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The Dark Side of HDCP - Why is My PS3 Blinking? 233

Posted by Zonk
from the we-have-the-machine-that-goes-ping dept.
FloatsomNJetsom writes "High Definition Content Protection is supposed to make sure you're not playing pirated content, but sometimes your devices screw up the HDCP 'handshake' (over an HDMI cable) and nothing works. This happens with some regularity with the PS3, and Popular Mechanics investigated and found a quick and dirty workaround. From the article: 'We then checked with Leslie Chard, president of HDMI Licensing, which owns the rights to the standard, who told us that HDCP is one component of HDMI that has been plagued with interoperability issues. HDCP (high-bandwidth digital content protection) is designed to prevent the interception of data — specifically copyrighted Hollywood movies — between an output component and a display. As Steve Balough, the president of Digital Content Protection, the licensing company for HDCP explains, the two pieces of hardware must exchange a key, a sort of certificate of authenticity unique to each individual device, to verify a secure connection.' The problem isn't limited to the PS3 — many HDTV cable boxes and have the same problem. The fix there? Unplugging the power cable."
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The Dark Side of HDCP - Why is My PS3 Blinking?

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  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:24PM (#17668248) Journal

    It's a pity -- the articles roll in every day about yet another speedbump in the DRM saga and how DRM and "protection" in general makes consumers' lives miserable. Of course it's no surprise (to me), just a disappointment. Imagine if the energy spent trying to hogtie the general (and 99%+ totally honest and willing to purchase) consumer were instead applied to making the technology even better?

    Making the technology even better rather than harder would only improve the landscape for everyone. TV would look better, content would be easier to deliver and use. Bang for the buck would be better. Access to everyone for things like "high-def" (pick your favorite pseudo-standard) would not be limited to just those with $5-10,000 to toss (with no guarantee your picture will be better, or even viewable).

    Instead it's just one more betrayal.

    Consider the very first CD player I purchased in 1983. I paid, well, I won't say how much I played for player that could only play one CD at at time. But it was heady stuff even back then. The player had a "pitch" slider to change the pitch of the music (though it also correspondingly sped up and slowed down the track to accommodate). It had the ability to program the songs in any order, and even program the starting time offset into a track, and stopping offset into a track.

    And!, on the back, a 9-pin DIN out (I think that was the configuration), with the only mention in the user's manual for that output as "reserved for future use"! I couldn't have been more excited. I brought friends over and showed them the exciting new technology... they just drooled at the sight.

    And I always saved the "for future use" output as the hook... I described digital output where liner notes, lyrics, all kinds cool things (of course including the de rigeur track information) would be output in some form that could be put up on a display, TV or otherwise. I 'splained how the digital format worked and how much storage there was available for all kinds of "future use" enhancements.

    And, it never happened. The promise of excellent technology, never delivered. And (I've posted on this before), the notion of track info associated with CD technology didn't emerge until we, the people, did it ourselves! with CDDB!

    Instead, newer generations of technology included increasingly large percentages of "slice" dedicated to controlling our use of the media, not improving the quality of our experience.

    I say fork 'em.

    Maybe one good thing will come of all of this -- people may get so fed up and annoyed with trying to get their newfangled entertainment setups to work right (or at all), they give up, buy a bicycle, or some hiking shoes, and get outdoors and see a different world... maybe even one with more return on investment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mrchaotica (681592)
      I say fork 'em.

      I think you misspelled "fuck." If you're going to curse, do it properly!

      • by Carnildo (712617) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:43PM (#17668634) Homepage Journal
        I say fork 'em.


        I think you misspelled "fuck." If you're going to curse, do it properly!


        No, "Fork them". As in, take a fork and repeatedly stab it into a sensitive portion of their anatomy.
        • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:56PM (#17670226) Homepage
          Heh, I like the Informative mods. "Hey, that's a great idea! And I'll get so many fewer STDs that way!"
        • by tepp (131345) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:37PM (#17671144)

          No, "Fork them". As in, take a fork and repeatedly stab it into a sensitive portion of their anatomy.
          Or as in Fork their process and create a clone?

          I'd rather not Fork DRM. :) One process is enough.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:22PM (#17673102)
          Reminds me of a joke...

          It seems that a Frenchman, an Englishman and an American were captured by cannibals. The chief explained that they were going to be killed, skinned, eaten and that a canoe would be made from their tanned hides. BUT they could have one last wish.

          So the Frenchman wanted a last cigarette. As soon as he was done with it, they killed him, they skinned him, they cooked him and ate him and they made a canoe from his hide.

          The Englishman wanted a last cuppa tea. As soon as he was done with it, they killed him, they skinned him, they cooked him and ate him and they made a canoe from his hide.

          Then they camne to the American. "I want a fork," he said.

          Incredulous, they asked "A fork? Like you eat with?"

          "Yes, a fork," he insisted. So they brought him a fork.

          As soon as he received the fork, he started wildly stabbing himself all over his body.

          "Canoe?" he shouted, "Here's your fucking canoe!"
      • by jdcope (932508) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:28PM (#17669636)
        Or maybe he's just one of those people who doesnt like to use profanity in a public forum.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by RedWizzard (192002)

          Or maybe he's just one of those people who doesnt like to use profanity in a public forum.
          Then don't use it. If you mean "fuck" writing "fork" or "f**k" or whatever doesn't change anything - you meant to swear and everyone who reads it knows you meant to swear. So either spell it properly or don't use it at all.
          • by alshithead (981606) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:19PM (#17670782)
            "Then don't use it. If you mean "fuck" writing "fork" or "f**k" or whatever doesn't change anything - you meant to swear and everyone who reads it knows you meant to swear."

            If everyone who reads it knows what was meant, what is the harm?

            Don't be a rectal orifice.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by MBGMorden (803437)
            Or, he could opt to speak in whatever way he pleases rather than bend to the will of some profanity-obsessed grammar Nazi. If you have a problem with the way he writes, fork off and don't read it.
          • by valkraider (611225) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:17PM (#17671948) Journal
            Except many "net nanny" filters block the sites that use the real words. So to be polite and allow people to read the site at work or at the library or wherever they may be that may have filters on - it is normal to use a substitute. But I find it funny that in a discussion about DRM restricting how people use technology you chose to tell an "author" of a comment how or how not he should write his own comments. Maybe just let the net be free and see what comes of it? Probably MySpace - but hey - we can't win them all...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Thansal (999464)
      Imagine if the energy spent trying to hogtie the general (and 99%+ totally honest and willing to purchase) consumer were instead applied to making the technology even better?


      Yes, but as we see, the "work" that goes into DRM is rather craptastic, and tends to make things that fail horribly at what they are designed to do. I think we are better off with these brilliant minds workign on DRM then things that actualy matter (say firmware, codecs, drivers, whatever).
      • by creysoft (856713) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:54PM (#17673604)
        It seems to me that the minds who work on DRM probably aren't all that brilliant. Most of the truly gifted people realize that there's no good way to implement it, and shy away from it. Judging from the amount of obvious holes, catastrophic bugs, and general suckiness of most DRM solutions to date, I'd guess that most of the people working on them are not brilliant programmers, but rather people we'd rather not have writing our device drivers in the first place.
        • I would agree with you, but your description holds for most software, not just DRM.

          [cue Microsoft jokes]

    • by SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:45PM (#17668670) Journal
      people may get so fed up and annoyed with trying to get their newfangled entertainment setups to work right (or at all), they give up, buy a bicycle, or some hiking shoes, and get outdoors and see a different world... maybe even one with more return on investment.

      Well, people want to be more immersed in their games, and that's as good an idea as any. The way people drive these days, being outdoors is like being on the sidelines of a Burnout game. And the resolution is much better than 1080p.
    • by Speed Pour (1051122) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:23PM (#17669524)
      Hmm, the article plus your comment makes me realize that the number of features/functionality is actually going down (despite what is advertised)...the quality of the products has fallen dramatically...and the likelihood of them working is next to nothing.

      Isn't the logical and absurd conclusion of that going to be a smallish curvy box (with several hundred listed features that aren't yet enabled) with a single button on it, that when pressed will do nothing...and it might actually fail to do that right? The one greatest achievement however, is that it'll be really tough for pirates to duplicate the remarkable ability for the device to do absolutely nothing. As a real twist, once it is cracked by the pirates, it'll perform better than the consumer version by far...even though it still doesn't do anything.

      Hmm, add a couple another button, a video screen, and that somebody will put linux on it someday, and it's a Zune!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well, the CD-Text spec was released in 1996, according to Wikipedia. It can have album information/etc.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD-Text [wikipedia.org]

      I used to have a CD player capable of using it, but I never found a CD with any text on it.
    • by Serapth (643581)
      Of course it's no surprise (to me), just a disappointment. Imagine if the energy spent trying to hogtie the general (and 99%+ totally honest and willing to purchase) consumer were instead applied to making the technology even better? You are being way to generous to your fellow man. No way is it even close to 99% of people that are honest. Almost everybody I know that has mp3's on their computer have atleast one ( generally hundreds or thousands ) that they havent paid for. Once the VCR went mainstream
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by neomunk (913773)
        It's cheap and easy to do right now, and the content providers are still raking in record profits. And speaking of VCRs, did they kill the entertainment industry? Lower their profits any? Of course not, just like MP3s and broadband haven't done anything but made even more money for the RIAA's members.

        BTW, why are we being forced to spend OUR money and OUR resources protecting someone else's rights, even at the expense of our own (fair use). You do know that you pay for the DRM hardware along with the re
      • by tkrotchko (124118) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:25PM (#17672108) Homepage
        "and that reason isnt to screw some mythical abberant 1% of the population."

        No not at all, and perhaps that's a misconception. People aren't concerned about ridiculous copy protection just as a theoretical exercise, it's more practical than that.

        Copy Protection (so called DRM) exists to segment the market artificially. If you buy a CD, the record company would strongly prefer that the only thing you do to it is listen to it in a CD player. In their view, putting the music on an iPod, on a home network, etc is against their use rules and they feel you should pay more for it. After all, you're getting more use without them getting more money. DRM is a way to make sure you only use it where they intend.

        Same way with DVD's. While people would buy VHS and DVD to watch movies at home, the use is more complex with computers, iPod video players (zunes!), and home networking. Again, to them, this is a way to segment the market and create scarcity where none exists.

        There is a multi-billion dollar industry around ringtones! Imagine if you could just rip your CD and put it on your phone! Why...that would be more money the consumer would have and less the record company would have!

        To the record companies, the CD was a big blunder. Not only does it have excellent sound (which they are already charging us extra!) but you can repurpose the music to suit your needs from home stereo, to cars, to personal music players to phones, to what else is new next week. And they don't get any more money.

        Yes yes, people will make illegal copies, but this loss is peanuts compared to what they see as new markets made possible by stopping you from copying your own music to another medium.

        and, I don't have a problem with them trying to get more money for the same music over and over. I do have a problem when we have the government essentially on the take to support this model. It certainly doesn't benefit me as a consumer, and apparently it doesn't benefit the artist either (http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2004-05-1 6-royalties-main_x.htm).

        So your argument is superficially convincing, nonetheless, I think it's not the real reason for copy protection and DRM.
      • by Cecil (37810)
        Almost everybody I know that has mp3's on their computer have atleast one ( generally hundreds or thousands ) that they havent paid for.

        I also have a lot of CDs, tapes, and vinyl I bought and don't (or can't) listen to. It evens out.
    • by Manmademan (952354) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:56PM (#17671522)
      And, it never happened. The promise of excellent technology, never delivered. And (I've posted on this before), the notion of track info associated with CD technology didn't emerge until we, the people, did it ourselves! with CDDB!
      Have to correct you here. This technology showed up with CD-Text in 1996. I have a disc that supports it (On the floor at the boutique, Lo Fi Allstars if you're wondering) and it will display track info on certain players (my sony car cd deck from circa 2000 supported it) but the format just never really caught on. According to this unofficial CD-text Faq here http://web.ncf.ca/aa571/cdtext.htm/ [web.ncf.ca] Nearly every Sony CD released since 1997 supports it, but it's not advertised and few CD decks bother supporting the format.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by yagu (721525) *

        You're absolutely right... And, I already knew about this, but didn't want to bog down more than I'd already done in my post..

        Here's what's interesting about the CD-Text, and why it really goes to my original point: It showed up in 1996, about 13 years after my first CD player! I'm pretty sure those doing the inventing could've cobbled together a text for CD a little earlier.

        I, too bought some CDs excited about the new text format. But the players that could display were few and far between, and I fin

    • I *hope* people get fed up and annoyed.

      As expert geeks (geexperts?), many of us could encourage acquaintances to buy non-HDCP equipment ("you'll have so many less problems if you get the one without HDCP, get the one with just component video"), just so they'll be pissed when companies make devices without component out.

      "If you get the non-HDCP, it won't work with much for the next couple years, but then when nobody's buying the HDCP crap, the market will come back to component & you'll have a great dev
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by patmfitz (517089)
      I won't say how much I played for player that could only play one CD at at time.

      I have a newer player that plays more than one CD at a time.

      Currently I'm listening to "Hell Yes" by Beck in my left ear, and "Come in out of the rain" by George Clinton in my right ear.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DragonWriter (970822)
      I say fork 'em.
      Yeah, but they aren't open-source, so we can't.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by billcopc (196330)
      The problem is that a large number of idiots with an HDTV and PS3 will tolerate a surprising level of mediocrity. If they have to jiggle the cable and wave a rubber chicken say, one in five times, a lot of people will put up with it. Maybe ten years they would have called a help line, or complained to their sales person, but after so many years of crappy service and outsourced "help", people have gotten used to it.

      Just look at how many people thing a crashing computer is normal... Here I am with my Windo
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      Imagine if the energy spent trying to hogtie the general (and 99%+ totally honest and willing to purchase) consumer were instead applied to making the technology even better?

      I don't disagree that DRM is onerous, but there's no evidence that there's a dichotomy between providing DRM and improving technology. Obviously it limits features by definition, but it's not as if the cryptologists would be developing LoS, if only oh only they weren't burdened with implementing the evil DRM. Moreover, beyond increasi
  • Yup (Score:5, Informative)

    by maynard (3337) <j DOT maynard DO ... AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:24PM (#17668256) Journal
    I have a JVC 5U D-VHS deck with HDMI out the back. This is connected to a Sony HD-20 digital projector via HDMI. While these units use an older HDMI spec, they also show serious handshaking problems - often in the middle of displaying content. Not only does it take seconds to handshake, but right in the middle of a movie the screen might go blank and then I'll have to yank the power plug on the VCR to renegotiate. Fortunately, with the PJ I can just switch to other inputs to clear out whatever cruft is confusing its HDMI interface.

    The PJ and deck are about three years old. I assumed these handshake issues had long been dealt with. Apparently not. So... the DRM is more than just a PITA. It's plain broken.
    • by arivanov (12034)
      I have so far observed it only once or twice on a JVC HD TV connected to an upscaling Philips DVD. It happens after the TV has been switched off from the mains. One more coffin into the idea of "turning your kit off to save energy" as far as Joe Average Consumer is concerned. Even in this case the Philips complains loudly onscreen and uses 480 instead of 720 or 1080i. So you still do not lose picture.
    • by sterno (16320) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:32PM (#17671038) Homepage
      All of this wonderful copy protection stuff doesn't actually stop piracy. Wasn't it just a day or two ago that there was a rip of an HD-DVD on BitTorrent? So why incorporate all these complex and onerous technologies when, in the end, all they do is make it so your paying customers have buggy hardware?

       
  • by linkedlinked (1001508) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:26PM (#17668278)
    No way. DRM is conflicting with fair use of digital content?
    *gasp* Who'd have guessed?
  • by TheWoozle (984500) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:26PM (#17668284)
    How unreasonable can you people be? I mean, after all, the companies are *entitled* to your money. You should just be lucky that they give you anything in return. Ungrateful, good-for-nothing consumers. Hmph!
  • It was reverse engineered and proved to be the biggest joke around. ROT13 would be a better method. But it doesn't matter, as it is for DMCA anticircumvision reasons, not real security.

    • by demon (1039)
      for DMCA anticircumvision reasons

      I read this as "anticircumcision"; don't ask me why...
  • dyslexia (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Am I the only one who misread this as DHCP?
  • by fred fleenblat (463628) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:32PM (#17668408) Homepage
    The 37W3 is about the cheapest 1080p LCD you can get, so one wonders if westinghouse (or more specifically, whatever chinese company actually built it) just cut corners left and right. You buy cheap stuff, you have to expect some problems.
    • Not the cheap product problems. The damn DRM. If you didn't worry about protecting mostly excrement and produced quality results and improved tech, things would probably work out better. But they want you to pay and pay and pay and pay.

      Heh... Good thing I have little desire for most TV and most movies these days, eh?
    • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:13PM (#17670636)
      I always wondered who arbitrarily decided that cheap stuff deserves not to work. The way I see it, if I paid my money for something I would expect functionality out of it regardless.

      Case in point; I bought a Linksys WRK-54G 8 months ago (VERY cheap), and later discovered that despite paying good money for it the product was totally worthless as a router. Wireless connections dropped every hour or so, the box needed a hard reset every day and it wouldn't cope with any more then about 250 pipes without crashing. Needless to say it got returned a week later.

      As consumers why should we accept that cheap automatically means defective? Have our standards dropped so far that we don't even expect our money to go supply functional products without paying a premium?

      • by norton_I (64015) <hobbes@utrek.dhs.org> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:46PM (#17671284)
        The problem is, those cheap products shouldn't exist at all. It something is selling for less than it costs to make and test a reilable product, it isn't likely to be one. Consumers understandably look at two boxes and see that one costs half the price of the other for the "same" functionality, and buy the cheaper one. If manufacturers were penalized for shipping defective products, there wouldn't be any overly cheap products, and all would be well in the world. Except that the guy who is broke but wants are wireless router for 1 or 2 computers and doesn't mind reseting it won't be able to buy one. I can't really say whether that is a good or a bad thing.

        Part of me dreams that in a world with a minimum standard of full functionality, the prices would not be much higher, but I begin to doubt that.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      The cheapest 1080p TV is probably still a pretty good TV, considering a lot of TVs out there don't even support 1080i. There's even a few TVs sold as EDTVs that only support 480p. Any TV that supports 1080p is still better than half the stuff out there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by powerlord (28156)
      Absolutely true. The Westinghouse is a MONITOR, it doesn't include any tuners (not that you actually need them if you have a Cable/Satellite/TiVo serving that purpose already).

      Westinghouse models are cheap as dirt (comparatively). Their picture quality also seemed more washed out and less crisp than other higher priced models. (i.e. most other models)

      I ended up getting the Samsung LN-S3251D (of course its in the 32" range, so it only goes to 720p).

      Its not quite as cheap as the Westinghouse (still half the
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sallgeud (12337)
      I have a 42w2 that was a first generation version. It has massive issues with the PS3 in 1080p mode. Basically it was sparkling on edges of any items.

      It turns out that the version of it released in the first 2 months had a chipset in it that didn't comply with some specification... so it can't simply be flashed.

      HOWEVER, though getting an actual RMA number took a while, the process was very friendly and customer service was helpful. They're even sending me a new box so I can get my new version.

      Sadly, some
  • So is the TV not up to spec or is the spec not well enough defined? I'm assuming the PS3 is not the culprit since Westinghouse is the one talking firmware upgrades. I'm just curious if this is a real HDCP issue or just a cheap TV maker not following specs (which wouldn't be the first time a 2nd or 3rd tier manufacturer has ignored specs).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tenton (181778)
      So is the TV not up to spec or is the spec not well enough defined? I'm assuming the PS3 is not the culprit since Westinghouse is the one talking firmware upgrades. I'm just curious if this is a real HDCP issue or just a cheap TV maker not following specs (which wouldn't be the first time a 2nd or 3rd tier manufacturer has ignored specs).

      Well, I've had the same thing happen with my Sony TV (HDCP compliant DVI plug) and my cable box. It happens very rarely (blue moons happen more often), but it does happen (
      • Or he's got a serious installation problem, and heat or ventialtion issues are causing the electronics to lock up. This would not surprise me with a "westinghouse" TV, which is actually the cheapest-ass consumer electronics brand out there. Even "Vizio" stuff is better.

        There's more to a piece of equipment than the specifications it sports. There's workmanship, design, quality of materials. The same reasons a lot of people will buy a BMW 5-series instead of a Ford 500 which has similar "specs" but is half th
  • WTF?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linvir (970218) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:33PM (#17668432)
    Would you like some coffin with your nails?
  • Since no one cares about protecting digital content picture-wise of a gaming console, why not just use DVI instead (since all HD TVs are plasma/LCD and have those inputs anyway)? If not for the PS3 (since you can watch movies), why at least the not the Xbox360?

    It's also nice for folk like me who don't own a TV and use a 20 inch LCD for console gaming (still no SVideo/DVI out for my Wii though....) but I'm the niche market.
    • by Pojut (1027544)
      While it isn't as crisp as DVI, there is a first-party connector for the 360 that allows hookup via VGA...
    • by jeffy210 (214759) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:40PM (#17668564)
      FYI, DVI also uses HDCP. HDMI is basically pin identical to DVI, it just includes support for audio as well, so it's really the DVI spec that supports HDCP. I'm running a HDMI-DVI cable from my cable box to my Samsung DLP. Every so often when I turn on the TV after the cable box I'll catch the HDCP warning message for a brief second before it display the picture.
    • by seebs (15766) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:00PM (#17669046) Homepage
      Because the PS3 does HDCP on DVI, too, so it won't display to a non-HDCP monitor that way either. (Or through a non-HDCP console switch, etcetera; you get the idea.)
    • by petabyte (238821)
      Since no one cares about protecting digital content picture-wise of a gaming console, why not just use DVI instead (since all HD TVs are plasma/LCD and have those inputs anyway)? If not for the PS3 (since you can watch movies), why at least the not the Xbox360?

      Not to burst your bubble but my CRT HDTV has and HDMI input and no DVI input. Of course as my cable box doesn't have HDMI out, that input is largely useless for me.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by desenz (687520)
        HDMI to DVI adapters are easy to get, but it doesn't make a difference. HDCP is still present on the DVI connections.
    • by Kelbear (870538)
      What about dual-monitor setups? I'm using my PC and xbox360 on an HDCP compliant 20" LCD too(Dell 2007FPW). However, I also have another one that isn't HDCP compliant (Dell 2005FPW).

      So what happens when I run the movie? Does it show up on the 2007fpw monitor but blur out when I drag it over to the other desktop?

      I'm thinking that they'll probably just screw me and blur it out on both until I disconnect the other monitor.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by a_nonamiss (743253)
        Does it show up on the 2007fpw monitor but blur out when I drag it over to the other desktop?
        You're giving too much credit to the MPAA. Anyone trying to view a movie on a system that doesn't have 100% HDCP compliance is obviously a pirate trying to steal content. They will probably put a virus on your PC that will cause it to format all of the hard drives and catch your house on fire.
  • by PingSpike (947548) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:37PM (#17668486)
    . As Steve Balough, the president of Digital Content Protection, the licensing company for HDCP explains, the two pieces of hardware must exchange a key, a sort of certificate of authenticity unique to each individual device, to verify a secure connection.' The problem isn't limited to the PS3 -- many HDTV cable boxes and have the same problem. The fix there? Unplugging the power cable..." The summary was cut off short. The last line should have read: "Unplugging the power cable, and component cables, boxing it up and returning the half working piece of shit to the store."
  • The Dark Side? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by draevil (598113) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:40PM (#17668578)
    The Dark Side of HDCP? I wasn't aware there was a bright one...
    • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:07PM (#17669202) Homepage Journal
      "The Dark Side of HDCP? I wasn't aware there was a bright one..."

      There is no dark side of the HDCP really, matter of fact, it's all dark....

      *thump*thump.....*thump*thump.....*thump*thump.... .*thump*thump.....

      --with apologies to Old Pink

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      I suppose the developer [digital-cp.com] of this piece of shit technology was well-paid for it (MUCH more than they deserved). So I guess there's a bright side for them.

      But as for the other 99.999% of the population who will be screwed by it...We're out of luck.

      -Eric

    • by kinglink (195330)
      Actually it's a situation of "dark side" and the "less dark side". The less dark side is "Blu-ray will cost less because HDCP controls our content", the dark side is "blu-ray dvds still cost 30 dollars". Similar to how a knife and a pin can prick you. A knife just has a chance to cut you open as well.
    • Dreamcast went obsolete years before ps1 because the copy protection got cracked and game developers stopped wanting to make games for it. So there's a bright side for you. This isn't HDCP's fault, it's Westinghouse's for putting out a tv w/ buggy firmware. I've got the blink problem and I don't blame sony or hdcp.
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:41PM (#17668600) Homepage Journal
    From the article

    annoying little technological tic that caused the sound to cut out and the screen to blink on and off when we would launch certain games. Was it the PS3 or the Westinghouse TV?
    So Sony has finally caught up to where Nintendo was in 1985, right?
    • by Myria (562655) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:58PM (#17669008)
      The blinking effect from the NES was the copy protection check failing. The copy protection chip would reset the NES after a second if the cartridge didn't respond properly.

      Melissa
  • by Stavr0 (35032) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:46PM (#17668708) Homepage Journal
    Notably the PACE 551 HD. I had a loaner until the PVR came in, and I'd lose the HDMI connection daily with an error message stating my TV wasn't HDCP compliant (it is). I used to have my doubts about DRM. Not any more. Now I am convinced it is evil, treats consumers like criminals and is defective by design.
    • by ruiner13 (527499)
      That's the same POS STB that I have, and use HDMI. I found that the box has to be turned on at the same time as the TV to handshake, it apparently only tries once. Do you have the problem where if it is set to dolby digital sound, sometimes when you change channels it will switch back to stereo mode, despite still being set to DD? I then have to just highlight the setting in the config (not change it, just highlight it) and it switches back to DD. That is even more annoying than the handshaking issue, be
    • Notably the PACE 551 HD. I had a loaner until the PVR came in, and I'd lose the HDMI connection daily with an error message stating my TV wasn't HDCP compliant (it is). I used to have my doubts about DRM. Not any more. Now I am convinced it is evil, treats consumers like criminals and is defective by design.

      Go to any store displaying a shelf of HDTV's. Look at the connections they are using. I haven't found a single store using the HDMI connection. They all use the component RGB coax. I was wondering wh
  • by letsgolightning (1004592) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:47PM (#17668724)
    I'm sure I'm not the only one that sees HDCP as (a) HanDiCaP. I've not used the technology in any way and I'm not trying to comment on its merits, but when I see HDCP and that's the first thing I think of, wouldn't that be some sort of marketing failure?
  • by ruiner13 (527499) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:00PM (#17669042) Homepage
    Ok, to start off, I have this problem with my cable box, too. If I leave the cable box on, and simply turn the tv on or off (as most people do, i bet), when I turn on the TV, the cable box tells me it couldn't establish an HDCP connection. To actually get them to handshake, both devices have to be turned on at the same time. What a bunch of BS.

    The bigger problem than handshaking issues is that there are apparently multiple versions of HDMI, the latest being 1.3. Now as a consumer, how the hell am I supposed to know which version of HDMI each of my devices have? Has anyone actually seen a version number in the specs for any device? The PS3, for instance uses the 1.3 spec. If my TV uses the 1.2 spec, anything that needs to use the 1.3 spec won't display content. How are they going to explain that to the user? "well, see, the HDMI port here is actually different than the HDMI port here. They look the same, and have nothing to distinguish one from the other, but TRUST ME, there is a difference." I expect that excuse won't fly in any court should a class action case be filed. If I ever get a PS3 (after it is... oh... half the price), and it refuses to play at full resolution because my TV is only 1.2, I will be mighty pissed off. The whole HDMI/HDCP thing is totally pointless and will end up being a royal pain in the ass to everyone except the content makers.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DeadChobi (740395)
      Boy, that sucks. When I turn my regular old television on, I don't have to worry about handshakes, DRM, blinking pictures, or any of that buggy crap. What's great about analog cable is that it works. Yessir, after reading all these horror stories about HDCP and HD televisions, I don't think I'm ever going to upgrade from good old regular televisions until they pry the thing from my cold dead fingers. When they stop selling DVDs I'll probably just pirate shows in low-def and pipe them to my TV.

      The SD televis
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ruiner13 (527499)

        The SD television standard has a total of one resolution, and only three real standards which vary by country.

        Not exactly. There's 480i and 480p. And other countries "standards" are not just formats, they have different resolutions and refresh rates. NTSC has 525 lines of horizontal resolution at 29.97 frames per second, whereas PAL is 625 lines at 50 frames per second. Face it, electronics will always be confusing to someone. When it works right, HD is stunning and worth the money if you are a TV/movie fan. Sports especially make a HUGE difference when watched in HD vs. SD. Being able to read all the number

      • by AbRASiON (589899) *
        I agree and disagree with several portions of your post.

        First of all, analaog shmanalog!
        Digital COULD have been awesome, it just needs to be damn well done right, I don't even need to go in to WHY - we're all technogeeks if we read slashdot - digital, SHOULD have been better.

        Secondarily SD unfortately isn't a single darn standard, it's different resolutions and refresh rates, depending on your country.
        HD is actually better for standards, we now have a universal 1280x720p WORLD WIDE or 1920x1080i or P, 3 sta
  • by rlp (11898) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:07PM (#17669184)
    "Jack, you realize what this means!!"

    "Yes, the terrorists have a mole in CTU. It can only be ..."

    WARNING YOUR HDTV IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH HDCP!!

    "... Paris Hilton. Tonight, on NEWS at 11"
  • Early adopters will be tolerant of the hicups of a new technology. They also tend to be more technical astute and will use high quality components. Can you imagine the problems that will occur when HDCP goes mainstream? When a mom buys a low end HDTV, a PS3 and the cheapest HDMI cables that Walmart sells. What's the chance that everything will work together without these issues. When kids are around, doing kid things. So the mom will return the "broken" devices. Because of the number of returns, reta

    • Can you imagine the problems that will occur when HDCP goes mainstream?

      The perfect storm.

      Copy protection is inherently broken in every implementation. The idea that someone would sell a product which must be transmitted electrically to a transducer for consumption and yet they dont want the content to be copied is something only a moron would consider to be acheivable.

      Its already known that its a waste of expense and effort because the copy protection schemes only provide short term proection, if any.

      The pr

  • by TeknoHog (164938) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:10PM (#17669256) Homepage Journal

    I thought HDCP applied only with certain movies that demand it. Does this mean that everything going through the HDMI port of a PS3 is encrypted? Including what Linux displays?

    If that's the case, my appreciation of DRM just went from "I couldn't like less" to "wait, I think I can". It highlights the problem that technology-enforced legislation is bound to be too greedy if it has any hope of being effective.

    • I thought HDCP applied only with certain movies that demand it

      Does this include interactive movies like what some reviewers have called recent Final Fantasy brand games?

      Including what Linux displays?

      Sony OS3 and Linux both run under the PS3 hypervisor, so it's possible.

  • Acronyms? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by theGil (1010409)
    Just a note, but did anyone else notice the discrepancy between the two acronymns? Early in the post, it's "High Definition Content Protection". Later, it's "high-bandwidth digital content protection". I believe the actual acronymn is the latter of the two.
    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      Well, neither of them is an acronym, as they cannot be pronounced like words.
  • So I've got a decent LCD TV with HDMI, and a satellite box with HDMI, and a DVD player that upconverts to HDMI, and the [prize] PS3 is supposed to be on its way with HDMI....

    And they're all going to go through a remote-controlled component video switch I've got on order. (Currently, I'm using a manual switchbox.) I'm "opting out" of this HDCP game, I don't like the rules, and I don't want to play.

    Any Blu-Ray disc I try and which doesn't play on component will go back as "defective" or "unfit for sale

    • Any Blu-Ray disc I try and which doesn't play on component will go back as "defective" or "unfit for sale."

      Good luck with that. Don't be surprised if the retailer sends you an apology and a new copy of the disc.

      Be prepared for a lot of calls to regional customer service centers and having to wade past a couple of lower tiers of "customer service" on each call in order to get someone to give you your money back or a store credit (more likely). Each lower tier will claim that they cannot refund your
  • Cycle the sources (Score:5, Informative)

    by thatguywhoiam (524290) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:39PM (#17669860)
    I haven't had this issue with my PS3 (hooked via HDMI to a Samsung HDTV) but a friend of mine has. However he has been able to resolve it by simply pressing the 'source' button and cycling back around to the PS3 input. You don't need to power down. Re-selecting the video input seems to initiate the handshake again.

    In this case the issue isn't the PS3 but rather however your television handles the HDCP handshake. As I said, mine doesn't have an issue, but I do see a brief burst of noise when a game handshakes.

    Its too bad, because HDMI is a really nice connection. But HDCP is just ass. I hope Sony can do something with the firmware to alleviate the issue on these sets that 'blink'.

  • by rikkitikki (91982) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:56PM (#17670214)
    This is a known bug in the Westinghouse TV firmware. If you have one of these TVs, contact Westinghouse they'll send a rep out to upgrade your firmware.

    Btw, why is a TV firmware bug in the games section? (or even on Slashdot at all?) The summary even mentions that it happens between the Westinghouse TV and cable boxes and other devices.
  • Its not the spec! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What a lot of people don't realize, (and this comes from first hand experience) is that more often than not, failed handshaking isnt necessarily a result of the devices themselves. It tends to be because of crap quality cables.

    While HDMI carries a digital signal, and thus, it carries the same visual quality regardless of the cable quality, a poorly made cable, with little or no shielding, and "leaky" connectors is going to be much more susceptible to EM interference.

    If you get enough interference (it doesn'
  • ... until HDCP has been cracked well enough that I can connect any two HD components together with an unencrypted link. (Maybe the prices will be reasonable by then too.)
  • What's the "light side"? As far as I can see it's *all* dark.

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