AnyDVD, a software favorite for DVD movie aficionados, has
hit the HD era. SlySoft has quietly released AnyDVD HD over the weekend,
offering similar decryption capabilities as its standard-definition version.
AnyDVD HD removes AACS encryption from HD DVDs, which will
also allow the user to watch movies over a digital display connection without
HDCP compliant graphics card and display. The software will also enable PowerDVD
Ultra to run titles released by Studio Canal, The Weinstein Company, Kinowelt and
Optimum Releasing—studios whose movies previously did not run on the PC player.
Another feature of AnyDVD HD is what SlySoft calls “magic
file replacement” to remaster any commercial movie disc using simple XML
scripts. These scripts will “magically” replace the files on the physical disc
so that the user can customize discs without making a copy to a hard drive.
“We could only begin our development some weeks ago and we
are immensely proud to get this product out to the users so quickly,” said Peer
van Heuen, one of SlySoft’s lead developers. “This speaks to the commitment to
our users: get good and easy-to-use products out on the market fast!”
Other features carried over from AnyDVD include the removal
of CSS encryption and region codes from DVD movies, allowing for a user’s free
reign over the optical format for backup purposes. AnyDVD is capable of
removing unwanted movie features, including subtitles and prohibition messages
such as copyright and FBI warnings.
While the release of AnyDVD HD seems to be more than
coincidental with the discovery of the Processing Key that defeats all HD DVD
and Blu-ray Disc protections, SlySoft maintains that its development was
independent of what the hacking community accomplished.
“The way AnyDVD HD addresses and solves the problem doesn't
have much in common with the discoveries of individual members of the Open
Source community in reading AACS keys from the USB bus,” said Peer van Heuen. “As
one can expect from SlySoft, our solution works fully automatic with all known
titles while the so-called hacker tools require laborious reading out of memory
or the USB bus. This is not to say that their efforts are completely fruitless;
it’s just that ours need to be user-friendly. It’s just that simple.”
The current version of AnyDVD HD supports only HD DVD, but
given the similarities in copy protection, SlySoft said that a version of its
software that will support Blu-ray Disc is not far off.
“When we considered Blu-Ray, our strategy was simply to
initially support HD-DVD and await further developments in the marketplace.
Already during the beta phase we got many inquiries about Blu-ray so we decided
to go ahead and also provide support for this as soon as possible,” added Tom
Xiang, SlySoft’s Marketing Director. “Blu-ray employs the same AACS process as
HD-DVD. An implementation was really just a matter of form. A beta version is
planned for availability this quarter.”
AnyDVD HD is priced at $79 by itself or as an upgrade from
AnyDVD for $30. The software may also be first downloaded for a free 21-day