Thursday, January 11, 2007

DRM and you.

At the close of last year, there were miniscule steps away from DRM that probably went unnoticed. Arstechnica posted a good-read article in December which pointed out that some upcoming music that was without DRM drudgery. Apparently, the managers had to struggle against the label in order to get the DRM ball and chain removed.

This is begging the question, "What does this have to do with gaming?"

Continue reading...

Begrudgingly to some, high definition movie-playback has become a hot topic among our new consoles (minus the Wii). The result leaves gamers not only taking sides with a console manufacturer, but potentially with HD-DVD or Blu-ray as well. Currently, the PS3 force-includes a Blu-ray drive while the Xbox 360 has an external HD-DVD option that's also PC compatible.

DRM not only infects music; it infects video as well. While some Sony advocats are praising HDMI for it's slight picture improvement, the real concern with it is DRM-ish compatibility. One big issue with HDMI is that it is made with DRM in mind.

In HDMI's HDCP spec, it has a manufacturer option for a security token that prevents full HD video if the video connection isn't HDMI. This security token downgrades all resolutions to 540p, which essentially removes the HD benefit. For all the bragging that the Blu-ray and HD-DVD companies do about the wonder of 720p or 1080i/p, they seem awfully willing to sell the goods that could perform much less than advertised.

Ask yourself, is that right? Do those with HD televisions that lack HDMI (or DVI with HDCP support) feel good about such a "feature"?

The explanation revolves around the movie companies fearing the possibility that someone could record an analog component signal. In order to "prevent" that, they want to refuse 720p and 1080i/p resolutions over non-certified connections. We all know that pirates will find ways to circumvent this beyond-annoyance anyway, so they are giving us unnecessary headache.

As consumers, we can only hope that the entertainment we purchase will move beyond these fear-of-pirating tactics that crumble the enjoyment of the medium. Commenter "Paul" hits the nail on the head about being a DRM-victim in response to engadget's take on this information.

It's getting difficult to remember a time when our equipment worked the way it was supposed to.


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