Some HBO on DirecTV customers SOL with new DRM

Paying for DirecTV and their HBO package? Can you still watch HBO shows? Lucky you.

While Hollywood still demands DRM (Digital Rights Management) to prevent piracy, new DRM method HDCP encryption blocks HBO content on older, and some newer, DVR (Digital Video Recorder) devices on DirecTV. A DirecTV spokesperson suggested users disconnect their HDMI cable and use a component video cable instead. Of course that means your image drops in quality.

Blame HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), a technology developed to block copying over HDMI or DVI interfaces. Meant to protect high definition content from being copied, older devices that don't support HDCP will not transmit signals. Some legal HBO and DirecTV users are currently scrambling to view the content they pay for each month.

Hello, PirateBay

this is only pissing off paying customers not stopping pirates. wont even slow them down.

zeldor on arstechnica.com

both DirecTV and HBO should take note of the fact that I could download a torrent of the latest episode of Game of Thrones in less time than it would take for me to get through to a real human at DirecTV's customer support line

Andy Simmons on boingboing.net

This is good business?

content owners should cover the costs of these upgrades. It's not the consumer's responsibility.

DragonTHC on arstechnica.com

In this new case (adding HDCP to their streams) they probably judged that the number of customer's they'd loose was pretty small and making the change would allow them to further their strategic goals.

amosson on news.ycombinator.com

This HDCP has always been retarded. The sequence of bits is obviously not encrypted when reaching the pixels of the TV, so it's always going to be accessible and unencrypted somewhere in the chain, however inconvenient to reach.

Swarley on arstechnica.com

It's amusing that they play this off as only affecting a few viewers with older TVs. A TV with HDMI is not going to be very old.

thunderhammer on boingboing.net

I was considering signing back up to DirecTV as I still have my dish on the roof... guess I know what I'll be putting on ebay this weekend instead.

cory_g on arstechnica.com

Not really a problem

You have to have a really old HDTV for it to not have HDCP. I'm impressed there are still some left that are still working.

IntergalacticWalrus on arstechnica.com

I could be wrong but if HBO truly doesn't get it my head might just explode.

billpatrianakos on news.ycombinator.com

Heck, even some pre-HDMI TVs supported HDCP. My old HD tube supported HDCP over DVI. I would guess that the number of users affected here is pretty small.

dtremit on arstechnica.com

And bypassing the HDMI output via component cables also runs afoul of some DRM schemes, so don't expect that to work for everything.

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