VOD: More on Windows-Centric DRM

An interesting article “Why TV on demand insists you use its chosen browser” by Kate Bevan in today’s TechnologyGuardian indicates that it is not only the BBC that has wedded itself to a Microsoft Windows XP/IE/Media Player solution to its Video on Demand (VOD) service. Apparently Channel 4’s 40D service has the same limitations, and I can report first hand that SKY Anytime doesn’t work on Vista either. Apparently it’s all a question of reaching the most users while satisfying the distribution restrictions of the rights holders.

There’s an additional issue that I found with Sky Anytime and that is the DRM is tied to the CPU, so make sure that you install it on a Windows XP that you don’t intend to upgrade to Vista. I upgraded my laptop, but even after uninstalling the software (which no longer worked) I couldn’t reinstall on another PC because my account was still tied to the Laptop! A long call to Customer Services is likely to be the only solution. Note to the developers: “Why can’t uninstalling reset the link to the CPU that is no longer running the software?”

Author: cpjobling

Senior lecturer, College of Engineering, Swansea University