Day 33 - Blu-Ray and the PlayStation 3

Jonathan Wilson writes to us to suggest the PS3, because... has multiple forms of DRM (DRM on Blu Ray disks, DRM on DVD disks, DRM on game disks and DRM on downloadable content (video, audio and games/game addons). I am also suggesting this device because it contains a feature that, at first glance, would seem to be "open," namely the support for GNU/Linux. The PS3 supports GNU/Linux (and anything else you want to write) through the OtherOS feature but contains locks in the PS3 hypervisor to prevent the OtherOS from accessing all of the PS3 hardware (more specifically, doing hardware accelerated graphics operations is impossible, as is accessing certain things to do with the optical disk drive). Sony have also made changes in firmware upgrades to the device to make it harder to get around the restrictions and access the PS3's powerful 2D/3D graphics hardware from GNU/Linux.

Maneesh Pangasa writes:

The real winner in the HD DVD vs. Blu Ray format war was clearly so-called "piracy." Rather than choosing a restrictive HD disc format more consumers are of the mind to avoid restrictive DRM. Sony's Blu Ray compromises users' fair use rights to media they own. Each time Blu Ray encryption is cracked thanks to BD+ firmware updates, Sony and other DRM-laden vendors of Blu Ray can disable a Blu Ray player and/or movie from playing.

Blu Ray owners with a Component connection in their HD TV may see their picture quality degrade to 720p as they will be required by DRM to have HDMI for full 1080p on their HD TV. They want to try to force users to keep their Blu Ray players connected to an HDMI port and the Internet to monitor individuals activities and if they think you're "pirating" content (even if you're not!) they can disable your player (and require you to buy a new one to continue watching) or buy a new HD TV if the HDMI port is disabled by an alleged DRM violation.

This is why I will never use Blu Ray. I am willing to pay only as long as I am not treated like a criminal.