23.11.07 - Vista Content Protection Controlled By Hollywood
In case you didnt know, Vista comes with something called 'Content Protection'. Hollywood pressured microsoft enough for them to disable a lot of functions that you would expect from the latest 21st century OS.
Say you've just bought Pink Floyd's “The Dark Side of the Moon”, released as a Super Audio CD (SACD) in its 30th anniversary edition in 2003, and you want to play it under Vista (I'm just using SACD as a representative example of protected audio content because it's a well-known technology, in practice Sony has refused to license it for playback on PCs). Since the S/PDIF link to your amplifier/speakers is regarded as insecure for playing the SA content, Vista would disable it, and you'd end up hearing a performance by Marcel Marceau instead of Pink Floyd.
Alongside the all-or-nothing approach of disabling output, Vista requires that any interface that provides high-quality output degrade the signal quality that passes through it if premium content is present. This is done through a “constrictor” that downgrades the signal to a much lower-quality one, then up-scales it again back to the original spec, but with a significant loss in quality. So if you're using an expensive new LCD display fed from a high-quality DVI signal on your video card and there's protected content present, the picture you're going to see will be, as the spec puts it, “slightly fuzzy”, a bit like a 10-year-old CRT monitor that you picked up for $2 at a yard sale (see the Quotes for real-world examples of this). In fact the specification specifically still allows for old VGA analog outputs, but even that's only because disallowing them would upset too many existing owners of analog monitors. In the future even analog VGA output will probably have to be disabled. The only thing that seems to be explicitly allowed is the extremely low-quality TV-out, provided that Macrovision is applied to it (see the Decreased System Reliability section for further discussion of Macrovision problems with Windows).
If you have even more money to burn, you can go for the largest (conventional) computer monitor made, the Samsung's stupidly large (for a computer monitor) 46″ SyncMaster 460PN. Again though, Vista won't display HD content on it, turning your $4,000 purchase into a still-image picture frame.
...So if you design a new security system, you can't get it supported in Windows Vista until well-known computer security experts like MGM, 20th Century-Fox, and Disney give you the go-ahead (this gives a whole new meaning to the term “Mickey-Mouse security”). It's absolutely astonishing to find paragraphs like this in what are supposed to be Windows technical documents, since it gives Hollywood studios veto rights over Windows security mechanisms.
This document details why people have been against Vista from the start.
It runs perfectly fine but its what you don't know thats gonna bite you in the ass.
I think its time that somebody wrote a beginners guide to linux so that the world can stick 2 fingers up at Bill Gates & his multi Billion Dollar monopoly.
I'd agree with you PCA, i'd heard this has 'rumour' a year ago but it all got shot down. Its highly dubious in places as far as i can see. The article references mostly sources from before vista came out, speculative or hear-say from PR agents.
There's some terrible DRM concepts in vista, but as was my understanding its grade A plop that hardware is locked out in any way, or in a way that can't be completely bypassed by software.
ie. if powerDVD bypasses the encryption on bluray, you have complete access to outputting over hdmi
I have absolutely no problems outputting digital audio over S/PDIF thus far, yet an entire section of that article says vista doesn't let me do what vista is already doing.
So I'm a little confused too; i heard this all when vista was in beta, and during the initial period where they produced all those bullshit benchmarking specs showing how 'bad' vista was. This is the first thing since then I've reclaiming these arguments. Modern benchmarking stats have done a uturn.
It kind of annoys me in a way, vista has sold way beyond expectations and has a higher market penetration than XP at this point in its life cycle.
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