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No, AACS 2.0 probably hasn’t been cracked (yet), plus Target’s Force Awakens exclusives are download only

March 9, 2016 - 6:08 pm   |   by

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here. And you can help support The Bits by pre-ordering Blu-rays and other items from Amazon through this link.]

We’ve got a pair of new disc reviews for you to enjoy today here at the site, starting with Tim’s look at Arrow Video’s new 3-film American Horror Project: Volume 1 Blu-ray box set.

Also, I’ve just completed another 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review: Sony’s Chappie, which is the first actual full 4K title I’ve seen so far on the format, as opposed to the 2K DI upconverts more common to the first wave of UHD titles. [Read on here…]

Elsewhere here at the site today, our own Russell Hammond has just posted the weekly update of the Release Dates & Artwork section here at The Bits, complete with all the latest Blu-ray and DVD cover artwork and pre-order links. As always, a portion of anything you order from Amazon through our links goes to help support our work here at The Bits and we really do appreciate it.

There’s little in the way of announcement news to report on this afternoon, but we do have a couple very interesting pieces of Blu-ray and 4K news. First the Blu-ray news...

We’ve learned (via Target’s Customer Service) that the Target-exclusive Blu-ray edition of Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming on 4/5 will have 20 minutes of exclusive content, but that it will not be on an actual disc – it’s download only. Here’s their official statement, sent via e-mail to those who pre-ordered the discs:

“In an earlier email, we informed you that the bonus content for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital) (Target Exclusive) would be included on a bonus disc. This was incorrect. Instead, the bonus content will be available as a digital download.

The packaging for this Target-exclusive version will contain an insert with a unique code and URL for downloading the bonus content via Disney Movies Anywhere.

We apologize for any confusion our earlier email may have caused. If you have any questions, please call Target Guest Services at 1-800-591-3869.”

Ugh. Judging by the e-mails we’ve been getting from readers today, “No disc, no sale!” seems to be the common reaction. May we suggest pre-ordering this version at instead (which, as it happens, helps to support The Bits)?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Blu-ray Disc)

Meanwhile, there was a bit of breaking news last night that the AACS 2.0 copy protection scheme used for new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs may have been cracked. This was sparked by the appearance of a 4K rip of Fox’s The Martian 4K UHD title on various file sharing services last night. However a little bit of investigation revealed that the stream was H.264, and not the H.265 used on the actual 4K UHD discs, so it appears to be a simple 4K capture rather than an actual rip. You can read more here at

Back tomorrow with more. Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt (@BillHuntBits)