another $15/month just so I can watch TV in a room for an hour every other day.
    (2)Run yet another HDMI cable to the TV - this was not really an option since it would be 35 feet from the cable box with various openings between the box and the destination TV - ergo, expensive, mess, and requiring HDMI amplifies and extremely long cable runs.
    (3)Go wireless and get an Air Synch HD (or something similar) - up front cost is not cheap, but no new cables, no new box, only turn it on when I want, et cetera.

    So, I get my new wireless HDMI system in, yay! Looks cool, setup seems simple - so I try it out. Cool, XBox 360 play over it just fine, BluRay player works over it just fine, cable box? Oh, whoops, green screen on cable. Never seen that before.

    So, long story short, it turns out there's this little feature of HDCP that is only just now starting to bite people in the a** called "downstream devices." Apparently, a source device using HDCP can restrict the number OF HDCP CAPABLE DEVICES that can be chained together to get to your TV or projector. Note that it is a restriction on LEGITIMATE HDCP licensed devices ffs. Most HDCP capable devices have a somewhat large number of possible downstream devices (there's no requirement in the standard - the bastards) but some of them just one or two. This means that if you connect your source device, such as my Motorola DVR, to a receiver (which counts as an HDCP device in this chain) and your projector connects to the receiver you've maxed out the number of devices.

    Along comes some poor schmuck (me in this scenario) and puts a wireless HDMI transmitter between my TV and my receiver - *bang* the cable box says "you're trying to pirate my HDCP encrypted signal, I will show you a green screen."

    Do they really think they're preventing movie piracy when someone can simply use some soldering tools and an programmable gate array and components available over the internet and strip HDCP? Hell, you can buy HDFury and setup a good recording system.

    The only people they're actually screwing are people like me who sit around for 15 seconds waiting for all their HDCP devices to decide to get along and show video and/or audio.

    (BTW, I simply connected the cable box to the receiver with component cables and optical audio - but I guess that solution will be on its way to the trash can as soon as Motorola can get around to it, eh?)


  • Re:Confused (Score:4, Interesting)

    by causality ( 777677 ) on Saturday February 19, 2011 @12:32AM (#35251898)

    Won't work. They've already got that base covered. You will only be able to exchange the item for another identical item. No returns.

    I signed no such agreement, therefore I do not feel morally bound by their one-sided policy. I'd rather not have to do it, but if it is necessary, if reasoning with them should fail, I am within my rights to be as much of an unprofitable hassle for them as legally possible.

    Therefore, if they want to play hardball, that's fine. Up the ante by increasing their hassle and therefore their expense. Be certain to make the purchase with a credit card. Call up your credit card company and dispute the charge, citing that you are dissatisfied with the merchandise and you were refused a refund. Force the matter to arbitration if necessary, taking up more of their time and money. Credit card chargebacks are a pain in the ass for retailers and they overwhelmingly favor the cardholder. The retailer knows this. At some point all of the personnel involved and time and hassle won't be worth the $15 dollars or so they charged for the movie, let alone the small portion of that which is a retailer's profit margin.

    As usual, we tend to receive just as much bullshit as we're willing to put up with. If you act like docile sheep it makes you easy to walk all over. Make such asinine return policies as unprofitable as possible the moment they are inflicted on you. Corporations that will listen to little else will certainly listen to wasted profits.

    Thankfully I have yet to have to actually do this, but I know that anyone who tries to screw me over is not going to do it easily. It will be more trouble than it is worth for them. Why anyone else would just lie down and take this shit is a mystery to me. It is no wonder corporations feel so free to shaft people because so many of them are willing to take it.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall