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Latest HD DVD news and its a shocker!



News just arrived in from our Philly office about HD DVD's and players.

As reported in todays Philadelphia Daily News:

"BLU-RAY DOES MPEG-2: To tweak out an extra bit of picture quality, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment announced last week that its first Blu-ray formatted, 1080-by-1920, high-def discs (due out May 23) will be encoded in MPEG-2, rather than in MPEG-4 or the even more efficient, Microsoft-developed VC-1 codec.
By contrast, the first titles for the rival HD-DVD disc format (which has lower storage capacity) will come out at the end of March in the VC-1 format to maximize available space for all the other cool features the discs will pack.

Four film studios have announced that they will not activate the "down resolution" flag option on their first Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs.
Subject of a recent column (which provoked much irate reader mail), that scheme would have diminished the quality of the pictures delivered through the nonsecured, analog component outputs of the player, while reserving the highest-grade picture for the latest-generation HDTVs with digitally "secured" HDMI inputs.

What really persuaded Sony, Disney, Fox and Paramount to back away from down rezzing was an ultimatum put out by developers of the AACS copy protection technology, adopted by both high-def disc systems.
The Advanced Access Content System gang has demanded that any discs with a down-rez flag carry a warning label on the package, sure to confuse and put off buyers.

AACS appears more than sufficient to handle piracy matters and will actually lock up players that have been fed unauthorized discs.

So there you go...


Active Member
Roughneck1 said:
AACS appears more than sufficient to handle piracy matters and will actually lock up players that have been fed unauthorized discs.

Is that lock up as in freeze or actually disable players. Great news if you unwittingly purchase a pirated disc :suicide:


It's gotta just stop the player from playing the disc rather than how it actually sounds.. i mean if it locks your player who unlocks it?


Active Member
"Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray have rigorous content protection, courtesy of AACS (advanced access content system). San Francisco's Cryptography Research Inc developed the concept of self-protecting digital content - meaning that the stuff that protects the content is itself part of th content - and it's this that has formed the foundation of the AACS copy protection system.
With it, it'll be possible to examine an individual frame of a pirated HD movie and extract the specific ID key for that player (every player is different). By studying a sequence of frames, studio's can determine which key was used to decode the video - even if the footage has been re-encoded to analogue video, MPEG or DiVX.
Fox's Andy Setos told me: "We decided early on that copy protection was everything. It doesn't matter how good the business is, you cant go forward without it. The hacking of DVD's CSS simply cant happen with AACS. The key length is too large. The content is scrambled using 128bit AES. This algorithm is the bank vault door. Sure you can bribe someone to give you a key, but you cant guess one. You have one chance in 40 trillion, trillion, trillion. And all keys will be randomly assigned. CSS by comparison with a proprietary algorithm (from panasonic), sucked. We knew it was hackable before we even launched".
Toshiba's Mark Knox goes further. "Imagine this scenario. Batman Begins goes out on HD-DVD. A 14 year old in Finland cracks the key to his HD-DVD deck - unlikely at best - and he then put's HD video out onto the internet. Immediately, Warner realises this has happened. Warner engineers determine what the key is, and then send an e-mail to the AACS licensing association, who call up the key block engineer, who in turn tag's the key as bad. A new key update is then sent to all the disc replicators. When that Finnish teenager goes into a store a few weeks later and buys Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, he'll find that his machine wont play it. His key registers as bad because the keyblock is part of the content of the new disc. He'll still eb able to play his Batman Begins disc tho".
"The ability to keyblock has been part of the design since the very begining. An organisation to manage this has already been set up, and it's the subset of AACS. As they'll be getting paid by Hollywood for every disc that goes out, they should have the funding to keep it going for a long time".

Taken from Home Cinema Choice issue 127 ApR 2006.

Man i hate not having a scanner :(

the klang

Active Member
writing that all out was a labour of love,and made for good reading.
thanks:beer: have one and chill my scanner impeared friend.:thumbsup:


Active Member
Doesn't this just mean that until the keys are cracked via some distributed computing attempt, pirates will just rip using a £150 HDCP removal box?

I fail to see how this is going to stop piracy...


hackers will find a way around it.

no protection can stop anything when it comes to this type of stuff and the net ;)

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