AfterDawn: Tech news

HDCP compatible video card? Think again

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 14 Feb 2006 13:44 User comments (12)

An interesting blog entry over at Boing Boing focuses on how computers made by the likes of Dell and Sony will be really the only computers capable of playing back high definition movies on next generation discs. Many consumers have already gone out and bought high end video cards that claim to be "HDCP compatible" but in the case of Blu-Ray and HD DVD movies, this is simply not the truth. The problem is that HDCP compatibility is controlled by an inter-industry consortium of giant consumer electronics companies and Hollywood studios.
This means that any of you who decide to build a PC from scratch with an expensive high end video card, will be angry to see the content on your HD discs being "locked out" by HDCP. Only systems designed from the ground up by OEMs (such as members of the consortium) will be able to gain access to these videos.

We've been able to confirm that none of the Built-by-ATI Radeons support HDCP. If you've just spent $1000 on a pair of Radeon X1900 XT graphics cards expecting to be able to playback HD-DVD or Blu-Ray movies at 1920x1080 resolution in the future, you've just wasted your money.

NVIDIA, being a GPU manufacturer was unable to discuss the plans of board manufacturers. We contacted all six of NVIDIA's Tier-1 board partners. None of the GeForce 6 or 7 video cards available on the market, including the most recently released GeForce 7800GS, have HDCP support. So if you just spent $1500 on a pair of 7800GTX 512MB GPUs expecting to be able to play 1920x1080 HD-DVD or Blu-Ray movies in the future, you've just wasted your money.

Tech companies are effectively using DRM to block out other tech companies to gain more control. The licensing board for DVDs is involved in a lawsuit with Kaleidascape, a company that makes DVD jukeboxes (capable of storing about 660 movies) because the companies that sit on this board are most likely unhappy that a company is providing a better product that is obviously impressing consumers. That's an example of how this game is being played.

Boing Boing

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12 user comments

114.2.2006 14:01

DRM is being used to establish virtual monopolies it seems. Hopefully the FTC will take notice and bring some anti-trust suits against corporations engaging in these practices. DRM is highly anti-competitive, and these companies in bed together are slowly trying to realign what is normal and accepted.

214.2.2006 14:59

You know i can understand why these huge corporations want to stop piracy, but when it gets to the stage that legitimate consumers are being hurt this way, then something is going wrong. Very wrong. The thing is they don't really seem to care (especially Sony), so i guess the only way to make them care is to hurt them. That's it, i will never purchase a Sony or Sony related product again, Columbia Tristar movies aswell. Ever. Simple as that.

314.2.2006 15:11

Give the Chinese a couple of months and they'll give us something to fill the hole in the market. If there is something the rest of the world is afraid to challenge, some entrepreneur over there has always stepped up to the plate to cash in. Just wait and see.

414.2.2006 15:27

Here is what is going on with MPAA/RIAA/other organisations who would take away consumer rights in a nutshell: I haven't seen this mentioned before, but aside from trying to make money and preserve revenues, there is an ulterior motive for taking away consumer rights, and making everything so draconian to use with DRM etc. These companies are resentful at their financial losses, and they want to spread their misfortune to others. Why? If they get everybody annoyed at the super annoying theft of consumer rights, they blame it on the pirates. It is a way to get everybody to hate piracy, a type of propaganda. Think of the way it works in the army: Someone slacks off, and everybody ELSE has to do push ups. This resentment will breed itself, toward the slacker, to foster change. Or it is like someone who says If I can't love you no one will, then slices up their lover's face. They are like a little kid throwing a temper tantrum, trying to make everybody sensitive to their issue. Basically, they are using DRM to annoy everybody.

514.2.2006 15:29

What do you guys think of my thoughts? Comments, criticisms?

614.2.2006 16:18

Long live to dvd`s (i hope)

714.2.2006 17:18

jmaestro Pretty much,they refuse to take the correct aproach and want to force the goverment to make laws where it becomes illeage to make copies of your wedding tape (becuse you copied a "protected disk" incorrectly). ways to fix this 1.fair use is fair use make acoupel copys foryour self fine sell acouple small fine under 100 if cought sell more than 10 medium fine 500$ +. 2. More simple and wide spread online buying of media ,like join a site for 20 a month get to download youer choice of 10 moives and 50 songs. 3.Copy protectiong that works,online smart keys that keep track of legit copies also you cant update without the key being read correctly,sure crackers will crack it but they ALWAY DO you will never win by makeing maloius software like star force or any other buggy system crashy protection shceme 5.Try to bring moive prices down with yearly/monthly subscriptions with normal membership you get normal slightly marked up(from what groceries stores have) candy and drinks and a small discount off ticket,the more you pay yearly/mointhly the cheaper it all will be. 6.Fighting P2P is a lost cuase unless they can leagely hack your computer,bascily its a lost cuase unless you go after the few of the last servers whitch are not run by indavenauls. I wonder how they get around the whole feb hacking laws if they bring it in from another contry isnt that info worthless to a US court?thier still paying to hack soemione in teh states it dosent matter if the actualy hacking took place out of the US...

814.2.2006 23:52

Hey guys, heres a link to the original article thats quoted over at

919.2.2006 5:39

As far as I'm concerned I'm staying away from the whole HDDVD/Blu-Ray drm crapshoot. I'n not going to buy a whole new computer and whatever else they want me to just so I can watch hd, and only on their terms, sorry no f****** way.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Mar 2006 @ 16:57

1014.3.2006 18:27

Yeah, I agree with zrdb about not buying into this HD stuff. I'm fine with what I have now. DVD is still better than VHS, so I don't think it'll be going away any time soon. Unless they make there terms of use more lenient, these companies are going to keep a lot of business away.

1121.12.2006 9:15

Lets say i bought a ps3 and a 1080p projector that doesn't support hdcp...does that mean i will get no video output and just some blank screen.

1221.12.2006 9:26

razehsani Yes it will work for games and most BR movies for the next couple of years when the newer movies start using HDCP then the res of the movies will be halved. How this prevents copying I dunno its more like forcing you to buy TVs...

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