Not to be outdone by their neighbors to the south, North Korea has taken its first steps in rolling out the next-generation television standard KTSC 3.0. Based on ATSC 3.0, KTSC 3.0 modifies the standard, for example by replacing COFDM with TEADM, so that compliant televisions are unable to receive the ATSC 3.0 broadcasts from South Korea.
A key feature of the new standard is its incorporation of a DRM scheme permitting broadcasters more control over how viewers consume their programming. Viewers are not allowed to pause or fast-forward through commercials or state-sponsored segments, for example, although they are allowed to rewind and watch them again.
A more controversial aspect of the DRM scheme requires viewers to wear a bracelet monitoring their proximity to the television. Televisions will only display programming while a viewer is within five meters of the set. Straying from those bounds during a commercial (or certain “Kkog Bwayahanda” or “Must Watch” programming) results in the administration of progressively stronger electrical shocks.
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