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Build Your Own TV Without Broadcast Flags 283

Posted by Zonk
from the conscientious-objector dept.
doom writes "An account of an event sponsored by the EFF, a "roll your own television" build-in. The San Francisco Bay Guardian has coverage in an article entitled Build Your TV!". From the article: "According to the FCC, the flag is going to ease the nation's transition from today's analog televisions to tomorrow's high-definition televisions. What exactly does it mean for a government agency to "ease" the transition from one kind of TV signal to another? In this case, it seems to mean making the entertainment industry feel very warm and fuzzy inside." The EFF's efforts against the flag have been covered before on Slashdot.
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Build Your Own TV Without Broadcast Flags

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:46AM (#11833100)
    Bush is a great president and he will not let this broadcast flag happen under his watch. I know liberal /. probably doesn't get this, but the Republicans are all about SMALLER gov't, people.

    This is going no where as long as Republicans are leading this great nation.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:54AM (#11833157)
      In republican America , Broadcast Flags you
    • by ecotax (303198) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:58AM (#11833189)
      the Republicans are all about SMALLER gov't, people.

      Indeed, and about BIGGER corporations...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:08AM (#11833255)
      What, you think he's going to let some liberal hippy types to burn the broadcast flag? No way!
    • by edremy (36408) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:22AM (#11833364) Journal

      Bush is a great president and he will not let this broadcast flag happen under his watch. I know liberal /. probably doesn't get this, but the Republicans are all about SMALLER gov't, people.

      You've got to be joking [mediamatters.org]. (At least, I hope you're being sarcastic) Check the second chart down. Bush has increased nondefense discretionary spending faster than Clinton by a large margin, and that's *with* a Republican dominated congress. Of course, that's not even including the *huge* growth in defense and homeland security related spending, most of it stuffed into little-reviewed supplemental appropriation bills. ("Yeah, we need another $90 billion for Iraq. Don't count it against the deficit figures, please.") Just look at the absurd Medicare prescription drug coverage bill- any true conservative would have run from this screaming.

      The Republicans today are all about huge, intrusive government. They want to make sure you're a good little consumer, worship the proper god and avoid the gay. Oh yeah, and don't worry about running up the deficit to 3rd world levels- we'll never have to pay that back...

      Just sign me "Disgusted ex-Republican".

    • Smaller govt my ass. Check the facts, baba. Government has INCREASED in every catagory since that facist has entered office. Taxes up, military spending up, # government workers up, etc. The only thing that is down is the value of the dollar.
    • LOL, you made me laugh! Thank you for wonderful comedy stylings!
  • by dhbiker (863466) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:47AM (#11833107) Homepage
    I thought that judges told the broadcast regulator that the flag was unlawful? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4290315.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    Hence rolling your own tv would be entirely redundant?
    • by kinema (630983) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:11AM (#11833289)
      The way I understand it is that the broadcast flag isn't illegal but the way it came to be mandated. The court said that the FCC doesn't have the authority to require it's implementation. This doesn't mean that Congress can't pass a bill making it law. Disclaimer: IANAL
      • Sounds to me like the legal system is becoming a bit of a joke in the US when it comes to the big media companies.

        I wonder if when you become a congressperson (gotta be PC ;-) ) you get training on how to "assume the position" whenever a big media company wants something made into law

        thankfully here in the UK I can't see something like this happening (at least in the near future).

        Individual European Union member states are not allowed to mandate receiver requirements and any copy protection system
    • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:25AM (#11833391) Homepage
      They didn't say that. Slashdot managed to misreport what happened several times.

      What happened was that the lawyer challenging the FCC went before the panel of judges, and they asked questions attacking his position. Then his time was up, and the FCC lawyer went before the panel, and the judges askwed questions attacking the FCC's position.

      Judges do this all the time. It forces the lawyer in front of them to respond to questions he wishes no one was asking. If he has a good argument, he can provide good answers to the hard questions. It's just a technique to elicit information. It doesn't indicate anything about the judge's actual position.

      Plus the court won't issue their ruling on the matter for several months still.

      So the big hubbub was over nothing.
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:48AM (#11833114) Homepage
    It means we're going to transition from a time when we have a constitutional right to record shows to a time when we don't.

    • um, what? (Score:2, Informative)

      by JeanBaptiste (537955)
      Where exactly in the constitution does it give you the right to record shows?

      p.s. The constitution does not grant rights to individuals. Instead it limits the rights of the government.
      • Where exactly in the constitution does it give them the right to restrict it?
      • Re:um, what? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anita Coney (648748) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:34AM (#11833516) Homepage
        Why do people, who have NO experties in an area, feel the need to talk about an area.

        In the United States we have a United States Supreme Court. That Court interprets the Constitution and statutes. It has interpreted Article. I Section. 8. Clause 8 to have limits on monoplies associated with IP. The limits are called "fair use."

        These rights were enacted by Congress in TITLE 17, CHAPTER 1, 107 of the US code.

        Based on the Courts' interpretation of both the Constitution and the code, they held in the case of Universal v Sony that citizens in the US have a fair use right to record shows.

        Does that answer your question?
        • Well, I certainly have no "experties" in spelling expertise!
        • Re:um, what? (Score:4, Informative)

          by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @11:02AM (#11833838) Homepage
          Fair use is a defense, not a right.

          The right you're looking for is the right of free speech; it's the same right that the creators of the show rely upon to record it the first time, even before broadcast.
          • Re:um, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anita Coney (648748)
            It is a defense until the Supreme Court makes it a right. For example, Sony raised fair use as a defense. The Court accepted that defense and held that it was a right.

            You might get sued by the RIAA for downloading songs off P2P. You might use fair use as a defense. However, if the Supreme Court ever upheld your defense, it would too become a right.
    • Sadly, this is what many Americans equate rights with.... 'You've got a right to cable TV... You've got a right to download music for free.... Consitution... what's that?'
      • "Rights" are not limited to Constitutional Rights.

        There are:
        Constitutional Rights
        Legal Rights
        Moral Rights
        Human Rights
        Animal Rights
        Maid-Rites ...

        So if someone says they have a "right to download music for free", they may be completely correct.
  • Wha? (Score:5, Informative)

    by wang33 (531044) * on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:49AM (#11833120) Homepage
    I thought the courts slowed/stopped the fcc from mandating anything like this? References in reverse chronological order

    Like here /. Story One: Broadcast Flag in Trouble [slashdot.org]
    Or Here /. Story 2: Court Says FCC Out-of-Bounds With Digital TV [slashdot.org]
    So why are we worried?
    Wang33
    • by jimbro2k (800351) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:56AM (#11833165)
      Just like software patents in Europe, the forces behind this (well-funded forces) will not give up until they succeed in implementing the lockdown of all media. A court ruling is just a minor speedbump in the process.
      In Europe, even after near-unanamous votes against software patents, they are still about to become reality.
      The court merely ruled that the FCC did not have the implicit authority to order the flag. All that is needed is a lay giving the FCC the explicit authority. That kind of law is easy to purchase.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Because the Reuters article says that while the judges felt the FCC overstepped its authority, they may not rule against them.

      "But it was unclear whether the judges would strike down the FCC's 2003 rule, since doubts were also raised about whether the American Library Association and other opponents had legal standing to challenge the rule in court."

      The judges may rule that these groups don't have legal standing to bring the suit, so it will take consumers to sue and most likely that won't be able to happ
    • Re:Wha? (Score:2, Funny)

      by RobotRunAmok (595286) *
      So why are we worried?

      Because the EFF wants you to be worried.

      The more worried you are, the more likely you are to donate to them.

    • " I thought the courts slowed/stopped the fcc from mandating anything like this? "

      The FCC was told that it didn't have the right/mandate to implement the broadcast flag, BUT they didn't repeal/retract the actual broadcast flag implementation... yet (wishful thinking)

      Ironically, the judges are trying to decide if the EFF/library associations/etc have "right" to sue in the first place on behalf of consumers. (I know, wtf...)

      So the FCC could be in the wrong, yet the earlier findings be moot on some bizarre
  • Kit TVs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by necrodeep (96704) * on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:50AM (#11833126)
    Seems to me that this could be the begining of a Kit TV era. Kits that would include a broadcast flag 'chip' that could be mistakenly left out by the user. At least that would be one way to skirt the system - albiet legal ramifications would likely exist with this model - I'm sure others will be fourthcomming.
    • Re:Kit TVs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by boarder8925 (714555) <thegreentrilbyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:55AM (#11833162) Homepage
      Kits that would include a broadcast flag 'chip' that could be mistakenly left out by the user.
      They'd more than likely find a way to make it so that the kit TV wouldn't work without the broadcast flag chip installed.
      • And someone would more than likely come up with a chip that can go in that location and make it think that it's working as designed. The problem with this is that the broadcast flag is just another bit and it's just part of the stream. The stream decoder will be responsible for managing the broadcast flag. That chip will be too complicated/costly to replace with another. So the whole thing is a pointless discussion anyway.
    • Re:Kit TVs (Score:4, Informative)

      by Arbin (570266) * on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:00AM (#11833197) Journal
      Won't be possible. There is a provision in the broadcast flag legislation that states the devices be rugged and difficult to modify. A simple little chip removal ain't going to happen.
      • Won't be impossible, either.

        U.S. laws do not apply outside of the U.S. Asian or European manufacturers could manufacture and distribute such cards outside of the U.S. I can imagine a gray market quickly developing for importing them.

        I can also imagine the U.S. sending local officials to shut down these manufacturers (think DVD Jon.)

    • Re:Kit TVs (Score:3, Informative)

      by aug24 (38229)
      Nope: if you rta, you'll see that there is also a prohibition on models which are easily circumvented by the user. So no kit tvs.

      J.
      • Re:Kit TVs (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sique (173459)
        The trick with Kit TV is that none of the single parts itself are able to receive HDTV, thus none of them falls under the provision. It's the sum of all parts that makes the receiver, and this one is never been "distributed", just the parts of it.
    • by awfar (211405) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:37AM (#11833550)
      To be economical, HDTVs must shoot for massive integration on chip. Digital TV means exactly that.

      Unless you have access to xray machine, the ability to open a chip and identify and inspect traces, and just generally reverse engineer the chipset, and then reprogram it, it is a sealed component and will be very difficult to circumvent.

      Not saying it couldn't be done, but a frontal assault would be extremely difficult, so as always, a backdoor located would be the approach.
      But they know that.
  • by Kimos (859729) <kimos.slashdot@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:51AM (#11833130) Homepage
    This flag is going to be like any copy protection that we've seen to date. Those who want to steal will just get around it, and those who don't steal will be extremely inconvenienced.
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:16AM (#11833320) Journal
      It is exactly like the copy protection found on all audio CDs. Audio CDs include two flags for copy protection. The first marks the disk as copyright, and the second marks it as original. A copier that fully complies with the specification will allow copies to be made from CDs with both flags set. The copy will then have the copyright flag set, but not the original flag. Copies of the copy are then not permitted. CDs without the copyright flag set may be copied, whether or not the original flag is set (although the original flag should be unset in the copy). Technically, copying music from a CD without maintaining this flag is in violation of the DMCA...
      • Technically, copying music from a CD without maintaining this flag is in violation of the DMCA...

        I'm not so sure about that. It's not like you have to decrypt something. All you have to do is write a disk copier that either ignores both bits or duplicates both bits. The DMCA doesn't force you to write software that affirms copy-protection technology, just software that doesn't go out of its way to circumvent copy-protection technology. (IANAL)

  • Courts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cyberfunk2 (656339) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:51AM (#11833133)
    If things keep going the way they did on that last court opinion, we may not have to deal with this sillyness.

    Seriously though, I predict broadcastless recievers will become as common as regionless DVD players, and that it'd be another enormous flop.
    • Re:Courts (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anita Coney (648748)
      I agree it will likely be a flop. People are just too used to recording shows on TV. Either there will be quiet ways around the problem (like in your regionless DVD player example) or a major backlash which will get Congress to change the FCC's direction.

      But, before that happens, the Court opinion is meaningless. All the Court said was that the FCC might not have authority from Congress. Thus, all Congress has to do is to give its authority. Even with Congress, that could take less than a month.
      • Re:Courts (Score:5, Insightful)

        by garcia (6573) * on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:10AM (#11833280) Homepage
        or a major backlash which will get Congress to change the FCC's direction.

        What major backlash? There aren't enough people w/HDTV yet (nevermind HDTV+recorders) that the broadcast flag would matter.

        People will get their HDTV+recorders and say, "oh, we can't copy that, it makes sense, there's no such thing as timeshifting and fair use!"

        They were smart about the flag... They did it before HDTV became entrenched. That way there would be no backlash because no one would know any different.
        • Re:Courts (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anita Coney (648748) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:22AM (#11833357) Homepage
          As I wrote in another post: Broadcast flags are a port of a larger system to lock down ALL content. Eventually it will be illegal to have analog outputs on TV and TV devices.

          http://www.tvtechnology.com/features/Masked-Engi ne er/f-MO-Earth_to_congress.shtml

          And why do you think people will think "it makes sense" they can no longer record. For decades we've been able to record shows, and suddenly we won't be able to, why would we suddenly accept that. THAT makes no sense.
          • Eventually it will be illegal to have analog outputs on TV and TV devices.


            I hate to pick at nits, but given that the TV screen is an analog output, I get the feeling that will probably not happen.
    • Re:Courts (Score:2, Informative)

      by squiggleslash (241428)
      The regionless DVD player is around because of two factors - the fact that the only thing forcing DVD players to have region locking in the first place were licenses, and the fact that in many juristictions, region locking is a legal gray area, probably violating competition laws.

      The DMCA gives content producers the right to attach "access control mechanisms" to their content and prevent unauthorized parties from producing equipment to access that content. Patent law also prevents manufacturers from imple

  • by Skapare (16644) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:51AM (#11833135) Homepage

    I'm not gonna to take it anymore. I'm gonna toss the damned boob tube out the window.

    • Yes!

      I saw that nice bumper sticker "Shoot your TV". After some thought, I realized that this was meant entirely seriously.
      I do not have a TV (never had, never will), and I keep hearing people say "Yes, but I only watch nature documentaries and the news...".

      Chaps, the TV is like heroin. You get drawn into it. You can't help it. It's like a TV in a bar. Even if you hate it, your eyes find it again and again.

      Get rid of it.

      You want to see a movie? Get yourself a nice big TFT (they're getting really cheap),
      • Good man/woman, agreed.

        I have a TV but have nothing in the form of an aerial or lead in my flat, so i don't even get a slight temptation to watch it. the result? Sometimes i can be bored, but instead of watching mindless tv, i sit and read and/or educate myself about something. Not bad really.
      • I do not have a TV (never had, never will),

        You certainly have a valid point, but one wonders why you would even click through to a discussion on using TV equipment if you have no TV. Just pure flamebait?

        People with no TVs always seem to feel the need to proclaim it from the rooftops, like they are somehow morally superior to people with TVs. And since you have never had a TV, what is your basis for recommending people with TVs get rid of them? You have only experienced not having a TV, what makes you
        • Very simple. I have friends and girlfriends with TVs. I've seen what it it does to people.
          And, having grown up beyond the reach of TVs, I can see much more clearly how deeply it has reached into people. These people, being in it, can't see see it as well. Couple this with my vast intellect, my amazing reasoning powers and my astonishingly big mouth and, yes, I'm *am* an expert on it :)

          And I follow these discussions to see how people react to limitations, DRMs, copyrights, trademarks, patents and similar im
        • I also don't have a TV, but I still consider it wise to follow the politics around things like mandated copyprotection.
          Because the same people who clamor for TV brodcast flags today might clamor for mandatory TCPA in computers tomorrow. Which I would really dislike, even if I don't care much about TV. So I'd rather stay informed and, when necessary, support organizations like the FFII
          http://ffii.org/ [ffii.org]
          who try to prevent such abominations.
      • I have a television with an 8 foot display (a sony front projection from 1978.) I have no antenna nor cable, though I do have a cable modem. I use my TV to watch DVDs. Why would I want a smaller video display?
      • As a child, I used to watch too much television, but books and computers are for more interesting in the long haul.

        The heroin is when you sit down in the evening after work and watch whatever random stuff on television that happens to be on. Your brain atrophies. The television takes away all of your needs to be creative and make choices beyond which channel to watch.

        I have a 65" HDTV. I love it. But I still only watch it, on average, an hour a day.

        There *are* lots of good shows out there, entertaini
  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:53AM (#11833152) Homepage Journal
    ... if we can buy non-BF ready TVs in .ca after they become illegal in the US? It's ~10% the size of the US market but it'd be nice to have HTDV for watching DVDs etc.
    • Or, we could

      1)Manufacture non-BF ready TVs in .ca after they become illegal in the US.
      2)Open a store at the border
      3)...
      4)profit!
      • by dJCL (183345)
        I'm not sure you need the 3) ...

        but if you really want one(and yes I know the joke) - then 3) open online store

        Anyone know if the US law would cover a small, indipendent, Canadian company that has no US presence, shipping un-flagged equipment into the US?

        I'm sure we could find room for people like the guy in the article who makes cards for hdtv tuning that currently lives in the states.

        Besides, I don't have the money or the channel list to warrant a HDTV purchase right now, but I will want it in the fut
  • by MrLint (519792) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:55AM (#11833163) Journal
    "According to the FCC, the flag is going to ease the nation's transition from today's analog televisions to tomorrow's high-definition televisions."

    Funny the only thing the broadcast flag is meant to ease is the minds of the media fatcats.
  • Sarah (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:58AM (#11833188)
    'ALL I WANT is to make a high-definition copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, save it on a DVD, and loan it to my friend," says Sarah Brydon, looking up from a long table covered with half-built computers.

    Err... what's wrong with this picture? Women don't look up from tables covered with half-built computers... do they?!
  • Mod Chips (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mkraft (200694) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:07AM (#11833253)
    So when do we start seeing mod chips for TVs?
  • Can someone explain the FCC's comment that the broadcast flag will ease transition to HDTV?

    How can the FCC beleive that a technology designed only to prevent useability will be a benefit to end users in any way?
    • Better question:

      With most networks in most markets already broadcasting digitally in HDTV, how can they say that the broadcast flag is going to help anything? They only part of the transition left is to turn off the old transmitters.
    • Not that I agree with the FCC or the proponents of the Flag.

      But the theory goes that content providers and broadcasters will make the switch to HD faster if they have more control over how their content is to be used by the viewer.

      One of the big problems in rolling out HD has been the slowness of broadcasters to actually make the switch. I guess the FCC believes that the broadcasters will make the switch faster if they have an incentive to do so.

    • Well, the "theory" is that without the flag, the media companies won't create new content in HD. If there's no new content in HD, there's no reason for people to buy HD equipment. If people don't buy new HDTV hardware, there's no transition.

      That's the "theory". Makes perfect sense if you can't see past the pile of money in front of you.

    • Can someone explain the FCC's comment that the broadcast flag will ease transition to HDTV?

      How can the FCC beleive that a technology designed only to prevent useability will be a benefit to end users in any way?

      You don't understand. The broadcast flag eases transition to HDTV by getting plenty of HDTV sets out into the marketplace! Indeed, as other posters have pointed out, HDTV sets manufactured before the deadline are under no obligation to honor the broadcast flag. So how is the smart consumer gonna

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Surely the 'ease the transition' bit is like the regional coding for DVDs. If you remember the entertainment industry was so paranoid it insisted on this before launching.

    Then a short time afterwards it was bypassed and everyone lived happily ever after.

    That's exactly what will happen with the broadcast flag. Let them have it. If the entertainment industry thinks this will achieve their objectives then let them have their illusions - it won't make a damned bit of difference at the end of the day.
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:13AM (#11833299) Homepage
    The broadcast flag is a part of a LARGER system to keep us from recording ALL programing.

    The way broadcast flags are mentioned its all about stopping HDTV programing from getting on the net. It makes it sound like we'll still be able to record our analog shows.

    However, analog outputs will be soon be illegal on all television devices. Thus, this is about locking down ALL content.

    http://www.tvtechnology.com/features/Masked-Engi ne er/f-MO-Earth_to_congress.shtml

    • > However, analog outputs will be soon be illegal on all television devices. Thus, this is about locking down ALL content.

      That's going to make TV awfully hard to watch...

      OK, I know what you meant, but seriously, ultimately people have to watch it or listen to it, so the analog hole can never really be closed, only made more inconvenient.

      Eventually, congress will require that loud noises and bright flashing lights happen at the end of all copyright-protected content, so that the people who just watched
    • But.. HDTV devices manufactured before the deadline don't pay attention to the broadcast flag... so the pirates will just keep on doing TV rips using their pre-flag equipment.

      This whole broadcast flag makes no sense. It's like closing the barn door after the horses leave. There's TONS of pre-flag HDTV capture equipment out there.

      -Z
    • I suspect that the broadcasters would be reasonably content, at least for a while, to let you go ahead and tape the analog output. It's fuzzier than the digital signal. It's also harder to control: in order to tape Jeopardy at 7:30 and then Law and Order on a different channel at 9, you'd have to have some way to control both the tuner and the analog recorder, which would be separate boxes.

      I'm sure somebody would eventually come up with a hack around it, like those VCR+ remote controls that you left poin
  • by deacon (40533) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:22AM (#11833361) Journal

    Electroshock machine

    Lobotomy apparatus

    Automated Librium making apparatus

    Hell, if you want to make sure that your brain never gets to do anything without some sort of institutionalized coercion, why stop at making a TV?

    I hear you cry: "TV is good for me, and you are just a humorless crank for criticizing it!"

    To which I reply: Alcohol and Heroin addicts say much the same thing about their brain-restraints of choice.

    If the thought of someone criticizing your TV watching makes you angry or defensive, you need to get help.

  • They have a pc with an off-the-shelf capture card stuck in it running MythTV. All the talk in the article about computer "guts" spread all over the room got me thinking they were actually doing something new and cutting edge. I'm not sure what this article achieves, beyond lamenting the broadcast flag throughout.

    Dan East
  • A suggestion: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by grasshoppa (657393) <`gro.oc-onpt' `ta' `ydenneks'> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:26AM (#11833405) Homepage
    I stopped watching TV years ago, and with a few rare exceptions, I do not miss it at all.

    Of course, they canceled one the exceptions ( farscape ), further reinforcing my decision.

    That's the only way things will change: Vote with your cash, or in this case, your unwillingness to deal with their crap. You may think you *need* your TV, but you don't.
  • by D4C5CE (578304) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:27AM (#11833425)
    The televisions created at the Build-In are also computers, and they contain a TiVo-like device called a personal video recorder (PVR) - you can use them to pause a show, record it, sample it, and even save a copy to DVD. Using the TV she builds today, Brydon won't have any trouble loaning her friend a copy of Buffy.
    Under the name of VDR [slashdot.org], there is one GPLed code base for a range of hardware setups, with strong backing by a leading IT publisher and development centered in Europe (i.e. out of the reach of FCC policies, and yet still threatened by software patents [ffii.org] as well) that is proven to work very well and has just celebrated its 5th anniversary - worth having a look.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:29AM (#11833451)
    While I applaud this as a demonstration and hope it will have some effect in educating the public, the mere fact that hobbyists can evade a technical protection measure is not, in itself, of much social importance.

    During Prohibition, Californian vineyards openly marketed bricks of compressed, dried Zinfandel grapes, together with a strongly worded warning to the consumer explaining that they should not any circumstances mix the grapes to five gallons of water, five pounds of sugar, and yeast.

    If the **AA's can create a climate of fear and create the impression that legitimate fair use is illegal, they win--even if devices that circumvent the broadcast flag become as available as marijuana.
  • I wonder (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rbanffy (584143) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:34AM (#11833508) Homepage Journal
    How long before the broadcast flag is used to avoid recording news? This government seems more than a little bit inclined to consider images of, say, Guantanamo bay or prisioner torture sensitive information...

    I only hope this idea doesn't catch.
    • I'm already ticked off every time I try to play a DVD that won't let me skip parts I should be allowed to skip because the author's didn't think through the encoding process.

      Why can't you rewind Disney trailers at the beginning of some kid's movies? You can skip them, but not rewind. Does that make sense?

      How many other stupid situations will we end up in if broadcasters get to control how you use your TV?
  • First off, It's not the TV that needs to be "built from kit", it's the tuner. Why try to build a projection device when it's likely much less expensive and simpler to just tune and strip broadcast flag from a signal?

    That said-

    Grill me if I'm wrong, but my understanding of the Broadcast Flag is that it exists to prevent copyrighted material from being "ripped" to something such as a PC's hard drive.

    I have an HDTV, and an HDTiVo. Both obey the broadcast flag and encryption (HDCP) via its digital interface-
    • by crow (16139) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:59AM (#11833802) Homepage Journal
      I'm hurt here. I use MythTV to record HDTV, much like you use your HDTiVo. However, because MythTV is open source, it is impossible to have it encrypt the outgoing signal using HDCP, even if I'm using a DVI connection to my HDTV.

      Further, I have a CRT-based HDTV, and when using the DVI input, it has far too much overscan. If I use component output, then I can adjust the overscan, but I can't with DVI, so going digital isn't the best option.

      And even further, my TV has only one DVI input, so if I have multiple HD sources, then I have to recable my TV to change sources (like, say, a HDTiVo, satellite receiver, and broadcast ATSC tuner).
    • Yes, very early HD adoptors with analog-only inputs will have to get new sets- but all sets prior to about 2 years ago didnt support 720P as n input or display format, so they're likely going to do this anyhow.

      So who's hurt here and what are we whining about?


      People with a limited supply of cash?

      Do note the fact that most LCDs on the market do not support HDCP. Nor do they support HDMI..
  • by B3ryllium (571199) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @10:45AM (#11833642) Homepage
    Bah, screw you guys. I'm going to build my own TV, with hookers ... and blackjack.

    In fact, forget the TV ...





    And the blackjack.

  • I'm curious about something regarding the pcHDTV card. Obviously it will soon be illegal to sell the cards, but is there anything stopping them from selling [or even better, giving away] the plans and schematics and perhaps even the parts to build one yourself?

    I'd LOVE to get one, but I don't know if I'll be able to come up with the money by the time they're illegal, so if I can't, will plans be available to me to build my own?

    Of course, the best option would be for the court to tell the FCC to shove the
  • Which also means that the devices people are using at today's Build-In will be illegal in four months.

    I am not a lawyer, but isn't illagality of Ex Post Facto part of the constituition? The point is they are building it before a law (might) go into effect. They can't be persucuted for building something before a law exists, after it's taken into effect.
    • Re:Bullshit. (Score:3, Informative)

      by shotfeel (235240)
      IIRC, it actually says it will become illegal to manufacture hardware without "flag support" after that date. Anything built, even if its not sold, before that date is OK.
  • I built a Myth system last year, so you can be sure that this issue has concerned me greatly. But I am still optimistic that we're going to see the system actually work for a change.

    I don't know if the flag was Michael Powell's idea or not, but he was appointed by Clinton. Funny ways of regulating whole industries, as well as coziness with Big Hollywood, are much more Democratic traits than Republican.

    Anyway, Powell's out, the broadcast flag has been successfully challenged (at least the first step), an

  • No, I'm serious. Wouldn't the dissemination of information like this fall under the DMCA and get the EFF sued?

    It may be the right thing to do, but doesn't mean the courts will agree.
  • Greedy Bastards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano (13027) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @01:43PM (#11835690) Homepage Journal
    What exactly does it mean for a government agency to "ease" the transition from one kind of TV signal to another?

    The FCC wants to get broadcast TV off of it's current portion of the broadcast spectrum so that they can start selling licenses for telecomm use of those same frequencies.

    They know that Hollywood will put more effort behind a system that "protects" the digital transmissions so that they don't wind up on the internet. With the backing of the big film studios, the FCC believes that it will be a shorter time until current analog TV is obviated and they can start selling those licenses.

    LK

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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