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  • Red Flag

    Listening to NPR this morning (8.2) and heard a story about instructions to allow users to build or modify their recording equipment in order to allow them to continue to record broadcasts off the air. I would be interested in any informtion available about this.

  • #2
    Broad Answer To A Broad Question

    I'm sure the collective power of the Internet has more information about the subject, but as I understand it:

    The broadcast flag is simply a few bits in the header that specify the maximum "holding time" of the recording. The HDTV signal will not be encrypted, and any open-source HDTV software can be modified to ignore the flag (a compile-time `configure` flag is pretty much guaranteed).

    Equipment released before the broadcast flag was mandated will continue to ignore the flag (obviously). Some high-end professional decoders already allow the user to modify the broadcast flag in real time.

    Specific equipment modifications will (obviously) rely on the equipment used. A few big players will probably dominate the HDTV-decoding market, however, and allow hacks to be reused across manufacturers and product lines.