With the upcoming release of Windows 10, there might be some bad news on the horizon regarding the ability to watch 4K movies on computers that do not support the particular DRM technologies that the new operating system will require.
Microsoft’s PlayReady 3.0 is a continuation of the PlayReady line. It’s been around since 2007 and has been quietly protecting movies for about as long. Until 3.0 came out, however, this protection was mostly software-based, which had allowed pirates to crack the code very easily and distribute the films through the popular channels. With this new version, the film industry hopes that it can get one step ahead of pirates by making the hardware do the work of decrypting the signal. The details about the new technology are underwhelming, but we know for sure that it relies on certain hardware, meaning that you will have to upgrade your computer if it doesn’t have PlayReady 3.0 capabilities.
What Happens To Incompatible Computers?
Since PlayReady’s new DRM is tied to your hardware, it means that some 4K movies will not play in 4K resolution unless you have a specific type of hardware. Let me be frank with you: You can play movies in 4K without PlayReady-compatible hardware, but what you cannot play is any movie that uses PlayReady as its DRM.
OK, this is a bit confusing. Just to clarify, this is what you can do without PlayReady hardware:
- use a 4K resolution on your monitor
- watch YouTube in 4K
- play 4K movies that don’t use PlayReady DRM