FreeviewHD Content protection rolled out

According to my sources at the BBC, an update to the FreeviewHD programme guide data is being rolled out at the moment. This update is the implementation of the Huffman-encoded EPG tables, which are part of the Freeview HD content protection system that I’ve written about here and here.

The theory is that as part of the approval for the Freeview HD badge, equipment will already have the ability to decode the EPG built in, and so most people should not notice any change.

The change hasn’t been done in one go, and is apparently rolling out around the country; I don’t have a schedule yet, or details of which transmitters have been changed over, but I do know that the plan is that the switchover will conclude in November if all goes well.

However – there’s always one of those, isn’t there? – there have been some reports on internet forums that the change has caused some problems with equipment, and specifically with the new Humax HDR Fox T2. I’m unable to confirm these at the moment, but I will update this post as soon as I get information back from Humax.

I’ve got a Humax here, and the EPG still works just fine. What has been suggested on some forums is that where the new EPG has been rolled out, the search function no longer works on the Humax. I can certainly confirm that the search doesn’t work on the unit I have , but since I hadn’t tried it until today, I can’t honestly say whether or not anything has changed in that regard, though posts elsewhere on the net, such as AV Forums, suggest that to be the case.

So, content protection is being rolled out as I write; it’s not everywhere yet, but I shall try to get more details as soon as I can. In the meantime, I’d be most interested to hear from anyone who is experiencing problems with the EPG or EPG related functions on Freeview HD equipment, which weren’t evident a little while ago.

Update, 1945, Thurs: I’ve just had work from Humax that the issue some users are having with search does indeed appear to be related to the compressed SI data, and that they will be looking at issuing an update to the HDR Fox T2 in September. I’ll note also, since my review’s not yet been published, that this issue aside, I’ve been quite impressed with the box. So if you can live without the keyword search, don’t let it put you off.

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