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Encyclopedia > Protected Media Path
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The Protected Media Path is a set of technologies creating a "Protected Environment", first included in Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, that are used to enforce digital rights management (or DRM) protections on content. Its subsets are Protected Video Path (PVP) and Protected User Mode Audio (PUMA). Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Windows Vista (formerly codenamed Windows Longhorn) has many significant new features compared with previous Microsoft Windows versions, covering most aspects of the operating system. ... Windows Vista (formerly codenamed Windows Longhorn) has many significant new features compared with previous Microsoft Windows versions, covering most aspects of the operating system. ... There are a number of security and safety features new to Windows Vista, most of which are not available in any prior Microsoft Windows operating system release. ... Windows Vista contains a brand new networking stack, which brings large improvements in all areas of network-related functionality[1]. It includes native implementation of IPv6, as well as complete overhaul of IPv4. ... Windows Vista provides contains a range of new technologies and features that are intended to help network administrators and power users better manage their systems. ... While Windows Vista contains many new features, a number of older technologies and obsolete capabilities that were a part of Windows XP are no longer present or changed, resulting in the removal of certain functionality. ... Windows Vista ships in six editions. ... Development of Windows Vista occurred over the span of five and a half years, starting in earnest in May 2001,[1] prior to the release of Microsofts Windows XP operating system, and continuing until November 2006. ... Windows Vista, the latest version of Microsofts desktop operating system, has been the target of a number of negative assessments by various groups. ... Windows Vista is the latest release of Microsoft Windows, a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... An operating system (OS) is a set of computer programs that manage the hardware and software resources of a computer. ... Digital rights management (DRM) is an umbrella term referring to technologies used by publishers or copyright owners to control access to or usage of digital data or hardware, and to restrictions associated with a specific instance of a digital work or device. ...

Contents

Overview

The Protected Environment in which DRM content is played contains the media components that play DRM content, so the application only needs to provide remote control (Play, Rewind, Pause, and so on), rather than having to handle unprotected content data. The Protected Environment also provides all the necessary support for Microsoft-approved ("signed") third-party software modules to be added. It provides a “wall” against outside copying, where within the walls, content can be processed without making the content available to unapproved software.


In order to prevent users from copying DRM content, Windows Vista provides process isolation and continually monitors what kernel-mode software is loaded. If an unverified component is detected, then Vista will stop playing DRM content, rather than risk having the content copied. The Protected Environment is implemented completely in software, so software-based attacks such as patching the Windows kernel are possible.[1]


These restrictions concern the various outputs from the PC. For DRM content, digital outputs such as Digital Visual Interface (DVI) and High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) will have High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) enabled, to prevent someone recording the digital stream. Even analog TV-style outputs typically require some restrictions, provided by mechanisms such as Macrovision and CGMS-A. These restrictions only apply to DRM-restricted content, such as HD DVD or Blu-ray that are encrypted with AACS, and also apply in Windows XP using supported playback applications[1] [2]. Users' standard unprotected content will not be faced with these restrictions. Some output types such as S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interchange Format) typically don’t have a suitable DRM scheme available, so these need to be reliably turned off if the content so specifies. The Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a video interface standard designed to maximize the visual quality of digital display devices such as flat panel LCD computer displays and digital projectors. ... HDMI Cable & HDMI official logo Type Digital audio/video connector Production history Designer The HDMI group Designed December 2002 Produced 2003 Specifications Hot pluggable Yes External Yes Audio signal PCM, DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio Video signal 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p... High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a form of the controversial Digital Rights Management (DRM) developed by Intel Corporation to control digital audio and video content as it travels across Digital Visual Interface (DVI) or High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connections. ... Macrovision is a company that creates electronic copy prevention schemes, established in 1983. ... CGMS-A (Copy Generation Management System Analogue) is a copy protection mechanism for analog television signals. ... HD-DVD disc HD DVD (for High Density Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical media format which is being developed as one standard for high-definition DVD. HD DVD is similar to the competing Blu-ray Disc, which also uses the same CD sized (120 mm diameter) optical data... Blu-ray discs Blu-ray Disc is a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by a group of leading consumer electronics and PC companies called the Blu_ray Disc Association (BDA), which succeeds the Blu_ray Disc Founders (BDF). ... The Advanced Access Content System is a new standard in the progress of software development, which will allow limited sharing and copying of the next generation of DVDs. ... S/PDIF or S/P-DIF stands for Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format, also IEC 958 type II, part of IEC-60958. ...


In Vista, the robust control of PC video outputs is provided by PVP-OPM, which is essentially the next generation of Certified Output Protection Protocol (COPP) introduced in Windows XP. However, rather than being a software application programming interface, PVP-OPM operates with the Windows media components in the Protected Environment. Windows XP is a line of proprietary operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... An application programming interface (API) is a source code interface that a computer system or program library provides to support requests for services to be made of it by a Length. ...


Additionally, PVP-UAB (Protected Video Path - User-Accessible Bus) is used to encrypt video and audio data as it passes over the PCI-Express bus, to prevent it from being intercepted and copied on the way to the graphics card. It is complementary to PVP Output Protection Management. “Cipher” redirects here. ... PCI Express, officially abbreviated as PCIe (and sometimes confused with PCI Extended, which is officially abbreviated as PCI-X), is a computer expansion card interface format. ... In computer architecture, a bus is a subsystem that transfers data or power between computer components inside a computer or between computers and typically is controlled by device driver software. ... A graphics/video/display card/board/adapter is a computer component designed to convert the logical representation of visual information into a signal that can be used as input for a display medium. ...


Hacked?

During January 2007, the kernel developer for the ReactOS, Alex Ionescu, announced that he had found a method that allows end users to bypass Vista’s Protected Media Path. This would allow digital content to be played on equipment that does not implement DRM security measures (like rescaling of video resolutions and disabling analog audio outputs). However, he did not release any sourcecode for fear of a Microsoft lawsuit with regards to a possible violation of the DMCA.[3] On March 6th 2007, Microsoft responded after internal testing, that the described method would not work. [4] A kernel connects the application software to the hardware of a computer. ... ReactOS is a project to develop an operating system that is binary-compatible with application software and device drivers for Microsoft Windows NT version 5. ... The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a controversial United States copyright law which criminalizes production and dissemination of technology that can circumvent measures taken to protect copyright, not merely infringement of copyright itself, and heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. ...


Criticism

In addition to the regular criticism against Digital Rights Management schemes, there has been speculation that this scheme has been motivated by the fact that it would inhibit official free/open source graphics driver support by manufacturers. The scheme relies on the internals of graphics cards to tell whether the hardware is trustworthy (permitted to play copy-protected content). This could be subverted if an attacker knows certain details about the hardware's operation, which could be disclosed by hardware documentation or open source device drivers.[2] Digital rights management (DRM) is an umbrella term referring to technologies used by publishers or copyright owners to control access to or usage of digital data or hardware, and to restrictions associated with a specific instance of a digital work or device. ... Using graphics hardware with free and open source software (FOSS) can be difficult, because some of the leading manufacturers of graphics cards do not provide technical documentation sufficient for independent developers to create accelerated 3D device drivers for their products. ... A graphics/video/display card/board/adapter is a computer component designed to convert the logical representation of visual information into a signal that can be used as input for a display medium. ... In general terms, documentation is any communicable material (such as text, video, audio, etc. ... Windows XP loading drivers during a Safe Mode bootup A device driver, or a software driver is a specific type of computer software, typically developed to allow interaction with hardware devices. ...


See also

Windows Vista (formerly codenamed Windows Longhorn) has many significant new features compared with previous Microsoft Windows versions, covering most aspects of the operating system. ... Microsofts latest Windows operating system, Windows Vista, includes a number of new I/O technologies and enhancements that are intended to shorten the time taken to boot the system, improve the responsiveness of the system, and improve the reliability of data storage. ...

References

  1. ^ Ionescu, Alex. "Introducting D-Pin Purr v1.0 - 32bit Edition". Retrieved on April 11, 2007.
  2. ^ Peter Gutmann (2006-12-26). "A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection". Retrieved on 2007-01-28.
  • http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/stream/output_protect.mspx
  • http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/aa376846.aspx
  • http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/vista/process_Vista.mspx

 
 

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