Syzygy

Friday, August 29, 2008

The HD dilemma

I have a nice computer. I have a nice monitor (23" LCD hp 2335, 1920x1200). I have a nice audio setup (Sondigo Inferno w/ optical out to Onkyo 5.1 speaker system). I want to watch blu-ray movies.

Simple, I thought, I'll just buy a blu-ray drive. I wonder how much they cost. Hey look, I can get a Pioneer blu-ray drive that also burns DVD's for $160. Great!

Oh, but I guess I need software to play blu-ray disks. Hey, there's an even cheaper Asus drive that's a retail version with software. Oh wait, that software is crap and only does stereo: that's retarded.

Oh, and my setup isn't HDCP. Wait, WTF? I need a new video card, a new monitor, and it looks like the software to decode and play might not even be XP compatible? That is RIDICULOUS. THANKS A LOT, FCC. WAY TO CAVE IN TO HOLLYWOOD INTERESTS.

Here's the problem: there are three classes of people, only one of whom actually gets screwed over by this HDCP/DRM nonsense:

1: the uploaders/pirates: DRM isn't going to stop them. AnyDVD HD is available for relatively cheap and will do the job.

2: the downloaders: DRM already removed and files uploaded by pirates, so HDCP setup is not needed, just a sufficiently fast computer and software that isn't restrictive like the commercial Blu-ray playing software. XMBC apparently will do the job just fine, even on computers with anemic video cards.

3: honest consumers: willing to buy blu-ray drive, blu-ray disks, even reasonably-priced software to play back the movies. (even after using various free software to play back plain vanilla DVD discs) Not willing to upgrade to Vista, pay $100 to PLAY BACK A MOVIE, buy a new GFX card, and a new monitor.

So, you ask, what's the problem? Just use AnyDVD HD to rip a blu-ray to your hard drive and use XMBC to play it back. Sure, except for a couple of things:

1) I shouldn't have to give up 20+ gigs and ripping time to play back a movie I own when I have hardware that is capable of playing it.

2) Oh yeah, it's illegal thanks to the DMCA. Thanks a lot Congress.

PS: filed under TV as well, cuz of Blu-Ray Firefly. Mmm, naked Nathan Fillion Morena Baccarin.

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