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Show's over: how Hollywood strong-ARMed Intel and the CE biz.

Intel's new movie service, Intel Insider, is a lot more interesting for what it signifies than for what it actually is. The service, which takes advantage of a new hardware module inside Sandy Bridge's GPU to enable the secure delivery of downloadable HD content to PCs, has been blasted as "DRM." But of course it's only a DRM-enabler—a hardware block that can store predistributed keys that the Sandy Bridge GPU uses to decrypt movies a frame at a time before they go out over the HDMI port.

This hardware-based encryption scheme is also just the latest chapter in a long, sorry story of electronics industry capitulation to the much smaller, but incredibly powerful Hollywood studios. There was a time when Intel and the rest of the consumer electronics industry could have chosen to stand up and fight, but that window has now closed. The fix is in, and Hollywood is likely to get everything it wants from here on out.
-- Tom
 
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