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Tue 2 Mar 2004 04:00 AM

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HP and Philips develop new copy protection technology

HP and Philips have jointly developed a solution designed to enable direct recording of "copy-once" content from digital broadcast signals.

In their efforts to produce a fool-proof copy protection technology for the direct digital broadcast sector, HP and Philips have jointly developed a solution designed to enable direct recording of "copy-once" content from digital broadcast signals. The technology will enable protected digital recordings of digital broadcast and cable television according to the rules stipulated by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its recent Broadcast Flag ruling.

Through the ruling, broadcasters may in the future have the opportunity to include additional information called a "Broadcast Flag" in their transmissions to protect the content from indiscriminate internet retransmission. The new technology has been submitted in the first round of filings to the FCC in order to be among the first technologies approved for the recording of content marked with the flag. Furthermore, it is designed to enable protected direct digital recordings for copy-once digital TV broadcast and in uni-directional cable products on new discs for DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD+R Double Layer.

A key element of the new HP and Philips technology is that the new discs are expected to be used in both future products that meet the Broadcast Flag content protection requirements, as well as in today's DVD players and DVD+R/+RW recorders. These new discs may be used to record all broadcast flag modes. The discs are designed to use the same manufacturing technology in use today so the cost to manufacture the discs is expected to remain the same.

"By implementing this system we once again underline the inherent flexibility of DVD+R/+RW as the only DVD recording format that fully meets the needs of both industry and consumers," said Cesar Vohringer, chief technology officer, Philips Consumer Electronics. "With this technology, we help protect the rights of the content owners and help provide the consumer with a safe choice that should help ensure theDVD recording experience both today and in the years to come."

Although designed to be used with the DVD+R/+RW format, the technology can also be applied to other recording formats. The solution already has already generated support from DVD+R/+RW partners, including drive, software, independent software vendors and chipmakers. Its cryptographic protection and competitive license conditions promise benefits to both the electronics and content industries.

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