Word on the street today is that the so-called 'Master Key' to HDCP has been leaked. HDCP is a the copy protection that ensures the uncompressed digital output of devices like Blu-Ray players remain encrypted unless played on an approved HDCP compliant device. If this pans out, that HD stream could be captured quite easily.
All the set top boxes and HDMI-port equipped screens use special encrypt/decrypt keys that are specific to that device. This was seen as the strength of HDCP. If a device is compromised, future content could revoke those keys, making any attempts at copying difficult. If the master key is available, capture devices could be built that could record any uncompressed stream.
Even if this leak is the real deal, it's going to be an underground strategy. The DMCA bans the cracking of copy protection. You won't be picking up a universal HDCP capture device at the store. What's your guess? Is it real?
Sony has been teasing PlayStation 3 console owners that a firmware update slated for September would inject support for Blu-ray movies in 3D, but now it appears users will have a wait just a little longer. Citing un-named sources, Fudzilla says Sony has decided to push the update back a month.
There's no word on why the update is being pushed back until October, only that it is. When it does come, however, it will open the door to a variety of 3D rendering-related content, including 3D YouTube videos and PlayTV broadcasts. It's expected that the 3D upgrade will also support the add-on HDTV/DVR device Sony offers for the PS3.
Having trouble playing Blu-ray flicks from Universal and Warner Brothers on your Samsung player? If it's any consolation, so are scores of other users.
Here's the deal. Something funky in Samsung's latest firmware -- version 2.09 -- for its line of BD-Px600 Blu-ray players is preventing the unit from playing movies like "The Hangover" and "The Book of Eli," two must-see movies, by the way, in case you haven't watched them already.
As is predictably the case, the SNAFU deals with copy protection, and once again, it's the paying consumer who pays the price. While software pirates are merrily clogging up their ISP's pipes downloading movies from BitTorrent sites, several Samsung Blu-ray player owners are forced to sit back and wait for a fix. The good news is a fix is on the way, but not until September, the company said.
Does that mean early September or closer to the end? Nobody knows. Samsung BD-Px600 owners may be able to watch their legally purchased/rented Blu-ray movies next week, or maybe several weeks from now. And if we sound particularly critical about the whole situation, consider that this isn't the first time something like this has happened. Earlier this year, Samsung BD-UP5000 and BD-P1400 Blu-ray players coughed up a hairball when owners tried to watch "Avatar" on Blu-ray. Samsung did fix the issue, but is this really the future of HD movies on the home front?
Good news for Star Wars fan who, after picking up various VHS copies, DVD releases, special edition DVD releases, and every other version of their favorite sci-fi flicks, feel as though they need yet more copies to add to their collection, they'll soon (and finally) be able to watch the classic series on Blu-ray.
"Blu-ray is the absolute best way to experience Star Wars at home -- in pristine high definition," said George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars saga. "The films have never looked or sounded better."
All six movies will ship in the Star Wars Blu-ray Box Set in Fall 2011, and of course you can expect plenty of extras, like documentaries, behind-the-scenes shots, interviews, retrospectives, and never-before-seen footage from the Lucasfilm archives.
Everyone's favorite DVD rental kiosk, Redbox, is about to take a big step into the realm of high definition. The company will soon be rolling out Blu-ray discs to their locations, but it will cost customers a bit more pocket change. Regular DVDs have always gone for $1 per night, but Blu-rays will run you $1.50 per night.
At first, the selection will be limited, with titles like The Book of Eli, Green Zone, Bounty Hunter, and Brooklyn's Finest showing up in the first batch. The delay in moving to Blu-ray was tied to a legal dispute with the studios. Redbox has agreed to wait 28 days after a film's disc release before stocking it. This move brings Redbox to parity with Netflix, which has been offering Blu-rays by mail for some time.
At the rate Redbox and Netflix are taking over the market, we have to wonder how Blockbuster can expect to continue on. Are you a frequent user of Redbox? Does $1.50 for a Blu-ray sound like a reasonable price to you?
Who here likes getting something for nothing? Everyone? Good, because once again our friends over at Warner Home Video have given us a whole bunch of DVDs and Blu-rays to give away, and this time we're going to make it very easy for you to win. The movie is Clash of the Titans, and all you have to do to be entered to win is follow us on Twitter. Here's what Warner says about the film:
In Clash of the Titans, the ultimate struggle for power pits men against kings and kings against gods. But the war between the gods themselves could destroy the world. Born of a god but raised as a man, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is helpless to save his family from Hades (Ralph Fiennes), vengeful god of the underworld. With nothing to lose, Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission to defeat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus (Liam Neeson) and unleash hell on earth.
Own it on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD 7/27
That's right, all you have to do follow us on Twitter (we're @maximumpc), and one week from today (that's Wednesday, August 4th) we'll pick 20 random winners from our who pool of Twitter followers to get a copy of the movie, (either DVD Blu-ray, given out first come first serve).
While we sit and wait for downloadable and streaming content to fully replace optical media, Sony, with the help of some talented folk at Tohoku University, is already working on the next iteration of Blu-ray. Those involved say that by harnessing a blue-violet laser, a disc could come crammed with up to 50 full-length movies or an entire TV series.
"This latest successful development is an all-semiconductor laser picosecond pulse source with a laser wavelength of 405 nanometers (1nm = one billionth of a meter) in the blue-violet region," Sony explains. "It is capable of generating optical pulses in the ultra-fast duration of 3 picoseconds (1 picosecond = one-trillionth of a second), with ultra-high output peak power of 100 watts and repetition frequency of 1GHz."
We love it when companies talk all geeky to us, and there's plenty of nerd-speak in the full press release. Put into plain English, this latest blue-violet laser is more than a hundred times stronger than the world's highest output value for conventional blue-violet, and barring any setbacks, will succeed the current Blu-ray format in the coming years.
Sharp today introduced two new Aquos Blu-Ray disc recorders -- BD-HDW700 and BD-HDW70 -- into the Japanese market, both of which support the new BDXL format.
The BDXL format allows for far greater storage than with regular Blu-ray discs, up to 100GB on triple-layer discs (compared to 50GB), and up to 128GB on quadruple-layer discs.
Sharp's drives are the first in the world to support both recording and playback of BDXL media, and also come with 1TB (HDW70) and 2TB (HDW700) of hard drive capacity. Both drives will be available in Japan on July 30, 2010, with no word on when the company plans to ship these stateside.
We need your help, Maximum PC faithful. We're putting together a list of websites that everybody needs to see at least once, and we want your submissions. But we hate to ask for something for nothing, so, with the help of our friends over at Warner Home Video, we've got 20 copies of The Losers on DVD and Blu-ray to give away to people who help us out.
Own it on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and rent it with Movies On Demand 7/20
So how do you win? Easy! Just hit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/maximumpc, and leave a comment with your choice for a site that everyone should visit, and a one-sentence explanation of why. The 20 entries that we like best will receive a copy of the movie, (either DVD Blu-ray, given out first come first serve). We'll judge the entries in terms of creativity (have we seen the site before?) and quality. Anyone who contributes a site that makes it into our final list will automatically win a disc. And Facebook haters, relax--we'll have more contests and giveaways soon, both here on the homepage, and on Twitter.
We're going to pick the winners next Monday (7/19/10), so you've got a few days to enter. Hit the jump for full contest rules.
We're guessing there won't be scores of consumers who chuck their home theater equipment to the curb so they can go out and buy 3D-capable components, but for those who planned on upgrading anyway, is 3D where it's at?
Electronic makers are hoping so, including Sony, which just launched its new Elevated Standard (ES) AV receiver line, including the STR-DA5600ES, STRA-DA4500ES, and STR-DA3600ES, as well as a 3D Blu-ray player, the BDP-S1700ES. That's all well and good, but what do the AV receivers have to do with 3D?
"By focusing on seamless integration with custom home theater control partners, Sony is working to deliver products that support the custom and specialty retail business like no other manufacturer," said Brian Siegel, vice president of Sony's home audio and video business. "Because Sony is involved in every stage of the 3D ecosystem, specialty dealers and installers can rest assured that our AV components leverage that deep expertise to deliver the most technically advanced experience possible."
Sounds like a whole lot of nothing, but there is a point to the marketing. According to Sony, the new ES models offer 3D pass-through, which means they're able to take 3D video from connected devices and pass them through to a 3D compatible HDTV.
See here for full specs, pricing, and release dates.