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High-Quality HD Content Can't Easily Be Played by Vista 434

DaMan1970 writes "Content protection features in Windows Vista from Microsoft are preventing customers from playing high-quality HD audio/video & harming system performance. Vista requires premium content like HD movies to be degraded in quality when it is sent to high-quality outputs, like DVI. Users will see status codes that say 'graphics OPM resolution too high'. There are ways to bypass the Windows Vista protection by encoding the movies using alternative codecs like X264, or DiVX, which are in fact more effective sometimes then Windows own WMV codec. These codecs are quite common on HD video Bittorrent sites, or Newsgroups."
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High-Quality HD Content Can't Easily Be Played by Vista

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  • Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ipooptoomuch ( 808091 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @02:22AM (#20208923) Journal
    So is this saying that pirating the movie will yield a higher quality then buying it?
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by NBarnes ( 586109 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @02:23AM (#20208925)
      The beatings will continue until market penetration improves.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by XedLightParticle ( 1123565 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @02:36AM (#20209007)
      Sounds so, it's a pity, but predictable, that DRM is, in this case as well as many others, producing worse original products than the pirated. Imagine if Chinese copies of brands were of better quality than the ones from the source... I'd want a Lolls Loyce then, despite the bad spelling. A scenario that deserves some concern.
      • http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/ 10/1236207 [slashdot.org] Chinese pirates HAVE started making copies of things that are of better quality than the ones of the source. That is of course, assuming that the companies claims are true... Chinese companies are becoming very good at reverse engineering and cloning a product. There are even clones of car brands in china that are such close copies that the door of the cloned car will fit on the actual name brand car. Crash tests come out much differently though
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Eivind ( 15695 )
        DRM-products *always*, by design, suffer from being inferior to the pirated versions. This is not an accident, but by design.

        Think about it. The entire point about DRM is to prevent you from doing certain things.

        The pirated version is the same, except it *doesn't* try to prevent you from doing things.

        It follows that from a practical point of view, the pirated copy is superior. It can do anything the original can, plus the things which the original prevents you from doing.
    • Re:Wow (Score:4, Informative)

      by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @03:09AM (#20209163) Journal
      Yes, as usual. See also BitTorrented FLAC's vs iTunes. It's the media industry that pulls the strings, neither Apple, nor Microsoft. Vista is merely repsecting the Image Constraint Token of the specs. Don't set it, nothing will be downsampled, even when using the proper Blu-ray / HDDVD formats.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Solra Bizna ( 716281 )

        See also BitTorrented FLAC's vs iTunes.

        Because even my grandmother can tell the difference between a 128kbps AAC and a lossless stream!</sarcasm>

        Seriously though. 16-bit, stereo audio sampled at 44.1KHz is 1378 kilobits. A 128kbps AAC is nearly 11:1 compression, while most FLACs are lucky to reach 2:1. That makes AACs at least five times cheaper to distribute (assuming the only cost involved is bandwidth, and that costs rise proportionally to bandwidth) than FLACs.

        Vista is merely repsecting the Ima

        • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

          by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @04:35AM (#20209559) Homepage Journal

          Vista is merely repsecting the Image Constraint Token of the specs.
          That sounds to me like the format has a "make it suck" flag.
          It's a lot cheaper than hiring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
        • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @06:35AM (#20210117) Journal
          It _is_ a "make it suck" flag, or rather "make it suck if any component along the chain isn't DRM'ed and encrypted." The MPAA and RIAA are so caught in the whole "auugh, evil pirates are copying our content and causing us billions!" hysteria, that, well, they'd rather shoot themselves in the foot than let the spec have any place where someone could record/rip their precious content.

          The difference between plain DVI and encrypted DVI (a.k.a., HDMI) is largely one created by the DMCA:

          1. with DVI, you could, at least theoretically, make a video capture card with a DVI _input_ connector, and just rip the digital content that way. Basically the computer would think you're outputting to a TFT monitor, when in fact you're getting to record the digital output stream in all its quality.

          2. with HDMI, well, you could do the exact same, you just have to fake the authentication and include the decryption. Which isn't impossible by any reckoning.


          1. Since DVI it doesn't include any copy protection, it doesn't count as circumventing it under the DMCA.

          2. Since HDMI does, it does. So they could raid anyone selling such cards or adapters, and demonize anyone who bought one.

          However the bottomline at the moment is that

          A) I don't know of any actual such devices at the moment, and

          B) If you're going to decrypt it anyway, you might as well decrypt the DVD, but

          C) most people have DVI or VGA connectors on their monitors, while virtually noone has a HDMI monitor or graphics card.

          So for the sake of protecting against a theoretical threat, they are making it suck for a bunch of legitimate customers. Better yet, it makes it actually more rewarding to download a ripped copy than to buy a legit one.

          Actually, AFAIK it's even more funny than that. They try to detect fluctuations too, so you can't snoop on the stream in transit. So all it takes is a wobbly monitor to get your stream downgraded even if you _do_ have HDMI.

          At any rate, much as I don't like MS, I dunno if I'd blame MS here, other than for bending over. If the MPAA demands that kind of stupidity, either you comply, or you get to play no HD videos on that computer. So MS likely faced the lose-lose choice of either they implement that idiocy, or they get to tell some hundreds of millions of potential customers that Vista doesn't play HD media at all. You can probably see how the latter is a faster suicide.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            If you want something with DVI-in that could potentially be used to re-encode digital output, you can look at Xilinx's VIODC add-on module for the ML40x development platforms... http://www.xilinx.com/xlnx/xebiz/designResources/ i p_product_details.jsp?key=HW-V4SX35-VIDEO-SK-US [xilinx.com] - it supports nearly all common video sources (other than HDMI) but only up to 720p. Actually, the link is for the ML402+VIODC bundle since the stand-alone VIODC card is (conveniently?) down. Of course, you need to supply your own appl
          • by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @08:31AM (#20210713) Journal

            The difference between plain DVI and encrypted DVI (a.k.a., HDMI) is largely one created by the DMCA:

            You're muddling things again.

            DVI-D: A digital interface that may or not be encrypted with HDCP. I once owned a HDTV tuner/scalar that encrypted the output of the scalar. On the other hand, my DVD player doesn't encrypt its DVD output.

            HDCP: an encryption scheme that prevents people from hooking up bog standard computer displays to a device that uses HDCP. The video output tends to look like digital snow when viewed on such a monitor. Hook up an HDCP compliant monitor, and it works. The encryption algorithm is breakable, see ed felton's blog [freedom-to-tinker.com]

            HDMI: A digital interface that combines video and audio. Must support HDCP, though unencrypted signals can be sent. A simple dongle is used to convert a DVI port into an video only HDMI port.

            BTW, a number of devices, including the PS3 and the lower end HD-DVD players now expect their users to have both receivers and and televisions with HDMI ports-- those devices lack "5.1" RCA jacks.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              HDMI: A digital interface that combines video and audio. Must support HDCP, though unencrypted signals can be sent. A simple dongle is used to convert a DVI port into an video only HDMI port.

              Actually HDMI is _NOT_ required to support HDCP, there are quite a few older HDTVs with HDMI ports and no HDCP available (I own one). IIRC it was added to the spec around v1.2 so while MOST HDTVs with HDMI and probably all that have been manufactured in the last year up to now do support HDCP it's not as cut and dry as

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
            Of course, none of this matters, because the data is in the frame buffer before it's sent over the DVI connector, and it's easier to just dump each frame from there (slowing down the process doing the decoding so that you have enough bandwidth to recompress the data grabbed from the framebuffer, if required). A load of the restrictions in the new Vista driver model are to prevent this kind of thing. Fortunately for the pirates, all they need to do is install an ATi driver, and they've got complete access
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kyrio ( 1091003 )
      That has been the case in the music industry for about 5-6 years now, ever since we figured out how to burn/play 4.1+ channel audio CDs. You can upmix any stereo CD into a 5.1 album right on your own P4. The best part is that home made upmixes have, time and again, proven to sound better than what the studios put out.

      They are still selling their mono/stereo 50 year old music albums for $20+, why would they care to put any work into promoting any higher quality?
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by purpledinoz ( 573045 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @03:50AM (#20209381)
      It will be interesting how the movie companies are going to fight the laws of economics. I have been boycotting HD technology, and I will for a long time, until they abandon DRM. To the average consumer, HD isn't really much of an improvement over DVD, so I don't see how they can possibly think that they can ram HD down our throats, especially with all the shenanigans that the customer has to go through just to watch a movie.
    • by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday August 13, 2007 @03:56AM (#20209405) Journal

      Not necessarily with quality -- I admit, some of the pirated stuff is pretty bad. But in terms of overall experience, piracy wins almost every time.

      Let's take a few examples...

      Movies (standard-def)

      Buying a DVD outright is too expensive. I watch a movie once, maybe twice, then I'm done. It's also not convenient -- either I have to drive to a store, or I order online and wait days for it to be shipped.

      Renting is too inconvenient, for the same reasons as above. Netflix comes close, but lacks instant gratification.

      Both of the above deal with physical discs, which can scratch, break, etc. If it's a rental, it might come that way, and I have to wait for another one to ship. Also, many discs feature copy protection above and beyond CSS, most of which is designed to make the disc look corrupted to a ripping program -- but that can prevent me from playing it properly, even in a dedicated DVD player.

      There are some other half-assed attempts, like the iTunes Music Store and Amazon Unbox, all of which require me to run proprietary, Windows-only software to make the purchase, and usually gives me a DRM'd file, which I must play on proprietary, Windows-only software. Ok, iTunes works on a Mac -- except I'm on Linux, so that's no help.

      So, piracy wins on almost all counts -- I can get near-instant gratification, it's convenient, I can do it entirely with open source software (KTorrent to download, mplayer to watch), and it's cheap enough that I often download things I'm not sure I'd want to spend money on -- and sometimes I enjoy them, and sometimes I don't.

      The only thing piracy loses on, currently, is that rentals give me full DVD quality in the time it takes to drive to the store. It can take several days to download an ISO at that quality, with all the extra features. But that's only a matter of time and bandwidth -- and even when I do rent a physical disc, I often rip it immediately, so that I can take the movie back and watch it whenever I have the time.

      There is actually one other thing -- the movie theater itself. I do actually pay to see good movies in the theater, when they come out, even though I could probably download them a few days before they come out.

      Movies (high-def)

      This is a no-brainer: I currently can neither rent nor buy, because my monitor doesn't support HDCP, I don't have a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive, and neither is sufficiently cracked for me to just pop in a disc and play it on Linux, on the monitor I currently own.

      The best bet would be something like iTunes or Amazon Unbox, which suffers from all the same proprietary issues -- assuming they even have high-def content -- plus I may run into the HDCP issue.

      However, my Internet connection and my hard disk can both handle a 5 gig or so download of an h.264-encoded 720p movie -- which still looks damned good.

      This is a case where I do actually want to be a good consumer, but can't. I'd like to buy the Serenity HD-DVD, but that would require me to buy either an HDTV and an HD-DVD player or a new monitor, new video card, and an HD-DVD drive, all of which is prohibitively expensive -- especially considering my current monitor is somewhere between 720p and 1080p (it's 1600x1200) and works fine, so I'd be buying a new monitor for no good reason.

      TV shows

      Well, TV itself (cable, satellite, etc) just sucks. It's not enough to interrupt you every 5-10 minutes with ads, they have now started pushing an ad into the middle of a show -- taking over a full quarter of your screen with an animated ad, with a little bit of sound to go with it. You're also required to buy channels in bundles, which limits choice -- if you pick and choose the channels you want, it may cost more than just buying one bundle that has them all -- but it will cost even more if your channels don't happen to all be in the same bundle.

      Renting them sort of works. The frustrating thing there is, it makes sense to rent them one DVD at a time, so you can wa

      • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Monday August 13, 2007 @07:46AM (#20210485) Journal
        I can confirm this fellows comment on the no CD cracks for legit PC owners.

        I am a messy lazy bastard, I damage stuff all the time.
        I love Warcraft 3 online, so I have a clone CD image on my drive that I mount and the copy protection is fooled by Daemon tools and the game works.

        The stupid thing is I require a GENUINE CD KEY TO PLAY ONLINE I can NOT play online without that key, it's a real, made by blizzard key, keygens won't work!
        So why do I need my damn CD in the drive? I've already proven I own it.
        Silly stuff.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by sqrt(2) ( 786011 )
          Epic, the makers of the Unreal Tournament series, removed the CD/DVD checks from UT2003/4 and I'm pretty sure from their other games too.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday August 13, 2007 @06:08AM (#20209991)

      So is this saying that pirating the movie will yield a higher quality then buying it?

      No, it's saying that if you buy DRM-encumbered media, it's likely that it won't deliver as good an "experience" as media without DRM.

      This being Slashdot, there will undoubtedly be dozens of posts blaming Vista and Microsoft, despite the article summary itself demonstrating that not to be the case.

      DRM is an attribute of the media. The solution is simple - if you don't want DRM to impact your life, don't buy DRM-encumbered media.

  • Features (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @02:24AM (#20208927) Homepage
    Say what you want, but these are much requested features from Microsoft's customer base. What is causing the confusion is that these wanting-to-see-HD-content people mistakenly think that they are Microsoft customers. They are Microsoft's consumers, all of whom have accepted the Windows EULA, and so might as well stop complaining.
    • Say what you want, but these are much requested features from Microsoft's customer base.

      Ah, I wondered when the "Dank defence" would pop up.

      It's clearly ridiculous to claim Microsoft has been forced to cripple its flagship product at the whim of content providers. If Microsoft had told the media companies "no DRM", they would still have fallen over themselves to provide material for the platform. It's too big a market to ignore.

      No, this is about Microsoft taking control of the means of distribution of

  • Eh (Score:2, Insightful)

    Once the enemy is the user and not the attacker, standard security thinking falls apart.
  • XP vs Vista (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wall0159 ( 881759 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @02:27AM (#20208937)
    I remember when XP came out, many MS apologists said "yes, XP sucks, but Win2K is really not bad."
    Now that Vista is out I'm hearing things like "yes, Vista sucks, but XP is really not too bad."

    Now, windows 2K was the last version I used much (praise the Lord), but from what I've seen of XP and Vista, Windows, while maybe becoming prettier (and having a better UI) now treats the user with absolute contempt.

    Why do people (especially Slashdotters) put up with it, when there are other options that are so much better?
    • Re:XP vs Vista (Score:5, Insightful)

      by KanSer ( 558891 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @02:39AM (#20209023)

      It's a sad lot.
    • Why do people (especially Slashdotters) put up with it, when there are other options that are so much better?

      Games. Wine hasn't ever worked well, and likely never will; this leaves Windows as the only alternative for playing most games or running certain programs (like Poser) on a PC.

      • Games will help drive vista Penetration. DirectX10 is a Vista only thing and there are new, flashy games on the horizon that are DX10. The gamer crowd that thinks nothing of spending $1000 for a pair of GTX cards will slavishly go to Vista for DX10. On the flip side, if you are using DX instead of OpenGL, DX10 is very nice compared to DX9, so I can see game developers going to is as soon as they can.
        • On the flip side, if you are using DX instead of OpenGL, DX10 is very nice compared to DX9

          See, I don't get this at all. I don't know the ins and outs of games programming, but I can't understand why everyone uses DirectX (supported on exactly one (1) platform) instead of OpenGL (supported on pretty much *every* platform capable of doing 3D)?

          Sure, they might not want to port their software to other OSes *now* but it would seem to make business sense to at least leave the option open. Take GoogleEarth for e
    • Re:XP vs Vista (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SpottedKuh ( 855161 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @02:59AM (#20209109)

      Why do people (especially Slashdotters) put up with [new Windows versions], when there are other options that are so much better?

      Because, unfortunately, the newest software is written for the newest versions of Windows. And, as much as I would love to never touch Windows Vista, I know that, eventually, some piece of software I need to run for work will only run on Windows Vista.

      It used to be that a lot of software ran on Win9x/Win2k. Then, it was Win9x/Win2k/WinXP. Now, I frequently see either Win2k/WinXP/Vista or WinXP/Vista. It won't be long until the software I need for work only runs on Vista. And, then I have no choice but to upgrade to Vista.

      And, as much as I love open source, I don't always have the option of switching to OSS (i.e., there's no viable OSS alternative). Or, sometimes switching to OSS isn't worth the hassle, compared to the time I save by just giving in to Microsoft and buying the newest version of Office (instead of dealing with the minor, but often horrifically irritating incompatibilities with OO.org). And no: this is not a critique of OSS, nor is it something that I ever think will change. It is simply a fact of using a computer that I require to be easily compatible with the setups used by other people in my field. It's easier to spend to money on commercial software (that is, the monetary abuse I take from commerical vendors) than it is to piss away hours of my time trying to work around incompatibilities (that is, the kind of abuse I take when using some OSS). Sometimes, OSS works beautifully for what I need, and I love saving the money. Othertimes, I just have to pay up.

      • by monsted ( 6709 )

        Because, unfortunately, the newest software is written for the newest versions of Windows. And, as much as I would love to never touch Windows Vista, I know that, eventually, some piece of software I need to run for work will only run on Windows Vista.
        With the rate of adoption by businesses we're seeing now, that'll hopefully be a while. DirectX 10 games is probably the first thing that people will notice.
    • Software support mostly. Everything I want to run runs on windows, but not everything I want to run runs on Linux. Specifically Firefox, gaim, xchat, gvim, etc have all been ported to windows. Foobar2000, flashfxp/ftprush, official IM clients with full support of extended features, all the games, good video editing, good audio editing, etc do not run on linux.

      On top of that last time I used linux on the desktop (~2 years ago, admittedly), there was still plenty of issues doing things that work fine out of t
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        there was still plenty of issues doing things that work fine out of the box on windows, like slapping two videocards in and stretching your display across them both

        This varies with hardware on both systems - for instance there's one system I can run a widescreen LCD at native resolution in linux but not in windows due to hardcoded driver limits and there were some linux systems where I could not reliably do the two display thing with two paticular video cards. I did this to a lot of systems recently - som

      • It still isn't all that easy but I have done it on several occasions. I think using KDE as your desktop will get the mapped hot key working the way you want. I remember linus bringing this up in a rant about Gnome once. I haven't used gnome since mandrake 8.0 or 8.2 whichever defaulted to it. I use KDE for the most part now just because the install defaults to it.

        I think the sound has improved too although I don't usually mess with it anymore. I generally don't even turn the speakers on.
    • by msimm ( 580077 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @03:14AM (#20209181) Homepage
      Even the more technical among us. It's fine to be idealistic and all but there comes a point when it's simply impractical to pretend an operating system you don't like doesn't carry important weight in the real world.

      Personally I like Linux for a lot of things. I've used it for maybe 8 or 9 years now? I'm a senior systems administrator and run deployments mainly focused on Linux based operating systems. That's not to say when I go to my office I fire up Ubuntu. Or when our CEO has laptop problems I curse Microsoft and implore him to adopt OS du jour.

      Frankly XP was simply a better version of 2000. Yes, prettier. More user friendly. I won't say the same for Vista. At least in it's current incarnation it is not a slightly improved/prettier version of XP. It's sluggish and annoying. It's one step forward and 2 steps back. More like an improved 3.1. Maybe after SP1 comes out we will see something shine. I wouldn't give up. I just wouldn't recommend businesses upgrade right now.

      Anyway, harping on Microsoft always seems a little silly. As a corporation they do some annoying things. Lots of corporations do. But they also hire some talented programmers and have actually helped do some good (you do like the PC platform, right?). Even helped set some high-water marks (not that I'm a fan of the most recent version of Office, but you get my meaning).

      In the end using the wrong OS for the wrong task sucks. That's not being an apologist, that my friend, is being a realist. Something I think we can forget to do in all the mellow-dramatic politicking.

      Personally (sorry I'm being a bit long-winded) my biggest disappointment with Vista is that it doesn't feel like an incremental upgrade to XP. I think XP was some of their best work to date. Aside from a few quirks I really enjoy using it. As I enjoy using Ubuntu on my laptop sitting in my bedroom and I enjoy the mindless reliability of the MythTV server I have sitting quietly and quite functionally in the closet to the left of me.

      Their tools. Not personal credos.
      • you do like the PC platform, right?
        Is that a trick question? The PC platform has evolved from "Totally sucks" to "Tolerable", yet it still bears the legacy of suck (the instruction set, various aspects of the the hardware interface). An alternate basis would in my opinion have led to a much better situation today.


    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Monsterdog ( 985765 )
      We're all blind from excessive masturbation, so we actually don't care anymore.
    • Re:XP vs Vista (Score:4, Insightful)

      by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday August 13, 2007 @06:58AM (#20210223)

      Why do people (especially Slashdotters) put up with it, when there are other options that are so much better?

      Because some of us don't think the options *are* "so much better" (if they are better at all).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kabocox ( 199019 )
      Now, windows 2K was the last version I used much (praise the Lord), but from what I've seen of XP and Vista, Windows, while maybe becoming prettier (and having a better UI) now treats the user with absolute contempt.

      Why do people (especially Slashdotters) put up with it, when there are other options that are so much better?

      Um, system restore and actually only having to do that once a blue moon because crashes and such are so rare. Don't forget games also. Enough said.
  • Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kmac06 ( 608921 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @02:27AM (#20208943)
    Is the article really saying that ALL HD content, regardless of if it is indicated to be copyrighted or not, is degrade? IE if I take a video with my HD camera, I can't play it on Vista? It sounds like the article is saying that...but...wow
    • No, of course not (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @03:29AM (#20209261)
      As usual this is information being spun in to anti-MS FUD. Here's the deal: As some content providers are paranoid, particularly big media, new HD systems are coming with the ability to "close the analogue hole" they always like ot talk about. The method is to downsample information over non-encrypted outputs. HD-DVD and Blu-Ray can both do this, though as far as I know none of the discs set the flag to have them do it yet. If they do, what happens is you get HD out over HDMI or DVI, but only if your display supports HDCP. If it doesn't, or if you use the component outputs, you get something that is right around SD.

      Ok well Vista supports the same thing. It's MS's bid to get content providers to use and support their stuff. They can have Vista check and if the output isn't encrypted, downsample the output (or refuse to play as well I believe).

      Now is that mandatory? Of course not. It is only if the format is one that supports it, and if the content itself has the flag set to do that. So your own HD content is fine, and anyone else's unprotected HD content is fine. This is just for the media companies, who are paranoid.

      So same kind of deal with HD-DVD and what not. If this bothers you, simply refuse to buy and use media that is so protected. It doesn't stop unprotected media from working fine. The DRM support they added certainly isn't what I'd call useful, but it doesn't affect you unless you want to play DRM'd media. Now while you might think that it makes it worse, consider that what is going to happen is that they just won't release it for platforms that don't support this. So it isn't a situation of Vista having DRM on the media and other platforms not, it is a situation of the media only playing on platforms with proper DRM.

      My advice is just to refuse to purchase the protected media. Eventually they'll either sell unprotected media or just go out of business.
    • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dabraun ( 626287 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @03:37AM (#20209307)
      Vista will down-res DRM protected content that it is required to down-res. I hate it, you hate it, we all hate it - but the alternative is for it to not be able to play that content at all. The content that is being down-res'd is content that you simply can't play on any system without down-resing or 'breaking the law'.

      Yes, the laws are rediculous - going so far as to allow, for example, resampled and up-resed DVD (normal) playback over VGA but not over component despite the fact that both connections are analog and have the same level of security (i.e. none). The only difference is that VGA is viewed as a PC monitor connection and HDMI is viewed as a TV connection.

      This issue of course pre-dates the current concern for BluRay and HD-DVD playback which require a secure path to the display for full res playback. When you find another OS that can legally playback these formats over an insecure channel in full res then you can start complaining about Vista, but until you do you should restrict your complaints in this area to the media cartel that is creating these rules and the government that supports and enforces this type of behavior.

      Or you can just accept, as I have, that the winner of the BluRay vs. HD-DVD war will actually be downloaded movies and normal DVDs and ignore any weird playback behaviors in BluRay and HD-DVD.
    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheNetAvenger ( 624455 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @05:26AM (#20209819)
      Is the article really saying that ALL HD content, regardless of if it is indicated to be copyrighted or not, is degrade? IE if I take a video with my HD camera, I can't play it on Vista? It sounds like the article is saying that...but...wow

      Yes this is one of the things he is trying to say. And sadly is one of the biggest indicators that he is full of crap.

      Who gives idiots like this guy a stage when they don't even understand the subject themselves?

      From our tech lab, I can confirm that NONE of what he is saying is true. From everything about HD Audio being downgraded, to non flagged HD content EVER being down sampled. He is either lying for a reason or really has no personal experience whatsoever.

      Even the sugggestion that the problems with powering down/suspend/hibernation have to do with DRM or HD protection is insane. 99% of the power down issues have to do with the switch to ACPI S4 in Vista or problems with USB drivers (USB drivers are NOT even part of the HDCP scheme in Vista).

      As for the CPU running at 100%, that is a new one. In fact if you have a new video card and run either type of HD Content from VC1 or MPEG4, your GPU handles most of the work, and your CPU might hit 30% if you are using NVidia as they don't seem to be offsetting as much of the decoding as ATI does.

      This whole article is crap, and full of crap. We have too many test systems and have ran too many of these types of tests and have to date not found ONE issue even close to what people like him try to use to scare people about DRM in Vista. Sounds plausible, but simply it is just NOT true.

      Even when the 'protected content' flag DRM issue was raised with Vista Media center, our test found that it was a specific Flag from a couple of cable companies, on a couple of channels marking them as PPV even though they weren't. Which would have have affected even a TiVO box, and was not a Vista issue whatsoever. But the press made it seem like Vista's evil DRM was at play.

      I guess that since we can't expect real journalism in the mainstream regarding world issues, it is also too much to expect any journalism in the tech idustry.

      Why would sites report this person's claims without proof of concept, or at least testing it for themselves?

      Shameful, and yes I know SlashDot is anti-MS, but even here people can have some level of technical understanding and actually want to be informed of what is right and what is made up for press.

      This DRM Vista crap has to truly stop at some point. 99% of it is myth.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Ehmm, I experienced it myself, with my Sony HD cam, so this story is genuine. I did get a downgraded resolution on my TFT-screen, which only has a VGA connector. I could play the video in Full HD though on my Media Center 2005 PC, connected to the same screen.
  • Short summary: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mdenham ( 747985 )
    Vista harms system performance.
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @02:42AM (#20209031) Journal
    I know a guy online who claims Vista stopped him from being able to produce his own video of some biking event he went to. After trying for a while he decided it was ridiculous and actually went back to XP.

    That's the real damage that DRM is doing - it's creating a huge DIS-incentive for being creative. Everything from GPS software that's crippled so they can sell you more maps (that you can't afford or refuse to fork out for) to printers with extortionately priced consumables, to camera software that changes with each couple of models, to music players that suddenly stop file sharing (legal or not! think about free postcasts).

    I use to love buying gadgets but now every time I buy one I wince because I know I'm going to spend more time with the product working around limitations that have been added, or general poor quality. The most idiotic thing is that what this ultimately means is that after a few sales to desperate consumers, many decide they don't have the time, or money or that its just not worth the grey hairs to get into a hobby, especially in a world where you're expected to work half your life or more away.
    • by Knos ( 30446 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @03:33AM (#20209277) Homepage Journal
      I contend it's actually one of the goals of DRM, to hinder amateur creativity. Or at least to create a monetary barrier of entry to high quality creation tools. My example would be: for years, the minidisc format was totally closed to such things as bringing back into digital the analog recordings one would have made. Strangely, towards the end of its life, when only professionals or prosumers might use it, sony releases a device that precisely does this.

      That, or its general contempt of the public.
    • "I know a guy who..." ya If I had a nickle for every story that started like that and was exaggerated or not true.

      Supposing this really did happen it is for one of three reasons:

      1) His video editing software wasn't supported under Vista. You should always check compatibility before upgrading.

      2) His video hardware wasn't supported under Vista. Again, check compatibility before upgrading.

      3) His computer was insufficient to run Vista. Same thing I said the first two times.

      That's it. No, Vista has no evil DRM g
      • by syousef ( 465911 )
        Yeah I haven't fact checked, but it's believable. What is more difficult to believe is that people would defend that decrepid piece of shit operating system.

        Vista is being sold as being better: Better for high def content, better for security, better for business. It is none of those things. I have checked and yet I've STILL had it foisted on me when buying a laptop. I dual boot now so I should be able to claim a lot of experience with Vista. The truth is I've only booted to it a handful of times once I got
      • by syousef ( 465911 )
        By the way you're completely wrong.

        http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,135814-pg,1/arti cle.html [pcworld.com]
  • Alright. I load in HDV camera footage via CineForm, and edit in Vegas. I output WMV files and also MPEG HDV m2t files for output back to tape. I view the WMV files on the PC. Does Vista affect any of this? HDV is 1440X1080, and I occasionally render 1920X1080. This is all original content from my HDV tapes.

    On a related note, has anyone successfully dual booted Vista and XP? (the only reason I can see using Vista is for DX10 and games)
    • Not all HD content is degraded, only specific protected content. At the moment this is only Blu-ray + HD discs, Some TV cable cards (I believe). In theory DRM'd downloaded WMV's could also use it but they currently don't. All other HD files, including your WMVs mentioned, are not affected, and do not have to have an encrypted path / downgraded resolution. That is not to say you may still have issues playing them, but in this case they would probably be driver related, not content protection related.
    • by sqrt(2) ( 786011 )
      From my understand, and I could quite possibly be wrong here, the DRM they're talking about never touched anything in that situation you described. This is about playing DRMd high def content, usually HD-DVDs, on computers running Vista and having the quality degraded when played over high quality but unprotected (read: DVI) ports (presumably to prevent HD content getting out into the wild, which is so astoundingly naive I'm at a loss to describe it) and that's not what you're doing.
  • by Ferzerp ( 83619 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @02:49AM (#20209069)
    Since these things are required for them to be able to play blu-ray or hd-dvd content, what did you expect?

    Did we honestly expect the largest OS vendor to create their OS to ignore the built in controls with the HD disk formats?

    Get a proper hdmi supporting card and a proper hdmi monitor and you won't get down sampled output.

    I think the whole thing is stupid as well, but this is an integral part of the hd formats. Reporting that Vista respects what is required to play these DRM laden formats "legally" is just pointless. What did you think they would do? Can you imagine the lawsuits? If your DRM'ed HD content is sent through a non-encrypted channel it gets downsampled. Gee whiz, who would have thought that... It's not like this has been common knowledge for years. Oh wait... Yes it has.

    It's not like it will downsample non-drm'ed HD content.

    (I have taken the slashdot approach and repeated the same thing many times in this post)
    • by Pofy ( 471469 )
      >Reporting that Vista respects what is required to play these DRM laden formats "legally" is just pointless.

      What "legally" are you refering to?
      • ever heard of the DMCA?
        • by Pofy ( 471469 )
          Not in my country, no. Why should MIcrosoft selling Vista all over the world implement an american law and force it onto users in other countries?
          • is that a serious question? why would an american company comply with american law to protect the media that is made almost exclusively in america?

            get over yourself
            • by Pofy ( 471469 )
              Because they want to sell their product someone else in the world? I was commenting on the initial statement that it was the only "legal" way to play that contet, which for most it is not.
              • the economics of implementing country-specific code don't work out. not enough people won't buy vista because of this in outside of america (if any at all), and there is practically no benefit. also, any "looser" software released in, say, england would be pirated instantly back to the states.
          • Because they are a US corporation. While they could try arguing, and perhaps succeed, that they don't need to do it in your country they don't want to spend the time and money in court. It would go to court, especially since you know that people would illegally re-import copies of Vista without the restriction and the media industry would blame MS. Easier to just restrict it everywhere, especially since HDCP enabled videocards and monitors are the rule these days, not the exception.
    • Agreed. Vista is not blocking HD signals or anything, they're merely respecting the specs. They'd be in trouble if they didn't respect the ICT flag [wikipedia.org] and played full quality despite that. And if the flag is not set by the media manufacturer, then Vista won't care for downsampling. Erog; it is up to the media industry on what they decide they want downsampled, not Vista.
    • You don't need HDMI, DVI works fine. The video signal of DVI and HDMI are electrically compatible. You just need HDCP on both ends. Pretty much all LCDs since 2005, and some before, support it. Graphics cards are somewhat newer with support but any nVidia 7 series or above should support it and I think it is similar on the ATi side of the equation.

      Of course I think a better idea is just to say "fuck you" to HD-DVD and Blu-ray. HD is neat and all, but really, DVD on a good upsampling player is pretty good. S
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by syousef ( 465911 )
      It's not like it will downsample non-drm'ed HD content


      http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,135814-pg,1/arti cle.html [pcworld.com]
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @03:03AM (#20209127) Journal
    The article somehow reminds me of early 2006.

    So here's a nice and tidy list that summarizes most of it:
    http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archive/2007/01/25/ 519180.aspx [msmvps.com]
  • HDCP (Score:2, Insightful)

    by timmarhy ( 659436 )
    HDCP can go fuck itself, and so can anyone that supports it. My $7000 JVC hd tv has a hdmi port that's busted PURELY due to a HDCP bug. i've been waiting MONTHS for the fix.
  • by *MoonDogg* ( 709056 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @03:15AM (#20209189)
    and full of errors and misleading statements. This guy [avsforum.com] put it better than I can.

  • Not this again... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArcCoyote ( 634356 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @03:15AM (#20209191)
    Gutmann has made valuable contributions to the IT security field, but fergawdsake, I wish he would keep his personal vendetta against MS/Vista to himself. He's missing the point, and it's making him look like a fool.

    Vista does NOT downrez or restrict HD content that is not protected! I can record and play 720p/1080i HD digital cable (clear-QAM via HDHomeRun) on a 1920x1200 DVI monitor that is NOT HDCP-CAPABLE and see every pixel. Now, if it was HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, protected WMV, from a CableCARD system, etc... it would downrez or refuse to play.

    I personally couldn't give a flying frog about that part. Guess what? DRM sucks in every way. The answer is not "don't use Vista", the answer is "don't bother with DRM"

    Rip the DRM support out of Vista, (It can be done, just kill the right .dll files) and what do you get? The same thing as any other OS: Non-DRM content works, DRM content won't play. You're not going to magically get DRM-infested content to play at full-rez by NOT SUPPORTING DRM. Don't say "but $OTHER_OS can play it..." because with the very rare exception that will involve breaking DRM in unauthorized ways. You can do the same thing on Vista if you like: it's all fair-use, but it's not DRM support.

    The point is, and what Gutmann fails to grok, is that Vista doesn't LACK the capability to play HD video at full rez, rather it HAS the capability to play protected HD at full rez on a compliant system. No other OS is going even play that content, even downrezzed, unless you break the DRM.

    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )
      I'm sure I'm just stating the obvious here, but MS's building in support for this DRM shit is surely going to increase its market penetration. It's lame that they supported it.
  • Your public betas of Microsoft Vista gave me an excellent change to try out your new OS and it made me sure that I should upgrade from Windows XP, which I promptly did in January. What you probably didn't know though was that my upgrade path took me to OS X instead of Vista. The beta showed me just how horrible Vista is, just by trying to set a few things up after installing it. The dialogs / wizards were horrible, unusable, and almost worse than randomly created text file formats. It seems, by this article
  • by NZheretic ( 23872 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @03:38AM (#20209311) Homepage Journal
    Getting down with the VCPs to get the DRM message out ... [With deepest apologies to the Black Eyed Peas for the parody of "Let get Retarded"]

    Vista Retarded is here
    Sung by the V.C.P.s
    [voiceover] The Vista Content Protection specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history [auckland.ac.nz].

    Vista "Retarded", is here...

    And content not playin' playin', not playin' playin',not playin' playin',not playin' playin', not
    playin' playin', not playin' playin',not playin' playin',not playin' playin', not...

    In this context,Vista disrespects, so when I click to play, the display disconnects.
    We got find methods for us to reconnect to new codecs by the network effect.
    Bout to lose your fair use. Microsoft's institution. Infect your computer with D.R.M. pollution.
    Cause when we click on, the sound is gonna be down. You won't believe how we ow shout out.
    Burn can't cause we locked out, Sample can't cause we locked out, act up from north,west, east south.

    Everybody (ye-a!), everybody (ye-a!), let's get into it (Yea!).
    Get stoopid (click on!).
    Vista retarded (click on!), Vista retarded (click on!), get retarded.
    Vista retarded (ha), Vista retarded is here.
    Vista retarded (ha), Vista retarded is here.
    Vista retarded (ha), Vista retarded is here.

    Lose control, of privacy and goals.
    Won't run too fast cause, bloat makes it slow.
    Won't get away, your locked into it.
    Y'all hear about it, Gutmann'll do it.
    Get Vista, be stoopid.
    Don't worry 'bout it, Ballmer'll walk you though it,
    Step by step, you'll be restricted
    Patch by patch with the new solution.
    Transmit bits, with D.R.M. pollution
    Claim the contents irresistible and that's how they move it.

    Everybody (ye-a!), everybody (ye-a!), let's get into it (Yea!).
    Get stoopid (click on!).
    Vista retarded (click on!), Vista retarded (click on!), get retarded.
    Vista retarded (ha), Vista retarded is here.
    Vista retarded (ha), Vista retarded is here.
    Vista retarded (ha), Vista retarded is here.

    Playin' playin', not playin' playin',not playin' playin',not playin' playin', not...

    C'mon y'all, let's get Do-do! (uh huh)-- Let's get Do-do! (in here)
    Right now get Do-do! (uh huh)-- Let's get Do-do! (in here)
    Right now get Do-do! (uh huh)-- Let's get Do-do! (in here) Ow, ow, ow!
    Ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya...

    Let's get ill, that's the deal
    At the gate, Microsoft restricts your will. (Just)
    Lose your mind this is the time,
    Y'all test this will, Just and download still. (Just)
    Rob the resolution, from your monitor or to your speakers.
    Get pixel-ated and suck.
    Yo' movies past slow-mo' in another head trip.(So)
    Locked in now cannot correct it, so be ig'nant and left apoplectic .

    (yeah)Everybody, (yeah) everybody, (yeah) get locked into it.
    (yeah) Get stupid.
    (click on) Get retarded,(click on) get retarded (yeah), get retarded.
    Vista retarded (ha), Vista retarded is here.
    Vista retarded (ha), Vista retarded is here.
    Vista retarded (ha), Vista retarded is here.
    Vista retarded (ha), Vista retarded is here.

    You Cukoo! (A-ha!) -- It's Po-Po! (is here)
    Be a Fool! (A-ha!)-- M.S. Tool! (be their)
    Like Voodoo! (A-ha!) --You cukoo! (out here)
    Ow, ow! -- Ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya...

    Playin' playin', not playin' playin',not playin' playin',not playin' playin'

  • What TFA is yammering about, is that users cannot play their own home movies properly. It seems that a user would need permission from Hollywood to play their own stuff. Oh, well, people can always buy a Mac or use Linux...
  • Crap! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Absolut187 ( 816431 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @03:59AM (#20209413) Homepage
    Both of the people who bought Vista will be affected by this!


    How long until they release the mandatory "hotfix" to cripple XP as well?
  • Yet another misleading summary brought to you by slashdot.

    Vista supports HDCP over DVI - I should know, I'm using it. The claims of HD content degredation on DVI are bullshit; it works so long as your graphics card and monitor support HDCP over DVI.

    It would be nice if submitters (and editors!) took the time to check facts before posting incorrect scaremongering to the front page.
  • Use MPlayer? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by billsf ( 34378 ) <billsf@@@cuba...calyx...nl> on Monday August 13, 2007 @04:39AM (#20209601) Homepage Journal
    Another article on what Vista doesn't do.... While I don't use any MS "operating system" products, if you feel you 'need to', perhaps MPlayer from http://www.mplayerhq.hu/ [mplayerhq.hu] is your answer. The Windoz pre-compiled port is incomplete but people I know, that use Windows, pick MPlayer. (In Europe, the media player is not normally bundled as its seen as an anti-trust issue.) If the 'DRM' is only in the media player, this should work and its "free". It might be a hack to get Vista to accept it though. Please send them a few bucks if you use a pre-compiled version, but they'd probably prefer someone to complete the port over money. The entire source tree and API is also available from the MP site and mirrors.


    PS: I use a EUR 30,-- ATI Radeon RV370 X550 which should be all the video card you need. $1000 is more than I pay for an entire dual-core amd64/3000MHz (2800MHz in 64bit mode) system with 4G of RAM and two 500G hard drives!
  • A bunch of garbage (Score:5, Informative)

    by magamiako1 ( 1026318 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @04:41AM (#20209613)
    You know, if you're going to make such wild claims about something you at least should have the ability to back them up. How can this guy be considered a big shot if he puts out blithering bullshit such as this?

    For the record, I assure you of the following:

    1. You can play HD content on Windows Vista w/o DRM in full HD resolution. This includes:
    a. AVI/DIVX/XVID/X264/VC-1/WMV/QT 720P/720I/1080P/1080I videos

    2. You can record your own HD videos from various utilities and have them play in Vista fine. With my tests I have done Fraps, and I assure you the resolution is *never* downscaled. (Keep in mind, PCs have been doing HD resolution for years)

    3. The only downscaling that could occur is if you attempt to play legally purchased, legally licensed content obtained with all of the proper reasons but one of your devices does not meet the HDCP standard. This includes:
    a. Blu-ray/HD-DVD movies that you legally purchase in the store that have the downscaling bit enabled.

    Now, yes--I agree, the stuff is assenine. The downscaling or non-playback or whatever it does is only affecting the non-pirates. There are more than enough movies on the internet to download in all sorts of resolutions and formats for playback. Matroska containers seem to be the dominant format at the moment.

    What I'm trying to point out here is that this man's assertion is a load of rubbish. I think people should at least USE the product they are criticizing before doing so.
  • by RenHoek ( 101570 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @05:19AM (#20209793) Homepage
    Somebody saw it fit to tag this article with 'getamac', but this Ars Technica article [arstechnica.com] explains that it won't be long before Apple goes the same way.

    The only way this can be stopped is for consumers to NEVER buy HD content. That said, I find DVD to be high quality enough. I can still enjoy a movie even if it's being played from a crappy VHS recorder.
  • Look, I'm no DRM lover and Microsoft isn't my fave but WTF is with this guy? Take an HD-DVD, decode it, play it back. Wow, surprise it PLAYS! In fact it plays at full resolution. According to this guy it won't and if it does it will look like it's being played on an old tube TV - except it doesn't. The very first guy to break HD-DVD did it because his system wasn't DRM compliant and refused to play his legally purchased media - as documented on Doom9 months ago. Gee, remove the DRM and it worked fine and still this guy keeps insisting that Vista won't play back high quality video. I call Bullshit! $100 dollar video cards outperforming $900 video cards? Is no one fact checking this guy? Odd, I know folks who have been running Vista, 64bit at that, who haven't seen ANY of the issues that this guy bitches and moans about. These folks DL HD content and play it with zero issues but to hear this guy that's simply not possible - what's he smoking?

    Has anyone who's shot HD video with a camcorder seen the errors he's claiming? Tracked them down? What consumer camcorder supports ICT? Why in this world would it support ICT? ICT is what tells Vista and other devices to protect apparently and if it's not turned on Vista doesn't do anything. Where this guy got the idea that Vista would arbitrarily protect video just because it's a high rez is beyond me. If that were the case wouldn't it also try to protect all of the other various CODECS out there?

    Some discussions on AVS about this -> http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=88 8747 [avsforum.com]

    BTW how come when I search this mystery error message about OPM resolution being too high I get a zillion hits on his paper but nothing from users screaming from the rooftops? Does it strike anyone else as weird that he seems to be the ONLY one complaining about this? If it's such an issue then finding users screaming shouldn't be a problem. Seems like every other bizarre error I've entered into Google has found others with the problem so why not this error?

    As much as it is fun to bash Microsoft this guy doesn't even pass the giggle test....
  • I'm always impressed by the enthusaism of Slashdot that leads to people composing the lyrics to mocking songs before actually trying the stuff :). But for the rest of us nerds who like to try stuff, I've got a couple of Creative Commons licensed HD WMV clips I've made that play back nicely in Vista over VGA at full resolution. This should be a clear refutation of the FA.

    720p @ 2 Mbps: http://on10.net/Blogs/benwagg/elephants-dream-720p --2-mbps/ [on10.net]
    1080p @ 10 Mbps: http://on10.net/Blogs/benwagg/elephants-dream-samp le/ [on10.net]

    Note that the 1080p clip was designed for Xbox 360 playback, so it'll need a pretty beefy PC for playback.

    Also, note the current VLC release doesn't play these back correctly, alas (I think a problem with DQuant or B-frames). They're fully VC-1 spec compliant; maybe they can use these clips for debugging.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal