The past few weeks, there have been multiple news reports published, articles written and a lot of online chit chat regarding a new tool released that allows users to rip HD DVD-ROM movies. After a few days, even more sites started reporting on the news and highlighting the subsequent appearance of ripped HD DVD movie files on bittorrent trackers.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, a Doom9.org user who goes by the name “muslix64” released a tool named “BackupHDDVD” in late December. muslix64 even posted a video titled “AACS is unbreakable” on YouTube, which shows his tool in action. The video was removed from YouTube, but can still be found on Google Video as of this posting.
Ok, so now we know that it is indeed possible to backup and distribute your HD DVD videos (and Blu-ray Discs will probably soon follow suit). But does it matter? Is there actually a demand for HD DVD video files? Do pirates even care about HD DVD rips or HD video files? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why pirates do NOT care about HD DVD rips.
1. The HD video file sizes are too large. Who wants to store a movie file on their hard drive that takes up over 20GB or storage? Only someone that has a LOT of spare disk space. This will be a large factor to consider for anyone considering an HD DVD rip download. Files this large can also cause problems with fragmentation on hard drives.
2. HD DVD rips take too long to download. This ties in with #1. If the HD video file size is over 20GB, that is going to be one longggg download. Will a potential downloader be willing to dedicate bandwidth resources and a BitTorrent connection for DAYS just to download one movie?
3. Seeding could be a problem. With such large files and lengthy download times, it is highly likely that a HD DVD download source could disappear or be interrupted in the middle of a HD DVD download attempt. Seeding these massive files could also be unattractive, possibly limiting the amount of HD DVD video seeders.
4. The resulting file is not yet able to be burned to disc. While the BackupHDDVD utility is able to produce a native EVO file format, it is unable to be written back to recordable media at this time. This means that the file will need to be kept on the hard drive for viewing. See #1 again. Even when it is possible to burn these discs to HD DVD-R, not many people will obtain HD DVD recordable hardware this year.
5. Portability and compatibility. It will be complicated and difficult to get an HD DVD rip transported to an HDTV or home entertainment center for most people.
6. Most pirates do not have the proper hardware to fully display high def video. In order to play an HD DVD on your computer system, you need a powerful CPU, video card and a monitor that can handle the display. Many people do not have the necessary resources to playback a smooth HD video on their PC.
7. High Definition playback software is required for PC viewing. In order to take full advantage of the HD DVD movie file, you need to have PowerDVD HD, WinDVD HD or another High Definition capable software player. Not many people have this software and I do not think that many are willing to buy it! Of course there is the possibility that HD player software could also be pirated beforehand…
8. Effective HD compression is not available. Compressing an HD video file will cause a large amount of quality loss. If anyone was thinking about compressing an HD movie for easier distribution online, they might be wasting their time. Also, the HD DVD-ROM EVO files are unable to be compressed at this time.
9. There are little to no titles that are exclusive to the blue laser formats (HD DVD or Blu-ray). At this point, with the blue laser format market penetration so low, there are no titles that are exclusive to High Def only formats. This means that any movie on HD DVD or Blu-ray can be acquired on DVD or another format instead!
10. Alternatives file formats are widely available in XVID, DivX, DVD, SVCD and more. Consumers still love their DVD resolution! 480p still looks great on most TV’s including High Def plasmas and LCD’s. Heck, when we’re talking about movie downloads, I would say that most pirates probably prefer a 700MB XVID encoded video file over a DVD. 700MB vs 20GB? I think most pirates will opt for the compressed, smaller video rips.
These are some of the top reasons and complications that could deter pirates from downloading HD DVD movie rips. But of course there might also be some attractive reasons. What do you think? Would you be willing to download a HD DVD movie rip file that is over 20GB in size? Let me know your thoughts by replying!