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#1707551 - 02/24/07 01:16 PM Windows Vista Disabling of Functionality
stuart Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/03/04
Posts: 39
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
For more info see: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html#functionality

This relates to surround sound in that Vista appears to disable access to a S/PDIF port ...

Also Amir at the AVS Forum has some nice things to say about Audio Processing in Vista. It still doesn't directly support DVD-Audio \:\(

Vista's content protection mechanism only allows protected content to be sent over interfaces that also have content-protection facilities built in. Currently the most common high-end audio output interface is S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format). Most newer audio cards, for example, feature TOSlink digital optical output for high-quality sound reproduction, and even the latest crop of motherboards with integrated audio provide at least coax (and often optical) digital output. Since S/PDIF doesn't provide any content protection, Vista requires that it be disabled when playing protected content [Note E]. In other words if you've sunk a pile of money into a high-end audio setup fed from an S/PDIF digital output, you won't be able to use it with protected content. Instead of hearing premium high-definition audio, you get treated to premium high-definition silence.

Say you've just bought Pink Floyd's “The Dark Side of the Moon”, released as a Super Audio CD (SACD) in its 30th anniversary edition in 2003, and you want to play it under Vista (I'm just using SACD as a representative example of protected audio content because it's a well-known technology, in practice Sony has refused to license it for playback on PCs). Since the S/PDIF link to your amplifier/speakers is regarded as insecure for playing the SA content, Vista would disable it, and you'd end up hearing a performance by Marcel Marceau instead of Pink Floyd.



Edited by stuart (02/24/07 03:49 PM)
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#1707634 - 02/24/07 05:00 PM Re: Windows Vista Disabling of Functionality [Re: stuart]
AudioMaverick Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/19/01
Posts: 1794
Loc: Outskirts of Big Bear, CA,UNIT...
Thanks for the link. It only enforces the issue that has popped up with Vista in regard to A/V. There are the other issues of vendors and driver issues, too. New OS issues were always around when upgrading from previous versions. But, the DRM twist has really put a problem into the mix.

I upgraded the PC I use for the home theater system from XP Pro to Vista Business. It was the only system I could upgrade with minimal hardware change. And, two problems came up. My Terratec card doesn't work, until they make a driver that works (I use the SPDIF out). And, my video card now drops the resolution of DVDs to 480 lines, making them look fuzzier. I have a GeForce card installed, and there are Vista driver issues with them.

If I didn't have the need to run Vista for business, I would have left well-enough-alone. I am seriously looking into the possibility of putting a MAC Mini in place of it. Chances are that I will end up picking one of the HD DVD players (HD-DVD or Blu-Ray) later this year. I am leaning toward Blu-Ray, but it is a little early for me to commit. That is just for the movie playback aspect of the PC.

I wonder if an "appliance-oriented" system will be around the corner for multi-track recording. I can see that. It would probbably mean having to buy a total unit from Focusrite, Motu, M-Audio, Digidesign... You get the picture. That would probably mean them running a light version of an open source OS, like Linux. The more I think of it, the more I like it. I hope some industry people read this!
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#1710864 - 03/02/07 03:23 PM Re: Windows Vista Disabling of Functionality [Re: AudioMaverick]
stuart Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/03/04
Posts: 39
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Hi Audio Maverick,

I've found a few more interesting things here Audio in Windows Vista. It looks like WDM is unchanged in Vista and they added a new driver model called "Wave RT". It also says the following:
"...any WDM driver that was built under Windows XP should generally work as is under Windows Vista without a recompile. Also, any user mode programs that use "WDM Kernel Streaming" (such as Cakewalk SONAR) in Windows XP would work exactly the same under Windows Vista, when run on top of the driver that was built for Windows XP.

So it looks as if any cards that have WDM drivers should work. It also looks as other custom driver formats will be supported \:\)

The good news here is that Vista still permits proprietary user mode to kernel mode driver stacks, which means that Creative products may continue to support non Microsoft driver models and technologies such as OpenAL, SoundFont Management System, and ASIO

The one interesting thing with Vista is it appears to have built-in room calibration and bass management. So when the audio interface drivers are ready the bass management will be located in a better position for digital only systems.

There's an interesting article about DRM: Bill Gates On The Future Of DRM
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#1715424 - 03/10/07 04:38 PM Re: Windows Vista Disabling of Functionality [Re: stuart]
doug osborne Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/15/00
Posts: 2638
Loc: Culver City, CA, US
Stuart,

This is a non-issue for us producing music on computers - I hope you understand this.

This article has spread nothing but mis-information.

If your audio interface drivers are signed for Vista, you will be able to play any future or current content. End of story.
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#1721938 - 03/23/07 11:33 AM Re: Windows Vista Disabling of Functionality [Re: doug osborne]
Neil Wilkes Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 07/06/02
Posts: 515
Loc: London, UK
AudioMaverick.

From what I have been told (And I will attempt to clarify this) it appears that the HD DVD Add-on drive for the Microsoft X-Box 360 will plug into any USB2 interface.
This means it should be a cheap Back Door into getting HD DVD on the Desktop PC.
Certainly much cheaper than a PS3 at almost £500.......
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#1730983 - 04/08/07 07:48 PM Re: Windows Vista Disabling of Functionality [Re: Neil Wilkes]
AudioMaverick Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/19/01
Posts: 1794
Loc: Outskirts of Big Bear, CA,UNIT...

Stuart -- As "identical" as it is sopposed to be, Terratec is struggling to figure out how the Vista WDM manager 'broke' their SPDIF out. I have discrete analog out in Vista, but 480 video out.
. Probably not well known is that many standard DVDs running under 120 minutes look pretty darned good. Sony retired their "SuperBit" DVD production in January, due to Blu-Ray. But, they still utilize the high-bandwitdh encoding technology in many of their labels from the last few years. I am watching DVDs through a DVI-to-HDMI cable at 1920x1080 (and SPDIF for audio) to a JVC 1080p unit with amazing results. I have a 2.4GHz XP PC connected, now. I'd venture it is close to 720 lines on some movies. But, it is definitely much clearer than Vista can produce. And, it looks like most of the Direct TV HD movies I am seeing.

Neil -- If I were into games, I'd be all over the XBox-360. The appliance approach to a DVD player is the way to go. I had a friend come over with his son's XBox. Going R-G-B in produced some decent and rivalling video to the PC. I burned out on games in 1992. I think Doom did me in. I can't watch another shooter game. ANd, that was all he had to show me.
. Funny side note... I recently found the old Broderbund game, Lode Runner. It is compiled for a PC XT. As soon as I hit the arrow key, all the bad guys slam into my character in a half-second. I don't own a PC that runs slow enough to play it. My gaming days are over...(:<)
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#1743915 - 04/30/07 01:34 PM Re: Windows Vista Disabling of Functionality [Re: AudioMaverick]
stuart Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/03/04
Posts: 39
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Hi Doug, Neil, and Audio Maverick,

Thanks for the information. After reading some more I think vista will be a great operating system. I'm going to wait until I make the jump though. It took me awhile to get things working and don't really want to change. It looks as it requires a bit more processing power and memory:

WinXP
Vista

WinXP:
PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor
128 megabytes (MB) of RAM (64 MB minimum supported)
1.5 gigabytes (GB) hard disk space
Super VGA (800 x 600)

Vista:
* 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
* 1 GB of system memory
* 40 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
* Support for DirectX 9 graphics with:
o WDDM Driver
o 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)
o Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware
o 32 bits per pixel

I was looking at a dual 64-bit system and things gets expensive especially with the quad core xeon stuff:) It looks like they take a bit more power to run with power supplies around 1000 watts. When they get a little cheaper ...

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