p2pnet.net News:- A rose is still a rose, even if you call it PVP-OPM.
That`s short for Protected Video Path – Output Protection Management. And that, in turn, is long for fuzzy DRM.
But PVP-OPM isn`t like fuzzy logic, strange and cool. It`s, New output content protection mechanisms planned for the next version of Microsoft Windows codenamed `Longhorn`, say Bill and the Boyz proudly.
It guards against hardware attacks while playing premium content and output “protection” mechanisms include:
Output Protection Management (PVP-OPM) makes sure the PC’s video outputs have required protection or that they`re turned off if such protection is not available.
User-Accessible Bus (PVP-UAB) provides encryption of premium content as it passes over the PCI Express (PCIe) bus to the graphics adapter. This is required when the content owner’s policy regards the PCIe bus as a user-accessible bus.
Protected User Mode Audio (PUMA), or the new User Mode Audio (UMA) engine in the Longhorn Protected Environment that provides a safer environment for audio playback, as well as checking that the enabled outputs are consistent with what the content allows.
Protected Audio Path (PAP) is a future initiative under investigation for how to provide encryption of audio over user accessible buses.
Which is all MS-Babble for a form of DRM which, in simple terms, will make your monitor display look blurry. Unless you’re running pre-approved content. And it’s prettily dressed up to look like protection against hackers.
Or, as Peter Rojas puts it in Engadget, With Longhorn, Microsoft will begin pushing opium. Well, technically it`s OPM. However, opium might be a good option for those livid that the video content being sent to their pristine 24-inch Dell LCD monitors is purposefully being `fuzzied`.
But it goes further than blurry monitors.
Microsoft is, “working actively to ensure that a Longhorn PC supports the needs of both consumers and content owners, and that it works seamlessly across a broad range of other devices, networks, and protocols.” says a white paper by Dave Marsh, program manager, Windows Media Technologies.
“As we move towards the next evolution in the distribution and consumption of content, we are working on many fronts to create new experiences that drive the industry forward,” he says.
Translated, this means Bill and the Boyz will force anyone who uses Longhorn to obey rules determined by them, and by the entertainment and software cartels.
[open quotes] the ability to respect business rules across many dimensions, including:
Content coming into a PC from cable, satellite, over the Internet, or on physical media such as next-generation DVDs.
Management of the content on the PC including providing a robust infrastructure that allows ISVs to add value without needing to worry about supporting DRM natively in their applications.
Respecting business rules as content leaves the PC [close quotes]
Delivering “experiences” demands, “significant coordination from technology companies, entertainment companies, government regulators, and service providers but no amount of coordination will be successful unless it`s designed with the needs of the consumer in mind,” says Marsh.
Ah Yes. The Consumer.
Later, he says:
“Content owners need to be able to specify how others access their Intellectual Property or else there will be no incentive for them to allow content to flow across different distribution vehicles and throughout the home to provide the new experiences everyone seeks.
“To date the Windows Media Format, and the Windows Media DRM platform have been key enablers of new experiences on the PC, and on a growing number of device types. While this ecosystem continues to grow, any company can take advantage of the open architecture of the PC and Windows to develop their own DRM system or media format and many have.”
The white paper describes how anti-hacker “output protection mechanisms complement the protection against software attacks provided by the Protected Environment in Windows Longhorn” and .how, “This collection of protect-tion mechanisms helps make the Longhorn PC a much safer place for premium content”.
So what makes up the collection? Bill and the Boyz sum things up like this:
PVP-OPM provides output control
PVP-OPM provides reliable control of the various output protection schemes such as HDCP, Macrovision, CGMS-A, and resolution constrictors. It uses a simpler form of HFS for authentication and requires Content Industry robustness rules to be met for hardware implementations.
PVP requires a certificate
Manufacturers of graphics cards must implement the various protection mechanisms on card outputs, and must ensure that drivers have robust control of those outputs. Manufacturers must sign the PVP-OPM license to get a PVP-OPM certificate for their drivers. Without the certificate, Windows Longhorn will not be allowed to pass premium content to the driver.
PVP-UAB provides bus encryption
PVP-UAB provides encryption of premium content as it passes over the PCIe bus to discrete graphics cards. It uses Diffie Hellman to establish as session key, seeded HFS for authentication, and AES 128-bit counter mode and an optional High Bandwidth Cipher for encrypting the data.
PUMA provides a protected environment for audio
PUMA is the UMA engine (completely new for Longhorn) running in the Longhorn Protected Environment. PUMA also includes the same level of audio output protection management that is provided by Windows XP SAP, but it is done in a completely different way and takes advantage of the Longhorn Protected Environment.
PAP is long term, but start thinking now
PAP is a much longer-term project that might aim to introduce encryption all the way to audio codec chips. It would have significant audio hardware implications, and would take years to do. Even though it is a long way in the future, it is good to start thinking about possibilities now.
Back to monitors, “To be fair it`s not just Microsoft,” says Rojas in Engadget.
“The next generation of digital content will, by and large, be protected to the display. Recently Toshiba released their HD-DVD specifications and have dictated HDMI/HDCP as a display requirement for playing back high-definition content. Most expect Blu-ray to have similar restrictions.
“What makes the PC situation so insidious is that nearly every monitor being sold today will fall victim to this gotcha. Blame whomever you like (the monitor manufacturers should shoulder their portion of the blame too), just be careful when buying a monitor these days. Or at least know that you could be setting yourself up for disappointment.”
Definitely stay tuned.
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