A post-release video card firmware update issued by Apple has left some Mac Pro users unable to play back HDCP-encrypted, iTunes-purchased content, notes iLounge reader Joshua Murphy. Following an article published recently about HDCP content protection on new high-definition iTunes movie releases, Murphy notes that late 2008 MacBook users aren’t the only ones affected by the lockdown. Equipped with an nVidia GeForce 7300GT card and Samsung T240 monitor, both of which initially supported HDCP over a DVI connection, Murphy’s Mac Pro now refuses to play HDCP-encoded content following installation of iTunes 8.1, an issue traced to an Apple-supplied firmware update that apparently disabled the HDCP feature of the video card without warning. Consequently, though all of his machine’s components are HDCP-compliant, he is unable to watch HD videos at all.
Murphy has since contacted Apple, which told him that the problem with HDCP on the original Mac Pro is an active issue being worked on, and there should be an update soon to correct the problem. In the meantime, Apple recommended he revert to iTunes 8.0.2, which will allow him to play HD-formatted TV shows but unfortunately not HD movies. Given that the firmware update was released in early 2007, well before the appearance of HD-formatted TV shows and movies on iTunes, it is possible that Apple was not immediately aware of the problems disabling HDCP support could cause its users; however, no known fix is currently available.