Official: Now MS says Vista will NOT play all Blu-Ray or HD-DVD discs

Discussion in 'Main Lounge' started by Jason, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. Jason

    Jason

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    Microsoft has been forced to acknowledge that a substantial number of PCs running the new version of its Windows operating system will not be able to play high-quality DVDs.



    The Vista system will be available to consumers at the end of the month. However, in an interview with The Times, one of its chief architects said that because of anti-piracy protection granted to the Hollywood studios, Vista would not play HD-DVD and Blu-ray Discs on certain PCs.



    Dave Marsh, the lead program manager for video at Microsoft, said that if the PC used a digital connection to link with the monitor or television, then it would require the highest level of content protection, known as HDCP, to play the discs. If it did not have such protection, Vista would shut down the signal, he said.



    The admission will be a blow to Microsoft, which is hoping that more users will turn to their PCs for watching films and other content.



    According to DSG International, which owns PC World, about 15 per cent of PCs sold at present in Britain use digital connections, but that number is expected to grow.



    Virtually none of the PCs that use a digital connection have HDCP. “It’s up to the content providers to set the level of protection that Vista applies, but they’re likely to be pretty firm on the need to use high-definition content protection [HDCP] when using a digital connection,” Mr Marsh said. “At the moment HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs certainly require such protection.”



    Mr Marsh added that computers with built-in HDCP protection — which could play such discs — were being phased in, but that, in the meantime, Microsoft was obliged to ensure that the studios’ content was being used securely.



    Computers using an analog connection will not be affected and the requirement does not apply to regular DVDs.



    Peter Gutman, a researcher in computer security at the University of Auckland, who produced a report on the compatability of Vista with various hardware, said: “When this aired at a couple of Windows conferences last year, I thought: ‘This is so bad it’s going to die.’ But it didn’t.



    “To downgrade the signal so that the HD-DVD will play, you need a constrictor, but that doesn’t seem to be present in many of the computers that are shipping. Given that it downgrades signal quality, most manufacturers aren’t rushing to include it.



    “Any computer which has an LCD monitor is potentially at risk of not being able to play this content.”



    A DSG International official said that the number of PCs with digital connections would grow as the computer came to be used more as an entertainment device.



    “The PC is moving out of the study and into the living room as users begin to connect up their computers with their TV,” the official said. “The majority of HD-TVs sold now have a digital input on the back.”



    Protection still full of holes

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    A recent study by the Motion Picture Association estimated that illegal copying cost the industry $6.1 billion in 2005

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    Microsoft has built a component into the studios’ new operating system, Vista, that recognises high-quality DVDs, called HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs, and checks whether the system on which the film is being played provides a sufficient level of protection

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    This protection, known as high definition content protection (HDCP), must be present throughout the entire system — usually the computer, or a television. If it is not, Vista will disable the connection

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    The requirement only affects digital connections

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    About 15 per cent of all computers sold in the UK now have digital connections

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    Almost no computers using digital connections have HDCP, according to computer experts, although those that do are being phased in
     
    Jason, Jan 9, 2007
    #1
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