April 18, 2009

Recording BBC HD

Somewhat bravely, head of BBC HD Danielle Nagler takes on the thorny subject of Digital Rights Management in her latest blog on the BBC HD site. With Freesat Blu-Ray recorders appearing this summer from Panasonic and others (see post from a few days ago) the issue of copying restrictions with HD channels is now with us. Currently, you can record BBC HD and other high definition channels onto the internal disc of your PVR, but if you make a copy to a DVD recorder the quality takes a nosedive and is nearer SD than HD. With Blu-Ray the increased capacity of the discs makes copying a full HD recording to a single shiny disc a technical reality, but the copyright holders have other ideas. Danielle says that:
It will now be possible to make a single HD Blu-ray copy of one of our programmes, although not copies of copies. An HD connection to a protected home network will also be possible, although an HD connection to the Internet or portable devices will not work. The diagram below [click the link to see it] I think sums up the various paths you might want your HD content to take - and the extent to which that will be possible. I should add that the partial unlocking of some paths should also enable the high quality standard definition RGB outputs from some set top boxes.
It's a very interesting post, and one that's already collected a fair amount of comment from its audience. Great to see the ever-informative Andy Quested chipping in with some information too.

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