DRM as part of the OS: Windows Vista PVP-OPM

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Darryl, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. Darryl

    Darryl Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm trying to avoid hijacking this thread, so I started this one.

    Windows Vista will include something called PVP-OPM. It's like DRM (digital rights management) built into the OS. The PVP part stands for "protected video path," so called because the video stream remains encrypted right up until it leaves your PC. At that point the signal will only be useable if you are hooked up to a TV with HDCP built into it. Otherwise the signal will either be unavailable or will be downscaled to something like 480p.

    The motivation behind PVP-OPM is to encourage other pieces of the media puzzle to allow you to use your PC to its potential. For example, today you can't record encrypted HD digital cable channels on your media center PC. That won't change until there is some assurance that a HD movie I recorded won't end up on the internet where thousands of people can watch it for free. Content owners and distributors won't allow it to happen.

    My opinion is that PVP-OPM is a very good thing. I want my MCE PC to replace my set top box, not augment it. I want to record digital TV as a digital signal, not as a digital signal converted to analog by a set top box, captured as analog, then reconverted to digital, with quality suffering each step of the way. I want to be able to time shift a movie playing on HBO-HD and watch it on my own schedule, without sacrificing quality. Without PVP-OPM or something like it, it's not going to be legally possible.
     
  2. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    What's the point of being able to rip DVDs if all you're going to do is use it legally? To get rid of skips and freezes?
     
  3. Darryl

    Darryl Stunt Coordinator

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    You could keep your movies on your hard drive and access them via a GUI instead of digging through your pile of DVD cases. You would pick a movie in exactly the same way you pick a TV station - with your remote control.

    Ripping DVDs is the smallest of the benefits of PVP-OPM. Allowing you to use your PC as a PVR for HD content is a much bigger win. And without PVP-OPM or something comparable it is unlikely that you will ever be able to watch Blu-Ray or HD-DVD movies on your PC. The companies holding the patents on those technologies won't issue licenses to PC drive manufacturers otherwise.
     
  4. rob-h

    rob-h Second Unit

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  5. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    DRM shoved into the OS is a bad thing.

    DRM is little more than the electronic equivalent of King George III stationing soldiers in your house in peacetime, without your permission, to enforce not only real laws -- but whatever fancies they or the King might have.
     
  6. Darryl

    Darryl Stunt Coordinator

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    In response to the itnews article:



    I think the difference in our points of view is that I separate my opinion of DRM from my opinion of DRM's integration into the OS. Yes, DRM is a pain in the butt and treats everyone as a criminal, including the innocent. But DRM is a reality, and it's here to stay. Facing that reality, integrating content protection into the OS make complete sense. It allows the PC to interact with DRM-protected content in ways that it otherwise would not be able to do (and currently IS NOT able to do). The powers that be won't allow it otherwise.

    Let me give you a real world example. Next month there is going to be an update to XP Media Center Edition. Among the new features is the ability to record encrypted digital cable. Just yesterday Microsoft indicated that this feature was cut, apparently because they couldn't get CableCARD certification because they didn't have adequate content protection in the OS.
     

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