Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Defective By Design: Netflix + Microsoft

I am pissed.

Really pissed.

I've just voted with my dollars against Sony lies, deceptions and vendor lock-in, just to run headlong into the fact that there's Microsoft DRM that stands on the way between me trying to watch my (mind you, legally bought and paid for) Netflix movies and my brand new HDTV (which I, mind you, also bought and paid for) I want to watch them on.

You probably know what I am talking about - the dreaded WMPError(C00D11B1).

Netflix explanation is that Microsoft doesn't like that I've connected my video card to the TV with a component cable (sure it's a dumb choice, but that's the only one I have today at 19:00 with chores to do and not willing to spend extra money on HDMI cables, connectors and adapters). They are not, however, sure that using HDMI connector will have any effect on the DRM error. They say, "Downgrade your resolution to 480p". Sure, that's why I plonked a couple of thousand dollars into a 1080p device - to downgrade it to 480p. Absolutely. That's exactly what I had in mind. Will do right away, sir.

So, let me see. Netflix claims that they stream the movies at 480p max. Nevertheless, the technical solution they chose (dependent on Microsoft DRM) prevents me from watching those movies at 1080p device.

What alternatives do I have? Let's see now. Ah! I remember. All the internets have been buzzing about this for a long time now, and the verdict is: It is easier to pirate than purchase.

Now let's consider the situation. I wanted to watch the movie that is not yet available on DVD from Netflix (for Pete's sake, it's not even an HD movie!), but is available via their streaming player. Yet, I can't watch it.

Now you tell me: what would I do? Yep, that's right.

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