Just getting up to speed on the recent broadcast flag ruling, and it’s as depressing as I had feared. Nutshell version: Devices capable of handling HDTV streams or signals must incorporate an FCC-approved encryption module by July 2005. In other words, government-mandated and controlled PC and television design.
“the order “totally eliminates the ability to send that (HDTV) data over a PCI bus to a Firewire port or to a digital VHS recorder–except in analog format.”
This means you can’t use something like a Hauppauge card to record a digital TV stream to your hard drive — that would be giving the consumer way too much flexibility in the way they work with media.
And if you don’t care about HDTV, remember that this is a slippery slope. The consumer’s ability to work with recorded media is now regulated by the government, and enforced by hardware vendors. HDTV first, anything the entertainment lobbies want regulated next.
The question is, what exactly will happen to media in the presence of the broadcast flag? As I understand it, you’ll still be able to record, but that recording will only be playable on the same device that did the recording. That means no taping Trigger-Happy TV and lending the tape to a friend. You get the picture.
Get your HDTV receiver or capture card now, before they’re gubmint-crippled.
bIPlog has more.