KDTV, KNTV, KPIX ATSC 3.0 Services Now DRM’d

When the SF Bay Area lighthouse lit earlier this year all services were broadcast in the clear. However it didn’t take long for some of those services to flip the DRM (encryption) switch:

KDTV: 4/5/2023
KNTV: 5/5/2023
KPIX: 6/1/2023

There’s been a rather loud outcry from the enthusiast community denouncing the application of DRM to over-the-air television. Our own position has been published here.

But what does this mean for the average user?

  • Viewers who have ATSC 3.0-capable TVs should see no difference. Protected services will be received just as they were before the DRM switch was flipped.
  • Viewers using other devices such as the HDHomerun Flex 4k or the ZapperBox are not so fortunate. Protected services will be inaccessible until they receive software updates allowing them to handle protected services. HDHomerun Flex 4k users may be particularly affected as not only must the Flex handle reception of protected services, but the applications it streams to must also participate in content protection.

Update 20231020: Bitrouter has a software update allowing ZapperBoxes to receive protected services.