Veiled Threat or Veiled Bride?

Veiled Video

Justin Thyme, industry insider and crackpot, provides anonymous analysis and commentary.

Think broadcast flags on steroids. That’s what the MPAA has in mind by embedding a digital information stream directly inside the images you watch on television. The motivation of the MPAA is to place the same sort of broadcast flag mechanism as CGMS-A in a location that requires no special procedures or equipment of the video distributors to enable. Here’s how we bypass this trivial protection and why such weak protections are our friend, not our enemy.

Veil Technologies
is mentioned as a specific technology provider to accomplish this task in a MPAA draft resolution being circulated. If the draft becomes law, then consumers will be confront Veiled video within 12 months of its passage. Making devices to bypass Veil could land you in jail for 5 years for a first offence.

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Town Renames Itself DISH

EchoStar found a willing recipient for their absurd DISH City Makeover promotion which launched in August. In exchange for selling out, all 125 residents of DISH, Texas (formerly Clark) will receive 10 years of DISH Network programming. While this promotion officially ended November 1, it appears EchoStar is willing to take on other cities. So … Read more

XM Arrives on DirecTV

XM on DTV

As previously reported, 72 XM stations were scheduled to debut on DirecTV today… and they did. Tim Bilbro, my man in the field, provided some pics and commentary: “The sound is crystal clear and stereo. The rating systems work with your parental controls as well. The display of what’s playing on screen is off on some channels.” Despite the sporadic song info synchronization issue, it sounds good to me as a free upgrade!

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TiVo’s Video On Demand Matures, Sort Of

TiVo is moving beyond short advertising clips (see Navy football and CNET) into feature length films. While the Netflix deal may have died, TiVo seems to be pressing forward with acquiring content and building out their movie distribution technology. The new trial involves requesting the 96 minute Chinese film Red Trousers by entering your email … Read more

TiVo’s CNET Content Downloads

CNET on TiVo

TiVo’s latest opt-in content downloads are a series of weekly 15 minute product reviews during the holiday season. I find this material far more compelling than the random Navy football clips last month. This seems to be a win-win situation for TiVo: another method of generating advertising revenue while hopefully entertaining us subscribers. As with other recent TiVo innovations, this is limited to networked Series 2 models.

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Harmony 360 For Xbox

Logitech has revealed a Harmony remote customized for the upcoming Xbox 360. The remote carries forward the new form introduced with the Harmony 520, but has added a row of Xbox-specific function keys mapped to X, Y, A, B. The display has also been tweaked with new green backlighting that appears to make text more … Read more

Warner To Offer Free Streaming TV

The era of à la carte content experimentation continues. This week Time Warner jumps into the fray announcing free Internet streaming of select television shows. The catch is shows will contain advertising which can’t be bypassed and episodes don’t appear to be scheduled in a predictable manner. Shows will optionally be offered in higher definition … Read more

TiVo Experiments With Pricing, Hikes Monthly Fee

TiVo continues to experiment with their pricing model. In September they began requiring a one year commitment or face a $150 termination fee when activating a new or used box. Now they’re running a promotion which offers a free low-end TiVo without requiring a rebate. While that sounds appealing, notice that the monthly rate has … Read more