Microsoft: It's Not The Broadcast Flag, It's A Different Flag

from the well,-that-makes...-um...-no-difference-at-all dept

After certain NBC TV shows wouldn't record on Microsoft's Vista Media Center a few weeks ago, Microsoft admitted that Media Center includes broadcast flag technology, while NBC Universal admitted that it accidentally set the flag. However, now Microsoft is trying to clarify, claiming that it's not actually the broadcast flag that it included, but an entirely different flag, called CGMS-A. NBC Universal concurs, saying that the mistake it made was in setting the CGMS-A flag. Of course... the real question is why does this matter at all? If the impact is identical (Microsoft willing to let TV networks declare a show un-recordable), then what does it matter which annoying copy protection scheme is used?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Applegeeks, May 29th, 2008 @ 5:07pm

    Mac

    Buy a Mac!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2008 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Mac

    Buy a Mac!

    Yeah, then your whole system is basically a form of DRM. Sounds good to me ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2008 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Mac

    Because leaving one hideously regulated system for another, even more hideously regulated system is wonderful, amirite?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Not Applicable, May 29th, 2008 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Mac

    Buy a Mac...

    then strp OS-ex and replace it with (insert favorite distro)Linux and MythTV.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Matt (profile), May 29th, 2008 @ 5:21pm

    or build a pc

    or build your own for less than a mac....
    and skip step of stripping OS (and include step of saving money)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2008 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Mac

    you are more retarded than you look, obviously only a windoz moron, need to try all before showing your low IQ

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    DanC, May 29th, 2008 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mac

    Of course, accusing someone of being a Windows proponent is the typically ignorant response you get from Mac cultists when you dare to criticize their OS.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    bobbknight, May 29th, 2008 @ 5:32pm

    Myth

    Linux, Myth TV, and PCHDTV on and intel pc.
    Solves all problems.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Beefcake, May 29th, 2008 @ 5:41pm

    Marketing

    They should have called it the Altria Flag.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 29th, 2008 @ 5:53pm

    Re: Marketing

    They should have called it the Altria Flag.

    Now *that's* funny.

    Thanks for the laugh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Michael Talpas, May 29th, 2008 @ 5:54pm

    Broadcast flag, CGMS-A flag, whatever

    What does it matter what you call it, if it does the same thing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    some old guy, May 29th, 2008 @ 6:18pm

    Whats in a name?

    The "broadcast flag" is a very well defined entity. They are acting perfectly appropriate to ratify their statement to correct the terminology.

    Sure, that doesn't excuse them for acting in a very stupid manner (including the technology in the media center, and for "accidently my arse" turning it on).

    But you can't make fun of them for correcting a minor technicality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    teknosapien, May 29th, 2008 @ 6:31pm

    Myth TV

    need I say More ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Mike, May 29th, 2008 @ 7:08pm

    Sup with Mac?

    Yup, go with a Mac, the truly open platform ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Nasch, May 29th, 2008 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Whats in a name?

    But you can't make fun of them for correcting a minor technicality.

    Oh, you are so wrong. We can make fun of them for that. ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, May 29th, 2008 @ 8:53pm

    Any bets on when a hacker will release a patch that nullifies the "no-record" flag?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2008 @ 9:15pm

    I wonder how many other flags there are

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), May 30th, 2008 @ 3:13am

    Re: Whats in a name?

    Yeah, it's not the broadcast flag, it's just a broadcast flag. It apprantly wasn't the digital broadcast flag that was set, but the analog one. Yeah, that makes all the difference... This actually makes things worse. Rather than accidentally activating a flag that should never be activated and may be taken out of software in the future, it was one that was deliberately there and will remain present. "But you can't make fun of them for correcting a minor technicality." I can, because it just reinforces me belief that I never, ever buy any device or software built on this OS (Vista Media Center). Once again, in "protecting" the content, they've guaranteed that they and their partners will never get my money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), May 30th, 2008 @ 5:43am

    Bah

    And people wonder why I am so against Vista when I don't already have my TV fully hooked up to the PC.
    It is because of crap like this.
    I will never support an OS that supports limiting me in such ways with things it should have NO say in.
    Not to mention this is just more crap that adds to tons more bloatware in the system that should never have been there in the first place. Stupid stupid microsoft.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Kaz, May 30th, 2008 @ 6:10am

    Mac huh?

    So how do you record TV shows on a Mac? Oh right, it doesn't have DVR functionality. Ohh, you want me to buy it a week after it airs on ITunes in standard def, where as you can record it over the air in HD on Media Center for FREE -- and Media Center 2005 is great, no broadcast flag or whatever they call it. It is almost as if Microsoft doesn't want any one to buy Vista. But please, Mac? They don't even compete in the DVR space at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2008 @ 7:53am

    Re: Myth

    until you want to run any sort of useful application

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 1st, 2008 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re: Myth

    "until you want to run any sort of useful application"

    Such as?

    (note: "brand name" apps aren't the only ones that do anything "useful")

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Martin O'B (profile), Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:27am

    But it wasn't analog

    CGMS-A is for protecting ANALOG content, and this was recorded (or not recorded) from digital, which is even MORE messed up...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    unknownsoundman, Jun 14th, 2008 @ 11:49pm

    reason for identifying which flag it is...

    so the hackers can fix it.
    Thank goodness for the rogue hackers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Big BAd Jeff, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 8:31am

    CGMS-A

    you can strip the bit easily with a Grex from Dimax.

    Go to www.xdimax.com and look up GREX.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Thermionic Valve, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 9:23pm

    Defacto Digital

    Take closed captioning for example...
    Whenever a device telegraphs a signal to another
    device which then decodes the signal and
    presents the data as a set of internally generated
    characters, that to me is digital, regardless of the
    general nature of the transmission link.
    Go get the black and white TV set out of the attic or
    kid's room, hook it up to a decent antenna before the
    big digital switch, and tweak the vertical height
    until you can see the top and bottom of the WHOLE
    video image (in a news anchor fattening letterbox style).
    Certain knobs labled vert line, Vert sublibe, etc.
    control more subtle aspects of the top and bottom of the
    picture, and only appear on very old B&W
    (and a few early color)TV sets.


    Adjust the picture for your local analog TV broadcasts,
    so that you expose the blanking pulse (mostly at the
    top) and bottom of the TV screen.

    If you have done this correctly you should see the
    closed cationing as a series of white dashes rapidly
    blinking on a black background at the top of the screen.
    You may have to adjust the contrast and brightness to
    bring up the features of this area. You may even see the
    edge of the vertical synch bar.... (and various station
    specific doodads) {Disney home video appears as a
    portion of bright white checkerboard at the top, I am
    assuming that this is macrovision or similar}
    The point is that the captioning is not actually spelling out
    words on the screen analogly, it is sending instructions to
    the set to generate words using a character set in the TV.
    I don't see that that is all that different from Dialup.
    your modem makes a crumbling, hissing noise to send
    data, similar deal. So use of a flag encoded in all those
    dots and dashes at the top of the screen is nothing new.
    Digital data sent somewhere analogly is an old trick.
    We'll have to figure out how to make our recording devices
    out of discrete components, then written instructions on
    "how to" will make DMCA run head to head with the
    First Amendment, and there will be a long messy
    supreme court battle....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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