Dale Dietrich
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Category — Broadcast

MovieBeam Down-Res’s Hi-Def Content When Subscriber Does Not Use HDMI

Categories: BigMedia v NewTechCopy RestrictionsDigital TVHDMI/HDCP/ICT

We’ve all known this was coming but this Disney-backed, MovieBeam service is the first account of a service down-res’ing HD content when the subscriber’s TV does not have an HDMI input. Lesson to be learned: Do NOT buy an HDTV without an HDMI connection or you won’t be watching the HD content you pay for.

Sources: Washington Post (2nd page) | Technology Liberation Front | Freedom to Tinker

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Hollywood to Sell (not just rent) Downloaded Movies on Same Day as DVD Release

Categories: Big Media Makes ProgressiVOD/iTVMilestones

Six major studios are starting U.S.-based Internet services to sell movies that buyers can download and keep for watching at any time. New movies will cost about $20 to $30 to download; older titles will cost as little as $10. The downloads will be available on the same day that the DVD is released – quicker than rentals, which are put online about 45 days later and cost $2 to $5. Customers will be able to store movies for as long as they like on computers, as well as transfer them to two other computers and burn them on DVD, but only for copying to the two other PCs. Note: Regrettably, burned DVDs will not be playable on conventional DVD players. These DVD’s will be protected with Microsoft’s Windows Digital Rights Management software.

Sources: Herold Tribune | New York Times | L.A. Times | CNet | BBC | MSNBC | Times Online | Fox News | FT.com | Washington Post | Business Week | USA Today | MovieWeb | Red Herring | MSN Money | ABC News | Forbes | CNN Money | Reuters | Engadget | China Daily | San Jose Mercury News | Hollywood.com | SiliconValley.com | Examiner.com

Dale’s Comment: This is a solid step in the right direction but the Holy Grail of online movie purchase/rentals remains movie downloads to TV-centric devices such as a TiVo, XBox 360 or PS3 where the user calls all up movies via an imdb.com-type interface on their TV (or their PC) for download and ultimate interactive viewing through home networks on their TVs. Given that Windows Media Center functionality is to be built into Vista, and the XBox 360 will be able to access content from Vista-powered PCs, I expect a movie download service announcement from Microsoft around the time Vista is released (in early 07). Selling (rather than renting) first run titles on DVD release dates, is a major shift for Hollywood and they must be given credit for finally making this decision. But, in my opinion, they are making a blunder by not permitting users to burn copies of PURCHASED movies to DVDs for playback by the owner on conventional DVD players.

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TiVo Against the Giants

Categories: BigMedia v NewTechCasesDigital TVPatents

Law.com interviews TiVo’s general Counsel, Matt Zinn, on the forthcoming TiVo v. EchoStar Trial, defending other patent suits and generally how he rolls with TiVo’s legal punches.

Source: Law.com

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French Law Could Open Up iTunes to Any Device

Categories: DRM AnalysisDRM as Market LockInternational Legal ReformiVOD/iTVNew Business ModelsPolicy Analysis

A law being proposed in France would force companies like Apple to open up content downloaded from, say, the iTunes Music Store to be used on non-Apple devices. If they don’t comply, customers would be allowed to break the DRM.

Sources: PC Magazine | engadget | Yahoo! News | Inquirer | Reuters | Boston Globe | ars technica | Globe & Mail | MobileMag | Playfuls | Silicon.com | Business Week | Red Herring | PC Pro

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An Introduction to IPTV (ars technica Feature)

Categories: iVOD/iTVNew Tech

Over the last decade, the growth of satellite service, the rise of digital cable, and the birth of HDTV have all left their mark on the television landscape. Now, a new delivery method threatens to shake things up even more powerfully. Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) has arrived, and backed by the deep pockets of the telecommunications industry, it’s poised to offer more interactivity and bring a hefty dose of competition to the business of selling TV.

Source: ars technica

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FCC Releases 12th Annual Report on the Status of Competition in the Video Programming Market

Categories: Digital TVFCCPolicy AnalysisSatellite Radio

Text of 12th Annual Report

This annual report is a comprehensive overview of competition in the cable, satellite, OTA, wireless and related markets. If you want a solid overview of the regulatory environment for these industries, this report is a terrific place to start.

Coverage: WJLA ABC 7 News | The State Cathy Kirkman | Feb 10, 2006 FCC Press Release [.doc]

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‘V-Chip 2.0′ Turns On In March

Categories: Digital TVFCC

Beginning on March 15, the FCC says it will require all new products with digital television receivers – including TVs, video recorders and set-top boxes – to incorporate parental control capabilities by way of a new “open” version of the V-chip that can be reprogrammed to adapt to changing standards.

Sources: PC Magazine  |  ABC News  |  Engadget

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Hollywood vs.Your PC: Round 2

Categories: Digital TVDRM AnalysisDRM Restricting UseIntrusive TPMs - Rootkits

Legal options in digital entertainment are growing. But they come with restrictions that can hobble your ability to enjoy the content you’ve paid for–and even threaten your control over your system.

Source:
PC World

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Bush Signs Digital TV Transition Bill – Setting February 17, 2009 Deadline

Categories: Digital TVLawsMilestones

Bush signed into law legislation setting February 17, 2009, as the date U.S. broadcasters must end transmission of analog television signals and move to all-digital broadcasts. The move from the upper-700-MHz spectrum band will free 60 MHz of wave space for auction to mobile wireless carriers and 24 MHz for emergency response agencies.

Sources: PC World | joystiq | HDTV Magazine | Multi-Channel News | RCR News | Network World | DTV Design Line | Digital Connect | Telecomweb

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CableCARD Primer

Categories: Digital TV

Ars Technica provides this CableCARD primer describing the current state of cableCARD 1.0, the future of cableCARD 2.0 and the Downloadable Conditional Access System (DCAS), which may do away with CableCARDs altogether.

Source: ars technica

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RIAA Negotiates DRM with XM and Other Digital Radio Operators

Categories: BigMedia v NewTechCopy RestrictionsSatellite Radio

Last year, the RIAA began proposing a broadcast flag type system and now they are in negotiations with satellite radio companies, such as XM about controlling what their listeners can do. According to the music industry, if consumers are given the opportunity to record music from digital radio, they will likely start recording songs
instead of purchasing them.

Sources: CD Freaks | ZDNet | CNet

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Broadcasters to Move to Digital Television by February 17, 2009 Under Senate Bill

Categories: Digital TVLegal Reform

Legislation passed by the Senate would require broadcasters to end their traditional analog transmissions by Feb. 17, 2009, and send their signals digitally. Back to Conference with the House to resolve discrepancies then on to the President’s desk for signing into law.

Sources: Washington Post | ZDNet | San Jose Mercury News | Business Week | Reuters | San Francisco Chronicle | Broadcasting and Cable

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U.S. Digital Switchover on Feb 17, 2009?

Categories: Digital TV

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation to complete the country’s phase out of analogue TV with a transition to over-the-air digital television by Feb. 17, 2009. The Senate had previously set the date as April 7, 2009. Onwards to Congressional conference with the Senate.

Sources: Washington Post | Reuters | Information Week | ABC News | CBS News | CNET

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Apple’s Next Video on Demand Move

Categories: iVOD/iTVMilestonesNew Tech

How Steve Jobs can put a hammerlock on digital video.

Source:
Slate.com

Note:
Within 3 months of launch, Apple sold over 3 million TV shows/videos through iTunes.

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Canadian XM & Sirius Satellite Radio Receivers Won’t be Locked Down as earlier Reported

Categories: Big Media Makes ProgressBigMedia v NewTechNew Business ModelsRegion CodingSatellite Radio

Contrary to earlier reports XM & Sirius digital satellite receivers bought in the U.S. will not be locked down in Canada.

Source:
Digital Home Canada

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Sirius S50 has been (siriusly) crippled by the RIAA

Categories: BigMedia v NewTechDRM Restricting UseSatellite Radio

Engadget asserts that the Sirius S50, which has a claimed 50 hours of audio storage and scheduled digital recordings, has been cut down in the prime of life by an overbearing RIAA that has limited the player to 20 scheduled recordings, each a maximum length of two hours.

Sources:
Engadget  |  Mobile Mag

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Sony Launches TV Network Service For PSP

Categories: iVOD/iTVNew Tech


Sony has launched their new Portable TV rental service for owners of the Sony PSP in Japan. Users will be able to download TV shows, music videos and trailers for from $1 to $3 each.

Sources: Engadget  |  Gizmodo  |  MobileWhack

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BitTorrent and MPAA Reach Agreement

Categories: AgreementsBigMedia v P2P ProvidersiVOD/iTVMilestonesSettlements

BitTorrent and the MPAA reach an agreement under which unlicensed copyright movies will be expeditiously removed from BitTorrent.com's recently launched search engine

Sources: Wired | ZDNet | Reuters | BBC | The Register | Los Angeles Times | Forbes

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Will Unauthorized TiVo-iPod recording tech bring out the lawyers?

Categories: Digital TViVOD/iTVNew Tech

TiVo did not obtain ABC or Apple’s prior-approval for this feature. It could adversely impact ABC’s recent arrangement with Apple to make TV shows available for download to iPods for a fee.

Sources:
ZDNet | Financial Times

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New TiVo Function to Copy TV shows onto iPods and Sony PSP Devices

Categories: Digital TViVOD/iTVNew Tech

TiVo Inc. is expanding its video recording service so users will be able to transfer recorded TV shows onto Apple Computer’s iPods or Sony’s PlayStation Portable.

Sources: Forbes | CED | New York Times | Los Angeles Times | PVR Wire | CNN | ABC News | TVPredictions.com | GameSpot | Joystiq | GamaSutra

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Microsoft and Cablelabs Agree on Cablecard Integration into Windows Media Centre

Categories: Big Media Makes ProgressDigital TVMilestones

Microsoft and CableLabs have announced an agreement to bring CableCard access to the PC, along with the ability to share it with connected devices (like the Xbox 360).

Dale's Comment: This will, of course, only work in jurisdictions where cable providers use cable-card technology in their headends. While required of all major cable companies in the U.S., Canada does not yet (nor will it ever likely) mandate such cable-card compatibility.

Sources: Yahoo! News | HD Beat | PC World | Multichannel News | CED Magazine | Cable Digital News

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TiVo to Conduct Video Download Trial

Categories: iVOD/iTV


After TiVo/Netflix iVoD venture fails due to lack of content owner co-operation, TiVo to conduct first Internet video download trial.

Sources: TiVo  |  PVR Blog

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RIAA Lobbies Congress Again – This time to Limit Digital Radio Recordings

Categories: LobbyingSatellite Radio

RIAA lobbies for a new “HD Radio Content Protection Act“. It would require device makers to implement “functionality” to automatically delete your recordings after a certain amount of time.

Sources: Engadget  |  Twice

Related Story: Sirius and XM in Hot Water for Recording Capability

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TV on Demand From NBC, CBS — But Not For iPod

Categories: iVOD/iTV

NBC and CBS unveiled separate plans on Monday to make some of their hottest prime-time shows available for viewers to watch at their leisure — without commercials — for 99 cents an episode, throwing open the door to “on-demand” television.

Sources: Reuters | Wired

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RIAA Lobbies Congressional Action to Address ‘Inequities’ in Digital Radio Marketplace

Categories: LobbyingSatellite Radio