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fuzz!
31st January 2008, 06:02
A general question for anyone who might know..

Currently the HTPC crowd doesn't exactly have a wealth of choice when it comes to HDCP/HDMI enabled video cards.

As I understand it, if I wanted to play Blu-Ray/HD-DVD content on my PC using commercial (read: compliant) software, my display needs to support HDCP or it may not play at full resolution.

Now, is this situation simply a matter of commercial software needing to comply with the madness that is HDCP and the industry?

If so, surely we will see opensource playback solutions which simply ignore the whole issue - but that won't be for a while.

So I'm wondering if I'm screwed (in the meantime) if I want to use a DVI video card OR a DVI input port for my HTPC setup?

sysKin
31st January 2008, 06:17
As I understand it, if I wanted to play Blu-Ray/HD-DVD content on my PC using commercial (read: compliant) software, my display needs to support HDCP or it may not play at full resolution.

Now, is this situation simply a matter of commercial software needing to comply with the madness that is HDCP and the industry?

No, not really. HDCP is required only if the movie says so - there exists a particular flag on a disc saying if player should reduce resolution without HDCP, or should ignore it.

All discs released so far have this flag off and work without HDCP fine. There's an expectation that first discs which require HDCP will show up in 2012 or, more likely, never.

HOWEVER, PC players have become so overzealous that they require HDCP even if discs tell them not to. I am not 100% sure if this is the case with all players and all versions, someone who knows needs to confirm that.

fuzz!
31st January 2008, 06:49
No, not really. HDCP is required only if the movie says so - there exists a particular flag on a disc saying if player should reduce resolution without HDCP, or should ignore it.

All discs released so far have this flag off and work without HDCP fine. There's an expectation that first discs which require HDCP will show up in 2012 or, more likely, never.

HOWEVER, PC players have become so overzealous that they require HDCP even if discs tell them not to. I am not 100% sure if this is the case with all players and all versions, someone who knows needs to confirm that.

Oh? A friend of mine has an XBOX 360 and says that he can only play his HD-DVDs at 1080i because it only has component out (Which doesn't support HDCP).

Perhaps it's the component interface which doesn't support 1080p, but I thought it did.

squid_80
31st January 2008, 07:18
The Xbox 360 requires HDCP to play movies (not games) over HDMI, the PS3 requires HDCP to output ANYTHING over HDMI.

Shakey_Jake33
31st January 2008, 08:23
Component definately supports 1080p, you can play games over 1080p on the 360. The 1080i restriction on HD-DVD's is forced. Similarly, they don't allow DVD upscaling at 720p/1080i/p.

fuzz!
31st January 2008, 10:08
The Xbox 360 requires HDCP to play movies (not games) over HDMI, the PS3 requires HDCP to output ANYTHING over HDMI.

Component definately supports 1080p, you can play games over 1080p on the 360. The 1080i restriction on HD-DVD's is forced. Similarly, they don't allow DVD upscaling at 720p/1080i/p.

Hrmm.. Some whacky behaviour there. I'm really only thinking about HTPC usage but the above quotes highlight my concerns

That is - Legally purchased movies unplayable on legally purchased software.

Whatever the case, I'm sure that in a short time there will be plenty of choice in software BD players that totally ignore any such requirements.

fuzz!
31st January 2008, 10:11
No, not really. HDCP is required only if the movie says so - there exists a particular flag on a disc saying if player should reduce resolution without HDCP, or should ignore it.

All discs released so far have this flag off and work without HDCP fine. There's an expectation that first discs which require HDCP will show up in 2012 or, more likely, never.

So it seems that's the theory and the reality is that management is still doing everything in their power to entice people to pirate and circumvent, just like with DVD (ie. Region coding, PUOPS, menus that take 5 minutes to load etc.) ;)

Doom9
31st January 2008, 21:07
Actually, things are a bit more tricky - there are two flags - content providers can either force downscaling to 9xx resolution (I don't recall the precise number offhand) when an analog connection is used, or they can completely turn off output unless a protected digital connection is used. So far, hardly any disc makes use of either flag.

However, the AACS LA mandates that any digital connection be HDCP equipped (there are actually multiple options.. Microsoft also has a signal protection scheme that's permissible) - unless your disc has no AACS (and as far as prerecorded content goes, you cannot have Blu-ray without AACS whereas AACS is optional on HD DVD), you either need HDCP or a workaround like AnyDVD HD, or HDCP compliant hardware (and that alone may not be enough.. the Dell 30" screens support HDCP but most GFX cards cannot handle HDCP over dual link DVI - plus even when you got a card that can do it (Geforce 8500/8600 series or the new 8800GT), unless you had the appropriate drivers (they weren't available at the time the first dual link DVI with HDCP capabilities came out) it still was a nogo unless you used AnyDVD HD).

So, you can go analog (with the implied loss in quality) and unless there's the ICT flag you'll get the full resolution, or you upgrade your equipment to be HDCP compliant, or you find a workaround (and with AnyDVD HD there's another catch.. only a certain old version can handle BD+ titles without AACS.. Cyberlink bent over to the industry and removed a couple useful features from their software like that workaround or the ability to play content form a harddisk).

foxyshadis
1st February 2008, 00:50
Squid_80 pointed out the issue, that it's an implementation problem - PowerDVD used to not output at full resolution whether HDCP was required or not if it wasn't present. These guys would rather be way overboard in strictness than have their license yanked for a permissive error, and the AACS LA feels the same way, I'm sure.