April 28, 2015
In an effort to reduce movie piracy, Microsoft is working alongside chip manufacturers such as Qualcommn, AMD, Nvidia and Intel to develop a technology for the PC that monitors and protects select HD content from being illegally copied. The technology, which Microsoft is calling PlayReady 3.0, will be available for PC owners running on Windows 10. Microsoft wants to ensure that PlayReady 3.0 can serve as a reliable and safe way for movie viewers to stream high-quality, 4K content on their PCs.
“The new hardware-based technology will know who you are, what rights your PC has, and won’t ever allow your PC to unlock the content so it can be ripped,” PCWorld explains. Users of the new technology will be able to access and view high-quality content all they want, but the same will not be true of older generation PC owners. Although the same movies will be available for streaming on older PC models, the quality of film will most likely be compromised.
“Previous PlayReady technology secured content up to 1080p resolution using software DRM — and that could be the maximum resolution for older PCs without PlayReady 3.0,” notes PCWorld.
Until now, there has been limited information regarding how PlayReady 3.0 precisely works or how it is supposed to benefit customers. One potential benefit is that users of the new tech could have early access to select movies, those playing in theaters, because of the security and anti-piracy measures that the system guarantees.
Essentially, Microsoft believes it could give the movie studios a reason to trust them with their content.
“Microsoft appears to be future-proofing, evidenced by their proposed support for 8K video,” said Glenn Hower, research analyst for Parks Associates. “As long as the burden is not terribly substantial beyond supporting 4K, and as long as their technology can adapt to handle high dynamic range and upgrades in color gamut support for ultra HD, I think they are playing smart.”