Hope for help with embedded WMV

I belong to the Router Forums, a wood router woodworking forum.  One of the members has secured a deal to obtain 14 seasons, 75 hrs, of the old Router Workshop series at less than $10 a season.  The problem is the protection scheme they use is non conventional.  The episodes are contained individually in “protected WMV” format in an .EXE file (container).  When you purchase you send a machine ID from the computer you will use for viewing and they send a “key” that is installed in, I assume, the registry.  The key is then calculated each time one of the episodes is launched and cross checked with the key that was installed.  I have to take pity on the guys having to go to such lengths to protect their property but it has me in a pinch.  I want the vid’s but I want them on the HUB.

Here’s a link to the Router Workshop site which has the deal and the details.

Router Workshop Episodes

Any ideas?


You’re probably out of luck in this scenario. The videos were obviously packaged with the idea that PC viewing would be their only option. It may seem a bit restrictive, but given how easy things move around in this day and age, I can’t blame them. They have a niche market product whose value would be severely diluted if not for their copyright protection scheme. They probably don’t even want you to be able to exhibit the videos to more than just yourself. It **bleep** that you can’t even move them from one of your own computers to another one in your household, but those are the kind of limitations that rampant piracy in this arena force on a content provider. Since there’s no way to download directly to the Hub from the internet and it is basically a dumb device with no machine ID, you’re probably stuck with it. Did you try contacting the provider for a solution?

I just looked at the offer in your link. It [Deleted]. Not only are you key-restricted for playback, but the machine ID is specific to only THAT computer originally registered with the provider. If you change your motherboard, your machine ID will change and the videos will no longer be playable. If you buy a new computer you can not transfer the videos to it. Pretty restrictive if you ask me. And pretty pricey for what it is. Why don’t they offer these videos in DVD format?

They have the first 6 seasons on DVD for about $20 a season but they discontinued producing them for financial reasons.  Although they seem priced rather high (but not so bad if you consider it’s 14 seasons and over 180 episodes) the reviews by experienced and skilled woodworkers reflects a value payback that justifies the cost and the inconvenience.  I’m still on the fence.

Thanks for the reply.


I’m not saying the content isn’t worth it. I’m also a woodworker and can see the value of such a product. But the high cost and risk of loss of playability make it something I wouldn’t consider without some guarantee that I will be able to access them in the event I buy a new computer or modify mine in some way that changes the machine ID.