If you're tempted to upgrade an old MacBook to a shiny new model featuring the Mini DisplayPort, you might want to think again: Apple has sneaked extra DRM in along with the hardware update.

According to Ars Technica, the latest MacBooks enforce DisplayPort Content Protection (DPCP) on certain recent iTunes video, preventing playback if it detects a display device which doesn't support the DRM implementation. This means that users with large monitors that have only VGA or component inputs will be stuck watching their legally purchased videos on the laptop screen – less than ideal, really.

Although not all iTunes content enforces the DPCP encryption, certain new release movies – including Hellboy 2 – do, and it's proving unpopular with users: doubly so if they've shelled out for the official Apple-branded Mini DisplayPort to VGA adaptor dongle. While older hardware which has a standard DVI or VGA port in the place of the new Mini DisplayPort will play such videos on any display device of your choosing, the new MacBooks don't have such a luxury – the Mini DisplayPort is the only supported video output device.

According to BetaNews, the issue isn't restricted to the new MacBooks, either: at least one customer on Apple's support forum is claiming that after upgrading his Apple TV set-top box to version 2.2 he is unable to watch high-definition content from iTunes without receiving an error asking for all non-HDCP devices to be disconnected. Whether this is a bug in the implementation of the HDCP/DPCP system that the iTunes DRM uses or whether Apple is really willing to tick off its loyal customers to this extent just to appease Hollywood studios remains to be seen, although the evidence points to the latter when other users are claiming to receive the same error message even on brand-new HDCP-compliant hardware.

Do you think that Apple needs to tell Hollywood to shove their DRM, or would you never purchase from the iTunes store even if it was 'clean'? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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