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Television Your Rights Online

UK's Freeview HD To Go DRM 169

Posted by kdawson
from the for-some-values-of-free dept.
gbjbaanb writes "The BBC has been granted provisional approval to introduce copy protection for Freeview HD after they resubmitted an amended plan. Quoting from Ofcom's statement: 'In view of the fuller submission provided by the BBC, Ofcom is currently minded to approve its request for a multiplex license amendment subject to consultation responses, on the basis that in principle, content management is a justified objective which ensures that the broadest range of HD content is made available to citizens and consumers.' However, it's not too late yet — you can submit your comment and tell them you'd like to be able to record broadcast HD TV. I'm sure the 'content providers' will continue to sell content to the BBC, ITV, etc., if this is not implemented. They'll still take our license fee money (or advertising) and sell us the content, but refuse to let us record or copy it, hoping we'll go out and buy the DVD/Blu-ray as well."
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UK's Freeview HD To Go DRM

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  • It's already DRMd (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DrXym (126579) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @06:41AM (#30877166)
    I have a Freesat HD PVR. HD content is encrypted to the box (you can back it up but it won't play anywhere else). Some content is even flagged and won't even transfer. It must be part of the Freesat conformance requirements. Stuff is broadcast in the clear, so in theory I could use a generic DVB-S2 recorder but then I lose other Freesat features like the EPG.
  • B@st@rds ! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @07:17AM (#30877292) Journal
    If they roll this out to the satellite transmissions of BBC HD as well, Arrrgghhh!

    I bought a Analogue / DVB-T / DVB-S combi-card that can decode DVB-S HD transmissions, and of course a HD pc monitor* to watch / edit on. I know that the BBC and ITV are pushing people for the "Freesat" service, their locked-in satellite box... they get a cut from the sales you see. I suspect vendor lock-in is one reason they want to scramble the transmissions.

    Having a FTA card allows me to watch from whatever terrestrial or satellite I can pick up from. Using Linux as well to do it is no mean feat, some HD channels have changed the spec on how to receive their signals, and it messes with the audio stream (BBC-HD implicated).

    Having the Freeview HD signal scrambled is not a great loss, the bit rate for terrestrial HD is as predicted appallingly low and unwatchable. The problem is the masses will look at that bad picture and think it is acceptable, because they've not seen anything else, ie. the satellite HD signal (which has also had it's bit rate downgraded recently). The same thing happened with the roll out and push for Freeview terrestrial digital television, the bit rate has been dropping all the time, it is pretty bad, analogue beats it hands down for picture and audio quality.

    For a supposed free to air channel (subject to paying the BBC tax), the BBC have acted appallingly. For a regulator of UK television that was started up by the current corrupt government, they are acting exactly to type, bought off by corporate interests instead of viewers interests.

    * Strangely the pc Full HD monitor costs less than a regular HD-TV, even though the size is the same, and the pc monitor deals with a higher refresh rates than a regular TV does.
  • Re:B@st@rds ! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 24, 2010 @07:49AM (#30877418)

    * Strangely the pc Full HD monitor costs less than a regular HD-TV, even though the size is the same, and the pc monitor deals with a higher refresh rates than a regular TV does.

    If I remember correctly, monitors are taxed at a different rate to TVs by the EU on import.

  • [...] on the basis that in principle, content management is a justified objective which ensures that the broadest range of HD content is made available to citizens and consumers.

    Here is a lesson for us all, on how to talk and act, if you want to push something trough that everybody hates: You state the exact opposite of what it will do. Which is of course, what everybody will want. And you get it across not only without the blink of an eye, but in a way that makes others feel like this is in fact reality, so that they start to believe it too.

    Today’s wars are not fought with machines and deaths. They are fought with ideas / mindsets / realities, and people that you don’t have to kill, but instead make your “best friends”, so that they fight on your side.

    I say, we as hackers (actually more “crackers”) should become the masters of that! Hack the human mind! As an extension of social engineering. But for good things!
    Psychology, social dynamics, true leadership and rhetorics. Those are the key skills.

    Hmm... I should make a RPG out of that, to train my army... Muhahahaha ;)

  • Re:B@st@rds ! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by teh kurisu (701097) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @07:58AM (#30877440) Homepage
    I have a Humax Foxsat HD Freesat receiver, and it can pick up any satellite channel as well. There's a 'Freesat mode' that can be turned off. I don't see why you'd want to though.
  • by Skapare (16644) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @08:51AM (#30877618) Homepage

    ... Linux users that cannot view the DRM broadcasts won't have to pay the license fee?

  • Re:I don't think so (Score:2, Interesting)

    by selven (1556643) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @08:54AM (#30877624)

    Actually, you have to pay it if you watch live terrestrial broadcasts. Owning a TV with the capability is irrelevant.

    If you watch BBC1 live on iPlayer, you need a license.

    Ok, I was a bit off. My point still stands, even if you watch 0 minutes of BBC, spending your time on the private channels, you still have to pay their tax.

  • Vote with your feet? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ledow (319597) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @09:09AM (#30877672) Homepage

    Don't like it? Don't watch it. Don't buy the equipment. Don't support it. Seems pretty simple.

    Up until a year or so ago I was a TV licence payer in the UK - then I discovered that not having a TV didn't make any difference to my viewing habits i.e. there was nothing but shit on and the stuff I did want to see I could get other ways *legally* which, for the most part, didn't involve giving corporations money - BBC iPlayer etc. aren't subject to the license because that only covers having the capability to watch the programmes on British TV as they are broadcast - so you don't need a TV license, but get the same programmes.

    And the things that are worth watching, I buy a DVD of (which I then rip, of course, but seeing as I "own" it, that's my decision). I paid for Sky until it became a million channels of crap, ten minute advert breaks and re-re-re-re-re-peats of programmes. I paid for a TV licence until the same thing happened and I realised I could just watch on iPlayer / ITV Player / 4od without (most of) the crap any time I liked. Why *pay* for something you disagree with? Voting with your feet is the most powerful commercial incentive for a large corporation... if you don't buy, say, a DAB radio, then they won't want to support it (that's what happening with DAB at the moment). It's the same thing. Stop giving your money to people you don't like... you don't go to buskers on the streets and say "I'll give you a pound, but only if you improve the way you play and correct the second note in the third stave..."... you either like it and pay for it, or you don't. And the news is that millions of people *will* pay for it (HD seems to be an addiction even amongst my techie friends that I just don't understand).

    Come on, people, if you have such ideals, take a sacrifice for them - stop watching and supporting media/hardware that is DRM if you feel so strongly about it.

  • Free-As-In-BBC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by flaptrap (1038180) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @10:15AM (#30877962)

    I thought publication copyright expires someday, when the publication goes into the public domain - as in, free - but apparently following that law does not work for the copyright holders, or the government offices doing the broadcasting to the public.

    I'm sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Citizenry, your copyright law has expired.

    Good thing the stuff they show on TV is tailored to be of interest to the widest (read: dumbest) audience and a waste of time to those who enjoy writing computer software or, say, reading.

  • by jez9999 (618189) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @11:03AM (#30878286) Homepage Journal

    then I discovered that not having a TV didn't make any difference to my viewing habits i.e. there was nothing but shit on and the stuff I did want to see I could get other ways *legally* which, for the most part, didn't involve giving corporations money - BBC iPlayer etc.

    Wait until a 'net licence fee' is announced. It WILL happen as long as the BBC continues to garner so much support on its past laurels, rather than its current behaviour.

Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.

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