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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    I received an email from Google Play, yesterday, offering me a free copy of the movie Elf. (Sneaky, those Google people, because, following the link, you did indeed get a free low/standard definition copy of the film--with an offer to buy the high def. version for $5.) So, anyway: Free. I took it. I'd been meaning to buy an inexpensive movie for test purposes, and it doesn't get much more inexpensive than "free."

    Then began the fun. You see: I have about zero interest in watching movies on my tablet or handset. Seriously. And I'm damn sure not going to pay for the "privilege" of doing so. No, what interested me was the possibility of sharing content from my tablet to our TV, the latter of which has DLNA client support. Okay, the DLNA server part, on the tablet, was easy, but how to find and share the movie?

    Well, it turns out, you can't. Oh, you can find it, all right. But the format of the downloaded content is a locked-up, DRM'd version that can only be played with Google's player. Google's player doesn't have a DLNA server mode, of course. This is an excellent example of why software choice is good, and why proprietary, locked-up file formats are Evil.

    So much for that experiment. Luckily, it cost me nothing more than the small amount of time it took to figure out I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I wish my brief foray into DRM'd eBooks had been as cheap.

    So, thank you, Google, for the Christmas present: That being Yet Another Demonstration of why one should Just Say "No" to DRM'd content.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Stoneface View Post
    I received an email from Google Play, yesterday, offering me a free copy of the movie Elf. (Sneaky, those Google people, because, following the link, you did indeed get a free low/standard definition copy of the film--with an offer to buy the high def. version for $5.) So, anyway: Free. I took it. I'd been meaning to buy an inexpensive movie for test purposes, and it doesn't get much more inexpensive than "free."

    Then began the fun. You see: I have about zero interest in watching movies on my tablet or handset. Seriously. And I'm damn sure not going to pay for the "privilege" of doing so. No, what interested me was the possibility of sharing content from my tablet to our TV, the latter of which has DLNA client support. Okay, the DLNA server part, on the tablet, was easy, but how to find and share the movie?

    Well, it turns out, you can't. Oh, you can find it, all right. But the format of the downloaded content is a locked-up, DRM'd version that can only be played with Google's player. Google's player doesn't have a DLNA server mode, of course. This is an excellent example of why software choice is good, and why proprietary, locked-up file formats are Evil.

    So much for that experiment. Luckily, it cost me nothing more than the small amount of time it took to figure out I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I wish my brief foray into DRM'd eBooks had been as cheap.

    So, thank you, Google, for the Christmas present: That being Yet Another Demonstration of why one should Just Say "No" to DRM'd content.
    A Chromecast costs $35 and will acomplish exactly what you are wanting. DLNA has never been consistently implemented across services and devices. Same with Miracast. Thats why, although irritating, proprietary systems like AirPlay or Google Cast which are always consistently implemented offer a superior user experience.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Yeah, a chromecast will allow you to easily watch it on your TV (my kids watched that exact movie today on our living room TV from the freebie that Google gave)
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    I think you guys missed the point of my comments entirely.
  5. #5  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Stoneface View Post
    I think you guys missed the point of my comments entirely.
    No I understand your point. But it's controlled by the studios. With what service can you get any non-drm video content? Even bluray has DRM.

    Posted via Android Central App
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    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Elf for free? I think I will watch a movie tonight.

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    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Golfdriver97 View Post
    Elf for free? I think I will watch a movie tonight.
    Movies in low-def are almost as bad as no movies

    Posted via Android Central App
    "We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology." - Carl Sagan
  8. #8  
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    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by UJ95x View Post
    Movies in low-def are almost as bad as no movies

    Posted via Android Central App
    So far its not that bad.

    From a Sprint Moto X using AC Forums app

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    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Golfdriver97 View Post
    So far its not that bad.

    From a Sprint Moto X using AC Forums app
    Where'd you get it?

    Posted via Android Central App
    "We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology." - Carl Sagan
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    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by UJ95x View Post
    Where'd you get it?

    Posted via Android Central App
    Play Store

    From a Sprint Moto X using AC Forums app

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  11. #11  
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Golfdriver97 View Post
    Play Store

    From a Sprint Moto X using AC Forums app
    Downloaded that fast?
    Edit: Nevermind, didn't take long

    Posted via Android Central App
    "We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology." - Carl Sagan
  12. #12  

    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Getting back to OP discussion, Google been doing a lot of agreement with Hollywood which is why I won't buy the Chromecast, I think Google specifically crippled it due to their agreements with movies studio. Otherwise we you see a lot more apps becoming compatible with it and Koush wouldn't have so much problem putting up his casting app on the PlayStore. I can understand why Google is doing it, wanting to control piracy, but at the sametime it doesn't seem right with Android supposed more open nature, they have to tread carefully and not go too far. The same issue is happening on YouTube and if you follow that scene you'll know we've been getting more copyright take down than before, including a case where a game director uploaded his own game contents and got copyright takedown saying the content is owned by Sony (I know its an automated system, but it the sametime it's getting more corporate). Not to mention Google+ integration with YouTube being a big mess (even the original YouTube founder isn't happy about it). I'm using linux, and with no ads black whatsoever I can't post on YouTube with any browser I've tried even with Android user agent strings, had to do it on my phone.

    I simply use an Android TV stick and hook up my HDD to it to play all my ripped movies. XBMC if I want UPnP or LAN streaming. If I want Chromecast ability, I just load up CheapCast, which work perfectly. The current beta version just can't start automaticallly on boot yet, however, I took care of that using Tasker.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by UJ95x View Post
    Movies in low-def are almost as bad as no movies

    Posted via Android Central App
    The quality was actually really really good.

    Posted via Android Central App
  14. #14  

    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by someguy01234 View Post
    Getting back to OP discussion, Google been doing a lot of agreement with Hollywood which is why I won't buy the Chromecast, I think Google specifically crippled it due to their agreements with movies studio. Otherwise we you see a lot more apps becoming compatible with it and Koush wouldn't have so much problem putting up his casting app on the PlayStore. I can understand why Google is doing it, wanting to control piracy, but at the sametime it doesn't seem right with Android supposed more open nature, they have to tread carefully and not go too far.
    Actually, speaking of Chromecast, they are beginning to allow users to play local non-drm content. Recently, the apps Plex and Avia were added as official chromecast apps which both have the ability to play local content from a DLNA source. I was surprised at this but it's a good sign, local streaming to chromecast is possible now through official means.
  15. Thread Author  Thread Author    #15  

    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by gabbott View Post
    No I understand your point. But it's controlled by the studios. With what service can you get any non-drm video content? Even bluray has DRM.
    Yes, but I can take that BD or DVD disk and put it in any BD or DVD player, attached to any display device, and play it.

    Quote Originally Posted by UJ95x View Post
    Movies in low-def are almost as bad as no movies
    Nonsense. I played a bit of it on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. I'm not going to pay $5 to try to see the difference between the SD and HD versions, but it looked just fine to my eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by UJ95x View Post
    Downloaded that fast?
    Edit: Nevermind, didn't take long
    Just accepting it does not download it. You have to explicitly download it to have a local copy. On my Tab 2 and a 17mb/s business class Internet connection it took several minutes to actually download it. (I needn't have bothered, as it turned out. I imagine I'll eventually delete it.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodthirsty View Post
    The quality was actually really really good.
    I thought so. I wondered how it'd look on our 47" LCD TV, but I guess I won't find out.
  16. #16  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Stoneface View Post
    Yes, but I can take that BD or DVD disk and put it in any BD or DVD player, attached to any display device, and play it.

    True for only physical media unfortunately (although technically you can only play it to a device that has a HDCP HDMI port so it still has DRM, just that devices more widely support it, but what about tablets, phones, and display devices such as those?). You can't legally rip that data from the disc to play on other devices (although there are ways around it). There are digital copies available with the purchase of physical content that are still DRM laden requiring specific players. So you are still dealing with DRM content but it's more convenient because of wide adoption of those players. Similar things are happening with services such as Netflix and Hulu, it's still DRM laden content but because players are becoming more prevalent it's getting easier to consume.

    So we've never gotten away from DRM on video content. Even on physical digital media. Depending on mass adoption dictates how easy it is to consume.

    You could buy a chromecast to view this free movie but really no different that you had to buy a DVD or bd player to watch a disc.
    Last edited by gabbott; 12-22-2013 at 11:46 AM.
  17. #17  

    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Stoneface View Post
    I think you guys missed the point of my comments entirely.
    No I get your point. You want DRM free media so you can play it how you want. I agree that that would be great. However we are still many years from Hollywood allowing that so we were giving you advice on how you can achieve something close to what you want now.

    Posted via Android Central App
  18. #18  
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    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Stoneface View Post
    Yes, but I can take that BD or DVD disk and put it in any BD or DVD player, attached to any display device, and play it.


    Nonsense. I played a bit of it on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. I'm not going to pay $5 to try to see the difference between the SD and HD versions, but it looked just fine to my eyes.


    Just accepting it does not download it. You have to explicitly download it to have a local copy. On my Tab 2 and a 17mb/s business class Internet connection it took several minutes to actually download it. (I needn't have bothered, as it turned out. I imagine I'll eventually delete it.)


    I thought so. I wondered how it'd look on our 47" LCD TV, but I guess I won't find out.
    It took less than 10 minutes to completely download. Watched the whole movie

    Posted via Android Central App
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  19. Thread Author  Thread Author    #19  

    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by jdevenberg View Post
    ... we were giving you advice on how you can achieve something close to what you want now.
    While I appreciate the intent: No, not really. What I wanted, explicitly, was to have content on my tablet displayable on the TV. That was the entire point of the exercise. I don't really care about the movie Elf all that much. Truth be told: I've only seen it once, and didn't much care for it.

    But, as I said: It wasn't a complete loss. I learned something (which is what I was fairly sure I was going to find, anyway), the movie cost me nothing, and I had my decision about DRM'd material reaffirmed.
  20. #20  
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    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Stoneface View Post
    While I appreciate the intent: No, not really. What I wanted, explicitly, was to have content on my tablet displayable on the TV. That was the entire point of the exercise. I don't really care about the movie Elf all that much. Truth be told: I've only seen it once, and didn't much care for it.

    But, as I said: It wasn't a complete loss. I learned something (which is what I was fairly sure I was going to find, anyway), the movie cost me nothing, and I had my decision about DRM'd material reaffirmed.
    Have you tried to use an HDMI adapter for your tablet?

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  21. Thread Author  Thread Author    #21  

    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Golfdriver97 View Post
    Have you tried to use an HDMI adapter for your tablet?
    If I had one, I might. Again: Just for the experiment of the thing. People report varying success, with that, so it's not something on which I'd be inclined to spend money.

    Besides: If my tablet is chained to the TV with an HDMI cable, it can't be in my lap, so that'd be kind of sub-optimal.
  22. #22  

    Default Re: A Christmas Present From Google: Demonstration Of Why DRM Is Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by gabbott View Post
    Actually, speaking of Chromecast, they are beginning to allow users to play local non-drm content. Recently, the apps Plex and Avia were added as official chromecast apps which both have the ability to play local content from a DLNA source. I was surprised at this but it's a good sign, local streaming to chromecast is possible now through official means.
    Thanks. I looked up Plex and bought the app and the subcription to try out Chromecasting feature. It doesn't work with CheapCast most likely since it needs updating, so I decided to order a Chromecast.

    I also found an app called Avia, which can also Chromecast for $2.99, but I think is better and cheaper option than Plex. It can't do the cloud stuff, but it let you cast any local files directly from your Android, and have DLNA, it can even see Plex server. It seems to lack ability to play AVI files and MKV audios for now.

    I'll have to figure out how to get Plex to read media files in encrypted harddrive, I'll probably use Avia (or XBMC) instead on my Android TV stick and use its DLNA feature and connect an unencrypted hdd to share media directly from Android. The $5 Plex app would simply be relegated to watching free PBS Nova programs, I don't need access to my entire media library on the go.
    Last edited by someguy01234; 12-22-2013 at 05:02 PM.

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