Up a Level
DRM, DirecTV HD, and Blu-Ray

Not my usual place to complain about this, but I got to thinking about this flood and the parts of the building that fell down just half a block from my apartment. In that 40 minute commute, I started to wonder what would happen of my apartment fell down? Not likely, given the sheer amount of concrete and construction, but it lead into the idea of how would I replace my DVD collection.

That got me to thinking about Blu-Ray and DirecTV HD. I want HDTV, but I hate copy-protection when it impacts my ability to watch TV the way I want to. I buy a lot of DVD's (looks like I'm averaging about 100/year actually) and would be more than glad to jump on the Blu-Ray bandwagon, except for one thing: DRM. Wait, I'm suppose to call it something more PC. I'd rather call it "treat you like a criminal." Of course, according to the MPAA, they are losing BILLIONS every year to piracy. And yet, they still make a lot of money. Go figure.

I don't copy my DVD's to my computer, though I'd like to. I'd rather have a 2 TB drive on my MythTV system with all my DVD's and just browse and enjoy it that way. I paid for it, I'd rather watch it the way I want. I could with DVD's, but Blu-Ray has all this technology to make sure I only watch it from a highly breakable DVD (I lose about 3-4 a year because of droppage and scratches). An honest desire for backups, imagine that. I watch movies a lot. I like to watch DVD's on my computer. Won't be able to do it with Blu-Ray. I have a 1080i monitor at my apartment, but I can't watch Blu-Ray because I use Linux and I don't have an end-to-end secure system to make sure I don't steal anything.

It annoys me that the current technologies are not compatible with the choices I made. I don't like Windows. Its an okay system, but I'm more comfortable in Linux. However, they won't ever have a DRM-capable Linux machine because someone will tear it apart in a matter of hours. But, I want to watch my movies on my computer.

Related to that is DirecTV HD. TiVo is nice and everything, but you pay a relatively trivial, but significant, amount of money every month for the privileged of having a 30 GB machine record your stuff and make pretty noises. At home, I have a MythTV setup with 700 GB. It isn't pretty, but it does what I want, is easily upgradable and fixable. And I can expand it without dropping $500.

But, it won't do DirecTV HD. Even if I wanted to, I can't get a HD capture card and add it to my network. Because they have everything locked down to prevent the evil stealing. When they cease to have standard-definition television on DirecTV (and they will), I'm going to have to make a choice: go without TV or get rid of my MythTV box just so Fluffy can have her TV. I'd consider switching over to cable, simply because you can record HD off the cable networks, but I'll be no longer handing over my $80/month for premium channels because they won't let me record it. Because its "EVIL!". And I hate cable over DirecTV.

I guess they don't need my money.

I want it, but I want it on my terms. Why can't people stop obsessing about money and just be happy with the stuff they get? I mean, I constantly buy DVD's, but they treat me as a criminal. There are banners telling me not to steal or copy things, even when the laws say I can. But, it doesn't matter with their precious monies.

I've seriously considered starting to migrate to Blu-Ray, but this is one of those things that really just bothers me. DVD's on Linux only became possible with CSS, and guess what, I still buy the damn things. I buy music *gasp* well, did until they started treating me like a criminal who can't even copy noise to my local computer. I stopped wanting to go to the theater, simply because they were starting to treat me like a criminal there. I mean, there are places that search your bags just to see a damn movie.

I'm 1 of 300 million. I feel like my opinions are ignored over the din of greed. Plus, I think people don't care. :(