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AnyDVD HD removes AACS encryption from HD DVDs, allowing users to play movies on non-HDCP compliant hardware

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 trial.

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By Golgatha777 on 2/19/2007 12:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'll explain my subject title now. For me, the only way I'm going to support any next-gen formats is if all the following criteria are met.

1) Allows for managed copy universally or is cracked sufficiently to allow for my own personal digital jukebox. Basically it needs to be as usable and fair use friendly as DVD is currently.
2) Allows my CRT monitor, which is perfectly capable of 1920x1080 resolution, to playback premium content without risk of the ICT kicking in at some point.
3) Drives and recordable media become reasonably priced.

Now I fully expect #3 to come to pass. Also #2 might might not be an issue if widescreen gaming becomes the de facto standard, and one can acquire a 1920x1080 capable monitor for $300 or less; again I think this is a highly likely scenario, but I certainly won't buy a new monitor just for HDCP. Criteria #1 is going to be the hardest one to meet IMO and HD-DVD only has AACS protection without anything like BD+. It seems there are some very motivated and intelligent individuals who will continue to to make AACS about as useful as CSS is now.

However, to contradict myself purposefully, I would say Blu-Ray has the stronger protection and I'm sure the MPAA will probably get a hard-on for this system if history serves as a guide. They would after all hate for their paying customers to get a reasonable value for their dollar.

By alifbaa on 2/19/2007 1:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know anything about BD+, but do you really think it will take more than a year to crack? I really doubt that if AACS was this little of an obstacle BD+ will be anything difficult. I could easily be wrong, but it seems to me that the primary motivator behind HDCP, AACS, etc. is to make copying a more clear violation of DMCA for the purpose of lawsuits, not to make a real attempt at stopping the copying itself.

By Micronite on 2/19/2007 5:21:05 PM , Rating: 4
In the grand scheme of things, I don't think this will make a difference.
The vast majority of consumers will choose one format or another based on mainly non-technical factors like price or marketing.
The unfortunate thing is that I feel like I have little effect on the survival/success of one format or another. That result will basically come from the "Average Joe's" of the world who thought, "Hmmm it says HD-DVD, so that matches my HD-TV." Or equally comical, "Blu-Ray... I have a Sony TV, so I should probably get a Sony player."

By ProxyOne on 2/19/2007 8:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
Or something like "Blu-Ray" isn't HD.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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