Things to check before switching to Vista Part 4 - gHacks Tech News

Things to check before switching to Vista Part 4

Welcome to the fourth and final part of my "Things to check before switching to Vista" series. Today we are going to take a look at DRM. DRM which stands for Digital Rights Management controls access and usage of media files. In case you are wondering, Vista is not the first operating system to use DRM. Many portable media players and gaming systems use DRM as well to protect the media from being copied or transferred.

Vista uses two technologies to enforce digital rights management protections: Puma and PVP. Puma, which is an abbreviation of Protected User Mode Audio, and PVP, Protected Video Path, have the power to control playback of media files on your computer. If for instance the media file or the hardware in your computer does not meet the requirements playback will stop or not start at all.

This will be especially frustrating for users who want to view HD content on their computer but can't get it to work because their monitor does not support HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection). If you are lucky the content will play but in reduced resolution, if you are unlucky it won't play at all.

To sum it up. Vista is the first step of the (media) industry to take control over your computer to decide what you can and what you can't play. This is all software based at the moment but the capabilities to integrate hardware based solutions are there.

Hackers will most likely be able to defeat the protections once Vista comes out but this takes time. Your alternative ? Keep XP or make the move to Linux. Linux has the big advantage that the media companies do not have control over it, they can't apply pressure to force their opinions on the developers. That is one of the main reasons why I will make the switch.

We need your help

Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.

If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

Comments

  1. yogi said on December 11, 2006 at 11:53 am
    Reply

    i’m with you – vista will force me into the hands of linux. probably ubuntu.

  2. JenSTAR said on December 11, 2006 at 5:21 pm
    Reply

    uBuntu the way of life….go for it..

  3. OldNuc said on December 11, 2006 at 7:11 pm
    Reply

    XP has serious problems and Microsoft support will decrease after the public release of Vista. Vista is unacceptable both on a performance and cost basis.

    Vista will drive many people into the arms of the Penguin, most likely Ubuntu. I will be making the switch as soon as the new hardware, recently ordered, arives.

  4. adrift said on December 12, 2006 at 5:59 pm
    Reply

    I love Ubuntu, but it’s still not a practical alternative for your casual computer user. heck, my parents struggle with some of the simplest features on windows, i can only imagine the look of bewilderment on their faces if they were forced to occasionally use a terminal (i’m thinking synaptic would even be too complicated for them). And I know they’d be annoyed to death to have to punch in a password every time they need to run a system app. Until a Linux version is created that’s as comfortable to use as Windows (generally is), looks like the majority of PC users will be stuck with it.

  5. AlreadyGone said on January 9, 2007 at 1:54 am
    Reply

    Ig Ubuntu isn’t ready enough for you, go Mac adn OS X UNIX. I left Windows when OS X UNIX first came out–leaving only my game PC (besides my Debian server). Now even the game PC is gone. I have no regrets. I am looking forward to Leopard and upgrade my dual G5 to a quad core Xeon. Yum.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.