High-Def fiasco with computers?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ryan-G, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    I was just reading the article found here...

    http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/..._hdcp_support/

    Which expresses on Page 2 that Blu-Ray and HD-DVD won't work on computers at 1080p, because of HDCP protection which apparently all board manufactuerers have left out of the board design, despite the fact that the GPU's themselves support it.

    Which has lead to my wondering if the writer was misinformed, as what he's talking about sounds identical to the optional downconversion we've been discussing elsewhere. The article is also "Windows Vista" centric, which again makes me wonder about how well informed the writer is, as this would indicate that BR and HD-DVD won't support Xp or even Linux.

    This would be the first I've heard of these kinds of limitations computer side, and the article appears vague enough that I really wonder if there's some misunderstandings on the writers part.

    I mean, from what he's saying it sounds like BR and HD-DVD won't work without a new videocard and Windows Vista.

    Anyone have any info of this? Maybe someone who attended CES can confirm or deny part or all?
     
  2. Ken_F

    Ken_F Stunt Coordinator

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    The article is correct -- you won't get more than 960x540p from any platform unless it is uses AACS authorized technologies. If you want to experience the full 1920x1080p from Blu-ray ahd HD-DVD, you will need a video card with HDCP, among other things.

    Non AACS-authorized platforms will be limited to 960x540p from Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Microsoft is the first company that has announced it will ship such an platform. I haven't heard much from the Linux cap, although Torvalds' recently commented on the necessity of DRM for a platform's success.

    Don't buy a PC for BD/HD-DVD playback until Vista is out.
     
  3. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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  4. Daniel_TS

    Daniel_TS Stunt Coordinator

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    Agreed!
     
  5. Aaron_Brez

    Aaron_Brez Supporting Actor

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    Yep. Pretty scuzzy of ATI, IMO, to list "HDCP-ready" as a feature* and then not include it on any card.


    * of the GPU, it turns out, but not of any product on the available roadmap. Could they not have footnoted, something to the effect of "May not be available on all models", or at least left the "HDCP-ready" verbiage in their engineering specs to board-makers instead of on the customer website?
     
  6. Ken_F

    Ken_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, of course these limitations apply to ICT-flagged titles only. If you don't have a video card with HDCP, make sure you buy titles without the ICT flag.
     
  7. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    This is a real kick in the rear end. All of the people who use HTPC's are now not only looking to their projecters for HDMI inputs, but now they've gotta look at the video card and OS, which is another 300-500$ expense for them.

    Insult to injury there, and pretty overboard to because it's the encryption that matters on computers, not the connections. Connection is meaningless if the encryption is cracked.
     
  8. Juan C

    Juan C Second Unit

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  9. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    For me, it would probably be in the realm of a $1000 upgrade - new CPU, new motherboard, new memory, new videocard, new OS. And videocards with HDCP support will probably be expensive because of the high-bandwidth requirements of HDTV!
     
  10. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    Not really Max,

    The AGP bus isn't fully flooded yet, and the PCI-E bus doesn't have a fraction of it's power used yet. Current gen video cards would've, and in fact are, sufficient were it not for board manufacturers leaving out a known critical feature.

    This whole mess is probably going to end up in a class action lawsuit, at least against ATI who advertised it as a feature. Nvidia may be safe because they only provide reference designs to board manufacturers who decide ultimately what to support.

    But there's a pretty good case right now against at least ATI...

    It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, especially given what's being said about Vista. MS may have serious problems selling that OS...
     
  11. Bryan Michael

    Bryan Michael Supporting Actor

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    my 7800 cards say hey are hd ready and ecc ram is over rated and will slow down a machine. i bet you can flash the bios of your vid cards
     
  12. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    Only until they're hacked. The studios always think that they're smarter than everybody else but they're always proven wrong. Would not be surprised to see it again.
     
  13. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    My concern is that new cards are PCI-E only. I hear rumors of a 7800GS NVIDIA card that is AGP though. But who knows if it will have HDCP. I just hope Windows Vista will work on older Athlon XP PCs.
     
  14. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    I'm inclined to agree with you here. While I don't think cracking the encryption stream will be simple, I do think that there'll be a way to convince the app that the HDCP key is present when it isn't.

    I'm begining to wonder how this is all going to play out. They're kinda painting themselves into a corner by forcing obselesence on all existing hardware computer and non, and there's bound to be some public backlash.

    Especially as Linux has no way to participate and users can make a case for MS using "Monopolistic" powers again, as HDCP requires a 15,000$ fee and an added per-unit cost, which obviously is exclusionary to open source software.

    At this point, I'd imagine the whole debacle is going to end up in front of a judge somewhere in the next year, over both computer and non computer hardware being forced into obselence.
     
  15. Aaron_Brez

    Aaron_Brez Supporting Actor

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    Actually, Linux can participate. It just has to provide an AACS-worthy DRM solution. Which Torvalds is in favor of (and which is one reason he's not putting the Linux kernel out under GPL 3.0), so someone may actually make it happen. I'm hoping so, though at this point it looks grim.

    HDCP is hardware only, so there would be no software cost. AACS license fees, on the other hand, could be an issue.
     
  16. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Supporting Actor

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    PVP stands for Protected Video Path, and they intend to prevent any chance of an unencrypted signal existing anywhere between the disc and your monitor. In other words, no fully protected HDCP path and you get no output or severely reduced resolution. The OS is taking care of this and I don't believe the ICT has any bearing on the output.

    This all refers to Windows Vista, the next version of the microsoft operating system. But looking closely at this leads me to believe that XP may never output HD from a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. In order to enjoy HD media on your computer, you may be forced to upgrade not only to all approved secure hardware, but to the secure Windows Vista platform. In other words, basically upgrade your entire computer. Those planning to just add a BD or HD-DVD drive and enjoy some HD may be in for a rude awakening.
     
  17. Aaron_Brez

    Aaron_Brez Supporting Actor

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    Actually, if the studio doesn't use ICT, there is nothing preventing 1080p over VGA, at least. It isn't like they have a full spectrum of options: it's either "Flag is set: Quarter-rez over component" or "Flag is not set: No restriction over component". HDCP doesn't even enter the picture, in that case, but if your assertion is that they won't send things out over DVI or HDMI unencrypted... well, yeah, I'd wager you're right, there.

    Don't count on XP sending out Blu-ray or HD DVD, as you pointed out. Unless there are hacks...
     
  18. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Supporting Actor

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    The feeling I get from what I've read is that on the PC it's all or nothing. Either you have a completely secure path to the monitor and get 1080p, or you don't and you get 960x540p.

    In order to play the discs you will need a software player and in order for the players to get the license to play the discs they will have to agree to a seperate license then the hardware manufacturers. The agreement could say no HDCP means no 1080p.

    The way they are trying to lock down the HD formats leads me to believe common sense and convenience have gone out the window initially. If you have to jump through hoops to get the actual 1080p movie on the disc, they don't seem to mind at all.
     
  19. Daniel_TS

    Daniel_TS Stunt Coordinator

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    An AACS-licensed content protection environment shall not compromise or interfere with the security and policy of the AACS technology.
    AACS ICT read on the HD disc is applied by any AACS-licensed content protection environment.
     
  20. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    It really is amazing, isn't it. By discarding all the usual elements of style, and diction, an author can inspire the kind of fearful obedience and respect that elude more practiced writers.
     

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