HBO Exec: Don't call it DRM

People don't like DRM, perhaps that's just because it's such a smelly word. HBO's chief technology officer Bob Zitter thinks so, he wants to ditch the term DRM in favor of "DCE," or, "Digital Consumer Enablement." Speaking at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association show in Las Vegas, HBO's top techie said the new term would better describe all the ways that copyright holders and providers could dictate how consumers access content.

"Digital Consumer Enablement, would more accurately describe technology that allows consumers to use content in ways they haven't before, such as enjoying TV shows and movies on portable video players like iPods. I don't want to use the term DRM any longer," said Zitter, who added that content-protection technology could enable various new applications for cable operators.

Zitter notes that HBO has HD on Demand movies ready to go, but can't serve them up due to piracy fears until it has better DRM in place. Excuse me, I should have said DCE in place. HBO's big concern is the analog hole--in essence the gap in DRM that lets consumers capture the unencrypted analog signal from an HD signal. He, apparently, would like to plug the hole, but can't due to FCC regulations.

"Theoretically," says Zitter, "those analog outputs could be disabled, forcing consumers to use a secure digital connection to watch HD content. But current FCC rules don't give HBO or cable operators that power, in order to protect consumers who bought early HDTV sets that don't support digital copy protection. They say we can't turn off the analog output," Zitter notes.

News source: Wired

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