Pirate movie playback has been with us for decades. Gradually the transition was made from DVDs to external storage units such as hard drives or pendrives. However, those who make copies of Blu-ray today will have realized that there are various protections in them that must be removed. One of them is Cinavia , and we will explain what it is.
Normally, when we download a Blu-ray movie, it comes in formats such as MKV or M2TS. If we copy these files to an external storage unit, or play them over the network, normally we will not have DRM problems because the players we use on our devices do not perform checks.
However, when the movies we copy are recorded on a Blu-ray disc , things change. Those who want to have a high quality movie collection will have realized that if they don’t do anything to the album, then they can run out of playback.
Blame it on Cinavia. This DRM uses watermarks and steganography techniques to detect pirated Blu-ray content. It was released in 2010, and every Blu-ray player released from 2012 is required to include it. It works together with AACS , which is the encryption system that prevented identical copies of the Blu-ray from being made. AACS skipped for the first time in 2006, and for just a few years it has been possible to avoid the protection of AACS 2.0 and 2.1 found in 4K Blu-ray, being able to make identical 1: 1 copies.
However, when making those copies, you have to be careful with Cinavia. If we take for example a Blu-ray 4K, and copy it directly to our previous decrypted computer that eliminates AACS, we can play it without problems in any media player. However, if we burn it to a virgin Blu-ray and try to visualize it on a player , Cinavia will still be present in the audio tracks.
It is in these audio tracks where the watermark is incorporated, and as soon as the player “hears” the DRM sound, it activates the verification. If when you are going to verify the disc, you cannot find the AACS key corresponding to the disc you are listening to, then the playback will stop and an error will appear saying that the content is protected by Cinavia . In some players, audio is directly muted, or playback stops.
Therefore, there must be two conditions for the DRM to activate: a watermark imperceptible by human hatred in the audio track, and a player that is capable of detecting it. This DRM is included in Blu-ray readers after 2012. PS3 has it since version 3.10 of the firmware, and all subsequent consoles have it, including Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, PS4 and PS4 Pro. they, if we put a copied Blu-ray, it will be detected that it is a copy. There are also DVD movies that use it since 2011.
The format we use no matter what, including if we make an identical copy of the Blu-ray, or if we use formats such as MP4, MKV or AVI . If the audio track is not modified to remove the watermark and we burn it to a disc, it will be present. Cinavia is compatible with all audio formats of movies, and is able to stay present even if there is lossy compression, and even when audio recording is done with a microphone.
In Spain we have some luck regarding this DRM, since there is a vast majority of audio tracks in our language that do not incorporate Cinavia. However, with the tracks in English we do find this problem, since the number of films that use it is greater, and its detection will occur within a few minutes of playback (usually around 20 minutes).
Luckily, since 2015 there is a program that allows you to remove Cinavia from audio tracks, called DVDFab . It includes several tools that allow you to remove it depending on the type of disc, be it DVD, Blu-ray, or Blu-ray UHD. The program is paid, but has a 30-day trial period in which it can be used in full without limitations.
This program is one of the few that eliminate audio without any loss of quality, where AnyDVD HD or CloneBD eliminate it, but there are quality losses. The key to DVDFab is that what it does is download the audio corresponding to the original movie , but that Cinavia doesn’t carry. That is why it is necessary to have an Internet connection with the program and the original Blu-ray in order to do so, so that it can be checked against the database. These audio tracks are downloaded from sources that do not have Cinavia, and there are formats such as Dolby Atmos from which Cinavia cannot be deleted at the moment, so lower quality audio tracks such as DTS-HD are downloaded. In the event that there are no available tracks, the only option we will have is to make a copy of the Blu-ray on our PC to play it as a file.
Luckily, Cinavia is something that is limited only to the content recorded on discs. If we reproduce from any external source such as a hard disk or a pendrive, the players of the Smart TV, Android, or PC, do not perform checks of this DRM. For example, Kodi or Media Player Classic do not have detection mechanisms, so they can be used to read the files.
Therefore, the presence of this DRM is another reason to avoid copying Blu-ray movies, which although they can be read on media players, care must be taken when recording them. The problem is that you will not know if the audio track of the movie you have recorded has Cinavia until you have made the copy and are playing it.
In fact, if you connect a hard disk or pendrive to the USB port of most Blu-ray players, in that case Cinavia is not activated either. If you burn exactly the same file to a disc, then detection is activated. There are some exceptions where there are Blu-ray players that do verify the presence of Cinavia, such as some from Samsung.
The Echoshare website has a list of Blu-ray players that do not check Cinavia. The list is as follows:
- LG BD550 – latest firmware BD.8.31.339.C, some firmwares prior to 300.C contained Cinavia
- LG BD560 – latest firmware BD.8.31.339.C, some firmwares prior to 300.C contained Cinavia
- LG BD570 – latest firmware BD.8.31.339.C, some firmwares prior to 300.C contained Cinavia
- Samsung BD-P1590 – latest firmware v2.13 and earlier
- Samsung BD-C5900 – XAA firmware BSP-C6900WWB-1019.1 and earlier
- Samsung BD-C6900 – up to firmware version BSP-C6900WWB-1018.1
- Sony BDP-S300 – firmware v5.30 and earlier (unknown if v5.40 has protection)
- Sony BDP-S301 – firmware v5.30 and earlier (unknown if v5.40 has protection)
- Sony BDP-S360 – latest firmware 007 and earlier
- Sony BDP-S370 – firmware M03.R.315 and earlier
- Sony BDP-S550 – latest firmware 020 and earlier
- Sony BDP-S560 – latest firmware 007 and earlier
- Sony BDP-S570 – firmware M04.R.624 and earlier
- Sony BDP-N460 – firmware M02.R.123 and earlier
- Sony BDP-CX960 firmware v013 and earlier
- Oppo BDP-80: all firmware versions. The player does not require Cinavia and does not support it
- Oppo BDP-83: all firmware versions. The player does not require Cinavia and does not support it
- Oppo BDP-83 SE: all firmware versions. The player does not require Cinavia and does not support it
- Oppo BDP-93: all firmware versions. The player does not require Cinavia and does not support it
- Oppo BDP-95: all firmware versions. The player does not require Cinavia and does not support it
- Panasonic DMP-BD85 – firmware v1.70 dated 10/15/2010 and earlier
- Panasonic DMP-BDT350 – firmware v1.73 dated November 22, 2010 and earlier
- Panasonic SC-BT230 – firmware 1.50 and earlier
- Philips BDP9600 – firmware 1.53
- Pioneer BDP-51FD and BDP-05FD – firmware v1.70
- Pioneer BDP-320 – firmware V3.70 and earlier
- Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player 1st Gen – model: WDAVN00 (latest FW v1.03.01 and earlier)
- Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player 2nd Gen – model: WDBABF0000NBK-NESN (firmware 1.01.70 and earlier)
- Western Digital WD TV Live HD Media Player 1st Gen – model: WDBAAN0000NBK (latest beta firmware v1.03.35 and earlier)
- Western Digital WD TV Live Plus HD Media Player 1st generation – model: WDBABX0000NBK (latest firmware v1.03.29 and earlier)
- Vizio VBR100 – unknown firmware
In short, it is more convenient to have a media player with Android or Windows and use an app or program to play content that has no protection. In the long run you will be better off having an external hard drive or a NAS with movies than having copies recorded on Blu-ray, where you will also save money on discs.