BBC Slackening Broadcast Content’s Copy Protection

Copies of recorded HD programmes to be allowed.

The BBC is making some changes to the way it copy protects its broadcast to coincide with Blu-ray recorders becoming available in the UK. Previously, any BBC HD content recorded onto a PVR was copy protected such as it couldn’t be removed, but that is now being changed to allow a single on-time copy

Thus, a combined Blu-ray recorder and Freesat HD tuner can transfer BBC HD broadcasts to recordable Blu-ray media enabling the retention of the content, while freeing up space on the PVR. Additionally, programmes recorded on PVR’s will be unlocked so that they can be accessed over a network. This will mean that BBC content stored on a PVR can be played in other locations; for example, a bedroom TV. Internet or portable device connections are still prohibited, though.

With the prohibitively high cost of recordable – especially re-recordable – Blu-ray media, I can’t see many being tempted to back-up content from a PVR to a physical disc. As great as being able to free up space on a PVR is, deleting older content seems the better way to do so. If I want a permanent copy of Planet Earth on Blu-ray, I’d rather buy them than have the BBC’s compressed version.

I’m definitely not complaining about the BBC loosening its copy protection though. Hopefully other broadcasters will follow suit!

BBC Internet Blog.

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