Friday, 11 April 2008

TV Recording banned on Freeview HD

Bad news for busy tv viewers... if you miss your favourite HD TV show live, recording the programme will only give you the basic picture. The new Freeview HD digital terrestrial TV service is now on-air, with TV3 the first broadcaster offering programmes in true high definition.

But broadcasters say a worldwide restriction on replaying and distribution high-definition content means that regular HD set-top boxes fitted with an HDMI cable will prevent users from recording shows in HD.

Freeview general manager Steve Browning admits that content protection is a difficult issue...

At one end, you have consumer freedom to use, copy and share, while at the other [end] you have the rights of the owner [or] producer of that content to protect it.

For a significant proportion of their schedules, NZ broadcasters are not the rights-owner, therefore they must do what the rights-owner requires them to do.

TV companies claim the recorded digital signal will still be in better resolution than the old fashioned analogue signal, with some DVD recorders also capable of "upscaling" pictures to produce a higher-resolution image.

TV3 already up-scales much of its standard definition content to improve the picture quality, while signalling its true HD-TV programming with a "flag" symbol in the corner of the screen.

High-definition capable recorders are available overseas, but none of the "illegal electronic devices" are approved for use with Freeview, according to the consortium.

The new Freeview|HD service is due to be officially "launched" on Monday the 14th of April by PM Cluck.

* Computerworld - Freeview — DRM will downgrade best TV images

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