Fri, 1 Aug 2008

1:50 PM - The end of VCR recording

For many years, media companies have been pushing for Digital Rights Management (DRM) in consumer products.  Devices like Microsoft's Zune or Apple's iPod limit the uses of purchased content.  

With the upcoming transition to digital television (DTV), consumers will need to get cable tv, purchase a converter box, or buy a new television set with integrated tuner.  However, some people like me still have their VCRs hooked up.  You can play videos, but what about recording?  Analog recording of television is something we've enjoyed for over twenty years.  The new DTV standard will kill those devices.  It's possible that a digital converter box would allow you to record a down sampled version of the signal over the air, but for people like me who bought a new tv, it spells the end of a era.  

Some people use set top boxes such as the tivo to record television.  They have newer products with DTV support.  However, without using some hacks most of those devices do not allow you to keep recordings forever.

Unless the general public wakes up, DRM is here to stay. 

tags: dtv vcr cable drm video