1 2 3 Previous Next 38 Replies Latest reply: Jun 9, 2014 8:55 AM by MacsAre1
Mr. Mellow Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

Little did I know, this is apparently a typical story. I bought my first TV episode from iTunes to play on my 11" MacBook Air, connected to my 20" Cinema Display, and received this message when I attempted to play the video:

 

The selected movie won't play on your display.

This movie can be played only on displays that support HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection).

 

I looked into it:

 

 

7. What is HDCP?

HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) is a form of digital copy protection that requires compatibility between a source—such as your computer and video adapter if present—and a receiver, such as a high-definition television. If any of these devices or cabling do not support HDCP, your content may not play, may present a warning message, or may play back at a lower resolution than expected. An example of content that supports HDCP is an HD movie on the iTunes Store. Note: For information about whether your cabling, receiver, or television supports HDCP, refer to the manufacturer of the device.

 

 

8. Does the Apple Mini DisplayPort adapter support HDCP?

Apple Mini DisplayPort adapters that offer digital connections—such as the Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter and the Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter—support HDCP content. Apple Mini DisplayPort adapters that offer analog connections—such as the Apple Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter—do not support HDCP content.

 

  • Ok, that's not the problem; I have an Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter, it supports HDCP content, and such adapters are for connecting monitors, not TVs.
  • Two versions of the movie were downloaded, an .m4v and an (HD).m4v. Neither plays in iTunes (same message).
  • I opened both with QuickTime. The non-HD movie played on my 20" but the HD did not.
  • That doesn't sound like content protection to me, at least for the non-HD movie.
  • Nothing during my purchase indicated system requirements for playing HDCP vids (if there is somewhere in the bowels of the iTunes store, it is not apparent, nor did I dig for it; I just bought a TV show);

 

My issues / questions:

 

  • Only after digging on the forums did I find out that my Cinema Display would not play HDCP vids.
  • There is nothing at all in the above Apple support article to indicate that HDCP vids cannot be played on a 20" Cinema Display. In fact, by any reasonable interpretation, Question No. 8 would indicate that all is hunky dory with HDCP and you're good to go. Question No. 7 is ambiguous, but only in retrospect (after perusing the forum).
  • Is a non-HD .m4v an HDCP vid?
  • Why does QuickTime play the non-HD movie, but iTunes doesn't?
  • Where in the iTunes store (pre-purchase) are there system requirements for playing HDCP videos?
  • This irritates the living kwap out of me – I bought a new Mac so I could play HD videos. Yes, I now know that this has been an issue on-and-off on the forum since 2004, but until an hour ago it news to me. What this means to me is that Apple has had since 2004 to figure out either how to allow their monitors to play HDCP content, or has had since the iTunes Store offered video content to clearly inform potential purchasers that if they don't have an HDCP-compatible device (and how to tell), the video won't play. Oh, and the above support article was last modified on March 15, 2011 (yes, I sent feedback to Apple).

 

If you're inclined to offer an answer to the 3 questions above, I'd be grateful. Don't worry about responding to my venting, that's just frustration.

  • 1. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    Frozo Level 2 Level 2 (270 points)

    You are completely right in your frustration! I have the same issue. I am using APPLE BRANDED monitor (30" Cinema Display) and yet iTunes-purchased content WILL NOT PLAY on my system. There is NO warning whatsoever before paying for content that doesnt work because of this ridiculous practice. I see more and more of these kind of business decisions with Apple all the time. So frustrating. I dont buy HD content anymore because of this.

  • 2. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    CJfromLA Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Having the same problem with non Apple branded displays. Most of my non HD files will play, but a few will not, instead defaulting to the HD version. The non HD version doesn't show up in iTunes, but when I browse to the directory where the files are stored, there are the non HD files right next to the HD ones. FRUSTRATING!

  • 3. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    KraftyOne Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for sharing exactly the same situation and frustration as me. I have no idea where to turn...and why this is a problem in the first place. Does it have something to do with sending an HD-grade signal to a "non-HD" monitor? I just don't understand if this has to do with bean counters or is a technical problem that I can troubleshoot. Ugh - just started my search on what to do next. Apple, a reply in layman's language please.

  • 4. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    ollie_86 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am having the same trouble... however my movies won't even play on MY OWN LAPTOP SCREEN let alone an external one!


    It's freakin' ridiculous. I downloaded and paid for The Art of Flight snowboard movie.. in HD.. only to find there is literally now way for me to actually watch the movie in HD.

     

    • It won't play through my computer to my TV via Mini-DV adapter
    • and get this.. it won't even play on my own computer that I downloaded it on (15" MacBook Pro). This is what gets me the most.. ! Apparently the display that Apple gave me with my computer is not compatible...

     

    This is probably the last time I actually try and purchase something the 'legit' way, when I can't even view it. Sure, I could watch the movie in SD.. but what is the point when the specific reason I downloaded this in HD was, um, to watch it in HD?

     

    Apple gets a lot of things right.. but this is one big screw-up that has made me resent the brand.

  • 5. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    swivelstudio Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just got The Art of Flight too in HD. I downloaded through itunes on my new Imac assuming this will look amazing... and "the selected movie will not play on your display"!

     

    1) Idiotic. It should play.

    2) Why didn't it warn me if it couldn't?

    3) Apple better exchange this HD for the SD. I'm submitting an issue with it through itunes now.

  • 6. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    swivelstudio Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OK - just needed to update iTunes I guess. Now it works, but that was not very clear. I'm sure I won't be the only one.

  • 7. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    ollie_86 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Lucky! Unless they've updated iTunes over the weekend.. I'm still out out luck as mine was the latest version apparently.

     

    Apple did refund me the money for the movie, however, although this does little to rectify it. I don't actually mind paying money for this movie as I've been anticipating it's release the last two years! It would be much nicer to NOT get the refund, but be able to watch this movie...

  • 8. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    Ziatron Level 4 Level 4 (3,265 points)
    It would be much nicer to NOT get the refund, but be able to watch this movie...

     

    Because of all the hassle described above, I have given up on purchasing downloaded movies.

     

    Now I just purchase my movies on Blu-ray DVDs.  Zero hassles. They always work.

     

    David Pogue wrote an excellent article in Scientific American magazine about this subject.

     

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-perils-of-copy-protection

     

    By the way, the problem can often be solved by using an HDMI to Component Video adapter.  Many believe that Component Video will give you a better HD picture than HDMI without any of the hassles of HDCP.

     

    Generally try to avoid using HDMI.   When able, use Component Video.  With Component Video you get full HD quality and you will never have HDCP hassles (which of course is why Hollywood wants to ban it).

  • 9. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    advertbandit Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So i'm at my parents house troubleshooting this for them.. apple have a link which details the kit required here

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3209 so as they have a mac mini connected via mini display port to vga they wont get hd. However in the playback preferences in itunes I have selected the option to play back sd footage and in this case (bbc wildlife frozen planet) it has now elected to play an sd version which downloaded at the same time. Running os 10.6.8 with itunes 10 with a 24" lcd mon with vga only connection 2.4ghz mac mini 2gb mem- is there anything else I should do like update to lion - is this going to fix the issue?

  • 10. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    axonal Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had this problem and APPLE told me to join the support discussions. I started a new string but this one has the essence of the matter. Can't see why anyone would download a movie unless you knew it was HDCP compatible which is hard to discover even with the most modern HDTV. I will follow this closely, the component video cable sounds promising.

  • 11. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    donfromsandy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I followed the link referenced above (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3209) and I easily have all of the system requirements for viewing HD Videos, except for, apparently:  A display that supports HDCP with a screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher. 

     

    I have a late model 27" iMac with Mac OS X v. 10.7.2, the latest version of iTunes 10 (10.5.2), a 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor with 4 GB of RAM.  My display supports 2560x1440, clearly an adequate resolution.

     

    But I can't play the HD version of a movie I purchased on iTunes (The selected movie won't play on your display.  This movie can be played only on displays that support HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection).

     

    What is up with this, Apple?

  • 12. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    Asatoran Level 4 Level 4 (2,535 points)

    donfromsandy wrote:

     

    I followed the link referenced above (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3209) and I easily have all of the system requirements for viewing HD Videos, except for, apparently:  A display that supports HDCP with a screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher. 

     

    I have a late model 27" iMac with Mac OS X v. 10.7.2, the latest version of iTunes 10 (10.5.2), a 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor with 4 GB of RAM.  My display supports 2560x1440, clearly an adequate resolution.

     

    But I can't play the HD version of a movie I purchased on iTunes (The selected movie won't play on your display.  This movie can be played only on displays that support HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection).

     

    What is up with this, Apple?

    The movie studios require HDCP in their licensing agreement's with Apple.  So in order for Apple to provide content from those studios, you get HDCP.  Otherwise, the movie won't be available in the iTunes Store, and Apple loses revenue to others who will fall in line with the movie studio's restrictions.  So blame the movie studios for thinking you're a thief and forcing you to use HDCP compatible equipment.

     

    That said, are you trying to watch the movie on your iMac's display or an external monitor or TV?  The iMac will play the HDCP content, but it won't play on an external monitor unless it's HDCP compliant and connected with and HDCP compliant method.  (i.e.: it can't be connected using VGA.)

  • 13. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    donfromsandy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Asatoran, thank-you for your reply.  My complaint is not with movie industry requirements (well, not here anyway).  It is that I bought this movie on iTunes and it won't play the HD version on my late model iMac 27" display.  You say that the iMac will play the HDCP content, but I can only play the SD version, not the HD version.  What am I missing?

  • 14. Re: HDCP Content System Requirements?
    Asatoran Level 4 Level 4 (2,535 points)

    donfromsandy wrote:

     

    Asatoran, thank-you for your reply.  My complaint is not with movie industry requirements (well, not here anyway).  It is that I bought this movie on iTunes and it won't play the HD version on my late model iMac 27" display.  You say that the iMac will play the HDCP content, but I can only play the SD version, not the HD version.  What am I missing?

    It wasn't clear from your post where you were displaying the movie.  Because you have a 27" iMac, it should be new enought to be HDCP compliant, at least the built-in display should be.

     

    One quick thought: even though you're trying to watch on the built-in display, do you have any additional monitors or TVs attached to the iMac?  I've experienced the situation on my Mini where I had one DVI HDCP compliant monitor and one VGA monitor attached.  But I had the iTunes window a little too large and part of iTunes was on the VGA monitor.  Since VGA is not HDCP compliant, I got the error message.  The fix was to either disconnect the VGA monitor or resize the iTunes window to fit only on the HDCP compliant monitor.

     

    Beyond that, you may have issues with OSX or some other hardware problem.   Check for any software updates (probabaly not the issue, but can't hurt.)  You may even need to reinstall iTunes or OSX.  Possibily even a clean install of Lion, if your system didn't originally come with Lion.  After that, I'd suggest calling Apple, or at the very least, starting a new thread since your issue is not exactly the same as the original question (assuming you're only trying to watch on the built-in display and not on any other monitor) and the original thread is several months old.

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