Manufacturers have always tried to gain the upper hand on consumers, especially when it comes to protecting their wares. True, there’s nothing wrong with this but when it comes at the cost of a customer, it’s unfair.
The most common scenario I can think of that fits this criteria is DRM. For me, DRM is nothing but a way to punish someone who purchases a song or video legally. There are other examples as well, most notably the Sony rootkit saga. Now, Apple is joining in the fun.
According to a news article on Wired, Apple has installed something called High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) on the external display ports of the new MacBook laptops that have been released last month. Guess what? They haven’t told customers this thing exists.
So what does this mean if you bought or are planning to buy a new MacBook? Well, you will not be able to view movies on an external display device (monitor, TV, projector) when you connect the device to the external display port. That’s right, even if you legally bought a movie from iTunes, you can only watch it on the Macbook’s little screen.
The idea behind HDCP is to stop pirates (does that mean every MacBook owner is one?) from copying movies to video recording devices. However, this has not sat well with people who purchased movies and then found that their viewing experience was ruined because they could not choose to watch a legally-purchased video on their TV. That’s because most TV’s and other devices are not HDCP-compliant.
Apple itself has yet to comment on the issue but so far it’s been determined that both the MacBook Air and Macbook Pro have HDCP enabled. One fallout of the saga is that if users can’t watch what they buy comfortably, there’s no need to buy the content anymore. In fact, a lot of disgruntled MacBook owners have decided not to buy movies from iTunes.
Are you planning to buy a MacBook? How would you deal with HDCP? What do you think of Apple’s tactics? Let me know.
I would assume that there is a workaround for this, perhaps its jsut as easy as disabling it, i dont know, and If anyone knows of it already, please post it for the benefit of all macbook users on ns.