Companies Investigate Claim of AACS Crack

We all knew it was just a matter of time until a credible attempt to crack the encyrption used in high-definition DVDs emerged…and that time may be now. A programmer working under the monicker Muslix64 has posted a video, a Java-based program for Windows called BackupHDDVD, and details of how he successfully copied several films, including Warner Bros. Full Metal Jacket and Universal Studios Van Helsing, promising to follow-up with more source code and materials on January 2, 2007, to enable users to copy a wider range of movie titles.

If valid, the vulnerability could pose a threat to movie studios relying on AACS technology to prevent piracy of high-definition digital movies—although Muslix64, of course, touts the workaround only as a tool to enable users to back up their legitimately licensed movies, not as a tool for piracy.

AACS stands for Advanced Access Content System, and was jointly developed by a group of companies including Intel, Disney, Microsoft, Matsushita, IBM, Toshiba, Sony, and Warner Bros. The technology was standardized in April 2005 and is used as an encryption system in both HD DVD and Blu-ray high-definition DVD titles. AACS theoretically enables publishers to “revoke” keys to individual players if they become compromised, preventing new titles from working on compromised players.

It’s not clear at this point if Muslix64’s BackupHDDVD approach can be rendered moot by key revocation; however, if the encryption code itself has been cracked, then in theory any high-definition DVD disc could be copied.

Some fair use advocates are hailing the appearance of BackupHDDVD, arguing it restores consumer rights granted under the law but curtailed by licensing and technology restrictions imposed by media studios and distributors. Media companies themselves are mostly silent, saying only that they’re examining Muslix64’s claim, but it seems unlikely they would be pleased with software which enables wholesale copying of high-definition video content.

Home Theater

2019 LG OLED TVs with AirPlay 2, HomeKit support coming in April

LG has revealed the prices and release dates of the first batch of 2019 OLED TVs with A.I. ThinQ. The new W9 wallpaper OLED TVs will arrive in June, while the E9 and C9 OLED TVs will start rolling out in April.

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?

These are the classic NES games that helped redefine gaming

The NES left an indelible mark on pop culture and revolutionized the gaming industry. Check out our picks for the best NES games, whether you prefer an immersive RPG, side-scrolling brawler, or something else entirely.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.

These 28 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

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 sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

These are the best movies on Hulu right now (March 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

11 Hollywood heavyweights who jumped from the big screen to the small screen

From Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep to James Franco and Mahershala Ali, lots of Hollywood A-list actors with successful film careers are flocking to television projects during the second Golden Age of Television.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: Aliens, Avengers: Endgame, Charlie Says, and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Charlie Says, Doom: Annihilation, and more.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Free Solo, Catastrophe season 4, and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Free Solo documents an awe-inspiring climb, Catastrophe unveils its final season, and more.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (March 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.