Apple adds HDCP compliance to its laptop monitor ports

Some of Apple iTune's video content is being wrapped in HDCP copy protection that makes it impossible to output the movies on any non-HDCP screen. That's a pain in the ass, but not unlike Blu-ray and other HDCP-compliant video sources that have been around for the last few years. Still, this is the first time that Apple has added HDCP restrictions to the standard external monitor port of its hardware. What a rip. Apple brings HDCP to a new aluminum MacBook near you [Ars Technica]
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9 Responses to Apple adds HDCP compliance to its laptop monitor ports

  1. Tony Tarle says:


  2. Bloodboiler says:

    Planned obsolesce at work.

    DRM systems have effective life spans of few months at best, but monitors can last several years. If you put DRM system into a monitor, you create monitors that become obsolete in months.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The best part, of course, is that none of Apple’s previous monitors(and the vast majority of monitors from other manufacturers) don’t support this “feature”.

    Ah well, watching movies on a 13 inch screen because your laptop won’t let you use your TV qualifies as “thinking different”, right?

  4. electroblake says:

    This has been an issue with the Apple TV for a while. When I first got mine, it would play any movie that I had bought or rented from iTunes, but then I foolishly upgraded its software and the next time I tried to play a movie it gave me the HDCP error. Apple was nice enough to give me my money back for the movie I had just bought, but it that didn’t really make up for the fact that a lot of the functionality of the Apple TV had simply vanished. It’s hooked up to a fairly late model, high definition projector, but I guess the projector isn’t new enough to be HDCP compliant. The error message that the Apple TV gave made the friendly suggestion that I use the component video out instead of the HDMI port to avoid this problem. Great, except there is no (inexpensive) way to connect component out to a projector with no component in.

    The neat thing was that then iTunes 8 came out and I dutifully upgraded that software on the machine the Apple TV is married to and suddenly the Apple TV stopped caring about HDCP. Haven’t upgraded iTunes since out of fear that this was one of the bugs that has since been fixed in later releases.

  5. Harrkev says:

    Wow. I want a mac now. Proof that Apple can be just as evil as Microsoft.

    I keep wanting a Mac in the hopes that when I finally get good enough to play the keyboard decently, that I will buy Logic and create some awesome music. But then I see crap like this and realize that Apple isn’t really as nice a company as I would like to believe.

    I have resisted the allure of the iPod because they do not play nicely with Linux.

    Out of all tech companies, Google is the only one that comes close to not being evil.

  6. Rick Fletcher says:

    …and a few more learn their lesson.

    BTW, this isn’t a new restriction. It just wasn’t noticed before because the old models supported the DRM, and hence, no error. The sudden awareness of the presence of this DRM is a good thing. It will only lead to more anti-DRM sentiment.

  7. Clay says:

    Wait a second, wait a second. We’re missing part of the story here.

    If I hook up my last-generation, DVI-equipped MacBook Pro to a non-HDCP monitor over DVI, will I get this error too?

    That’s the only situation that would make sense, and would really have nothing to do with the newest laptops having HDCP.

    Otherwise, these movies are only requiring HDCP if it’s available, which is like a bar checking your ID only if you say you have it with you.

  8. dculberson says:

    Apple is just like Microsoft but with cooler products. (And I’m in no way minimizing how cool their products are.)

  9. El Stinko says:

    Golly, none of the pirated content I download for free has this problem! I guess I’ll just keep using that.

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