I was curious, what is the take of AVSFORUM on CINAVIA for BLU-RAY, especially audiophiles? Read further below if you are not aware how this DRM damages soundtracks.
If you haven't heard of it, it is an audio watermark that serves two purposes. The first does not pertain to Blu-ray Discs, while the second does.
The first use is for people who cam movies in the theater then upload them - cinavia has an audio watermark in the soundtrack that can be picked up by players, which will then disable playback of the disc or mute the sound.
The second use is for Blu-ray, if you take your original Blu-ray disc and make a copy, Cinavia will detect the lack of AACS and mute sound or halt playback of the disc.
Now, putting aside why this DRM was made and whose fault it was (i.e. pirates vs studios), lets look at some of the A/V facts of it:* CINAVIA is an AUDIO WATERMARK, thus it must be detectible in the soundtrack in order for it to work* CINAVIA audio information is present across the whole spectrum of frequencies, including audible frequency ranges. It has already been tested and removing inaudible frequency ranges does not remove CINAVIA. Therefore, it is arguable CINAVIA does more damage to the master than high bitrate lossy sound encoding.* CINAVIA's is present in all channels* CINAVIA is now a requirement for all BD players
Now, here is the big question:How could you possibly still consider a soundtrack "lossless" if it has CINAVIA DRM?
To me, those two things are incompatible. We know its in all channels, and we know it is definitely in the audible frequency range. We also know its main purpose is DRM and nothing more. So, once this foreign sound is implanted onto a lossless master, the master is essentially no longer lossless. It has been contaminated by the watermark in the audible spectrum and there is no way to restore the original lossless audio.
Next question, "how much damage does it do?" Answer, does it really matter? I mean, DTS lossy soundtracks sound pretty awesome, but if we are paying $25 for a disc with a lossless soundtrack, we should get a disc with a lossless soundtrack - not one that has more damage done to it than the typical lossy sound encode. Heck, at least DD/DTS lossy attempts to make as little audible impact as possible. CINAVIA's purpose is DRM, so even if it significantly degrades the soundtrack, it has done its job - in fact the more durable the watermark is, the more damage it does!
So far only two Blu-ray Discs have been released with CINAVIA:The Karate Kid (2010)
I'm sure these discs sound fine. But could they have sounded better with true lossless free of CINAVIA watermark contamination? I guess audiophiles will never know . It is a shame the piracy battle has gotten to the point where the A/V quality is now impacted for the paying customer as a result of antipiracy measures. Of course, there are already countermeasures being made to remove the protection by the usual suspects, but even those countermeasures could never restore the original lossless soundtrack as it is permanently damaged by the watermark.
I personally will likely avoid purchasing the above Blu-ray discs and any others with CINAVIA... But what are your thoughts?