Steve wants to know how to untangle his iTunes account from the rest of the family. Leo says the first thing is to create a separate Apple ID for his kids. Then, add it to his family share for movies, music, etc. Then he can buy separately and still share it. But the only real issue is copy protected songs.
John was a Time Warner Cable customer for nearly 15 years and he discovered that they were copy protecting everything that he was recording with his DVD recorder. Leo says that this is why Time Warner Cable and Comcast shouldn't be allowed to merge. Time Warner has a monopoly on TV in John's area, and an effective monopoly on the Internet.
Phil bought and downloaded movies from iTunes, but now he can't watch them. Leo says that he'll have to authorize his iTunes account in order to play them back. That's copy protection, and the only people it frustrates are the legitimate owners.
Jerry added a hard drive to his DVR, and he's considering a change from Dish to another service. Will he be able to keep his content? Leo says no. They're probably formatted with the same standard, but the issue is that the content is encrypted by Dish. He could still use it, but he'd have to "rebless" it with the new DVR and that would require erasing the hard drive completely. That's because Hollywood is deathly afraid he'll take that content, burn DVDs and sell them.
Jay thinks that the AppleTV is too long in the tooth and is thinking about using Plex instead. Can he use it and still watch stuff bought on iTunes? Leo says no. They're all copy protected so he can only play them back on iTunes or an Apple device. This drives Leo nuts because pirates know how to defeat it. But having said that, Plex is great.
Scott joins Leo to talk about the "dirty little secret" in video -- and that's the new HD Copy Protection that's coming. Scott says that 4K is really pushing to make people to believe that HD just isn't good enough, and 4K Blu-ray is coming. HDCP Copy Protection is also coming for 4K. Version 2.2 and every device in the signal chain has to be compliant or the video won't work on your TV. So you have to have a new TV, new Blu-ray player, new a/v receiver. All to watch a 4K Blu-way DVD. Leo says that's going to kill off optical media for sure.
John is having issues with Windows 8.1 and a hard drive failure that has wiped out his Windows key. Leo says if he doesn't have the key, he'll have to contact Microsoft. There may be a way to recover the key from the hard drive. The chatroom says Belarc Advisor can give him the key as it will have it listed in it's register. Leo says that Microsoft also saves the product key in his Microsoft account, so he can log in with another machine and see it. But John says that Microsoft has blocked the key, so it won't help. Leo says the boot UFEI firmware saves it as well.
Geri is having trouble with software she bought. When she tries to send in for the activation code, it says her "machine ID" keeps changing. Leo says that there is no such thing as a "machine ID." Often, copy protection has to phone home to authenticate it, and if the company website is down, it won't work properly. Geri should call them. If there's no answer, and the company has gone out of business, she should contact her credit card company and get them to charge it back. She may have been scammed.
John bought a DVD player and the DVDs just aren't playing right. So he returned it and got another but he's having issues with that one as well. Leo says that if John is playing off the analog component cable, then it's likely he's dealing with copy protection and the TV isn't supporting the analog hole. Leo says to look on the back of the TV and choose the best quality connector. Ideally, HDMI is the way to go. Component will work as well, but he just needs the right cables.
Steve would also like to capture images off of a DVD, but it won't let him do it. Leo says that is an antipiracy measure. DVD players won't allow it. There's always a way around it, though.
He can go into his video card properties setting and turn off video acceleration. Then Cmd-Shift-3 will capture it. Another option is to use VLC Media player to play his DVDs.