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According to this article , the FCC's decision yesterday on digital cable-ready TV sets includes language that would allow program providers to restrict our ability to copy PPV programming. However, the article also says:
Quote:
Powell said he expected the commission to take up the broadcast flag issue soon.


"I plan to deliver to my colleagues a draft decision on the broadcast flag proceeding in the very near future," he said. "All affected parties should be aware that this proceeding is in the on-deck circle."
I don't know what "soon" means in this context, but it's worrisome that the FCC's allowing PPV recording to be restricted; that doesn't bode too well for the broadcast flag outcome. The article has another quote from FCC commissioner Capps saying that the FCC should leave copyright law to Congress and not go beyond its bounds.. hear, hear!
 

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We discuss the encoding rules a little in this thread over in the recorders forum. In summary:
Quote:
Caps on Copy Protection Encoding - The encoding rules, which are applicable to all

MVPDs, are modeled generally upon the Digital Millennium Copyright Act:

(i) Copy never: pay-per-view, video-on-demand

(ii) Copy once: basic and extended basic cable service

(iii) No restrictions on copying: broadcast television

statements.
As we've discussed before, the studios hope that a broadcast flag will help to address the issue of illicit Internet content redistribution for digital programming before it becomes a problem (i.e. Kazaa). It now appears all but certain there will be a broadcast flag, it just remains to be seen what form it will take, and how it will differ from the previously submitted proposal. Powell is expected to release his draft decision within the next month.
 

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The FCC says it's going to prevent down-resolution of broadcast content and will make a decision soon regarding whether to allow down-resolution of non-broadcast programming. They have further stated that anyone intending to down-rez non-broadcast content in the interim must notify the FCC 30 days proir to doing so.


Here's an excerpt:


• "Down-resolution – Down-resolution (reducing the resolution of high-definition programming to standard-definition) is prohibited for broadcast programming by all MVPDs; the FCC said that down-resolution of non-broadcast programming will be addressed in the Further Notice. In the interim, MVPDs intending to use down-resolution for non-broadcast programming are required to notify the FCC at least 30 days in advance."
 

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barth2k,


An example of downconversion would be from 1080i to 480p. Higher compression (=more filtering) doesn't count, although sometimes it probably has a similar effect as perceived by viewers.
 

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bfdtv

You just cleared up a huge confusion for me regarding the whole copy protection thing - I couldn't figure out why the network would care (or why anyone would want ) to transmit Friends on the internet. Now I see there are 3 different catagories. Guess I could see why they want to protect PPV and VOD. It's like a lightbulb just went off.


barth2k

Good question. Sure would be nice if they consider compression and stat muxing "down-resolution" and make it punishable by death.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Cruzer
Good question. Sure would be nice if they consider compression and stat muxing "down-resolution" and make it punishable by death.
Ahh come on now ... what's so wrong with having a few hundred solidly colored macroblocks rendered beautifully in a 1920x1080 window :rolleyes:


Is artistique ... impressionism reborn ;) :D


HDC
 

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The point of content owners wanting down-resolution capability on the analog outputs of HDTV STBs was to make it difficult for would-be pirates and casual would-be legal free sharers of HDTV content to sample analog HD signals and make copies for distribution by whatever means.


We who have invested in HDTV STBs, recording devices and display devices that have only analog conections have a vested interest in preventing content providers from being allowed to down-rez HD signals that we have a legal right to view in full HD resolution.


The FCC said that none of its proposed rules on these issues are intended to adversely affect the normal expectations of content providers nor those of consumers. Heretofore, we have all had the right to view HD as HD and not down-rezzed to SD at the whim of the content provider (some "loosy-goosy" interpretations of the 1996 digtal copyright management laws notwithstanding.) I would interpret the FCC's statement as an indication that it will create rules that maintain the status quo. And if it doesn't, I would expect the threatened class-action lawsuit against equipment makers, studios, the United States of America and anyone standing anywhere near an attempt to screw us out of access to HD content from equipment that was sold to us for that express purpose that a Washington, D. C. law firm signed a bunch of us onto (including me) a few years ago to kick-in. (And don't start with me about fine print notices on the side of the box warning that down-rezzing might be in our future. I think court interpretations of "normal consumer expectations" will be on our side.)
 

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OK lets say they can't reduce the resolution but are they restricted to not disabling the output on say component and still leaving DVI active? Or what happens if DirecTV comes out with a new receiver (which becomes the only supported hardware) that only has DVI (with HDCP).


I know what would happen to my DVI projector without HDCP.
 

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Well, the Commission also said it that wouldn't allow outputs to be shut-off, either, so we're covered there.


Another excerpt:


"Selectable Output Control – The current use of selectable output controls by all multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) is prohibited."


They didn't say anything about analog vs. digital there so I guess you're still in the clear.


Here's a link to Lee Wood's invaluable daily log of links to worldwide DTV stories, which today includes quite a few on this topic:

http://pub1.ezboard.com/fdigitaltele...cID=1388.topic


If you click on the FCC links under the links for today's date, 09/11/03, you can read the Commission's actual release on these topics.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by David McRoy
We who have invested in HDTV STBs, recording devices and display devices that have only analog conections have a vested interest in preventing content providers from being allowed to down-rez HD signals that we have a legal right to view in full HD resolution.
David,


I agree with you ... but whats to stop content providers from just filtering/compressing HD content until the *effective* resolution is no better than a SD-DVD?


Answer: Nothing, they are already doing this.


This is why I've ranted many times on the evils of multicasting, stat-muxing, bandwidth issues etc, etc.


HDC
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HDTVChallenged
I agree with you ... but whats to stop content providers from just filtering/compressing HD content until the *effective* resolution is no better than a SD-DVD?


Answer: Nothing, they are already doing this.
True, but at least all hardware is in the same boat because of it. It penalizes everyone equally. We all don't like it, but I don't feel extra-screwed because I only have analog connections on my HD display.


Likewise, anything done that stops the loss of resolution helps everyone, not just a select few.
 

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On the down-rezzing issue ...


If the FCC allows this - they would be shooting themselves in the foot. How quickly is the "digital transition" going to progress if 90%+ of the people who have actually bought into the idea are screwed over!


Let's hope they take "logic" and "common sense" into consideration.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HDTVChallenged
David,


I agree with you ... but whats to stop content providers from just filtering/compressing HD content until the *effective* resolution is no better than a SD-DVD?



HDC
That would tend to reduce the value of the content, wouldn't it?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by David McRoy
That would tend to reduce the value of the content, wouldn't it?
Well my whole take on the broader issue here is that:


A) It's the providers/content owner's job to supply content in whatever form a/o resolution they wish, including whatever strings they wish to attach.


B) It's the consumer's job to decide if they want to 'purchase' the provided material.


C) Stupid ideas are nearly always rewarded appropriately by the market system - think DIVX.


HDC
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HDTVChallenged
Well my whole take on the broader issue here is that:


A) It's the providers/content owner's job to supply content in whatever form a/o resolution they wish, including whatever strings they wish to attach.


B) It's the consumer's job to decide if they want to 'purchase' the provided material.


C) Stupid ideas are nearly always rewarded appropriately by the market system - think DIVX.


HDC
Thank God no one said it HAD to be used, just it HAD to be there to be used if so desired.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by foxeng
Thank God no one said it HAD to be used, just it HAD to be there to be used if so desired.
Despite my market idealism above, and however the chips ultimately fall, I think there is a strong case for the mandatory grandfathering of folks that have analog only equipment. Attempting to shut off or downrez the analog component connectors will only lead to a world of hurt for content providers. You'd create a huge black market overnight, both in equipment and content ;) Sadly, some folks just can't learn from the past or even the present :D


HDC
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HDTVChallenged
I think there is a strong case for the mandatory grandfathering of folks that have analog only equipment. HDC
The question is - how would this be done? The cable/satellite co's could specify that your house is allowed to receive non-broadcast HD through the component inputs? Maybe by giving you a "special" box?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by deArgila
The question is - how would this be done? The cable/satellite co's could specify that your house is allowed to receive non-broadcast HD through the component inputs? Maybe by giving you a "special" box?
Aye ... there's the rub my friends ... this horse already left the barn years ago ... hence the uttermost futility of even trying to shutoff/downrez analog component outputs.


HDC
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by deArgila
The question is - how would this be done? The cable/satellite co's could specify that your house is allowed to receive non-broadcast HD through the component inputs? Maybe by giving you a "special" box?
But, if you have satellite, you've already got a special box...at least special enough to be able to allow just that box to receive a particular piece of programming.


I don't see why they couldn't just disable any flags that are supposed to control down-res for that box only.


I'd rather this whole issue go away when saner heads realize that recording HD off component inputs just isn't going to happen as long as reasonable recording options are available: HD DVRs, D-VHS (maybe blocked for PPV), etc.
 
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