DVDRanger has recently released a new version of their software, still in beta, that removes Cinavia DRM from blu ray movies. The audio produced by this process is very much degraded, and not acceptable at this time, though they are certainly working to improve this. The DVDRanger programmers have done more to remove this type of DRM than anyone else, and for that alone, they deserve some recognition.
It is, however, a solution that comes too late and does too little at this point in the game. Cinavia is required on all new players that can use blu ray discs. This much is true. But very few studios are supporting Cinavia on their movies, and the vast majority of those movies that have it are from Sony Pictures. So Cinavia removal is a great deal of effort for a very small target.
The next thing to consider is the fact that very, very few people back up blu ray movies to optical discs. Even those who do rip their movies tend to save them as digital files on hard drives rather than burning to a disc. And Cinavia only kicks in on media played from a disc.
In the vast majority of threads I see people ripping blu ray, they are converting and compressing for mobile devices and media streamers. Tablets, media players and phones don’t need Cinavia removal as part of the process of conversion.
I am one of those rare few who backs up to single layer BD-R, but I do so in order to have excellent quality copies that are smaller than the original and have all the annoying parts of blu ray playback removed. No waiting around for the player to decide it wants to play the movie, no trailers, no advertisements, no menu…I have none of these intruding on my enjoyment of the movie.
But I don’t have a single piece of hardware that recognizes the Cinavia trigger. And my HTPC plays my blu ray from the hard drives just fine. My backup discs are there only so I don’t have to re-encode to smaller sizes again if I should lose a hard drive. If prices of hard drives keep falling and the size of those drives keep increasing, backing up to optical discs may become a thing of the past even for me. Ripping as movie only may be a better, faster solution as the size of the movies becomes irrelevant on the hard drive.
So what motivation do we have to invest in software that removes Cinavia? Almost none. The window for this type of software has closed.