Apple's new MacBooks are HDCP-aware

By Justin Mann on November 20, 2008, 4:08 AM
In recent past Apple has been praised as a company that has at least verbally opposed DRM. More weight was given to their supposed DRM stance when they began offering some music from EMI without copy protection on iTunes. When it comes to hardware, however, Apple still seems to be in step with the industry. It's been discovered that Apple's new MacBook lines include full HDCP support, a technology intended to “ensure” that content being played back is only being played on “authorized” displays.

You can see an example of the technology in action here. The DRM-protected content refuses to play, due to an external projector attached to the machine being “unauthorized” to play it. In the future, Apple says, all of their hardware will support this feature. This could make keeping and playing back DRM-protected content even more cumbersome than it is now, with people finding themselves locked in not only to a particular machine, but to a particular display as well.

As the amount of HDCP-aware content increases you can expect more people to encounter this kind of issue as well. HDCP has been a controversial technology since its introduction years ago, though to date there has been very little fallout because of it. That could soon be changing.

User Comments: 1

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bun-bun said:
This isnt them really supporting DRM but rather them insuring that customers can play back HD content that has HDCP in it. Otherwise these laptops would not work with HDCP displays in playing back HDCP content.Also HDCP is not as restrictive as other DRM as it does not limit you to a specific device but rather devices that support HDCP which is a rather long list of devices now.Though I fail to see the point in HDCP as it does nothing to stop piracy (at least in the forms that DVD's and Blu-Rays are being pirated) and it is far from a QC thing so in the end all it does is annoy customers due to manufacturers straying from the standard and devices not working with eachother. Just another example that companies like to treat there customers as criminals even when they pay for a product.
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