updated 01:15 pm EDT, Tue May 20, 2008
NBC on Vista TV recording
Recent interference with Vista Media Center recording was accidental, NBC says. TV viewers last week reported being unable to record episodes of American Gladiators and Medium, and instead receiving messages saying that DRM restrictions had been enabled. This triggered a number of of online complaints, including concerns that NBC was attempting to deter the use of DVRs, which allow people to skip unwanted advertising and other distractions.
"We made an inadvertent mistake," an NBC spokeswoman explains regarding the incident. "We're not aware of any other complaints, and we believe we have addressed the problem."
The FCC has previously proposed DRM flagging as a mandatory option for DVR units, but courts have ruled that this is outside the FCC's mandate. Controls within Media Center are therefore entirely the result of an agreement between Microsoft and TV broadcasters. The former says it is working with media outlets to cut down on the number of false DRM flags.