[opendtv] Re: News: No End in Sight to Supply of Cheap TV's

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 09:30:26 -0500

At 7:47 PM -0500 1/5/05, Tom Barry wrote:
>But how do those robustness rules work?  Is a blob of epoxy an "approved
>technology"?  Or does each design now have to go through some expensive
>certification process?  Somehow I'd be surprised if some parties had not
>   managed to get some mandatory proprietary IP involved in the standard
>somehow, even if no DTCP or HDCP was involved.

I seriously doubt that the FCC is worried about hardware hacks, 
especially in a world where it will be SOOOOOOOOOO easy to get around 
the Broadcast Flag. I have not heard any noises about hardware 
certification by the FCC.

What is in play here is not so much the DTV receiver, but just about 
everything that CAN be attached to it. As long as the bits are inside 
the TV, there is little threat of piracy. It is when those bits are 
allowed to travel beyond the confines of the TV that Hollywood gets 
paranoid, and the content management industry starts drooling.

The IEEE-1394 standard was held up for several years while the 
Digital Transport Control Protocol was developed. As a result, most 
IEEE-1394 chips now support DTCP; this did not come for free, since 
it adds significant hardware overhead for encryption and handling of 
the keys, that one pays for when they license DTCP. The same is 
likely to happen with Ethernet hardware ports and WiFi,  now that 
DTCP-IP has been finalized.

When you measure the robustness of the technologies that the FCC has 
approved for implementation of the broadcast flag, there are two key 

Does the technology accomplish what Hollywood wants in terms of 
controlling the use of copyrights content?

Does the technology have the potential to be deployed across ALL 
networked digital media products so that perpetual revenue streams 
from licensing can be generated.

This is not meant to imply that these were the key goals for the FCC. 
It is simply an acknowledgement of the reality that they had to do 
something and in choosing to allow multiple solutions to the problem, 
they have made a bad situation worse. How?

Another measure of robustness that will be important in the future is 
interoperability. Unfortunately it appears that the FCC could care 
less whether the products you buy will work together. They have 
created a new playing field where it will be possible for CE and 
computer  manufacturers to build closed systems that will only work 
with the approved technology they have implemented. If you want to 
hook a Sony TV to a Philips DVD recorder you may be SOL.

>And there may also be a few Hollywood or other lawyers that must be
>bought off so they do not object to the FCC about possible questionable

See the "key factors" above.

>Any of this could be an extra expense.

This is guaranteed. Extrapolating this out into the future, if we 
stay this course it will cost consumers $billion$, and untold 
frustration to prevent a problem that does not exist.

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