HDCP cracked; opens door for DRM-free HD boxes

hdcp cracked opens door for drm free hd boxes faa hackingHackers have cracked the antipiracy code commonly used in set-top boxes, and Blu-ray and DVD players, Intel told several news outlets yesterday. Rumors flew Tuesday that the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) technology was compromised. Intel confirmed the news yesterday.

Intel spokesman Tom Waldrop said the code published online “appears” to be a master key. Users can derive keys from this published master key that will work on devices that use the copy protection technology.

HDCP prevents the copying of audio and video content playing on HD devices like TVs and players for Blu-ray and DVDs.The digital rights management software is required when playing audio and video content over HDMI cables (and other cables) that connect flat-panel TVs to gaming systems or other HD drvices.

The hack unlocks DRMed content by providing the master key, which can then strip the encryption that’s on the cable box and DVR. With the encryption removed, anyone can make unlimited copies of HD content. Copy protection software becomes moot.

Expect to see DRM-free movies and games flooding the black market soon.

With DRM cracked, the way is open to build new HD devices, as well, and bypass the license fees Intel charges for the privilege. However, Intel doesn’t expect illegal hardware to pop up anytime soon, pointing out there is a lot of work and expense involved in making the DRM-free computer chip, and then embedding in to a device. There is a risk that vendors in countries with less stringent copyright regulations will take on the hassle and start manufacturing DRM-free Blu-ray players and TVs. This would mean a hit for Intel’s license fees and illegal hardware would impact retail sales of the devices.

Despite the hackers’ victory, Intel said encryption technology is still sound and remains the best way to protect content.


Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Home Theater

March Madness deal alert: Get a 43-inch LG 4K HDR TV for just $270

March is a great time to find a deal on a new TV, and this one is worth every penny: Walmart is selling LG's 43-inch 43UK6300PUE, a very capable 4K HDR Smart TV, for almost 50 percent off the regular price, at $270.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Time to do taxes? Save up to 50 percent on H&R Block tax software this weekend

Tax season is stressful, and with new tax laws in effect this year, it's not a bad idea to get some help. H&R Block has you covered: For two days only, you can save 50 percent on its great software so you can file your taxes online and save…

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.

The new iMacs push on iMac Pro territory, but how much power do you really need?

With Apple refreshing the higher-end iMacs with newer processors and graphics cards, it moves closer to the iMac Pro. In this guide, we consider the performance, features, and help make sense of the differences between the two.

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Which mid-range Nvidia Turing graphics card should you buy?

Nvidia's top mid-range cards are all solid performers, but which offers the best bang for buck? To find out where you should spend your money on your next big upgrade, we pitted the GTX 1660 vs. GTX 1660 Ti vs. RTX 2060.