Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A picture for our times

image from BBC Internet Blog - link below for full version

Here's the next problem for the alphabetically-challenged - and a picture of the way the world of rights management is moving. It's from one of the BBC Blogs, devoted to HD tv and IPtv, and shows the current state of play of DRM that's applied to HD programmes on the FreeSat and other platforms. The blog page is here and it's worth reading down the long list of comments - my sympathies go to Andy Quested who's making the reasonable point (as a programme maker and rights owner, I would think that, wouldn't I) that the alternative to DRM is no programme in HD - but is being swamped by replies from people who just want tech that works without hassle.

And in related developments:
They've been busy with the BBC iPlayer this week. After a slightly premature announcement last week, there's now an HD channel to follow on the BBC iPlayer Desktop, and they've tweaked up the quality of 'SD' streams and downloads. There's a new version of the Desktop for download/update (the Desktop is BBC-speak for the programme download, assets and rights management software that is installed on your PC/Mac/Linux box - yes folks, all bases now covered) which no longer uses Peer-to-Peer (P2P) distribution. So once you've updated, your PC won't any more be talking to other machines and sending them bits, and using your uplink to your ISP.

It's still a confusing package - the 'Desktop' doesn't do the browsing for you, but wakes up your browser of choice to select programmes, which themselves stream or download - the word is that streamed programmes should look better too.

One link that (IMHO) is really useful is a new diagnostics page, to see how your broadband measures up, it's at BBC iPlayer - Diagnostics


PS fuller account of the last wefcpug and especially of SoundTrack Pro will be up here in a couple of days.