Zatz Not Funny is reporting that DirecTV is starting to block subscribers from outputting HBO to older TVs which lack High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). Intended to prevent piracy, HDCP encrypts video at the source before sending it through the HDMI cable, where it's decrypted before being displayed. It's prevalent across HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI interfaces, but some older HDMI-enabled televisions don't have the necessary hardware to decode the encrypted data. It's owners of these older televisions that are being affected by DirecTV's decision.
Zatz Not Funny reports that there was no proactive outreach from DirecTV, which was apparently required by the studios to implement the change by the end of the month. DirecTV has provided at least one customer component cables so they can continue to watch HBO.