HDTV-Rip is a method of copying video that involves recording HDTVtelevision shows or movies broadcast from a high definition source (e.g. a DVB-S transmission), often with 5.1 surround sound. The recording can either be done directly through a PC video capture device, or via a networked digital video recorder box. Either during or after recording, the video may be compressed using a variety of codecs, such as MPEG-4 or H.264. An HDTV-Rip, however, does not need to be HD in its final format. It just needs to be captured from an HD source.
In the United States, fair use doctrine ensures the legality of the practice of making backup copies for personal use, especially when time shifting. Similar laws exist in other countries. Common use of the term 'HDTV-Rip' itself is in the context of P2P sharing, where it is commonly used to indicate the video quality of content. The product of an HDTV-rip is often distributed through Internet file sharing or hard copy DVDs or VCDs. Because of this, content rights-holders have endorsed the implementation of a broadcast flag in order to help prevent this method of piracy.