[mythtv-users] OT: Video Encryption (was: 5200 or 6200)

Rich West Rich.West at wesmo.com
Thu Jan 25 20:05:32 UTC 2007

Brian Wood wrote:
> On Jan 24, 2007, at 12:21 PM, Rich West wrote:
>> In the US, I believe cable/satellite companies are required by the FCC
>> to re-broadcast the traditional OTA broadcast stations when they  
>> supply
>> it to consumers via their respective networks.  I remember reading  
>> this
>> some where, but I cannot find it..
> Have a look at:
> http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-225A1.pdf
> But I warn you, it's written in lawerese. See especially page 22 and  
> following.

Ow.. brain.. hurts.. I know this has drifted way off topic, but I
thought I would ask..
I'm not entirely sure what this means (under the heading "ENCODING RULES"):

44. We also acknowledge the concerns articulated by content providers
that the
proposed encoding rules would prevent or inhibit the use of other
content protection
mechanisms.111 We do not interpret the draft rules in this fashion. The
proposed rules
specifically prohibit the encoding of audiovisual content to trigger
selectable output control, the
down-resolution of broadcast programming, or to prevent or limit copying
except as permitted for
the applicable programming category.112 As such, we do not believe that
these proposed
requirements necessarily preclude the use of other content protection

But, the whole section about "down resolution" reads rather plainly:
62. The ability of MVPDs to constrain content resolution when output from
consumer electronics devices, also called “down-resolution,” refers to
the ability to degrade the
resolution of content from a higher to a lower level, such as from high
definition to standard
definition. The consumer electronics industry acknowledges that
down-resolution has been
required in private agreements, such as the Digital Transmission Content
Protection (“DTCP” or
“5C”) license, where component analog outputs are used as secondary
ports to feed high
definition digital recorders.160 They nonetheless express concern that
if an MVPD were to trigger
down-resolution on the primary signal link between set-top boxes and
high definition displays at
the request of a content provider, consumers would be denied the very
functionality that led them
to invest in DTV devices – the ability to enjoy high definition
programming.161 Consumer groups
concur with this assessment and advocate a ban on down-resolution.162
The cable industry
expresses its willingness to accede to this prohibition if applied to
all MVPDs in order to ensure
the availability of high value content and competitive parity among
programming providers.163 In
contrast, however, DIRECTV and MPAA assert that MVPDs should have
multiple content
protection mechanisms available to them, including down-resolution, in
order to best address the
needs of content providers and consumers.164 MPAA is in essence
advocating that down-
resolution will serve to provide consumers with greater access to
programming than would
otherwise be available absent some mechanism for addressing analog outputs.

Gotta love the MPAA. Ugh.

The section "Limits on Copy Protection Encoding" pretty much lays out
that broadcast television can't be encrypted. I had to read it a couple
of times to get the idea, but I *think* they are trying to say that the
rules don't define the specific level of copy protection, just what
content can be copy protected.

65. The final component of the proposed encoding rules is comprised of
caps on the
level of copy protection that may apply to various categories of MVPD
programming.172 These
proposed caps do not obligate the encoding of programming with copy
restrictions, nor do they
prescribe a specific level of copy protection for particular programs.
MVPDs would remain free
to negotiate with content providers for any level of encoding that falls
below or is equal to the
applicable cap for the relevant programming category, which is referred
to in the draft rules as a
“Defined Business Model.”173 The defined business models and
corresponding copy protection
caps proposed in the draft rules include:
(1) Unencrypted broadcast television – no copy restrictions may be imposed;
(2) Pay television, non-premium subscription television, and free
conditional access
delivery transmissions – one generation of copies is the most stringent
that may be imposed; and
(3) VOD, PPV, or Subscription-on-Demand transmissions – no copies is the
stringent restriction that may be imposed, however, even when no copies are
allowed, such content may be paused up to 90 minutes from its initial


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