Mon 25 Jan 2010
The BBC currently have a proposal before OfCom entitled Content Management on the HD FreeView platform. This proposes that OfCom allow them to compress the service information data and only provide the necessary Huffman table to those who license it from the BBC.
Not only does this not prevent anyone from using the service without the table — the video and audio are not encrypted, and the table could be worked out by brute force — but the BBC pretty much acknowledge this in their proposal. It’s all part of taking a chance that this will then allow them to enforce the inclusion of encryption technology on receivers, which will then cause more media companies to buy into HD on FreeView. That itself may or may not happen, but in the process they will make FOSS implementations illegal as they won’t be able to publish source code which includes the Huffman table (despite the idea in 5.28 of the OfCom consultion that FOSS will be fine because FreeSat receivers running Linux exist!)
I strongly suggest that you write a response to the consultation (you have until April the 2nd) so that OfCom understand the negative effect that allowing this will have on the usage of FreeView HD.