Sony, Samsung Adopt Microsoft PlayReady

A new form of digital rights management from Microsoft has been adopted by Sony and Samsung, among others. Its first high-profile use is in the Sony BDP-S380 Blu-ray player, available since February.

PlayReady DRM allows downloading and streaming of video, audio, games, and images on multiple home and mobile devices. Supported formats include MPEG Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), AAC+, Enhanced AAC+, H.264, Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV). Embedded licenses allow content to play without a constantly active broadband connection.

The BDP-S380 Blu-ray player ($150) already supports streaming via Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Pandora, YouTube, Slacker, and Sony's own Qriosity. So the addition of PlayReady is not so much a new limitation as an expansion of future capabilities. See Sony press release.

Samsung has also adopted PlayReady for use in TVs and mobile devices. The company says it plans to migrate from older Windows Media DRM to PlayReady by 2012. See Samsung press release.

Another notable signature on the PlayReady licensing pact is Netflix, which will incorporate the DRM into its burgeoning streaming operation.

Other PlayReady licensees include Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Sharp, and TiVo, so we may hear more about the new DRM in the near future.

See Microsoft PlayReady.