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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 18:16 GMT
Digital broadcasting: Industry answers
Some of the leading figures in the broadcasting industry have answered your questions about TV and radio in the digital age.

The BBC News website asked for your queries about the way new technology is being used - and the eight sharpest and most pertinent questions were put to the virtual panel.

Click on each question to read the answers. The opinions given are those of the experts concerned, and are not endorsed by the BBC.


Are we going to be dogged by Digital Rights Management for TV recordings in the future? The music industry is already cracking down on what we can do with our purchased music files... will there be a similar fate for PVRs (personal video recorders)? Craig Mason, Oxford, UK

  • Brian Sullivan, Sky:

    Currently, if you are a Sky+ customer you can copy programmes on to VHS or recordable DVD. Only a minority of content, such as pay-per-view movies and PremPlus football, is copy protected.

    In the future, with the launch of HD in the UK, a lot more content will be protected by HDCP (High-band width Definition Content Protection) to prevent unauthorised duplication and distribution.

    It costs a lot to create great TV programmes and movies so content protection will always be a priority for the entertainment industry. Like many other companies, Sky's general approach is to give customers as much flexibility as possible within the framework of a secure environment for receiving and storing content.

  • Simon Spanswick, Association for International Broadcasting:

    It is likely that the owners of content will always want to protect their assets - and this includes TV programmes. As a result, it is probable that DRM protection will be built in to all transmissions in the future, limiting the number of copies that can be made of a programme or film, or restricting it from having any 'portable' copy made.

    Already there are protection mechanisms in place to prevent DVD recordings to be made of some programmes broadcast via digital satellite or digital terrestrial TV. There will always be some enterprising person who perfects a system to bypass these protection mechanisms, though!

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