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Monday, September 13, 2004
Secure Video Platform to Combat DVD Piracy

A GROUP of three tech groups - STMicroelectronics, Thomson and NDS - has announced an anti-piracy measure for DVDs, to replace the well-hacked Macrovision.

The companies say that their SVP (secure video platform) technology will bring an end DVD piracy, with sufficient industry adoption.

The platform allows individual studios and companies to encrypt their films with proprietary encryption, which the SVP chip can be programmed to decode. With a large amount of studios each with proprietary DRM, that's a lot of work for your average hacker to plough through.

What isn't clear is how far SVP-encrypted discs will play on normal DVD players - asking the huge amount of people with DVD players installed to upgrade to a new player will surely be a recipe for disaster.

The group is also planning to get the technology installed into TV set-top boxes - with NDS owned by Rupert Murdoch to the tune of 78%, there is no doubt a Sky-Movies motivation in there. Thomson will start to put the chip in its players next year, but no timeline has been set for wider support.

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