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BBC Introducing DRM For Freeview HD Content

Gordon Kelly

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BBC Introducing DRM For Freeview HD Content

I doubt you'll find many consumers who are fans of digital rights management (DRM), but its use in some instances is more understandable than others...

Industry watch dog Ofcom has confirmed that it is to allow the BBC "to restrict access to broadcast Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) data to only those High Definition (HD) Digital Terrestrial (DTT) receivers which include content management technology {read: DRM}".

Why? "Ofcom has concluded that the decision to accept the BBC's request will deliver net benefits to citizens and consumers by ensuring they have access to the widest possible range of HD television content on DTT."

The decision comes after an application by the BBC to Ofcom in January when it proposed "to licence the intellectual property required to gain access to the HD EPG data free of charge and major receiver and integrated digital TV manufacturers are including content management in their HD Freeview products."

For now the ruling only applies to Freeview, but whether it will expand to Freesat (an obvious target) or subscription based services like Virgin and Sky remain to be seen.

As I said in my intro, the move is understandable given the way the BBC is funded and the recent heavy cuts to those funds. With BBC content also having no ad breaks that makes its HD material highly attractive for pirating around the world and given iPlayer offers a free catch-up service across multiple platforms I, for one, do feel some sympathy for it here.

Link: Ofcom Statement

Chocoa

June 15, 2010, 10:53 am

"As I said in my intro, the move is understandable given the way the BBC is funded and the recent heavy cuts to those funds"


Hmm, perhaps then you should tell the BBC who are spending an additional £6m /yr ( minimum, to be negotiated yet) on salaries including a new £2m/2yr deal for a certain female presenter of the One Show. All sounds bad taste in a time of coming austerity to me....

Stewart

June 15, 2010, 12:30 pm

'Industry watch dog Ofcom has confirmed that it is to allow the BBC "to restrict access to broadcast Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) data to only those High Definition (HD) Digital Terrestrial (DTT) receivers which include content management technology'





How does this effect existing products with Freeview HD tuners such as the more recent TVs on the market? Do these have the requisite 'content management technolgy' built in?

Tim Wye

June 15, 2010, 1:04 pm

Chocoa said "Hmm, perhaps then you should tell the BBC who are spending an additional £6m /yr ( minimum, to be negotiated yet) on salaries including a new £2m/2yr deal for a certain female presenter". Don't believe everything you read in the papers. In fact, I wouldn't believe any of it if I were you. The idea that the BBC is going to spend MORE money on star salaries is frankly laughable.

BobaFett

June 15, 2010, 1:26 pm

Does this just mean that HD tuners without content protection won't be able to access the EPG? Or would it also prevent such tuners from decoding protected HD broadcasts because they would need to obtain the decryption key which is only available in the EPG data? It's not very clear.

Keithe6e

June 15, 2010, 2:31 pm

Grrr, DRM.. It's all a big joke.





The BBC have been pumping out SD broadcast for nearly 88 years without having to worry about such things. Lets add some extra frigging pixels, and now we get DRM. It's been proven again & again, DRM doesn't protect anything, and in fact is more likely the reason people end up finding the illegal alternatives. Oh, well, doesn't look like I'll be rushing out to get a HD box.

Enigma

June 15, 2010, 5:44 pm

@Keith how right you are.





What are BBC (rather on the media industry's insistence) going to protect - Movies - shown 3-4 years after they came out!!





No doubt the media industry is well aware of the success of Region coding, DMR on DVDs and on BDs etc! So, what's this piracy thing?

Paul Randle

June 15, 2010, 9:42 pm

What's this BS about funding cuts?





When was the last time the TV licence fee went down?

MrGodfrey

June 16, 2010, 2:03 am

Paul: No no, nobody said anything about the licence fee going down... It's the Conservatives' old vendetta against the BBC. Their priority is to ensure the Beeb have have less money - not necessarily for the general public to have more.





As for the business about salaries... yes, isn't it shocking? {!!EXTREME SARCASM ALERT!!} Good thing we are informed about such things by the right-wing press and by not-at-all-dubious organisations like the Taxpayers' Alliance, who in no way have an agenda or a great big axe to grind against the public sector... {Sarcasm Alert Over}...

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