APC Magazine says only the 64-bit version of Vista will play copy-protected high-definition movies. That’s because the 32-bit will allow unsigned drivers to run, for backwards compatibility with existing hardware, but this might allow hackers to circumvent the HD copy protection.
Later, the magazine posted a follow-up article where Microsoft clarified that they merely exposed the presence of unsigned drivers to the playback software, which could then decide whether or not to play protected HD movies. So maybe they’ll actually play on your 32-bit Vista if they like your drivers!
Indeed there wasn’t much “debunked”. Microsoft merely shifted the blame in the follow-up report. Here’s what the MS team blog said:
It is up to a particular ISV to determine which environments are suitable for their playback solutions. Not Windows Vista, and not Microsoft. To help ISVs make the playback determination, the OS will expose a list of any unsigned drivers on the system; nevertheless, it remains up to the ISV to determine whether playback will be enabled.
Why do you think the OS would “exposed a list of any unsigned drivers” in the first place, if not at the request of the studios who want to disable HD playback under such conditions?