Archive for the ‘HD DVD’ Category

Blockbuster Socks HD-DVD In The Gut

June 19, 2007

While my colleague Steve Wilson is much more of a high-def optical disk expert than myself, I think this decision by Blockbuster definitely puts a chink in HD-DVD’s armor. The HD-DVD promotional group was, not surprisingly, unhappy with the decision.

“I think trying to make a format decision using such a short time period is really not measuring what the consumer is saying,” said Ken Graffeo, co-president of the group.

Its not exactly the death of HD-DVD, but I think all it would take is one more departure of a studio and the writing will be on the wall in permanent ink and spray-paint. Currently HD-DVD has exclusive support from only Paramount, while Blu-ray has Columbia, MGM, Disney, Fox and Lion’s Gate. Luckily for HD-DVD, home video behemoth Warner Brothers hasn’t shown any signs of skittishness.”

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AACS Remains Confident In Protecting HD DVD, Blu-ray Disc

June 1, 2007

“Efforts that began in December 2006 and continued through February 2007 lead to the discovery of the Processing Key used to encrypt high-definition media with the Advanced Access Content System. The work of a small hacking community created essentially a silver bullet that was able to defeat the copy protection of all HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc media on the market at that time.

The Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administration (AACS LA) acknowledged the effectiveness of the hack and began to enact measures to restore the integrity of its technology. Beginning May 22, which is most notably the release date of the Matrix trilogy on HD DVD, all high-definition titles shipped with Media Key Block (MKB) v3 – a new encryption key version that would render the previously discovered Processing Key obsolete.

Interestingly enough, the AACS’ updated protection measures appeared to be defeated by SlySoft, makers of AnyDVD HD software, before the new MKB versions officially hit streets. The AACS has yet to officially issue a statement and is current investigating the latest attack on the system, according to comments made by Richard E. Doherty, director of technology strategy at Microsoft, who is also actively involved with the AACS.”

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NHK Demonstrates Ultra HD Signal; 16 Times Better Than HDTV

May 30, 2007

“Although high-definition formats HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc are the bleeding edge of technology in the current consumer market, a new technology from Japan makes the latest HD movies specifications look simply archaic. Last week, engineers at NHK’s (Nippon Hoso Kyokai) Science and Technical Research Laboratories demonstrated Super Hi-Vision technology capable of a 7680×4320 resolution, reports IDG.

At 7680×4320, over 33 million pixels make up the image – this represents 16 times the resolution of a 1080p image. To get a picture of the bump in resolution, a Super Hi-Vision image could be approximated by tiling 16 of today’s best HDTVs together. In comparison, a 1080p picture represents a six-fold jump in resolution over standard-definition television.”

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Legalized Blu-ray, HD DVD Copying Coming Soon

May 25, 2007

“One of the biggest arguments against digital rights management (DRM) is that it restricts users from doing what they wish with the media for which they’ve paid. For owners of high-definition movie players, such restrictions may soon be a little lighter.

The Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administration (AACS LA) says that it is now working to provide “managed copy” features on the media that uses its protection technology. HD DVD had plans to implement managed copy as part of its specification – a main reason why Microsoft and Intel stood behind the format – but Blu-ray Disc had thus far ignored the concept.

The final version of AACS will supposedly introduce methods for users to legally copy their high definition media. For example, a user may wish to copy a movie from his PC HD DVD drive onto his network for play on his PVR – and with managed copy, he may now do that without breaking copyright.”

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New HD DVD, Blu-ray Disc Copy Protection Defeated Before Release

May 18, 2007

“Beginning May 22, which is most notably the release date of the Matrix trilogy on HD DVD, all high-definition titles will shipping with Media Key Block (MKB) v3 – a new encryption key version that would render the previously discovered Processing Key obsolete.

“If a set of device keys is compromised in a way that threatens the integrity of the system, an updated MKB can be provided by the AACS LA that will cause a product with the compromised set of device keys to calculate a different key than is computed by the remaining compliant products,” as found written in AACS documentation. “In this way, the compromised device keys are ‘revoked’ by the new MKB.”

However, it appears that the AACS’ updated copy protection measures have already been circumvented even before the new software’s official release. SlySoft, developers of a software used to defeat the copy protections of DVD, HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc, have revealed that its latest version of AnyDVD HD is able to sidestep the new MKB from the AACS.”

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LG Super Multi Blue for PC

May 12, 2007

“PC World got their hands on a LG GGW-H10NI Super Multi Blue BD Drive/HD DVD Reader. Oh my goodness that name is horrible. It’s the PC version of the Super Multi Blue that LG released for home theaters, but this version also boasts 2x single layer (4x disc) Blu-ray disc burning.”

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DRM Group Pledges To Fight Digg Rebels

May 6, 2007

Relating directly to this, bloggers posting the HD-DVD key appear to be in a bind.

“Bloggers who posted links to a software key that would unlock the copy protection on some high-definition DVDs have been threatened with legal action.

The entertainment industry-backed consortium which developed the protection said that it was looking at “technical and legal tools” to confront bloggers who made the key available, saying they had “crossed the line.””

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More Bad News For HD-DVD Encryption

May 5, 2007

“Hackers have found a way of circumventing the AACS copy prevention technology used by next-generation DVD disks. Unlike earlier breaks, the latest crack can’t be papered over simply by pushing key revocation updates.”

“The approach bypasses the encryption performed by the Device Keys, so revoking these keys as applied by the WinDVD update.”

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Weighs In On The HD-DVD Key Hysteria

May 2, 2007

Originally mentioned here, Digg users went nuts over some stories being deleted and user accounts being banned when a secret key was posted. The EFF has decided to throw in their 2cents.

Who can sue over the posting of the key? The DMCA entitles “anyone injured by a violation” to bring a civil lawsuit seeking damages (including statutory damages ranging between $200 and $2500 for each “offer”). In addition, if a person violates the DMCA “willfully and for purposes of commercial gain,” a federal prosecutor could bring criminal charges (with the famous exception of the Sklyarov case, however, criminal prosecutions have generally been limited to situations where the DMCA violation was also accompanied by evidence of commercial piracy).”

What about just linking to a place where the key is posted? The courts in the DeCSS case wrestled with the proper test to apply when someone links to a location where a circumvention tool can be found. Ultimately, the district court held that an injunction against linking could be issued after a final judgment if a the plaintiff could show, by clear and convincing evidence,

“that those responsible for the link (a) know at the relevant time that the offending material is on the linked-to site, (b) know that it is circumvention technology that may not lawfully be offered, and (c) create or maintain the link for the purpose of disseminating that technology.””

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Digg User Banned For Posting HD-DVD Key?

May 1, 2007

“It all started last night. I’m reading my RSS feeds and I come across an article on Digg.

Spread this number. Now.
09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0. It’s the HD-DVD processing key you can use to decrypt and play most HD-DVD movies in Linux. Movie studios are going ballistic over this leak, so Digg the story up and make it reach the front page.

Are you serious? That’s awesome! Somebody found a key that allows Linux users watch HD-DVDs! Naturally, I wanted to find out more, so I clicked the link. Much to my dismay, that story had been deleted from Digg already. Why is this story gone? Who deleted it? How dare they?! They can’t censor that kind of stuff can they? I go back to my Google Reader, copy and paste the entire thing into a new story, and resubmit it.

I went to sleep, and didn’t think much about what I had done.

Until morning.”

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