It's something of a moist relief that manufacturers are helping broadcasters to save me from myself. Every day of my miserable life I'm but a step away from accidentally pirating something recorded on my PVR, and unintentionally damaging the trusting, loyal relationship I have with the people who supply me with endless reality TV and formulaic comedy docu-drama. Thank the lucky stars for Thomson and their NexGuard fingerprinting and encryption technology, which can embed a unique code that includes the serial number of your set-top box into anything you record from it. That way, should you inadvertently produce several thousand copies of, say, Desperate Housewives for your own, personal use, you can be tracked down and roughly flogged.
NexGuard is special because it can be used with all the current compression techniques that allow multiple channels of banal filth to be squashed into the schedules; it's also designed to work with future codecs, too. If your set-top box has an STMicroelectronics chip from the STx7100 range then you'll likely have NexGuard already lurking inside, just waiting to go active from this Summer.
Is it just me who feels a lot safer now?