May 20, 2009

ITV HD copy protection

Us poor Virgin Media customers may still be waiting for the channel, but there's an interesting story on the Home Cinema Choice site about the copy protection currently in place on the ITV HD channel on Freesat:
"all ITV HD material is currently flagged Copy Never, regardless of age or content type. This means that while owners of [the soon-to-be-released] Panasonic’s Blu-ray recorder can timeshift HD programmes to the hard drive, they are prohibited from copying the material to a Blu-ray media in hi-def form. This is in stark contrast to BBC HD which is currently flagged Copy Once, and should [according to the BBC] soon move to Copy Always."
The story goes on to say that Panasonic are in talks with ITV and are hopeful of a change soon, but this kind of blinkered approach to copy protection will make Blu-Ray recorders pretty redundant if it's not addressed pronto. In Japan, where Blu-Ray recorders are already available, the copy protection permits ten HD copies of recording to either local or removable storage - why can't British broadcasters follow suit?

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