HBO seeks to close analog hole

HBO began using technology this summer that seeks to close the analog hole that enables viewers to bypass digital copyright protection.

On June 1, HBO implemented the copy generation management system for analog (CGMS-A) in the vertical blanking interval (VBI) of the HBO Family feed and in a few titles on HBO On Demand (HOD) and Cinemax On Demand (MaxOD). By mid-June, CGMS-A was included in all HBO programming services.

CGMS-A provides copyright protection information for content delivered to consumer electronic equipment capable of making digital recordings so that compliant devices can respect digital encoding rules.

CGMS-A does not affect or impair analog recording devices. The networks also noted that many HDTV STBs are currently unable to pass through CGMS-A data on the analog component output. Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta will offer a software download later this year to remedy this problem.

The CGMS-A copyright protection instructions for protecting HBO and Cinemax content via analog outputs are the same as those that apply to digital outputs:

  • Copy once encoding rules apply to the HBO and Cinemax linear network services (including HBO HDTV and Cinemax HDTV)
  • Copy never encoding rules apply to the HBO On Demand and Cinemax On Demand services

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