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Tuning Adapter: YES! ...Now onto the CCI flag

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by skaggs, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. Jan 23, 2009 #1 of 238
    skaggs

    skaggs AlbanyHDTV

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    Feb 13, 2003
    Albany, NY
    While I have been upset for some time about the lack of TTG and MRV availability for programs recorded on my TiVo HD units, the lack of SDV channels was, in my eyes, the foremost issue.

    Now that we finally have Tuning Adapters working properly (at least here in Albany, NY), I suggest we focus on getting the cable providers to change their CCI flagging policies.

    Here in Albany, we have Time Warner Cable. They have set all the CCI flags as 0x02 (except local broadcast stations), which means Copy Once - The DVR can make a recording, but can't transfer it via MRV or TiVotoGo transfers. A comprehensive explanation of all CCI byte flags can be found here.

    After reading nearly all the info posted here in TiVo Community on CCI byte restrictions, it seems as though complaints to the FCC don't result in anything. Complaints to your local cable office result in being told it is a corporate policy. Complaints to corporate cable headquarters result in being told the broadcast companies have set the CCI byte and it is passed along.

    Does anyone know where the rules are listed as to what should and shouldn't have CCI byte set at 0x02?

    It would be nice to get a sense of direction from the powers-that-be at TiVo, inc. For example...should we focus on the corporate angle or the local franchise? Is TiVo, inc. doing anything about this issue?

    I'll gladly draft a letter or make a phone call, but some detailed information from those more knowledgeable than me would help.

    When I attempt to file a complaint through the FCC, I am taken through a set of multiple choice questions where there are no answers that allow you to file a complaint concerning cable companies’ unfair practices. Here's how it goes:

    1. Go to the File a Complaint section of the FCC website at: http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm

    2. Choose: Broadcast (TV and Radio), Cable, and Satellite Issues

    3. What to choose in this menu? Either #6 Cable modem issues, cable signal leakage OR #7 DTV issues???

    What is a TTG fan to do? ;)
     
  2. Jan 23, 2009 #2 of 238
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    LOL, I have the mirror image problem. CCI is 0x00 on most everything except premium channels for my provider but TA is not available even though some channels are under SDV.
     
  3. Jan 23, 2009 #3 of 238
    TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    Sep 15, 2006
    I am in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with TWC. Currently Almost everything has the Copy once protection flag on it other than the LOCALS. There are a few channels that DON'T have the copy protection flags set. Although I don't ever record anything on those channels so it's a moot point. One example of this is ABC Family HD & SD channels are not being copy protected currently. However ESPN (All channels), SCI-FI, BBC America, HDNET/HDNET movies to name a few ARE being Copy Once protected.

    Here are the rules about the CCI flag.

    Federal law prevents use of the CCI flag for all LOCAL station broadcasts & rebroadcasts by Cable/Fios/Sat services.

    ALL other cable stations are allowed to use the CCI flag for "Copy Once".

    PPV & VOD are allowed to use the CCI flag of copy never, thus preventing you from even recording that on your TiVo at all.

    There is some contrevery over HBO/Showtime etc on if they are considered to be allowed for the copy never flag or not. However CURRENTLY HBO/Showtime etc... do allow "Copy Once" so you can at least record the show for later viewing. Just no MRV/TTG capability.

    After contacting a freind who works for HBO and they checking into thing. HBO DOES require that all cable companies enable the "Copy Once" protection flag on ALL HBO channels. Since Time Warner also owns HBO as well as their Cable division. One can see where that leads. This requirement is setout in the contracts between HBO & the Cable/Sat providers.

    After contacting Mark Cuban, One of several owners of "HDNET" and a fellow Dallas, Texas citizen. HDNET Does NOT require that ANY cable/sat company to use the Copy Protection flag. They prefer that the copy protection flag at any level NOT be used. However, Thier contracts with the local cable/sat companies do NOT prevent them from using such flags. Thus, if your cable/sat company is using the "Copy once" flag on HDNET/HDNET movies they are allowed to do so.

    Many other cable channel networks are this way as well. Some require that the cable/sat provider use the Copy Once flag, others leave it up to the cable/sat provider if they want to use it or not.

    So WHO do we COMPLAIN to?

    1. Write your Congressman & Senators to get the Federal law changed about the use of the CCI bit & Copy protection flags. Voice your concerns to them.

    2. The Coporate office of your cable/sat provider. Let them know you do NOT like them using the CCI bit for copy protection. Let them know in this letter that you know several channels that they are Copy protecting are not setting this CCI bit at the headend. Such as HDNET/HDNET movies. Let them know that once you have a option to switch providers you may just do so.

    3. Some states have Utlitities/corporation commisions that cable companies (Not satalite) are liable to. Thus those commisions have some CONTROL over how those cable companies opperate and the services they provide. They can control the prices to some degree as well. Not all states have these commisions that allow enforcement on cable companies. Some do. IF YOUR STATE's Utility commission has some form of control/enforcement over your local cable company. Then I would write a letter and complain to them as well.

    4. Many news stations have a "In your Corner" reporter that investigates and reports on consumer affairs with various business's in their area. They report on bad business practices or other concerns local consumers should have. Contact them. Let them know whats going on. They might see the use of this CCI bit/Copy protection as being news worthy. Cable/Sat companies hate haveing "BAD PRESS".

    5. Check with your local government as well. City/County/State. They do have SOME jurisdiction over how cable companies opperate & where they can opperate as well. For instance... at one time Dallas-Fort Worth was under COMCAST.... Time Warner has since bought out the DFW area from Comcast. This buy out of our area did require local goverment approval. For us I don't remember if it required approval by the state, or by the City governments of our area.

    I would make use of all 5 suggestions. I do agree with you. Currently, writing/complaining to the FCC does little to no good about the CCI/Copy protection bit. The law has to be changed first. Changing the law is what our congressmen/Senators do. That is why I suggested writing them.

    I have allready done ALL of the above 5 things. Now is everyone eles's turn! :)

    Good luck, and would love to hear what reponses you get.

    TGC
     
  4. Jan 23, 2009 #4 of 238
    sinanju

    sinanju Active Member

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    Jan 3, 2005
    I managed to get Comcast to set CCI=0x00 on all channels except premium, PPV, and VOD in my area a couple of years ago. I wrote a polite, professionally-worded email to the chairman of my local cable franchise authority explaining what the CCI byte was, how it affected my fair use of the content. I used Cable in the Classroom as an example of how Comcasts policy not only assumed the provider wanted their content protected, it often ran directly counter to it.

    I pointed out that CiC allowed teachers to make video tapes for use in the classroom and DVDs were the equivalent in digital world. It was no more reasonable to ask the teacher to carry their TiVo into the classroom than it was to ask them to carry their VCRs when tapes and DVDs were available. I concluded by pointing out that the analog world and VCRs were about to die and, if Comcast maintained their policy, CiC would effectively die with it.

    I admitted I was not a teacher and that was one example, but there was no good reason to have that flag set, preventing people from moving away from tapes and on to DVD.

    After a few more emails and a couple of weeks, all the flags were cleared but one -- Encore Movieplex, which specifically requests protection. I was told their policy would be to not set the flag unless the provider requested it.

    TGC: You might want to add another item to your list. Write to the Cable in the Classroom folk and see if you can engage them as an advocate to battle the cable company using the argument I present above.

    http://www.ciconline.org/home

    There are few channels that don't provide at least some CiC programming -- even HBO does.

    You can also reach out to the CiC contacts at networks and the cable operators. Their contact info is here:

    http://www.ciconline.org/cablecontacts
     
  5. Jan 23, 2009 #5 of 238
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    It's important to remember that Tivo is not completely off the hook on this one, so part of any actions to deal with this should also include Tivo.
    For MRV purposes with CCI=0x02 Tivo could still allow streaming of the recording to other Tivos in the house instead of current method of copying. A worse implementation would be to move content from 1 unit to another, but that is not as good as streaming.
    Of course that would still not address the TTG issue (getting content to your PC), but it would be a good start that would immediately fix the MRV issue and at the same time may encourage existing customers to purchase more units since MRV would actually be useful to them.
     
  6. Jan 23, 2009 #6 of 238
    Teeps

    Teeps Active Member

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    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...
    What cable co?
     
  7. Jan 23, 2009 #7 of 238
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    11,406
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    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    Cox Orange County, CA. It's a Motorola headend and I have not seen any any public rollout of Motorola TAs mentioned anywhere in these forums or elsewhere. Thus far they have all been Cisco/SA headends (likely because most headends deploying SDV happen to be Cisco/SA).
     
  8. Jan 24, 2009 #8 of 238
    TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    Sep 15, 2006
    TiVo isn't to blame for the CCI bit/Copy Protection problem. They are not the ones that came up with the idea nor the implementation of it. So they are not the ones to be blamed.

    Now.. Is it possible for TiVo to HELP alleviate the problem and make it more palatable for us? Sure they can. However... It requires Time & Money to make programming changes to the software. Taking allready hired programers from whatever they are currently working, or even hiring NEW & ADDITIONAL software programmers. Don't forget about the additional software analysysts needed for software testing. All of this takes MONEY. Money that as we know is hard to come by in today's economy.

    Microsoft is laying off 6,000 people across the country. Intel just laid off 1500 here in the Dallas area alone. Texas Instruments just layed off 800 people as well here in the Dallas area. Dell another Texas company is cutting back jobs as well and cut 300 UNFILLED positions as well.

    So yes, TiVo could make changes to their software and allow it to STREAM content to other TiVo's. They have YET to do this & the S3 has been out for 2 Years. I am making an educated guess here, but there has to be a logical reason why they haven't implemented this feature yet. It could be legal, or it could be that all the LATEST Market research shows that the ROI for TiVo to TiVo streaming isn't large enough. It could also be that they are working on TTTS but are having major programing issues.

    I own a restaurant. I have removed many menu items from my menu's because while they did sell, the ROI for those menu items wasn't good enough.

    TGC

    P.S. I would love to see TTTS implemented. As well as many other features. Just have to be paitient. The CCI bit issue though is something that could be fixed in a better way with better local/state & Federal laws.
     
  9. Jan 29, 2009 #9 of 238
    berkshires

    berkshires New Member

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Just want to add my support for the suggestions in this thread. I have made a few comments on the subject in the past,

    TiVo being the most affected by this would be a logical place to try to reach out to to see what they have done and what they think should be done and what they'd like to see their subscribers do to help change this situation.
     
  10. Jan 29, 2009 #10 of 238
    bhoch99

    bhoch99 Member

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    Jan 21, 2003
    Tivo is not completely off the hook, for the simple reason that I refuse to buy a 2nd Tivo until the CCI byte issue is resolved, and there are probably others out there waiting as well, so it ultimately effects sales. Tivo has many more resources and expertise in persuading the cable companies to set this correctly than I have to offer. I already contacted Tivo about a few months ago, though I'm not sure if there's been any progress.

    For me, it's simple: When the CCI byte problem is fixed, I will buy another Tivo (maybe two!).

    TivoStephen, do you have any news or thoughts on the matter?
     
  11. Jan 29, 2009 #11 of 238
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    Cocoa, Florida
    Tivo is only doing what they are required to do BY LAW on this issue. They are REQUIRED to honor the flag if it is set. They do have an interest in it but their hands are tied until the law is changed.
     
  12. Jan 29, 2009 #12 of 238
    bhoch99

    bhoch99 Member

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    Jan 21, 2003
    Yes, Tivo is not "required" by law to do it. On the other hand, Tivo does significant marketing with regards to MRV and TTG features. Some folks might buy a Tivo instead of the cable company (CC) DVR beacuse of these features. But when they discover that the CC doesn't allow for MRV or TTG, they might just go for the inexpensive route of using the CC DVR.

    One might argue fraud on Tivo's part (advertising features like TTG and MRV which can't exist on cable systems with mass implementation of the CCI byte), but I think there's enough disclaimer in the fine print that "legally" it's not Tivo's fault.

    The moral of the story is, the issue is not about doing what's legally required, it's about doing what is right for Tivo subscribers...
     
  13. Jan 29, 2009 #13 of 238
    sinanju

    sinanju Active Member

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    Jan 3, 2005
    And have you contacted your cable company? Have you taken a look at the contact list I published a link to and contacted your cable company's CiC rep to discuss the matter? Do you have a local franchise authority?
     
  14. Jan 29, 2009 #14 of 238
    TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    Well with the ECONOMY in as bad a shape as it is now. Texas Intruments as well as Dell, and Microsoft have all together layed off about 9,000 employees or more. I don't think that TiVo has the resources to fight the CCI bit issue. When you compare the Assets of TiVo again'st TI, or Dell, or Microsoft. They are only a drop in the bucket compared to those big 3.

    As much as I would like TiVo to do more & take more action into correcting Cable Companies incorrectly setting the CCI bit. That isn't the problem.

    Here are a few problems...

    1. OBAMA's administration is trying to do away with the LOBYISTS... Therefore, if Obama has his ways. The money TiVo would spend on LOBYISTS to get congress to change the laws on the CCI bit would be a futile effort.

    2. TiVo doesn't have the financial resources to pay LOBYISTS the millions of dollars they want to fight the CCI bit laws.

    3. Even if you CAN get a cable company to correct the CCI bit settings. Many cable stations might decide to add it themselvs. Such as HBO/Showtime who DO require the CCI bit to be set. ESPN requires it as well on all NEW contracts. Some cable companies haven't done it for ESPN yet. Sci-Fi & BBCAmerica it seems are trying to get more cable companies to enable the CCI bit on their channels as well. Especially the HD versions.

    There are also alot of "FIGHTS" going on between Cable providers, Cable Stations & the Production companies.

    One big example of this is Warner Brothers who produces "The Mentalist" and "The 11th Hour" for CBS. Warner Brothers has just recently REQUIRED that CBS remove the capability to WATCH full episodes of these shows online at CBS.com. As of just as recent as a week ago. You can no longer watch the full length episodes of these two shows online at CBS.com. You can however still watch pirated/bootleg versions of these shows elsewhere online.

    One other point to make as well. TiVo isn't the only DVR that prevents you from Copying, MRVing, or even TTGing copy protected shows. Cable Company DVR's aren't allowing that capability either.

    THE ONLY TRUE WAY TO SOLVE THE CCI BIT ISSUE, IS TO CHANGE THE LAW!

    The only true way to change the law... is to write our congressmen AND Senators.

    I wrote them about the DTV transition delay. Texas House Republican Joe Barton happend to be the leader in KILLING the DTV transition bill in the House.

    I have written him on the CCI bit issue as well. I received a letter stating that he too beleives that the USE of the CCI bit is being ABUSED by the cable companies, TV stations, & content production companies. He has told me that the more letters he gets, as well as other congressmen & senators on this issue, the better.

    SO WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMEN & SENATORS PLEASE!

    TiVo can't do it alone they simply don't have the financial means in TODAY's economy to do what is needed.

    TGC
     
  15. Jan 29, 2009 #15 of 238
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    NJ
    no other DVR allows copy- but there are devices that do MRV. See the moto whole house DVR that fios has- presumably with streaming. (i would GUESS an IP-less version is availible to cable too although i dont know if anyone uses it). Look at cablecard HTPC's- they can stream to media center extenders all day long too.

    I think the "fault" is with the law. But the reality is others have figured out how to work around the law and implement streaming so Tivo is at a disadvantage untill they do also.

    personally it's not killing me now, but over time it might be enough of an annoyance to make a difference as more and more channels go digital and get the flag applied. - in mymind the end game is likely that every single channel with the exception of locals will have the flag applied so eventually makes MRV much less usefull.
     
  16. Jan 29, 2009 #16 of 238
    TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    Very true. I never said that there WEREN'T any other devices that would allow streaming &/or MRVing &/or TTG type stuff. I just said that for the most part 98% cable companies don't have MRVing/streaming/TTG.

    Verizon for the most part from what I have found or understand hasn't implemented copy protection on any channels other than HBO, PPV, VOD. For any DVR device. TiVo, Moto, HTPC etc...

    The HTPC's WITH cable card DON'T MRV or TTG any of the channels that have implemented Copy Protection. I also beleive that the Motorolla units that have MRV capability also don't allow MRVing Copy protected content either, UNLESS the cable company enables that feature as well. Very possible they COULD disable that capability as well.

    Some Cable Companies have investigated the option of enabling MRV capability on their own DVR's for an ADITIONAL fee of $10 a month PER DVR.

    The answer is still with making adjustments to the law first and second to equipment.

    As much as I wish TiVo would implement streaming from TiVo to Tivo. I do realize that there is a reason why TiVo HASN'T implemented this feature yet. Obviously no one form TiVo has officialy commented on this feature yet. Maybe the reason is legal, maybe they are having issues with implementing it. This could be with programing issues, or issues with ROI.

    ROI, is probably the most debateable issues. How much ROI should be expected or should be fair and moral.

    TGC
     
  17. Jan 30, 2009 #17 of 238
    vstone

    vstone New Member

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    Martinsville...
    Scientific Atlanta 83XXHD series supports MRV, but I don'r know who has implemented it. I don't know the sharing mechanism, but imagine that it was the cable coax. This would probably be a customer support nightmare for the average cable customer.
     
  18. Jan 30, 2009 #18 of 238
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    NJ
    I'm no expert- but are you certain of that?

    I was under the impression that MS is streaming away to their extender devices.
     
  19. Jan 30, 2009 #19 of 238
    TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    It is possible that some of them could stream. Although streaming doesn't allow for the TTG equivelent either. I also beleive the Copy Never flag also prevents streaming as well.

    The problem with a HTPC though is it isn't still considered a CE device for the average home user yet.

    TGC
     
  20. Jan 30, 2009 #20 of 238
    TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    I don't know of any cable companies that have implemented it yet. Then even if they have. I am sure that the SA unit will also folow the CCI "Copy Protection" bit and still be back in the same boat your with on a TiVo.

    I do beleive TiVo COULD add Streaming capability in the future. But it isn't a CURRENT feature YET.

    Streaming is a SATISFACTORY work around for SOME. However, streaming still doesn't allow for th TTG equivelent etiher.

    There are reasons why TiVo hasn't added it as a feature yet. They haven't told us why they haven't yet. But they haven't, Since they haven't their is a reason. I would suspect that the reasons are any combination of these 3... Financial, Legal, Programming issues.

    The main point I keep trying to say though... is we can find work arounds for going from TiVo to TiVo. But those are still just work arounds. Still doesn't satisfy some consumers true need of moving &/or copying & TTG capability.

    The True & only solution for the CCI bit & Copy Protection is by changing our federal laws.

    I personally care more about the TTG capability than Streaming or MRV. Although TTG with TTCB is the same feature as MRV without streaming.

    TGC
     

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