Consumers can soon stream cable TV over home networks, DRM

CableLabs has announced its approval of a new streaming protocol called DTCP-IP (Digital Transmission Copy Protection), allowing consumers to stream cable TV programming across their home networks for viewing on devices that aren't attached to a set-top box. The protocol will use DRM to lock down content to ensure that it doesn't leave the cable subscribers' homes. To enforce the number one restriction content providers request, content that cannot be copied, DTCP-IP will use the "same level of protection, functionality, and treatment of content" that exists in the AACS DRM technology. That means that the movie studios will be able to revoke a device's keys in much the same way that they can for HD DVD and Blu-ray players.

"The agreement we reached today addresses the highly complex concerns raised by the affected parties—cable, content, and consumer electronics—and brings benefits to consumers. Working together, we agreed on solutions that meet our respective business needs and serve the interests of consumers and content providers," said Dr. Richard R. Green, CEO of CableLabs.

News source: Ars Technica

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... brings benefits to consumers.

... serve the interests of consumers. ...


You know, I really hate that word and its implied concepts: that we are all no more than a collection of giant animated mouths whose sole purpose in life is to vomit up money for endless "consumer" products that the megacorporations have brainwashed (mouthwashed?) us into believing that we can't live without.

It's insulting and degrading.

It's odd that cable companies are so paranoid about losing control of the content.

They have an edge that the "bag of data" (DVD, record) people don't: their product delivers added value beyond raw content.

-Timeliness: With bootlegs, you probably won't be able to discuss last night's new episode with the guys around the watercooler.

-Completeness: Bootleg offerings are apt to be spotty-- not necessarily everything you want will have captured someone else's attention enough to rip it.

-Hands-free operation: P2P networks won't program out a night of shows for you, or offer easily-changeable channels, if you don't have specific plans of episodes in mind.

It's not hard: just outcompete bootleg copies by offering a more appealing package, and they'll remain an insiginficant factor. (Yes, some people will rip for personal pride, collector-obsession, technical interest, or other reasons, but NO technology will get rid of that)