tobias_platen's blog

Tobias Alexandra Platen's software freedom blog

Reasons to avoid HD+ and Blu-Ray

On April 30th, 2012 the analogue transmission of TV and radio programs via satellite reached its end.
With digital TV it is now possible to watch HDTV, but most products support Digital Restrictions Management

To watch private TV programs in HDTV an HD+ enabled receiver and a smartcard is needed. Your TV set must support HDCP to be able to watch DRMed HD content. The smartcard will cost you 50 Euros per year. The DRM is used to prevent users from skipping advertisings.

Because DRM-free Blu-ray movies do not exist, you should not buy a Blu-ray player such as the PlayStation 3.
TV sets that are HD ready do support DRMed HDTV, and some have a build-in HD+ receiver. Be carefull when buying a new TV set.

But DRM-free HDTV also exists. In Germany the public legal TV programs (such as ARTE and 3SAT) decided not to use DRM.
You can watch them with free software such as mplayer without using proprietery plugins. Without DRM you can skip advertisings, but there are no advertisings in ARTE and 3SAT.