Letter: Vista Valued

Editor, the Gauntlet,

[Re: “Making a blender out of your PC,” Chris Tait and ├ćndrew Rininsland, Feb. 2, 2007.]

This steaming pile of crap marks an astonishing new low in journalistic integrity for the Gauntlet. I don’t even know where to begin with it. Neither of the authors have any idea what Windows Vista’s DRM technology actually is or does, yet they go so far as to make bold and factually incorrect statements like, “What we’re left with is a crippled operating system and a mentality that believes computers should be as simple and closed as devices used to make smoothies.” Seriously, are the authors as technologically inept as they sound?

At one point, they claim that “Microsoft could have put its foot down and stopped the negative inroads…” I’d like to hear these pseudo-journalists explain that one. In case they hadn’t noticed, Microsoft does not own the HD-DVD or Blu-Ray specifications and Microsoft is not responsible for mandating that HD content from these two sources must be transmitted over a secure channel (HDCP.) If and when Apple decides to support HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, they’ll also be required to implement system-level DRM.

To summarize Vista’s DRM with actual facts instead of rhetoric, users are required to use an HDCP-compliant display system to play back HD-DVDs or Blu-Ray discs. Guess what? This is the same requirement needed to play HD-DVDs or Blu-Ray discs in full 1080p resolution on your television, with a few minor exceptions. You can still illegally copy DVDs, download illegal movies, download illegal mp3s and all that other jazz to your heart’s content (in HD, even). So what happens if you don’t have an HDCP display? Well, our pseudo-journalists made the bold implication that you’d get a lousy quality image without digital sound, and that old graphics cards would cease to work. This is completely false. Without an HDCP display, you’re limited to 540p output–still significantly higher quality than a standard DVD! All 1080p displays shipping right now are HDCP-compliant anyways–so the fact is, if your gear is too old to support HDCP, it’s also too old to support the content’s resolution.

Yeah, nice try with that article. Thanks, Gauntlet. Thanks for doing your research, and thanks for doing your readers a disservice.

Grumpy computer nerd

[Editor’s note: Please take the flame war online where it belongs, you noob-ish troll. ├ćndrew and Chris have posted their response to your letter at gauntlet.ucalgary.ca. Have it out there.]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.