HDTV a threat to Canadian culture, critics warn

There is an interesting perspective put forward by critics of HDTV in a CBC article. I am not a fan of HDTV, but it is because these technologies are being locked down with "DRM" which makes them incapable of being operated by their owners in ways not "allowed" by their manufacturers, and made deliberately less interoperable with competative content or other technologies.

Also in the article:

But while the two Calgary professors are worried the technology represents a threat, NDP heritage critic Charlie Angus thinks Canada should be concerned about the alternative.

"If we don't look at the move to HD, then none of our programming will be sellable," Angus told CBC Arts Online.

"We won't be in the game."

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Is HDTV Connected to Fundraisers?

I have been asking myself for the longest time now. What are the unnamed lobbyists lobbying for in the first place over the Bev Oda fundraiser debacle. I'm beginning to wonder if this is it. After all, the US said that all analogue TV must be shut off by 2009. Perhapse they were hoping to get something similar?

US didn't yet get the "broadcast flag" regulation.

Switching off analog television and moving to digital, if done right, is a good thing. Signal quality improves, there is a better use of spectrum, and the technology can be made more cheaply. There are countries in Europe that have encouraged this migration through cheap digital tuners and having a number of free digital stations to encourage people to upgrade.

These countries also don't have the "broadcast flag" mandate which is what is making the digital migration that much less likely in the USA.

The extremists in the US didn't get their "broadcast flag" regulation yet. This is still a current threat in the USA, and the government keeps trying to introduce various forms of the "broadcast flag" tacked onto other unrelated bills. There is so much uncertainty that there is little incentive for hardware manufacturers to build devices, no incentive for broadcasters to broadcast digitally, and even less for consumers to purchase hardware which may not work (or be legal) in the future. The threat of the "broadcast flag" has pretty much killed digital TV in North America, and has created yet another area of technology where we lag other parts of the world.

For those who haven't been following, the "broadcast flag" proposal is worse than legal protection for DRM. Rather than having content encoded such that it is only interoperable with "authorized" devices, and then have devices which disobey the instructions of their owners, the "broadcast flag" doesn't involve any encryption of the content. Instead there is a massive regulation by the government against any technology capable of touching digital broadcasts, meaning that the government disallows the legal existence of any technology that protects the rights of owners of technology.

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.