ofcomOfcom has ruled that the BBC is allowed to limit the availability of its HD Freeview services to receivers that can control the use of content.
The broadcaster has proposed that only receivers with content management technology should be permitted to access the electronic programme guide for Freeview HD.

“This technology would control the way HD films and TV shows are copied on to, for example Blu-ray DVDs and shared with others over the internet,” Ofcom said.
“In response to a public consultation on this issue, the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 provided evidence that without a content management framework in place the range of HD content available on Freeview – in particular high value film and drama content – would be compromised.
“Ofcom has concluded that the decision to accept the BBC’s request will deliver net benefits to citizens and consumers by ensuring they have access to the widest possible range of HD television content on DTT.”

Viewers will still be able to record HD programmes from the BBC and other free-to-air broadcasters on to their digital video recorders, while standard definition content will not be affected.
Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, described Ofcom’s decision as “a serious blow to UK consumers and license-payers” and said that the group would write to the BBC Trust and EU to request intervention on the grounds of public interest.
Killock said: “They have taken a decision which pushes technology further towards a copyright-centric model of control, where only copyright holders have the right to decide how everyday devices are allowed work.

“In this new regime, people with hearing problems will be prevented from modifying their equipment to deal with their problems. Software developers will be stopped from making your TV, computer and mobile phone properly working with each other.
“Your choice of operating system will become a choice that may mean you cannot enjoy BBC HD broadcasts to their full extent. And HD devices will have to built to work in the UK alone, reducing competition and pushing prices up.”

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By Expat