[opendtv] Re: Microsoft and the broadcast flag

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2008 15:32:25 -0400

There are any number of Microsoft references that show that WM applies
some sort of copy protection filtering for CGMS and Broadcast Flag
encoded TV streams, at least over Vista. But I was looking for something
that stated explicitly that, according to Microsoft, the BF means that
the content must not be copied.

So, even the most unabashed of self-important fools can now understand
that what is transmitted with the BF flag asserted is treated, by
current WMP, as if it were CGMS copy-never.

The result being, even if FOTA DTV broadcasters in principle "don't
intend" the BF to violate the Betamax decision, when playing through
Vista, it does.


Q. Why can't I sync some of my TV shows to my device?

A. Television broadcasters can prevent you from synchronizing a show to
a device by setting a "broadcast protection flag" for the show.
Currently, HBO sets the flag for some programming, and other
broadcasters might begin using the flag in the future. If you cannot
sync a certain show to your device, check the program information for
the show on your computer. If the broadcaster has set the broadcast
protection flag, the listing will indicate that the show is

Or, to use the 2X4-on-the-head technique, as far as Microsoft is
concerned, the Redistribution Control Descriptor is to be interpreted as
"copy never."

The FCC should perhaps send them a note.

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