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back to article Five firms to create HD-centric DRM for SD cards

Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba are to develop a better DRM for memory cards. Just what the world needs: more DRM... The quintet's notion is that the technology will allow HD content to be transferred to SD cards and such and not copied elsewhere. A typical scenario: your DVR records, say, a future Doctor Who …

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Unhappy

Thank god this story came out while I am still in China, I will just pop over to the nearest fab and buy a shipping container full of un-DRM'ed 32Gb cards

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More products to avoid then...

Like HDCP on HDMI isn't enough of a ball ache between an STB and a projector, what with the HDMI handshaking causing the picture to drop out intermittently. This never happens on the non DRM connection.

And really what is the point when it will only take a few weeks or months for a bored teenager to crack...

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I've not had the problem of the picture dropping out but I did find out, after buying a blu-ray drive for my pc, that my slightly older, but still high end, monitor is not HDCP compliant. So everything refuses to play.

If only there were some way I could watch all my purchased HD content on my pc, without having to buy a new monitor... Hmm...

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And it will work in every device

What's that? Oh old devices aren't compatible, every new device then? Oh really, just the devices and software that have paid license fees to the consortium.

Guess we'll just stick to circumventing the bluray encryption then.

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Best quote ever....

From a close friend of mine :

"Blu-Ray is a great master format for piracy"

I have worked in the film and movie business for years and have had access to uncompressed 1080p24 10-bit per channel tapes of films. The quality is SPECTACULAR!!! Those extra two bits of color depth make a HUGE difference....

I have then dropped compressed using x264 (with the settings tweaked to hell and back) for 9Mbps and 50Mbps. Then I compared the output quality against a simple down-sampled 10-bit to 8-bit master on studio monitors.

Well... I'll say this... 9Mbps is awesome viewing quality, but the difference between the master and the output is quite noticeable. Hell.. what do you expect compressing from 1.2Gbps to 9Mbps. The 50Mbps however was pretty damn close to the original. Of course I made use of long B chains and really long sequences (in the seconds), but it was spectacular.

Then I compressed to 720p from all three sources... the signal quality dropped to crap from the 9Mbps source. But the output quality from the 10-Bit master and the 50Mbps showed very little visible difference... the PSNR showed a great deal more loss than the monitor did. The PSSIM on the other hand showed that the loss for the 50Mbps was minimal when compared to the 8-bit downsample of the master.

So... for watching... 9Mbp/sec at 1080p24 is spectacular and more than suitable for any consumer HD equipment (no your $5000 flat panel IS NOT a calibrated monitor)... but if you need something to use as a master for piracy... the BluRay is ideal... don't settle for less.

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With Sony involved, I'm entirely sure that the group's primary focus will be to provide users with mechanisms to easily format-shift their material, and in no way will they try to hopelessly hobble the technology in order to try and prop up the craptastic notion of the "triple-play" media (which makes me laugh, given that the couple of digital editions I've seen bundled with DVDs have small print saying that the licence expires within 2 years).

I guess I'll be buying my SD cards (and probably media players as well, since I currently use a Sansa Clip+ for mp3 playback on the hoof) from someone other than SanDisk in the future then. That's a shame, they're bloody good at what they do.

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FAIL

Completely and utterly pointless

Also, pardon my ignorance, but since when do people record television programs on SD cards...? They tend to be on the small side, at least compared to builit-in or USB HDDs for instance.

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Anonymous Coward

Dear Samsung, Sony, et al. Please take your DRM...

...and work it up your dirtbox.

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DRM will bite them once again once HDMI/SD become dirt cheap to companies who don't follow those rules.

Trust is lost (days of tapes) where you could show your chum an episode or whatever you recorded. If this is going to apply to personal tech (camcorders etc), bad, bad, bad. Just more greed and control for digital sakes.

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WTF?

and once again

they make it so that the pirated versions are better than the officially purchased versions - can't they see why this is a problem?

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I thought we'd got past this shit?

Seriously, WTF, have they still not realised this ain't gonna work???

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Let me make this very clear

I will not accept having a digital cop watching my every move any more than I would accept having a real cop in my house watching my every move.

I am more than fed up with these companies that act as if they have the right to police me in my own home just because they create themselves the means to do so.

I will not buy anything with any sort of DRM tech if I can avoid it. I have already decided on a total boycott of Sony products, and if I have to wait for a noname Chinese knock-off to get performance and freedom, then I will do so.

No one has the right to impose anything on me in my own house, period.

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Ironically, I just bought a Sony e-reader because I don't want to be linked in with Amazon in that way.

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Anonymous Coward

I thought..

the SD in SD Card stood for Secure Digital, or am I missing something?

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Um...

Ultraviolet?

Wasn't that supposed to replace this DRM war bullshit?

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Another infestation

How long do you reckon before the system is hacked/broken?

Given that stuff always ends up on TPB anyway, why waste so much time, money and consumer aggravation futilely trying to prevent it?

http://xkcd.com/488/

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FAIL

Based on PKI??

Ah. This would be the Public Key Infrastructure that's been proving so trustworthy of late, and which is likely to require that one has a live Internet connection before being signed off as a worthy viewer of whatever it is that is on the SD Card. So no viewing in planes or on my canal holidays, then.

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Anonymous Coward

Is it PKI itself that is broken

or particular authorities being hacked by other means?

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PKI still works

If I create a public key (and don't bother to pay to be allowed to sign it with a CA's certificate), then the public key is still valid in that it would allow you to be certain that any message/file you received which uses THAT KEY came from me.

However, it doesn't tell you who "me" is.

The CAs were supposed to be a method by which you could be fairly certain that if a Key said it represented (say) XYZ Company, then it indeed belonged to XYZ company. Unfortunately, in their greed the CAs never bothered to do proper checks on the provenance of the paperwork (leading some to later introduce "platinum"-type certificates for which they promised to have done the checks they were supposed to do in the first place) and then some of them had the security equivalent of a wet paper towel on their key-generating systems.

So:

(1) PKI as a method of confirming who I'm talking to - fail.

(2) PKI as a method of ensure I am still talking to the same person as the last time - still good.

Note this this assumes you are using THE SAME KEY for all communications (scenario 2) not two keys purporting to come from the same source (variation of scenario 1).

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe my paranoid gland isn't working today, but...

...I don't see the problem.

If if I have (say) a Sky subscription and this allows me to watch Sky+'d content on a portable device without installing any extra software on that device, then that's a good thing.

If it proves to be a crap solution (like whatever the PC-based Sky crapware is called) I'll just continue downloading stuff from torrents.

Video is much more expensive to produce than music, and whatever the future of media production and distribution I don't really want to have the Game Of Thrones baby thrown out with the X-Factor bathwater.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't they already have some (rarely-if-ever used) sort of DRM?

Hence the 'Secure' bit?

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Pirate

I always wondered about the CPRM crap that was supposed to be in (or on), all those current Gen Mem-Cards. S(ecure)D(igital), S0NYs' M(emory)S(tick), Just to name a few.

How do these DRM features work again?

In the case of the latter I was able to copy my "legally" owned copies (PSP), to my 4Gb Sandisk MemoryStick, Doing this had it's advantages

1) No need to carry 'round multiple UMDs'

2) Shorter loading times

3) Slightly less drain on the Battery as the UMD wasn't constantly running.

I'd have thought that those nasty DRM buggers were there to prevent that kind of thing?

S0NY have thankfully managed to work out a system whereby this can't (yet), and cheaply be done. Their answer? None standard Formats.

So just how long till we see a Playstation Vita to SD Converter for the PC?

Or some hacker Card Reader that will address the Card direct?

Personally I doubt we'll see any 3'erd Party Cards come out for it, but for now it seems that S0NY are somewhat safe, for now...

But, dear Register, do pray tell us about what happened to all the Fabled DRM measures ON TODAYS CARDS that only seem to do all of jack all?

I can't be the only reader here that's interested to read about this?

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Silver badge

Won't happen anyhow

The SD-card format will probably die with the SD-XC which 'forces' you to use Microsoft's newest patented filesystem... which not even all versions of Windows support.

USB host support is already the norm at those mentioned devices, so if you record with one of those simple digital satellite receivers, it'll end up on an USB mass storage device anyhow.

And by the way, the mentioned companies may be good when it comes to making displays, but so far I haven't seen them making usable digital receivers. The ones I have seen always struck me as "WTF, why would someone design this?".

If you really want to spend a lot of money on a pre-packaged digital receiver, get a Dreambox. Those run open source software, they support even those odd non-standard EPGs used in the UK, however they support no DRM.

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And the good news is

They'll only charge a little bit more for all this extra security. It sort of reminds me of Sony's myriad of MemoryStick formats which seemed to exist in equal measure to foist unwanted DRM on customers and to reduce even tech-savvy individuals to utter bewilderment. How has that gone down with consumers? On the strength of all the MemoryStick compliant devices that aren't out there, I'd say not at all.

Still, it sounds like the even more secure Secure Digital card is a good candidate for the most hilarious technological fail of 2012.

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