Just as last year, I went to NHK Open House, where NHK was showing off its latest progress in the realm of DTV. Some observations:
- As expected, the Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting for Handheld Receivers corner featured Vodafone’s recently announced DTV cell phone, as well as an older AU prototype (action pictures). I was told none of both is capable of recording television programs, so the DRM I wondered about is not at issue (yet).
- Last year, there was a lot to do about content protection and advanced CAS; this year however, the DRM section was only represented in a much smaller booth about DTV home servers that can be used to transfer programs to external devices, such as DoCoMo’s OnQ prototype. The OnQ has DRM on board, but the guy in the booth couldn’t give me any details.
- Also in the DTV home servers section, a new kid on the block (at least to my ears): the Digital Certificate System for Educational Contents, which will permit less restricted use of DTV content in educational contexts. Apparently they slowly start to understand that copy-once or no-copy regimes are way too restrictive and cut into uses that would otherwise be allowed under the limitations on rights provision of the Japanese copyright law. Not to give you any false hopes though, because on the same page, they also mention a new system of “Digital Watermarks for Streaming Data”.
- And then a last thing: when I asked an NHK employee if it was true that DTV wasn’t really taking off in Japan, I got a confirming nod; the person in question also told me they will probably postpone the date (currently 2011) for pulling the analog plug…