Microsoft® Windows Vista™ enables the playback of next-generation premium content such as HD DVD and other formats that are licensed under the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) specification. To ensure access to this new content, Windows Vista systems must support the requirements that are defined by the AACS specification and by content owners. Windows Vista fulfills one of these requirements through code signing, a process that provides benefits to consumers such as increased security against malware and better driver reliability to improve system stability.
System and device manufacturers must follow new code-signing requirements for Windows Vista systems that will support the playback of premium content. These requirements include:
To help ISVs determine how to handle playback of next-generation premium content, Windows Vista exposes a list of the unsigned drivers on the system. It is up to the ISV to determine whether to enable playback.
Components that run within the Windows Vista Protected Media Path (PMP) must be signed for the PMP to ensure access to premium content.
Display device drivers must include an embedded certificate that verifies a robust pipeline throughout the video processing engine.
This paper provides information for hardware manufacturers and software vendors about the code-signing requirements for playing premium content in Windows Vista.
The current version of this paper is maintained on the Web at:
Tools and guidelines for code signing are provided in the Windows Driver Kit (WDK) and the Windows Platform Software Developer Kit (SDK). Submission guidelines for driver signing under the Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) testing program are available on Microsoft.com.
References and resources discussed here are listed at the end of this paper.