A producer at Sony who is working on the software for the PlayTV device, revealed today that there is no copy protection in place and no time limit on how long you can keep PlayTV recordings.
Users will be able to move the MPEG-2 video files from the PlayTV interface to the PS3's home menu and then from there onto a storage device (memory stick, external HD or PC).
To quote: It will be possible to export TV recordings made with PS3's forthcoming digital TV receiver in a standard file format and store them anywhere you like, Sony explained today.
Mark Bunting, a producer at Sony's Cambridge Studio, which is working on the software for the PlayTV device, showed how the MPEG-2 video files could be moved from the PlayTV interface to the PS3's home menu.
From there, they can be moved to another storage device such as a memory stick, backup hard drive or PC. There is no copy protection in place and no time limit on how long the recording can be kept. Asked what you could do with the file Bunting said: "Anything you like, really, as long as you do it legally. It's in its raw format."
He was no doubt alluding to the piracy of TV programmes that is currently rampant on BitTorrent peer-to-peer networks. It seems that there will be nothing to stop PlayTV acting as a source of these recordings, as can any PC TV tuner.
"We've talked to our legal department about it," said Bunting. "All we're doing is moving it out of PlayTV and to the cross-media bar as if it was any other recording. So hopefully users won't do stuff they shouldn't do with it.
"If I'm prohibited from getting the recording off and storing it somewhere else because some other dude is making money out of selling it, then I'd rather they brought the law in to catch those people," he added.
We'll be posting full details about PlayTV soon - although sadly, these still will not include a price or release date for the device, which are still under wraps.
How does this differ from the current DVR systems... say from Comcast? I can dump HD video from my DVR directly into my Mac, via firewire... And do whatever I want with it.
I've read that this isn't coming to my country (USA) because we have more than one company carrying digital signal, with more than one way of providing that signal. I say if the V-chip can work with all signals, PlayTV should be able to as well. The signal is the same once it hits the wire that comes into the TV, so I think Sony isn't giving the US the real issues here.