[mythtv-users] ATSC3 - Hearst stations turning on encryption

Ian Evans dheianevans at gmail.com
Tue Feb 21 19:38:51 UTC 2023

On Tue, Feb 21, 2023, 1:36 PM Gary Buhrmaster, <gary.buhrmaster at gmail.com>

> On Mon, Feb 20, 2023 at 8:05 PM Ian Evans <dheianevans at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > A big picture/future question here. I'm a Canadian so I'm not up on
> > the FCC rules but thought the main licensed channel (eg ABC, CBS, FOX,
> > NBC, PBS) had to be carried in the open.
> It is (very very) complicated and has been discussed
> in the list in the past, but with digital broadcasting and
> sub-channels almost any channel can be designated
> as the "main" channel for purposes of meeting the FCC
> requirements to maintain its broadcast license (as long
> as it serves the public good, which is a different kettle
> of worms).  And, of course, with almost all (two exceptions
> known, and I think one may have lost a partial waiver)
> being lighthouse stations, pretty much all the stations
> which have broadcast network affiliations are sharing
> the same transmitter, so almost all are secondary.
> > Anyway, it looks like Hearst owned stations in Orlando and Tampa have
> > turned on encryption on their ATSC3 signals.
> Quite honestly, I expected a lot more stations would
> have at least experimented with protected path required
> content during their initial testing phases (as being
> able to understand the issues is going to be important
> moving forward whether or not they eventually decide
> to make some content protected).  For example, it
> turns out that a major TV manufacturer's firmware
> did not work, and required an update, but that was
> not seen until recently because no one had tried it.
> > Silicondust says their
> > hardware/software will be able to handle it, but I think the
> > suggestion was the licensing would effectively end third party access
> > for software like MythTV.
> Only solutions that implement and obtain
> certification as supporting a protected content
> path will work (in ATSC 3.0 terms, that is A3SA).
> In practice open source products are not going
> to work directly in that environment any more
> than they can record protected path required
> cable channels, which have essentially the same
> overall requirement (given that many stations
> may eventually simulcast their content over the
> internet in addition to OTA, for coverage reasons,
> things may get interesting, but I sort of expect
> a widevine L1 requirement if/when some
> stations try that if they also require a protected
> content path).
> > I know the ATSC 2.0 signals are still around
> ATSC 2.0 never happened (although some of
> the ideas were integrated into nextgen TV) there
> is only ATSC 1.0, and now ATSC 3.0.  It is
> expected ATSC 1.0 will be around for an
> extended period, as the FCC has no deadlines,
> only minimum allowed times as to when ATSC
> 1.0 must still be transmitted (which is at least
> 5 years, but in practice is going to be a lot
> longer (probably at least a decade), although
> perhaps as a reverse lighthouse).
> > but is it safe to assume
> > that years down the line the corps will freeze out the open source OTA
> > DVR crowdt?
> As mentioned previously, it is complicated, but
> some content may likely stay accessible, and
> some content may not.  And it might even
> depend on resolution (it is possible to let people
> view "SD"/"HD" quality and require a license and
> protected content path for "QHD"/"UHD"/"4K"
> quality (should any of that ever exist)).
> Whether any OTA content will be worth recording
> (as many/most content owners are moving to a
> paid, or (unskipable) ad supported, streaming
> model for any of their more premium content)
> is a different matter.  There are some who think
> the networks will be essentially gone in something
> over a decade, as the next set of major sport
> league contracts will almost certainly not
> include network exclusivity, and that is one
> of their primary known hooks on viewers.  And
> given the increasing costs of scripted TV, and
> that the advertisers are paying less and less as
> viewer numbers go down and as people skip the
> ads[0], it is likely that reality programming will
> eventually dominate.  It is not at all clear if there
> are enough people who need to watch how Gordon
> Ramsey will humiliate contestants this week to
> sustain a network schedule.  At least one network
> said the quiet part out loud and suggested a first
> pullback and cutting a third of their content hours
> soon (others have unofficially talked the same),
> although they eventually pulled back on the
> suggestion (but what is old will be new again).
> [0] Did Autohop, TiVo, and other ad-skipping solutions
> kill the OTA ad supported revenue model?  Discuss!
Gary: Thanks, as always, for the detailed response. And, yes, I meant ATSC
1 not 2.

As mentioned, I've been away from my Mythbox for a bit and just started
futzing around with a laptop and homerun. My focus as a reviewer has been
on home entertainment releases, so looking at the TV schedule in MythTV,
I've noticed that I'm more drawn to the retro subs, where I can record
"comfort food" sitcoms that don't have a DVD or Blu-ray release. Agree with
you 100% that so much of network programming now looks like the fake shows
that would be airing on 30 Rock: "Next week on Cougar Island..."

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