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Hollywood studios gain approval to block analog hole for new releases

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 6:37PM EST

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Hollywood was granted a major victory by the FCC this past week in a decision that gives the studios permission to shut down the analog ports on home entertainment equipment such as televisions, cable boxes, and satellite receivers. The decision stems from a 2008 request by the Hollywood studios which asked for the power to block analog outputs which lack copyright protection and can be recorded from freely. Blocking these analog ports is an anti-piracy measure that would force television programming to play back via digital outputs which have copyright protection to prevent the recording of the video signal. This power to shut down the analog hole would only be used for first run content which, according to the studios, has the highest rate of piracy. Blocking this potential avenue for piracy would allow the studios to bring new content to the viewing audience sooner as well. New releases in exchange for Hollywood control of home entertainment equipment, sounds like a deal with the devil great decision, no?