Soaring Epic Avatar Chained By Earthly DRM Restrictions, Felines Outraged

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News Posted: Mon, May 3 2010 9:44 AM
Fans of James Cameron's Avatar were undoubtedly thrilled with the movie's appearance on DVD and Blu-ray last week, but cat lovers who purchased the HD version of the film have been heared yowling discontentedly in the bushes. In a deeply ironic twist, the story of the nature-loving, free-spirited Na'vi is only available to humans whose Blu-ray players have been updated to support the latest DRM schemes.

You won't find that mentioned in much of the official discussion of the problem—Fox likened the problem to the need for a software update, "the same way computer programs such as browsers, Microsoft Office, or iTunes do." That explanation hasn't sat well with customers who ponied up for the Blu-ray, trotted home, and discovered it wasn't viewable, particularly when firmware updates for their players weren't available. This was initially a problem for Samsung owners in particular; the company released a fix on Sunday to allow BD-UP5000 and BD-P1400 players to run the movie.

Those of you who own a player that isn't connected to the Internet will have to perform whatever rearranging is necessary to download the latest update (free) or take the unit down to your local Best Buy, where they'll happily perform the service for about $30. Forget improved movie menus—these are the sort of value added features that make downloading such an attractive competitor to disc-based players of any sort. Such versions are just as encrusted, carry Blu-ray's price premium and there's no need to update a stand-alone player. Sounds like a win/win situation to us.
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acarzt replied on Mon, May 3 2010 11:16 AM

LOL! Nice Tags... "Avatard" "Blue Kitty People" lol

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I actually thought the movie wasn't all that impressive (other than the CG and effects). How well it did just goes to show you how brain dead the masses are.

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If that's the case then I think that you missed the point of the movie, and the reason behind it's existence.

DRM hasn't really bothered me all the much, but the recent issues with this digital rights saga has really rubbed me wrong.

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LOL those are indeed some nice tags... "blue kitty people" FTW!

Anyways technology is advance so much that watching a simple movie is giving people issues... What happen to those old days you run out to block busters for a movie and just pop it in the DVD and watch? No need to update your DVD(Blu-ray...) :D

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3vi1 replied on Mon, May 3 2010 8:47 PM

We need more and more people to get hit with these problems. It's the only way this will stupidity will stop. This DRM does nothing for the end user. It's supposed to stop them from watching their legally obtained content in a player that the movie producer deems as unlicensed.

On top of that, *the protection doesn't even work* - it's already been cracked. It doesn't bother people with pirated discs one bit, just the legal customers!

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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OK Marius. What was the point of that movie, what was the reason behind its existence?

It was only to prove once and for all that Cameron has become a sellout like Michael Bay. he learned from Titanic that an over inflated budget garners himself more money. Then just like Bay he oversells the hype and makes things all flashy and explosive without the need to be original anymore. Everything in that movie was copied from prior successes. What did it for you? Was it the ships which were just updated dropships from Aliens (with design help from Syd Mead), Or the large transports that looked like something from Halo, The updated Power loader, or the script that was taken in hopes of gaining Oscars like the one before. Even to quote Cameron, "Avatar "may not make film history, but there are a few shots in the film that he knows for certain will be quite memorable." Or about the effects "aren't necessarily revolutionary," but rather that the way that he shot the movie, with instant in-camera feedback with a rendered image, "could very well change movie making." Which is not his innovation, Rather that of the Jim Henson company! they just found a more fun use for the technology than using it only for Sid.

The only purpose of that movie is to loose all respect that Cameron fans have for him beyond that of what we had after Titanic. It sets his cred back to his Piranha and Battle of the planet days! Looking back at the amazing budget of Aliens and how complete that movie is. He could have used his power and influence to recapture that film makers passion, and used it for good with the next generation. He could have taken this movie replaced the Na'vi with the Geiger Alien. Made this an action war film on their home planet with all the new techniques, maybe save the indigenous people. Then all people would have been enamoured for it! Instead we get some kind of political rhetoric.

Movies like this only exist because Hollywood has nowhere else to go! They don't want to give props to the actual creative people, they just want to keep it within the elite circles! Moviegoers have been sadly conditioned to not expect much ever since Jurassic Park. Since then everyone has only been treated to a small portion of cool effects and ideas. Which have progressed over time to become Avatar. That has been the sole purpose for the need of 3D and other re-tooled tricks to make things more interesting! With movies like ID4 and Kong, Avatar ranks up there as the most effects shots in a movie. It is literally more like an CG animated movie. If they started to pay the creative people more than they did the actors, they would start to get more original ideas and more creativity infused into Hollywood. Yet when you can get high named actors and pay them forty million. Then turn around and steal the ideas from starving students, why change.

I hope that the only reason for the existence of this movie is to prove to Hollywood that with current technology, They are about to be replaced! Yet I believe that a movie like District9 is better suited to explain that point!

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Chainzsaw replied on Tue, May 4 2010 11:23 AM

I like the movie (Avatar). That's my opinion.

One thing I would like to mention though about DRM - i'm not sure if it's related to my problem or not but I recently got a brand new laptop with Blu ray drive in it and I hook it up to my big screen TV.

The problem is the first time I watched Avatar with my legit copy of Power DVD 10 Ultra - I did not know there was an update from 1516 to 1601 with Power DVD to play Avatar. I did watch Avatar but after that my blu ray drive seems to have been borked. I couldn't watch any blu ray's after that. Not sure what happened.

Another thing too - I had a sony blu ray player (BDPS 550) and after a firmware update back in Christmas I cannot watch most of my blu rays (which was the main reason I got my new laptop with blu ray in it).

This new technology is starting to piss me off with all these DRM schemes. So now I have a glorified DVD player - and i'm not sending it in to get repaired because the warrenty expired already.

We as consumers seem to be losing the ability to control our own products that we buy, which is really quite sad. It's really stupid when you have different blu ray drives that sometimes cannot play new movies, what ever happened to the ease of use of DVD's? And why hasn't that propogated to Blu ray? I seem to be updating or downloading a patch every time I go to watch a movie with my legit copies of everything. Why does it have to be this way? It's a pain in the ass when technology doesn't work the way it is supposed to.

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Chainzsaw replied on Tue, May 4 2010 11:32 AM

One more thing... in addition to my last post it makes me want to just go and download some cracked copy of movies - at least then I know they will play for sure, and I don't have to worry about some stupid program needing updating because it needs new AACS codes or a patch to watch.

Note I do not condone downloading movies, but i'm just trying to make a point that it used to be easier just to buy the movie and know it will work, but seems like these days it flipped around and it's easier to just download the movie and you know it will work for sure.

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Joel H replied on Tue, May 4 2010 11:34 AM

Anima,

As a long-time Titanic buff (the ship, not the movie), the movie was an extremely accurate historical rendition. Everything from the patterns on the China to the music played in the ship's final moments to the appearance of a certain fat cook on the stern moments before the ship sank--all accurate.

There are reasons to love the movie that have nothing to do with Kate and Leo. ;)

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I haven't seen the movie myself; the 3D was touted from the beginning as the reason to see it, as well as-- as well as-- well, it was in 3D. Those who know me know I don't get much out of 3D, and if it's the reason to see it, I have to pass. I'll stick to the Three Stooges short "Spooks." At least then you get Shemp, who was curiously missing from Avatar.

Here's what I'd propose. I try to own as little Sony as possible, so I haven't gotten a Blu-ray player; but some brave HH'er who does should buy the disk and post the error message it gives to a non-updated player here. Then, the rest of us buy Avatar, then return it the next day claiming that the disk is defective. (Make enough noise at a brick-and-mortar retail store and they'll take it back.) Repeat. If a sales clerk catches on and asks if you have the DRM update, claim to have no Internet connection for a disk player and no interest in spending money just to get an update that doesn't do anyone any good.

Eventually, sales will fall. Naturally, piracy will be blamed.


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Sadly, where I live I cannot simply go to the nearest brick and morter store as I live way out in the middle of nowhere. It usually takes a week to receive orders online.

Anyways I just hope the next format is less intrusive with their DRM schemes. If it is more so - blu ray maybe the last media I will ever buy.

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Animator I'm not even going to respond to your post, because you associated Jim Cameron as being part of Hollywood. Wrong. 

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OK Marius, why is he not Hollywood? just because he tells you he's not!
 
The point I was trying to make was that he uses that reputation to become big Hollywood. Since titanic he has used that description of himself to become a more integral part of the machine. The studios throw money at him in hopes of attracting others ideas since they have almost run out of remakes! Believing that he could attract others to give up ideas for the greater good. If he is not Big Hollywood then he is just being used, and I don't think he is ignorant. I mean now we are down to doing remakes of  80's movies?!
 
Yes... he has made some amazing blockbusters back in the day, on amazing budgets. Although I am sure being born a year after T2 came out, you remember what Hollywood was like back then? :)  T2 and Aliens were my favorite at the time. I had them both on VHS, Laser disc both normal and every special editions, and then on every other DVD format available. Back then he was looked at as the new Lucas. Because he said he was a passionate independent type of filmmaker. That is also why he didn't get any recognition from the MPAA, They looked at him as an outcast.  We all were hoping he was going to take the things that Lucas did to the next level, with developing new studios and film making techniques. Instead we got to see DD get parted/sold off, all production be outsourced to foreign companies all being fueled by corporate Hollywood greed :P
 
Back then he was supposed to be our inspiration and hope that we would all stand behind because we wanted to make some amazing movies with the same fervent passion. He was supposed to be a business model beacon like Lucas yet in Los Angeles.  Instead we saw him blend in, adapt himself to others viewpoints, and become a Hollywood role model to get the youth to give up their Ideas to Hollywood because "that's what he has done?"
 
I would say if you are serious about Hollywood learn all you can, because we never stop learning. Now is a great time to become a film maker, because you don't really need Hollywood anymore. And if you do then make sure you don't get taken advantage of, because that is what the whole game is about!  You have the ideas and it is their sole purpose to take that away from you! With technology the way it is today, at least you get a better ability to get up to 95% of your ideas worked out and protected before they become a factor in production.  Think about what area of production you want to be in and learn from those people, then you will begin to understand. If you learn from producers then you will share their viewpoints and disregard for others in production. If you learn from the creative side of things, live it, then take a close look at the producers. You will see what I mean :)
 
Then again, if you are related to Cameron then there would be nothing I can say... you have your mind made up.
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Joel H replied on Fri, May 7 2010 12:51 PM

Chain,

Let me see if I can help you with this. You say you can't watch Blu-ray movies, once after updating the firmware on a stand-alone player, and once after updating the PowerDVD Ultra software?

Question #1: Will PowerDVD Ultra (the updated version) still play Avatar?

If yes, have you tried a Blu-ray that came out about the same time? Alternatively, if you have Iron Man, try that--it's another Blu-ray movie that caused widespread problems when it first launched.

Reverting to the old version of PowerDVD Ultra should be as simple and uninstalling and reinstalling the program. Your LG drive might also need a firmware update--I've not played with BD-ROMs enough to know if firmware updates are occasionally being rolled out for them the same way they are for stand-alone players.

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Chainzsaw replied on Mon, May 10 2010 10:27 AM

@Joel

Hi joel thanks for your input. But I already found out the problem. I RMA'd my blu ray drive for my laptop and got a brand new one in (the same type). My blu ray drive had a physical problem. Once I got the new one - everything has been working perfectly, even Avatar.

I just hope this new drive doesn't die out like the old one did right away. Oh well, if it does it's still under warrenty.

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