It seems that over in the USA a ruling by The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) means that the big film studios could have the power to switch off some of the features of consumers’ set top boxes.
The FCC ruling means that satellite and cable companies will be able to turn off output ports remotely, should they be suspected of illegally copying content, which should stop the consumer from being able to copy content illegally.
The port in question is the selectable output control (SOC).
Shutting it down means the set top box cannot be connected to another device for recording purposes.
There is a potential problem for some HD televisions owners as these do not have digital input and therefore they would not be able to see anything on their TV.