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Microsoft releases a patch for the "broadcast flag"

Ben Drawbaugh

Vista Media Center users got a rude awakening a few weeks ago when they were unable to record some of the favorite programs on NBC. What really got us scratching our head, is that unlike the normal improperly flagged content cable customers have grown all to accustomed to, this one affected over-the-air (OTA) users as well. We thought this was odd because the broadcast flag was struck down, and we'd thought we'd heard the end of it. The problem was actually a cable content protection scheme called CGMS-A, and when NBC inadvertently flagged some OTA content copy-never with it, users were left in the dark. While there's no way to tell if NBC learned its lesson the good news is that Microsoft has, and the Windows update KB950126 will change the behavior. Now content inadvertently flagged content coming into VMC via OTA or analog cable will be recorded regardless of how it is flagged. Unfortunately the same can't be said for those with CableCARD tuners or connected to a STB via S-Video, you're still out of luck, sorry.

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