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326 comments

Fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901095)

sweet jesus!

Re:Fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901109)

I loaded this page first, bitch. It was my fp.

Re:Fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901118)

or so you think. bia bia bia

Re:Fp (-1, Offtopic)

spike hay (534165) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901149)

I strip you of your fp in the name of logged in crapflooders! AC retards.

In soviet russia... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901106)

...people that even utter the phrase "in soviet russia" get beat down like a red headed step child. When will america get as advanced?

FP muthafukas!

Next time they will make you pay for the service.. (2, Funny)

BibelBiber (557179) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901111)

Why not Credit Cards instead of Smart Cards. Oh maybe then its easier for Hackers to get the key without paying. Hm, sounds just like another great idea without any use.

Re:Next time they will make you pay for the servic (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901195)

In the UK and in the EU they have Sky TV, which is satelite television. The box requires a smart card to be inserted for use.

They've had it for a few years now.

I think it's a fine idea.

Re:Next time they will make you pay for the servic (5, Interesting)

MrLint (519792) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901368)

This is actually very disturbing to me, looks like hollywood wants to merge its 2 payment models while at the same time removing the consumer decision from the loop. it goes something like this, You pay a monthly subscription for your digital TV signal (probably cable) You pay a subscription fee to use your smart card to wtch the shows you pay for (like satellite tv) Oh and that 'free tv' that gets paid by advertizing,, well that all bonus revenue for the media copmanies because they are just going to *assume* you are a 'criminal' andyou are using your pvr ( that they convienently sell you and chage you a mothly subscription fee to use (because theyhave to off set the prediefined amount of people skipping the adverts, See: the minidisc built in piracy RIAA tax) [and to head you off TiVo provides you with a service for you fee stop shut your whine hole before you open it] So bascially you as the consumer.. you have to buy a big buck digital tv (or a cheaper digital to analog converter foryour old tv, you dont get to control what you watch (really) you dont get to control what you can record and watch later.. and the media copmanies get fatter. and of course the coropratoin friendly FCC doenst seem to mind at all, because even if they get kicked out for conflict of intrst, they get coushy jobs in media. (see: the political/corporate revolving door.) All your money are are belong to us.

To quote famous phrases.... (5, Funny)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901117)

I'm not profoundly religious or anything, but do I need to quote specific verses from Revelations before it's too late?

Or do I just go ahead and get my number and be quiet?

-------
Those who don't understand, will probably vote (-1, Offtopic)

Re:To quote famous phrases.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901361)

i dont get it, im dumb. is that entire mark of the beast thing...

Re:To quote famous phrases.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901417)

hey shithead, just buy an antenna.

cable tv is not a fundamental right.

I wonder... (4, Insightful)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901120)

I wonder if the satellite cracking guys might have a solution to this "speed bump" in, oh, about 45 seconds after release?

Sounds like these folks need to read Cringley's "Curtain Call" article and stop wasting so much effort on things that are doomed to fail.

Re:I wonder... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901171)

If the cards are the equivalent of the new DirecTV P4 cards, then yes we will.

'nuff said

Re:I wonder... (2)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901266)

If the cards are the equivalent of the new DirecTV P4 cards, then yes we will.

I misspoke, meant more like "will the satellite crackers lend a hand and crack it in about 45 seconds". But you get the idea.

Yeah, That'll Work (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901121)

Look how well it's worked with the direct broadcast satellite services, e.g., DirecTV. Half the users of those systems are using hacked hardware and not paying a cent, despite early trumpeting by the SmartCard vendor about how secure the system was.

Hmm.... (0, Troll)

cybergibbons (554352) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901146)

They aren't coming anywhere near my girlfriends "analog hole".....

Re:Hmm.... (3, Funny)

pyros (61399) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901223)

They aren't coming anywhere near my girlfriends "analog hole".....

Maybe there aim is off.

Re:Hmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901229)

They aren't coming anywhere near my girlfriends "analog hole".....

Sir, we already need a credit card to use it.

Yet another page /.ed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901154)

by a swarm of 10,000 locustserrrrr geeks.

Probably a stupid question, but... (4, Interesting)

SteweyGriffin (634046) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901155)

My 35" TV is probably eight years old and ready to be replaced. Is now a good time to buy a new TV, or are there worthwhile developments in the pipeline (Bluetooth?) that make it worth waiting 12 months?

Re:Probably a stupid question, but... (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901212)

Nice troll. Could have been a bit smoother. 35" was overkill. Bluetooth - good one.

Re:Probably a stupid question, but... (2)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901246)

"Nice troll. Could have been a bit smoother. 35" was overkill. Bluetooth - good one."

I don't know why you think he's trolling. He's got an interesting point. What would one do with a Bluetooth enabled TV?

I can imagine a PVR talking to a TV and vice versa. "Hey, I'm recording a show this guy likes. Turn to the channel I occupy!"

I can also imagine using a PDA or computer to talk to the PVR via Bluetooth to schedule recordings. Imagine going to TVguide.com, clicking a button to record, and Bluetooth does the rest.

I'm not aware of anything like this happening down the road, but the BT idea would be interesting. I know I like my laptop talking wirelessly to my phoine.

Re:Probably a stupid question, but... (2)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901341)

I don't know why you think he's trolling. He's got an interesting point. What would one do with a Bluetooth enabled TV?

Well firstly, he's a known troll. He posts on trolltalk for instance. It's a game to him. 35 inch TV 8 years ago? Please. He tries to get replies and mods. It's quite amusing to watch, at least, when you catch them :)

Secondly, Bluetooth doesn't have much use in a TV. Note that a PVR doesn't need the TV to be tuned to the actual channel, it contains its own decoding engine.

Thirdly, Bluetooth is very short range, like 10ft at maximum, water in the air blocks it (which is why those frequencies were chosen). Your computer would have to be very near the TV, for little gain.

I'm not aware of anything like this happening down the road, but the BT idea would be interesting. I know I like my laptop talking wirelessly to my phoine.

That's different. That's a) short range, b) low bandwidth and c) a useful way to exchange information. A TV typically doesn't have or need much information exchange. Maybe we'll see bluetooth TVs in the future, but I doubt it.

Don't even think of using BT to transfer video data, it's severely bandwidth limited.

Re:Probably a stupid question, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901500)

Secondly, Bluetooth doesn't have much use in a TV. Note that a PVR doesn't need the TV to be tuned to the actual channel, it contains its own decoding engine.

Actually, the internal tuner in the pvr much still tune to that channel to record it. You can't just encode without a signal TO encode. Whether or not it displays on your tv is not the point I don't believe. And, the new PVR's from Time Warner actually have 2 tuners built in.

Re:Probably a stupid question, but... (2)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901517)

"Don't even think of using BT to transfer video data, it's severely bandwidth limited."

I was never talking about using BT as a way to transfer video. I was talking about using it as a method for other computers to control it. Right now I have a cell phone that talks to my laptop via BT. I thoguht that sounded gimmicky until I actually played with it. Now, I can set reminders etc so that my phone will remind me. Do I need to get up early on Saturday to catch a sale? No prob, plug it into Outlook and on Sat morning my cell phone's alarm goes off with a text description of why I need to wake up.

I didn't anticipate anything like that when I got the phone. It was a pleasant surprised. It really makes me feel that BT's has a lot of potential to be explored.

So yeah, I think there are uses we're not even thinking of that would make a BT interface on TV useful. Hell, I'd love the idea of my laptop talking to my TV. I could program a channel 'playlist'. "At 7, change to channel 12 so I can watch the Simpsons. At 7:30, change to 3 so I can watch Drew Carry, at 8 change to AMC because there's a movie I want to watch.." and so on.

Anyway, that's what I was thinking.

KILL YOUR TELEVISION (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901232)

Just hit it with a good sledgehammer and be done with it!

Re:Probably a stupid question, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901268)

what would they put bluetooth in a TV? It doesn't help the content providers.

seriously, I agree with the other poster. get a sledgehammer and free yourself from the boxes' grasp.

or maybe just a get a tuner card for the computer so you can watch CNBC (that's about all I use the TV for).

Price - Worth waiting. (2)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901381)

Take a look at the cost of new televisions that are HD capable. The prices are ridiculous right now. 35" HD TVs start at about $2000. There is absolutely noything about HD TV components or technology that justify the cost. The high cost is simply because they are new and are'nt strong sellers, yet. In a year or two the price will be down to that of a regular TV. Then you buy.

Re:Probably a stupid question, but... (1)

DuckDuckBOOM! (535473) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901460)

Is now a good time to buy a new TV...
For: Widescreen sets are almost affordable now, and don't have DRMified in/out ports.
Against: Prices are going to tumble in the next few years as the industry ramps up cheap big/flat screen tech; e.g. organic LEDs.

You make the call. I'm hoping for a window of opportunity between the advent of cheap flat-panels and that of mandatory DRM.

Not-so-Smart Cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901156)

The current digital satellite TV smart cards have been broken faster and easier than previous generations ever were. To the contrary of the 'renewable security' idea, these devices are getting cracked, hacked, or subverted much sooner than the predicted timeframes of the companies. Many of the corporations listed in the article have sustained one or more failures in their own products, so I doubt the whole lot of them are going to hammer out the end-all to digital signal security.

Secure smart cards (5, Funny)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901160)

I'm sure these cards will be nice and secure, just like the ones that satellite providers use.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch free HBO.

Just what I need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901162)

another reason not to watch the pap that goes by the "entertainment" label.

I have so much more time since I shot the TV.

Every geek should own a gun...

Re:Just what I need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901194)

You mean there are Geeks who don't have guns?!?!?

The mind boggles...

Re:Just what I need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901265)

of course.
geeks that run windows don't have guns.
or else they would have shot their computers..

Why are they picking on me ? (5, Funny)

AnalogHole (633753) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901164)

Note that the article talks about them 'closing the analog hole.'"

Should I be alarmed ?

Re:Why are they picking on me ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901296)

Should I be alarmed ?

Only if you're into DR&M. The Mistress does mean things with a buttog plug.

Re:Why are they picking on me ? (1)

mlush (620447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901305)

Depends what there going to close your analog hole with

Re:Why are they picking on me ? (2)

dagg (153577) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901307)

Yes. They are on to our shenanigans. Dagg nabbit.

closing the analog hole (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901167)

"closing the analog hole"?
well they can KISS MY analog hole..

hur hur hur

Smartcards are just software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901176)

Why bother the general public with another credit-card like piece of crap?

How long would it take to circumvent the protection?

The last 'crack' seen took less than 2 months to replace a sat-tv smartcard with a piece of (smart) software on the sat-receiver.

Hackers will always be smarter, we don't have a timelimit :)

I've been meaning to purchase... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901179)

... a smartcard reader/writer. Woohoo! A whole new horizon of hardware/software hacking!

Don't lament the removal of your rights, rejoice in the opportunity to fight to get them back!

Dear Hollywood - Get a cluestick (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901183)

I am not going to buy any technology that is not at least as flexible as my existing equipment. Flexibility is more important than image quality.

Specifically:
  • I want to be able to view anything on any device.
  • I also want at least some capability to make a single copy. If this is limited to 1 generation, then this will be acceptable to me, but possibly not to everyone.
  • I want to be able to record any broadcast for later viewing. Including Pay Per view.
  • This must not be location limited at all.
It is not my concern that the media cartels have a business model that divides the world into regions. It is possible to make a profit without region control. They should adapt their business model to what the consumer (i.e. me) wants.

Re:Dear Hollywood - Get a cluestick (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901299)

to bad corperations exist only to make money at all costs rather than to provide a service to customers and THEN make money.

Re:Dear Hollywood - Get a cluestick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901318)

Haha, yeah right. I'm thinking it's not Hollywood that needs a cluestick here.

Re:Dear Hollywood - Get a cluestick (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901532)

Well, who does then?

Re:Dear Hollywood - Get a cluestick (5, Insightful)

PurpleFloyd (149812) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901427)

I am not going to buy any technology that is not at least as flexible as my existing equipment.
You won't get much out of your old equipment, flexibility or no. In a few years, due to FCC demands, analog broadcasting will go away. Forever. You will either watch nice DRM-enabled TV, or no TV at all.

Personally, I don't think I will get a new idiot box when I am "required" to. These new rules and regulations are just too much. No time shifting? Fine, no TV.

Re:Dear Hollywood - Get a cluestick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901445)

I want a gold toilet, but that's not in the cards, either.

Smartcards are the answear! (0, Redundant)

biafra (4283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901186)

That way they'll have complete control over who watches what... Just ask Direct TV or Dishnetwork about how much security smartcards can provide. All this will do is create a whole bunch of hassle for the consumer and the hardware vendors as they deal with broken cards, and scratched contacts.

Will We Need A SmartCard to Watch Digital TV? (5, Insightful)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901188)

"Will We Need A SmartCard to Watch Digital TV?"

Will I need to buy a Digital TV if they make it too hard for me to watch? Seriously, all this 'flags' crap makes me want to avoid it all together.

TV needs me, I don't need TV. Without my eyeballs on the commercials, they aren't making money. They should consider that before they try pushing restrictions I don't want.

Yeah (5, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901189)

Yes, you'll need a smartcard (for pay tv) and yes, it will be cracked pretty quickly. At least, if the experience in the UK is anything to go by.

Here ONdigital collapsed after pirated cards flooded the markets. The Canal+ card/crypto system was broken. There was later a scandal when it was revealed that the team of hackers who broke it appeared to have significant backing from News Corp who operated the rival Sky TV which used its own crypt system.

This article talks about watermarking which is a tad more advanced than what's used here, but it makes little difference. The cards will be cracked, cloned, whatever. They should see what is going on outside their own borders.

it's more than piracy (5, Insightful)

citroidSD (517889) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901191)

and I quote: Other problems remain, though. For example, some insiders say Hollywood studios are demanding that the DVB copy protection group consider a way to add geographic limitations to where content, once legally obtained by a consumer, can be viewed. The plan is similar to an unpopular regional coding scheme used for DVD content scrambling

What does this have to do with piracy? Nothing, they use piracy as an excuse (and remember piracy is not a legal term, it's called copyright infringement) to help maintain a failing busines model. They want to control how and when people consume media, under the guise of protecting the consumer from the dangers of pir^H^H^H unauthorized consumption of copyrighted content.

The Truth? (2, Interesting)

9Numbernine9 (633974) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901200)

Frankly, some of those additional requirements [demanded by Hollywood] have nothing to do with copy protection, but a lot to do with studios' own business models," Jaboulet said.
Truer words were never spoken. A desire by Hollywood to protect its copyright is one issue, but trying to restrict my right to do whatever I want with my property is another. [Oh right, I forgot I don't actually own that DVD - Fair use, anyone?]

Besides - any guesses as to how long it'll be before this is circumvented? Place your bets!

Re:The Truth? (3, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901230)

OK, so the mice vote to bell the cat. What if the cat (that is, the "consumer") ain't buying? People are already not-buying digital TV in droves. The FCC is going to hate it, but even they are unlikely to be able to force the shutdown of analog TV under current conditions, and use-crippling technology isn't going to help at all.

Re:The Truth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901369)

Oh right, I forgot I don't actually own that DVD - Fair use, anyone?

The violation of fair use has been documented numerous times here. What someone ought to do is sue Disney for false advertising. In their ads, they use the phrase "Own the DVD today!" when we all know that they mean "license the DVD today".

And what of existing equipment??? (3, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901203)

The question is, will existing digital equipment handle content that's protected in this manner? Or will it be like the case with my Jornada, for which there are basically no decent eBooks available, since it preceded the version of Windows CE that had built-in protections like this...

Yet another reason DTV will FAIL. (5, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901204)

And fail miserably. Seriously, if DTV replaces analog in 2006, I will eat my hat.

Re:Yet another reason DTV will FAIL. (2, Funny)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901334)

you won't be the one eating your hat, the out of work CEOs will since the companies they work for will colaps when they stop makeing money due to the drop in consumer demand for their crapola.

Re:Yet another reason DTV will FAIL. (5, Informative)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901443)

Whatever.

2006? Nah. 2012? Probably. The 2006 figure was never taken seriously by anybody with a clue. Screw replacing the TVs - that's chump change. Replacing every bit of electronics in the broadcast chain, including the tower, in 10 years? When there was absolutely nothing available in 1996? No f'ing way.

But if you think that DTV is going to outright fail, well, you're just as blind as those who thought it would be nationwide by 2006.

Re:Yet another reason DTV will FAIL. (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901456)

& I'll help you. Fergawdsake, even my mom knows about the crap going on with DTV (and no I didn't tell her about this one).

Jaysyn

Bill and Orwell... (-1, Offtopic)

missing_boy (627271) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901205)

Another article on big-brotherness, *click*, and we're met with a big add for Microsoft's .NET.

It's not easy not being paranoid these days.

Re:Bill and Orwell... (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901258)

Except that .NET has nothing whatsoever to do with this. But don't let that stop you.

Stop watching. (1, Redundant)

attobyte (20206) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901206)

I dont watch a whole lot know but if that did happen I would not watch any TV. Who do they think they are?

Re:Stop watching. (0, Flamebait)

attobyte (20206) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901231)

Yea before anyone says anything...

know = now

To close the analog hole (5, Insightful)

Student_Tech (66719) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901214)

The only way to truely close the analog hole is to not have any analog information. That means our eyes get pulled out or supplimented with digital receivers because that last step in any system is a analog transmision from the screen to our eyes. Any flags that get set to no copy well not be there in that step and a camera aimed and synced with the TV could record it and turn it back to a digital form free of what ever flags were set.

Hey MPAA! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901218)

Hey MPAA, I've got your analog hole right here [goatse.cx] !.

thats so smart... (1)

k3v0 (592611) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901225)

i'm glad that i will have to pay more on my products to install DRM devices so that others who are better coders than I can crack yet another code and enable me to subvert the DRM devices. i think DRM is a conspiracy by the OSS movement to harden their code crackers!!! eventually we will be sold sealed viewing boxes with self destructing media. included will be a memory eraser so you can forget you even saw what you saw, otherwise you may copy it.

As popular as the original Divx. (5, Funny)

IvyMike (178408) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901226)

"Please, sign me up for this new technology. It offers me no benefits, costs me money, and gives up my rights."
-- You. At least, you in the eyes of Hollywood.

Congressmen beware (5, Insightful)

deanpole (185240) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901528)

Americans love their television. Not even
God can save a Congressmen who lets
smartcards come between Americans and their
free television.

Waste of effort (3, Informative)

corvi42 (235814) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901228)

This is such a waste of effort. All this means is that the person to first rip the data and then let it loose on gnutella ( or morpheus, etc. pick your fav. p2p ) will have to pay for the privelege. How is this different from buying a movie ticket and then taping it with your handycam and giving / selling the result?

Someday these corps. are going to have to realize that digital is _more_ easily copied than analog, not less. No matter what clever locks and barriers they put up, the data is the same, and so it is inherently easy to reproduce. The demands of digital secrecy/security are fundamentally opposite to the demands of broadcasting and never the twain shall meet.

You mean easier free TV? (5, Funny)

rickthewizkid (536429) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901234)

Geez when I had cable, I had to tinker around with 75-100 pF variable capacitors, copper wire, and metal RadioShack boxes to get free TV! Then I graduated to sattelite, and all I needed was a smartcard programmer! This is great news!

(Score: 5, Funny)
-RickTheWizKid
(And to think, I don't even _own_ a TV anymore... is this a bad thing?)

well that sounds like CSS all over again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901247)

So 1st the MPAA pretends that CSS was adequate when they new that it wasn't. Now they are pretending that smart cards are the ultimate. That's fine as long is as they stick to their story and let the electronics manufactures start rolling out the products.

Vote with My Wallet and then my Ballot (4, Funny)

awitod (453754) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901249)

It looks like I'll just be one of those wierd old guys that still listens to music on vinyl. I also enjoy books.

I bet my kids will hate me for it.

On the other hand, now might be a good time to learn how to fix the current generation of 'disposable' kit and start hoarding parts. It might eventually become a nice little niche market.

Re:Vote with My Wallet and then my Ballot (2)

HiThere (15173) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901348)

The intention is that they stop broadcasting in analog. Repairing old equipment won't help. It's not as if TVs were stand-alone pieces of equipment, if you want to watch, what you watch is selected from what's shown.

That's one of the reasons they hate VCRs.

Obsolete current HDTV gear (3, Interesting)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901253)

Now they are going to obsolete all the current HDTV gear out there in market, tv's and recievers. Of course the hardware manufactors support this because it forces people to buy new tv's with recievers built in and broadcast companies love it because they'll stop you from recording shows and skip through commercials. Content providers(cable and sattelite) could careless because they are going to charge you extra money to recieve these HD signals.

Bloody great for society as a whole (5, Funny)

HisMother (413313) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901262)

If it gets too hard or too expensive to watch TV, people may be forced to
  • Read a book!
  • Go outside!
  • Participate in democracy!
  • Volunteer for charity!
This guys may be the best thing that's happened to western civilization since before Ed Sullivan sucked our collective brains out.

Re:Bloody great for society as a whole (1)

X_Bones (93097) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901337)

The point is not that we'll turn to more worthwhile activities than watching TV (something with which I agree, BTW). The point is that this collection of companies wants to do to broadcast TV what they tried to do with DVDs: geographic viewing restrictions, and playback only on authorized devices. Whether or not you think TV is a good thing, I hope you agree when I say this proposal can seriously infringe on everyone's fair-use rights.

Re:Bloody great for society as a whole (3, Insightful)

HisMother (413313) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901426)

I absolutely see your point, and I'm definitely a free-speech advocate, but I'm also a somewhat old geezer who remembers the days before "convergence" was a buzzword. The fact that my work-related computing choices are tied up with the entertainment industry's policies at all, is galling to me. There are days when I wish they'd come up with a fool-proof, unbreakable way to keep commercial music and video inseparably tied to special industry-approved hardware, and then leave my computers the f2k alone.

'closing the analog hole' (3, Insightful)

X_Bones (93097) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901263)

There is no such thing as 'closing the analog hole.' No matter what scheme you use to protect your content, it *has* to be decrypted somewhere. And then some enterprising team will take apart the decryption mechanism, figure out how it works, and build a stand-alone decryption box.

It needs to be done, if only because people have been spending thousands and thousands of dollars on flat-panel TVs, HDTVs, etc. and they're all loath to buy another one anytime soon.

I had a point but I forgot what it was, so I'd better stop now.

make something to much of a hassle (5, Insightful)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901270)

and people will not use it.

I uess paper books will be the next target of this "analog hole"

so once people decide to stop watching TV, and begin to read more books, the publishing industry will begin to fase out paper books in favor of e-books....got to close that analog hole right.

wooo...now we will have a new underclass, those who can not afford electronic equipment...

will content publishers learn that when they try to keep control over the published information that it looses all value becasue no one wants to buy there crap? no, they will not and this is what will send us into the next dark age.

Just a little bit of help ?! (2, Interesting)

-Grover (105474) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901272)

Courtesy of this [slashdot.org] /. article which links to this story [informationweek.com] on Information Week, you can see it's all pretty much summed up here.
For SmartRight to be effective, it would have to be adopted by makers of high-definition TVs, set-top boxes, digital video recorders, and PCs. Thomson makes high-definition televisions, set-top boxes, and satellite television hardware, but it would need the cooperation of computer makers and legislators, who would have to mandate the inclusion of the technology in future hardware
Seems to me this is still a ways off even if Philips decides to adopt it as there is still plenty of resistance from other angles. I wouldn't be shivering just yet. Just because HDTV mfrs. are out putting these things in their TV's is basically now just a waste of money, since there is nobody that utilizes the technology. It's going to be a stalemate a while yet as broadcasting companies, as well as film studios won't put the encryption in until everyone has one, and TV / set top mfr's won't add the cards, since it's a waste of money. Since IANAL I won't even get into the logistics of getting something like this passed through proper legal channels and all the hoopla that will create....

I'm all for it... (1, Offtopic)

kevlar (13509) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901273)


One thing that annoys the hell out of me are people who do not pay for their Cable/Dish TV. Regardless of how incompetent the cable company may be, there are alternatives and there is simply no excuse for stealing cable. This has nothing to do with copy-control.

Re:I'm all for it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901339)

Theft is wrong.

Civil disobediance, OTOH....

Re:I'm all for it... (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901531)

True, but once you've been told you're a filthy thief and you can't be trusted, what's your incentive to play by the rules. Reward is not the same as non-punishment and there's no reward for doing it, because you can't earn their trust.

I'm not saying it's right to access more streamed data than you're paying for, just that it's getting harder every year to condemn those that do it.

analog hole (1, Redundant)

Ozric (30691) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901288)

'closing the analog hole' ....
I would like to close their analog hole with my foot.

what else will they want next? (1, Troll)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901313)

They'll start with SmartCards.
Then they'll go for.. oh, wait.. they already have monthly fees.

I bet they'll start asking for DNA samples and failing that, we'll be handing over first born children.

A blessing in disguise (3, Funny)

dsfox (2694) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901324)

Hopefully we will soon need a smartcard to buy cigarettes as well...

Like Hollywood has anything to offer us anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901349)

Hollywood is completely overrated. Who gives a fuck if they want to lock down programs/movies. I'll just stop watching. Heck 90% of shows/movies are complete garbage anyway.

They won't stop filesharing/recording, they'll just lose business.

p.s. RIAA can KISS MY ASS

Smart Cards are the Answer! (1)

otterpop378 (254386) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901352)

Smart Cards will protect you
Smart cards will protect you from the Terrible Secret OF TV!

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901354)

Digital TVs watch YOU!

This really sucks for local anime clubs (3, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901356)

After years without seeing anime (I used to watch Robotech as a kid) I was reintroduced by my local club that twice a month runs screenings for shows unreleased in the states. I don't know how/if these clubs will survive all this DRM garbage. It'd be really sad to see these great clubs go away (some are over 20 years old I think) in 5-10 years because the content gets locked down. I just hope these drm tv's and what not bomb as hard as divx (the original where you paid everytime you wanted to watch your dvd).

Unplug (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901370)

As long as Americans continue to keep their media-created, instiable appetite for broadcast video and audio, this will work.
Why not unplug? Listen to the radio, read a book, go for a walk..
What's so special about Law & Order, Pay-per-View Heart concerts, and even, dare, I say, the Discovery Channel? Go to a library, INTERACT WITH PEOPLE. The only reason that the population will turn into a mob of wallscreen-watching zombies is if we decide to.

Re:Unplug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901535)

What's so special about Law & Order, Pay-per-View Heart concerts, and even, dare, I say, the Discovery Channel? Go to a library, INTERACT WITH PEOPLE.

Most people's definition of 'Interact with people': 'Hey, did you catch "Friends" last night?'

I can live with this... (5, Interesting)

roybadami (515249) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901379)

Nothing too unexpected or draconian here at least at first sight -- surprisingly reasonable, in fact.

This is very much what the home cinema press (here in the UK, at least) has been predicting for years, and it seems to be an improvement on the current impasse.

Currently, you receive an encrypted data stream through your digital cable or satellite system, and it's decoded by a smartcard, but you're never allowed to get your hands on the datastream at all.

Under this proposal, you'll be able to get your hands on the encrypted datastream, and pipe it around your home network, save it to disk, whatever. You'll still need a valid smartcard to be able to decrypt and view it, but you need one now already. It even sounds like they are thinking about not requireing you to have a smartcard for every TV (or keep moving your smartcard about), but instead allow one card to serve an entire home AV network.

As for 'closing the analog hole' with digital watermarking techniques, this really doesn't sound any different from a souped-up Macrovision. We already have analogue signals tagged with a 'do not record' marker, so there's nothing really new here.

Now, there are still ways they can screw this up; I'd really like them to drop the regional coding idea. And I hope that if I record a datastream for later viewing, that datastream doesn't become inaccessible to me if I subsequently cease to subscribe to the cable or satellite operator it was recorded from.

Overall though this sounds promising, and I feel moderately optimistic that this will end up being a system I can live with...

-roy

That alright, I'll be... (2)

randomErr (172078) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901383)

That's alright.

I'll be broadcasting my own analog stuff on the unlicensed spectrum [slashdot.org] and bypass digital all together.

Rights in general (1)

theophilus00 (469290) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901403)

I suppose I'd be willing to allow that the studios have the right to market a product however they wish -- along with whatever overly complicated, failure-prone, oppressive "rights-management" schemes they'd like.

And I have the right not to buy it.

cheers

Re: Will We Need a Smart Card to Watch Digital TV? (3, Interesting)

mrkurt (613936) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901409)

More to the point, will we need to pay for the privilege of buying the smartcard so we can watch digital TV? IIRC, digital TV was supposed to be a free, broadcast medium, available to everybody, just like analog broadcasting. Why is it necessary to have some kind of technology to control who is watching? More to the point, if the copying of digital content so bothers the movie studios, why don't they just opt not to release their flicks for digital broadcast? Oh, that's right, Jack Valenti and Co. threatened to take their toys and go home from the digital party unless something was done. This really scared the broadcasters and electronics makers.

Apparently, this was that "something." It could be used to extract payments from folks with digital TVs; I guess they feel they can't get these couch potatoes to go to the cinema or get up and go to Blockbuster and buy DVDs. Once again, it's all about control and DRM (Digital Reach for your Money). If these measures are necessary, why is it that the movie studios don't seem to mind if their product (rubbish, for the most part) is broadcast on analog TV all the time? Even after the Betamax case, they don't seem to mind that one can record movies on a VCR-- that is a copy, right? (no pun intended) I am rather surprised that they allow their flicks to be broadcast, rather than lose all that revenue.

All I conclude is that these industries aren't serving my interests as a potential customer. Once again, Big Media has attempted to put their grubby fingers on emerging technology.

TV just isn't worth this. (4, Insightful)

Asprin (545477) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901421)


The day HDTV and SmartCards become a requirement is probably the day we stop watching TV shows altogether, though we'll likely keep the TV around for watching movies and playing games and the like. I don't know who they think they're kidding, but the crap they're trying to protect just isn't worth this kind of annoyance.

Case in point - Why do we need 14 channels of HBO in our cable package -- is it so we have more choice? No, it's because exclusivity deals and vertical ownership mean they have to be a Time-Warner billboard. Oh, that and the movies suck, so they have to have 14 channels of it to make it seem like you're getting your money's worth. When I was a kid, we got 1 HBO channel, but they ran primo movies every night, and it was generally worth the subscription fee. Now, it's 14 channels of Sex&City reruns and crap movies from the 80's and (early)90's. Screw them. Don't **EVEN** get me started on "Slowtime" - the premium cable network for morons and the terminally horny.

Now they want me to get a smart card and an encryption ID key for the priviledge of watching Will & Grace? Sorry. I'll do without - It's more fun playing with my wife anyway.

Closing the hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4901459)

I'd like to plug their analog hole... fill it nice and good. Yeah.

What about my material (2, Interesting)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901467)

What about "content" created by others? Do I get to put "copy protection" on my own material? I suspect they are also trying to prevent any new competition. You won't be able to "protect" your (or your companies) content without paying them. Individuals work will not be privy to the new protections at all.

Paul

Future Scenario (3, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | more than 11 years ago | (#4901521)


TV: All viewers must insert their identity cards and authenticate with the Viewing System before playback can commence.

TV: This TV can see 4 potential viewers and a dog in the room. Three viewers are on the TSN subscription plan and have automatic access to the broadcast. These viewers have household authentication and have validated within the last 24 hours. Viewing is authorized. The forth viewer, Bob Neighbour has inserted his viewerID(tm) card but not authenticated and will need to authorize the use of credit to enable the viewing. TSN allows dogs to watch Monday Night Football for free.

TV: Viewing paused. Awaiting authorization or departure. TSN thanks you for your viewing habits.
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