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Movies on iPad via VGA : Genre Nightmare

Movies on iPad via VGA : Genre Nightmare

I dread to think of what I spend on the iTunes store every year. From music, to film, apps to the newly introduced book store a large chunk of my disposal income goes straight to iTunes.

I genuinely can’t remember my last visit to a video store since AppleTV started rentals I spend so much I half expect a personal email from Steve Jobs thanking me for my custom. The iPad is no different, just days after the release and I have a bookshelf full of books, five screens of apps and a credit card bill I can’t face.

The problem comes with Movies

My vision for the iPad is huge and many of my ideas involve video out so this week I started experimenting using Apple’s own VGA out adaptor.

It is remarkable how well Keynote presentations and YouTube video look but when I turned my focus to playing iTunes content I experience my first iPad disappointment having assumed everything would just work. To my surprise playing purchased movies (from iTunes) although works perfectly on the iPad screen fail to output to a projector or external monitor.

“Cannot Play Movie The connected display is not authorized to play protected movies.” You are probably assuming at this point I was trying to play HD content, I wasn’t it was a plain old standard definition film. Out of the four films I tried not one would output through the VGA. Strangely though I moved to playing episodes of a TV series I had also bought from iTunes and these played without issue.

An hour of Googling and I was no further on coming to the conclusion that the limitation is being applied by DRM (Digital Rights Management). Perhaps there is a technical reason why it is only movies that don’t play ? I am actually really hoping there is.

It seems ridiculous to think that I can play my films on my AppleTV, my computer screen and on my mobile devices but the second I so to play them on an external screen via iPad DRM kicks in ? Let me point out I am not blaming iTunes for these limitations as I suspect the decision isn’t Apple’s.

Is DRM the Issue ?

There is something utterly ridiculous and illogical that companies will invest millions of pounds in a system of Digital Rights Management than actually harms the legitimate customer. I can understand DRM locking down playing of content of a particular user but limiting what that user can do with the content is a step too far.

In actual fact I could have bought Avatar on DVD for less online ran it through handbrake and played it on my screen via iPad without limitation.

Perhaps I have misunderstood the issue but when I buy a film I’d like to be able to watch it. It is clear by the fact the first frame is displayed on the VGA screen before the message appears that there is software locking me down. Does anyone have an explanation or better a solution ?

I think it is interesting that if it is DRM stopping playback that it winds up someone who pays for everything so much !

I want my rights back.

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