Well, here’s MS Vista’s anti-customer restrictions explained.
So apparently if you buy a DVD, and Vista doesn’t like your HD-television (read: you didn’t buy a newer one), it will decide you don’t get to make use of high definition quality video. I already knew I didn’t like the digital restrictions management that Windows Media Player made use of. Now Hollywood and Microsoft get to dictate whether or not you can make full use of your paid-for television and movies. It would be like Windows detecting that a server you are connecting to is not using Microsoft software and so throttling your bandwidth to make the connection arbitrarily slower. Or like Microsoft’s IIS sending non-IE web browsers different, outdated HTTP headers.
I have a friend who couldn’t play a DVD from his computer through the VCR that he had hooked up to his television. He wasn’t copying anything, but he basically had all video and audio going through the VCR to the television, and the DVD player apparently detected the VCR and prevented the video from transmitting. In order to play the DVD, he had to disconnect his VCR and connect his computer to the television directly. It is a complete hassle for the customer that doesn’t do anything to prevent copyright violation. Anyone can still take a DVD and make a pristine copy without the need to break the copy protection, so what was the point of it?
And now Vista will be enforcing customer restrictions in a similar way. Lovely.