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Canadian Digital Television (CDTV) adopts Digital Television signal protection technology

(July 2004 – Toronto) CDTV announced that it endorses the Broadcast Flag signal protection technology and the adoption of it by its members, as approved and adopted in the United States by the Federal Communications Commission. This technology prevents the unauthorized retransmission of a digital signal. Essentially the technology blocks a pass-through to the internet of high quality Standard or High Definition digital signals.

The Broadcast Flag technology was developed in the United States by broadcasters who were concerned that in a digital world, high quality digital signals may be subject to piracy much like music has been with digital CDs.

In order to preserve the business viability of over the air broadcasters and ensure the availability of high value and high quality content in free over the air services in a digital world this simple blocking technology has been adopted by the FCC in the United States and will be implemented in 2005. Canadian broadcasters will follow a similar timetable.

The technology is extremely simple in that a few basic bits of information are inserted into the digital transmission signal by the broadcaster (known as the Flag) and then is read by a demodulator in a DTV receiver. When an unauthorized attempt is made to retransmit the broadcast signal the Flag trips the software in the decoder and existing protection software prevents the retransmission. This technology does not prevent the consumer from normal home use of the signal, home networking or personal recording.

By adopting the Broadcast Flag Canadian broadcasters are ensuring access to high quality programming from both Canadian and foreign services for their DTV/HDTV audiences.

CDTV is a not for profit industry association dedicated to managing an orderly transition from analog to standard and high definition digital broadcasting. CDTV membership includes: broadcasters, pay and specialty providers, consumer electronic manufacturers, broadcast equipment manufacturers, and cable and direct to home satellite service suppliers.

Michael McEwen
President CDTV
Phone: 416 205 2000

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