The horrors of 4K DRM because Hollywood says "Screw You"

Started by bluaki, August 02, 2018, 01:19:58 AM

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bluaki

I almost posted this in my vidya thread because I went on a tangent from mentioning DRM but it's probably better here idk

The movies and TV video content industry has also been using 4K as an excuse to inconvenience all legitimate customers with ramped-up DRM, especially on PC. Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Blu-Ray all share most of these issues.
  • Basically all 4K content requires HDCP 2.2 support no matter what playback device you use, which broke a lot of existing HDMI switches and receivers.
  • Even among dedicated 4K streaming devices, full 4K DRM support among all the various apps is pretty mixed. For example, Google's own video store supports HDR streaming to Chromecast but not to Android TV
  • 4K/HDR PC DRM playback requires the Intel SGX CPU DRM features, which requires Intel's 7th gen or newer CPUs and breaks on every AMD CPU and older Intel ones.
  • 4K/HDR PC DRM playback requires Windows 10. No Linux, MacOS, or Windows 7.
  • 4K/HDR PC streaming (Netflix/Amazon/etc) DRM playback requires the Edge browser or an MS Store app. No Chrome or Firefox.
  • 4K/HDR PC DRM playback breaks in multi-monitor setups unless every monitor is 4K
  • 4K/HDR PC DRM playback requires GPU DRM from Intel/Nvidia and breaks if you have an AMD GPU
  • 4K/HDR Blu-Ray PC playback requires even more GPU DRM with a AACS 2.0 video driver, which only Intel's integrated graphics support. NVIDIA/AMD cards won't work.
  • 4K/HDR Blu-Ray PC playback requires one of the small few approved video player programs
  • 4K/HDR Blu-Ray PC playback requires one of the small few approved optical drives

by the way Intel SGX and AACS 2.0 are both already cracked, so effectively none of this convoluted chain-of-trust actually matters goowan
it's much easier to crack and rip a blu-ray to a DRM-free format than it is to actually watch it "legitimately" akudood;

At the same time, there's also a format war in HDR: HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and more. I think there's one for fancy audio formats too. Various 4KBD players have limited support for the more advanced HDR and audio formats. And there's also video acceleration for HEVC/VP9 video decoding but I'll give that one (especially the royalty-free VP9) a pass since it's actually legitimate technological progress unlike everything else in this post.

I wouldn't be surprised if this DRM mess has something to do with Sony not supporting 4K Blu-Rays on the PS4 Slim/Pro.

Magyarorszag

August 02, 2018, 01:33:32 AM #1 Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 01:39:20 AM by Magyarorszag
Quote from: bluaki on August 02, 2018, 01:19:58 AMI wouldn't be surprised if this DRM mess has something to do with Sony not supporting 4K Blu-Rays on the PS4 Slim/Pro.

which is hilariously ironic because they were among the foremost developers of the format (if not the foremost developer), and also because sony has a well known history of punishing valid consumers with insane drm measures itself

i guess now they're getting a taste of their own medicine

All this considered, is there any good reason not to simply pirate 4K video content, aside from a sense of moral obligation to purchase legitimately or fear of being punished for piracy? befuddlement

i personally don't even bother with 4k video myself because it's just way too much effort to keep up with the drm (and associated hardware goonish) of the day

bluaki

Quote from: Magyarorszag on August 02, 2018, 01:33:32 AMAll this considered, is there any good reason not to simply pirate 4K video content, aside from a sense of moral obligation to purchase legitimately or fear of being punished for piracy? befuddlement
afaik pirate video encodes have a pretty huge range of quality levels ranging from "absolute garbage why bother making this 4k at all" and "why did you reencode this HDR rip to 8-bit you moron" to "it's okay I guess, slightly better than the 1080p encode". The BDXL discs hold so much data that nobody in their right mind would put the whole cracked thing in torrent sites without compressing it down.

Niche content in particular often has a pretty lackluster selection of uploads and seeders, especially near release, but most of that stuff won't be in 4K for the foreseeable future anyway.

Also, if you happen to have a compatible 4K TV with a built-in Netflix app and no HDCP2.2-incompatible external sound system and sufficient Internet speeds, in that very specific situation I think Netflix is more convenient than piracy for the somewhat limited content selection it does have... for now. Netflix is currently testing a restructure of pricing tiers that adds a new even-more-expensive tier and removing 4K support from all the existing tiers: https://bgr.com/2018/07/12/netflix-price-increase-testing-expensive-plans/

bluaki

There's just one change in 4K content distribution that is amazingly less consumer-hostile somehow: 4K Blu-Ray discs are not region coded at all.

For DVD, basically every disc you'll find is region coded and there's 6 regions. US can't play DVDs from Japan, Mexico, South America, etc.

For regular Blu-Ray, region lock still exists but most discs (including everything from Disney and almost everything from Sony/Universal/WB/etc) don't use it, and even then there's only 3 regions, so US (region A) shares the same region as Japan/Korea/S.America/SEA.

of course, this change is pretty heavily offset by the fact that streaming providers are vastly more popular than 4K-BD ever will be and are much more sensitive to geographic location (VPNs notwithstanding) than any physical media ever has been. Even the Region-Free Blu-Rays usually include a Digital Copy for streaming in the form of a region-locked code you can redeem on Movies Anywhere, Vudu, MovieNEX, etc. For example, Disney movies bought in the US come with a Movies Anywhere code that can only be redeemed to US accounts, while Disney movies bought in Japan have a MovieNEX code that can be redeemed to either Nicovideo or Japan-region Google Accounts and unlike the disc doesn't include English audio or Japanese subtitles. Europe gets region-locked streaming codes from some studios (like WB) but not Disney.

Hiro

Not exactly related but I'm pissed that "SD" content and DVDs still fucking exist. Imagine if cable was broadcast in black and white if you didn't have a premium plan in the 90s, or if stores sold VHS tapes in 2009

C.Mongler

August 06, 2018, 08:54:59 PM #5 Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 06:37:34 AM by C.Mongler
i don't get it but a lot of older people don't give a single shit. hell, a lot just regular ass people just don't give a shit. i have several coworkers from age 27 ro 60 who don't own any blue ray player at all. they just watch DVDs. my gf couldnt really explain the difference between a dvd and a bluray either and i've never let her watch non HD content with me ever lol.

bluaki

Quote from: Hiro on August 06, 2018, 07:04:11 PMNot exactly related but I'm pissed that "SD" content and DVDs still fucking exist. Imagine if cable was broadcast in black and white if you didn't have a premium plan in the 90s, or if stores sold VHS tapes in 2009
The worst part is that some new releases actually still are DVD-only. Of course not major blockbuster films, but a lot of TV shows are.

It's pretty silly that retailers have to juggle three home video formats now: SD, HD, and 4K/UHD. It's happened before thanks to format wars (VHS vs BetaMax vs LaserDisc, DVD vs HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray), but this is the first time this situation happened without that. Recent BD releases are slowly dropping the included DVD, but I feel like that's the opposite approach they should take and it'd be better to phase out DVD releases in favor of just getting the BD release for its included DVD.

People have had 12 years to adopt Blu-Ray and a player only costs like $35 if you don't already have a video game console. Shouldn't the people who don't care enough to buy a BD player be served adequately by streaming? On the other hand, streaming services still making the lower tiers be SD-only is ridiculous when there's no compatibility-related excuse to lock out HD support. Even worse, video-on-demand services deliberately avoid advertising HD prices: you can click "Buy from $9.99" and see that the HD option actually costs $15.99.

don't let's


bluaki

Quote from: don't let's on August 07, 2018, 09:10:23 AMI only just got a blu-ray player last month
Well, have you actually been buying new movie discs in the last 4-6 years or so?

Lots of people don't adopt bluray because they just don't consume movie discs in the first place, whether through streaming or piracy or watching friends' movies or just not watching movies outside of theaters, which really doesn't mean anything for why they still make DVD releases

also, you really don't have a PS3, PS4, or Xbox One?

don't let's

Quote from: bluaki on August 07, 2018, 09:46:14 AM
Quote from: don't let's on August 07, 2018, 09:10:23 AMI only just got a blu-ray player last month
Well, have you actually been buying new movie discs in the last 4-6 years or so?

Lots of people don't adopt bluray because they just don't consume movie discs in the first place, whether through streaming or piracy or watching friends' movies or just not watching movies outside of theaters, which really doesn't mean anything for why they still make DVD releases

also, you really don't have a PS3, PS4, or Xbox One?

Some dvds occasionally. And never got any PlayStation consoles and don't have an xbox one.

bluaki

Since I mentioned Intel SGX in this thread's OP: here's a completely unsurprising update on that feature: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/02/researchers-use-intel-sgx-to-put-malware-beyond-the-reach-of-antivirus-software/

Researchers managed to take an Intel feature designed to support anti-user code (DRM) that needs to hide itself from user examination (like reverse-engineering) and... use it to make anti-user code (malware) that needs to hide itself from user examination (like antivirus software)

Basically, it's working as intended. The most surprising part about this to me is that it took an extensive research project this long to prove that's possible. When Intel first announced SGX one of my first thoughts was "this sounds perfect for malware persistence" but apparently the implementation wasn't as trivial as I expected. That's not a huge deal though since desktop hardware is already full of deliberate backdoors like Intel Management Engine and components with insufficiently protected rewritable firmware.

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