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Old 09-11-2005, 08:45 PM   #31
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I've been watching this thread, and I know there was another recent thread where someone accidently put this flag on some little cooking show. Everyone's getting all up in arms about this flag... if you're so concerned, why not make your voice heard to the cable companies like HBO who will be using it. I read about it on BoingBoing in December and wrote a nice letter to HBO and actually got a response. Bitching about MVSN won't do any good, because the flag already exists, their part is done.
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Old 09-11-2005, 09:04 PM   #32
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what starbreiz said.

what i was trying to emphasize in my first post is that this is most likely a bug, and not a deliberate attempt to set the broadcast/copyright flag. this rare glitch on local o.t.a. king of the hill episodes is not about taking away your fair use.

there are other more serious implications to consider with the new technology introduced in 7.2, and there are possibilities for misuse, but that's not what we are seeing here in this thread.

i don't understand the volume of complaints here. this is much ado about nothing.
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Old 09-11-2005, 09:23 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Thyme
Only one unplugged leak and the ship is sunk. Even if they somehow could, what are they thinking?
Well, we did about 10 threads on this before you got here but basically:

1) consumers are lazy and most won't bother with a "video stabilizer." Which is true.

2) since the majority of consumers don't yet have a PVR, it sets a great path for future content protection schemes. It's easier to start them off with some restrictions rather than try and take away something they will take as a god-given right later.

3) and most importantly, it's another revenue stream for Macrovision which will have trouble in the new, digital world.

But again, we already did a few rounds on this. Tivo told us it was coming. We did the usual, "but they can't! I have fair use!!!" thing. Bottom line is Tivo already is a Macrovision licensee and the license forces the upgraded product.

_ITV
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Old 09-11-2005, 09:30 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interactiveTV
3) and most importantly, it's another revenue stream for Macrovision which will have trouble in the new, digital world.
_ITV
I didn't understand this?
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Old 09-11-2005, 10:12 PM   #35
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I didn't understand this?
Macrovision is in the business of selling product. By coming up with a way to allow VOD (and SVOD) to be protected, Macrovision gets to sell more product. For example, unless I'm mistaken, HBO wasn't a Macrovision customer in terms of cable until the past year.

In the digital world of television, the content protection system is designed by committee and comprised of different moving parts but Macrovision doesn't control it or sell it. It isn't a Macrovision product.

In terms of DVD which has CSS -- already cracked -- Macrovision tries to sell a product but I doubt they'll have anything much to do with HD-DVD or Blu Ray.

http://macrovision.com/products/index.shtml

The bottom line is that Macrovision's analog video products are originally based on automatic gain control (AGC) circuitry originally found in VHS and other tape based recorders. It's an analog product and was, at the time, a very smart way to protect content -- to an extent -- and create lots and lots of revenue. In the digital world, copy protection is created by many companies getting together and is usually created -- nowadays -- prior to introduction of the actual media or distribution. Macrovision's "after-market" type protection racket days are coming to an end.

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Old 09-12-2005, 03:21 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by interactiveTV
Well, we did about 10 threads on this before you got here...
Actually, the discussion was really over quite a while before that. You are off by a few decades. The issue was beat to death ages ago with Dongles and other DRM schemes in software. For an interesting primer on the subject, consider the following ACM paper published in 2002. I excerpt the conclusion:

Quote:
There is evidence that the darknet will continue to exist and provide low cost, high-quality service to a large group of consumers. This means that in many markets, the darknet will be a competitor to legal commerce. From the point of view of economic theory, this has profound implications for business strategy: for example, increased security (e.g. stronger DRM systems) may act as a disincentive to legal commerce. Consider an MP3 file sold on a web site: this costs money, but the purchased object is as useful as a version acquired from the darknet. However, a securely DRM-wrapped song is strictly less attractive: although the industry is striving for flexible licensing rules, customers will be restricted in their actions if the system is to provide meaningful security. This means that a vendor will probably make more money by selling unprotected objects than protected objects. In short, if you are competing with the darknet, you must compete on the darknet’s own terms: that is convenience and low cost rather than additional security.
"The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution"
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Old 09-12-2005, 07:09 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Justin Thyme
Huh? Did you read the article? What accident? As Zinn stated in the Wired article, Tivo observes the Macrovision flag. Why should they get involved in it- If broadcasters are idiotic enough to avail themselves of it, it will be easily defeated.
I don't care about the article. I'm talking about the flags that are getting set by accident or illegally that affect us the users. I have no problem if TiVo is required to abide by the flag. However, if users are getting screwed because of the flag being incorrectly set, then there has to be a workaround.
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Old 09-12-2005, 07:23 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by interactiveTV
I'm not sure how this would be true.

First off, without a Macrovision license, the WORST that can happen is degredation of the video signal. Without adherence to Macrovision ACP in the Tivo, there is nothing in the ANALOG video signal that could possible force refusal to record. Without a Macrovision IC in the Tivo, how the hell could HBO possibly control in any way what the Tivo records? Try recording a DVD to VHS. The VHS doesn't refuse to record, does it? It just degrades the signal. _ITV

a scrambled recording that is enitrely unwatchable is the same thing. since this whole concept is new to many posters in this thread I was making a point not going on ad naseum on the detail

I was further making the point that CE devices are not the correct place to express outrage against. the content providers are the ones looking for ways to protect content and increase revenue. HBO wants you to pay for their channel or rent the DVD. They do not want you to watch a copy a friend easily made on a DVR with a DVD burner.

it will be interesting to watch HBO, etc.. trying to be proactive against the darknet. Of course the real battle will be in the upcoming digital realm of HD after analog is looked upon as no better than pointing a camera at a movie screen.
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:33 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
a scrambled recording that is enitrely unwatchable is the same thing. since this whole concept is new to many posters in this thread I was making a point not going on ad naseum on the detail.
Actually, no it's not the same thing. You posted the same "fact" in two different threads and it's inaccurate. http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...&&#post3234271

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
and the fact that HBO can check for macrovision license and if not found - refuse to let any show record in the first place. Do you think that might lessen the appeal of a TiVo DVR just a bit more ?
If my PVR never records it, I have no ability to "fix" the AGC. I'm also unsure that the show *would* be "entirely unwatchable" as AGC and MPEG encoding don't seem to go together. I'm not sure the show would be unwatchable at all, actually. It might have AGC issues. Then again, it might not.

Regardless, for accuracy's sake, Zeo, it is OK to admit you were mistaken in the "fact" you posted in two different threads rather than try and walk it back. When there are mistaken "facts" posted about Tivo (labelled as FUD), there is a large outcry to correct them. I've been wrong here as have many others. If we post facts, we might as well make sure they actually ARE.

Without the Macrovision IC and license, there is no way for an analog signal to control whether a PVR records or not.

_ITV

P.S. as for the "revelation" that consumers won't pay for security that doesn't benefit them but only benefits the content rights holders, all I can say is I'm glad I didn't pay for that study.
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:42 AM   #40
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it illegal to tag an over-the-air broadcast with a copy/viewing protection flag. Over the air broadcasts should never be restricted.
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Old 09-12-2005, 10:24 AM   #41
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it illegal to tag an over-the-air broadcast with a copy/viewing protection flag. Over the air broadcasts should never be restricted.

yes, the OP experienced a glitch in that the tags were placed in a broadcast stream when they should not have been placed there. These copy restriction bits are an update of the macrovision license and relatively new for broadcasters as well. We saw some of the same of this after 7.1x was released so TiVo has had the code to honor the new parts of the license in palce for a while.

Unfortunately we are seeing local stations having trouble. I speculate that they make some change to exisiting equipment or put some new piece of equipment in place and it inadvertently changes the broadcast stream in an unintended way.

so far I have seen no reports of these glitches lasting for long. Perhaps they can get into trouble if they do not remedy the glitch in a reasonable timeframe.
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Old 09-12-2005, 10:33 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
yes, the OP experienced a glitch in that the tags were placed in a broadcast stream when they should not have been placed there. These copy restriction bits are an update of the macrovision license and relatively new for broadcasters as well. We saw some of the same of this after 7.1x was released so TiVo has had the code to honor the new parts of the license in palce for a while.

Unfortunately we are seeing local stations having trouble. I speculate that they make some change to exisiting equipment or put some new piece of equipment in place and it inadvertently changes the broadcast stream in an unintended way.

so far I have seen no reports of these glitches lasting for long. Perhaps they can get into trouble if they do not remedy the glitch in a reasonable timeframe.
I would suggest that since the local broadcast affiliate would have absolutely no use for the Macrovision technology that the tags were not placed in the broadcast stream at all but by the cable operator or maybe even the national feed. We can't know for sure but I don't know why a local affiliate or a broadcast station would have the Macrovision equipment installed for this anyway.

BTW: I recorded HBO on-demand on my Series 1 Tivo in my office. The Tivo didn't refuse to record it, the picture was just fine.

_ITV
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Old 09-12-2005, 11:48 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interactiveTV
Without the Macrovision IC and license, there is no way for an analog signal to control whether a PVR records or not.
Nonsense. The VBI "no copy and expiration" flags information is documented. If software engineers wish to obey these flags, they can choose to allow these signals to control the behavior of their software, or they can choose to disregard them. They certainly don't need the Macrovision IC or license to do so.
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Old 09-12-2005, 12:35 PM   #44
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Nonsense. The VBI "no copy and expiration" flags information is documented. If software engineers wish to obey these flags, they can choose to allow these signals to control the behavior of their software, or they can choose to disregard them. They certainly don't need the Macrovision IC or license to do so.
And I can take money from a bank. I certainly don't need a check or ID to do so. That doesn't make it legal. I'm pretty certain you can't implement Macrovision protections without a license from Macrovision. You can technically do so, I would imagine but

(a) it would be theft of intellectual property to do so without a Macrovision license
(b) it would be pretty stupid

My point was and remains that Zeo's "fact" that HBO -- no mention of the DVR -- but the company -- could enforce a "no record" if no Macrovision license was found on the DVR is FALSE.

That it CAN be done on the OS level was MY EXACT POINT a few posts down:

Quote:
Your "fact" above still appears to be less factual based on how Macrovision actually works. Without compliance (the Macrovision IC) to ACP, the worst that can happen is a degraded video signal. I fail to see how any encoding to an analog video signal could possible [sic] control the actual recording (yes/no/time limit) of a program in a Tivo without the ACP chip. That type of control must be added to the OS.
so your illuminating "nonesense" post only AGREES with my point that it MUST be done on the software (OS) level. I had already established that but thanks for making the same point again.

There is no way HBO can control your PVR merely due to a lack of a Macrovision license. That "fact" is silly regardless of how many threads it gets posted in or any attempts to couch it.

I'm sure Macrovision would be extremely happy if a PVR manufacturer added its product without paying. We've entered a new realm of discussion: theft of intellectual property on the corporate level where anything goes.

_ITV
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Old 09-12-2005, 03:04 PM   #45
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You are out of your element. No Macrovision technology is being used to read the OTA show "protected" in this way. They are 2 APS macrovision bits carried as payload data embedded in the extended data field for closed captioning which is stored in the vertical blanking interval (VBI). This is different than the CGMS bits that HBO is using but they are carried in the same payload.

Those flags can control the PVR software without any license from Macrovision.

In any case, folks that want to turn on or turn off those bits might be interested in the following device. It does not degrade the signal as some "video stabilizers" do, because all it is manipulating is the VBI data. This particular one is nice because it handles Component connectors as well as S-Video and Composite.

http://www.smr-group.co.uk/articles/...filter_01.html

It seems to me the box may be way overkill- a 2 buck filter circuit to nuke the entire VBI might suffice for use with Tivos.

Last edited by Justin Thyme : 09-12-2005 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 09-12-2005, 09:31 PM   #46
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Some footnotes to this note that may be of no interest to most folks, but I want to include them here because I for one am going to forget all this stuff in a few days....

BTW-This box may only manipulate the CGMS copy bits, which are different than the macrovision bit flags. I don't know, maybe the designer would be able to answer. He is on avsforums as "Logic Design". Searching for messages authored by him would produce facts about his device. One thread of particular interest may be found here.

Such a device would take care of HBO behavior, since they are using cgms-a.

Of course, a box that entirely reconstitutes and cleans up the video signal would also do the job. A survey of some of the devices is at http://www.videohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=243476.

These devices are hardly shady- Professional video guys (weddings, dog shows etc) use the CGMS boxes to add the flags quickly. And without the video stabilizer boxes, many high end video projectors and other devices will not work properly. Compusa sells a popular stabilizer, as does Best Buy , but you can get them for $53 as a Buy it now price on Ebay, or less if you are patient.

The Consumer electronics daily article that was the subject of a thread a while back. This describes the meeting where Macrovision presented ideas for expanded use (as part of ACP-E) of these trigger bits, also known as APS bits. Here is a copy a little more legible than the one copied on TCF:http://www.talkaboutvideo.com/group/...ges/22024.html None of the chicken little talk happenned- The world not only still has 40 hour Tivos, we have outfits like weaknees who will build us a Tivo with 20 times that capacity if we so desire. Nor do we have any of the non PPV/VOD channels using these flags except in the case of rare glitches like the OP's.

Anyhow, these APS trigger bits are carried in CGMS-A VBI fields on different lines depending on whether the signal is 480i, 720p, 1080i etc. The public specification is EIA-608-B for 480i. Those who prefer their text with lots of pictures will be interested in slide 4 of the CEA slide presentation on CGMS-A.

Developers may access the 7bit field directly, or may access it in public apis. MS has it in the VIDEOPARAMETERS struct within the bCP_APSTriggerBits member. Here is an XFree X-Windows driver retrieving the APS values using a National semiconductor FS450 chip to read the analog signal. See function fs450_get_aps_trigger_bits.

I think Macrovision would very much like to require that their proprietary decoder chip (or at least the functionality of one) be required in all CE devices that carry a Macrovision license. In a few years, it will be inexpensive enough to require all Macrovision licensees to incorporate watermark detection processing so that the macrovision circuitry will be aware when the user is attempting to play pirated content. Such watermarking could even survive the Camcorder taking a picture of a Hidef screen. Huge expense. Easy piggeyback chips or software hacks to defeat them in a few months.

A survey of DRM technologies the MPAA found interesting in 2003 may be found here. This includes CGMS that is only now seeing the light of day and watermarking which we have not yet seen a lot of. (that we know of).

Pointless waste of development resources.

This is just round one in what could be a hundred round fight. But ultimately, Hollywood is going to figure out that they will have to content themselves that these techniques are only speed bumps, and they will have to compete in terms of convenience and cost with the Darknet.

Hollywood will continue to make even more mind bongling amounts of money due to digital distribution, and in time they will realise the practical realities of this new terrain is not the problem they now imagine it to be.
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Old 09-13-2005, 12:26 PM   #47
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It does seem like there should be a way to turn off the automatic expiry on the Tivo if it was a mistake. Since the mistakes do happen, we ought to be able to call our local station and get some code to unlock the accidently locked show. It doesn't seem right that they can just say, "Sorry our mistake. Oh, and there's no way to undo it. Oops!"
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Old 09-13-2005, 12:40 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
so far I have seen no reports of these glitches lasting for long. Perhaps they can get into trouble if they do not remedy the glitch in a reasonable timeframe.
I've had "unintended" red flags on every single recording from two channels (from the same provider) since the day I downloaded 7.2, continuing to this day. I also recently discovered that a pre-7.2 recording on that channel was copy-protected (said so in the program info, wasn't able to transfer via TTG), although without a flag. TiVo is aware of what I'm seeing and say they're working on it.
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Old 09-13-2005, 01:12 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonalope
I've had "unintended" red flags on every single recording from two channels (from the same provider) since the day I downloaded 7.2, continuing to this day. I also recently discovered that a pre-7.2 recording on that channel was copy-protected (said so in the program info, wasn't able to transfer via TTG), although without a flag. TiVo is aware of what I'm seeing and say they're working on it.
Which channels on what provider in what locality? Just curious.
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Old 09-13-2005, 01:29 PM   #50
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If anyone actually is experiencing this and can capture this signal to an mpeg file (eg using a PC with a capture board), it would be a nice public service if you could post a small example file up on the net somewhere. It's possible the capture software could strip the info, but if it is closed captions aware, then it may well pass them through.

It would be really interesting to hear what the resolution of this is- if this was due to some local cableco or broadcaster tech fiddling with a closed captions box that he shouldn't have been fiddling with, or whether it was a Tivo bug.

Also- if you know anyone who has a Pal/NTSC converter, or a video stabilizer, and can borrow one, it would be interesting to hear if that nukes the problem.
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Old 09-13-2005, 01:54 PM   #51
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Heh. This thread made it to pvrblog.com.
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Old 09-13-2005, 02:17 PM   #52
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The problem with "video stabilizers" is they only work when something other then the TiVo is doing the tuning. (i.e. cable box or DSS receiver) If you have strait cable or OTA going into the back of your TiVo, like the OP, then you're out of luck.

The situation is going to be even more dire when CableCARD devices become the standard and no one is using external tuners any more. Once that happens consumers will no longer have a way to defeat the protection via an external device, and will be forced to either deal with it or resort to complicated software hacks.

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Old 09-13-2005, 02:19 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PissedMonkey
...forced deletions of shows on my TiVo.
PissedMonkey, can you please send me your 15-digit TiVo Service Number? We'd like to investigate this issue. Please e-mail it to me (estephen@tivo.com).

Best regards,
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Old 09-13-2005, 03:44 PM   #54
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Simonalope, you also report this problem.

Stephen, maybe you would be interested in Simonalope's TSN as well?
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Old 09-13-2005, 04:02 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan203
The problem with "video stabilizers" is they only work when something other then the TiVo is doing the tuning.
Right. (Minor quibble- they aren't all stabilizers. Actually the CGMS filter is probably vastly superior to the stabilizers/ format converters.)

Consumers may come to the conclusion as I have that analog is much more versatile than Digital. This is what I meant by:
Quote:
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Analog has a lot of advantages. One of them is relative freedom from these stupid schemes.

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Old 09-13-2005, 04:17 PM   #56
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Quote:
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Simonalope, you also report this problem.

Stephen, maybe you would be interested in Simonalope's TSN as well?
TiVo is in touch with me already about this.
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Old 09-13-2005, 04:30 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonalope
I've had "unintended" red flags on every single recording from two channels (from the same provider) since the day I downloaded 7.2, continuing to this day. I also recently discovered that a pre-7.2 recording on that channel was copy-protected (said so in the program info, wasn't able to transfer via TTG), although without a flag. TiVo is aware of what I'm seeing and say they're working on it.

bummer, there is the report of it lasting. I was hoping there was some FCC reg. that would compel the broadcaster to fix things more quickly. Now we can only speculate if it is actual the macrovision bits specifically being set or some close captioning box or other such device is setting something errant and Tivo accidently picking up on it as the bits on copy protection
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Old 09-13-2005, 05:19 PM   #58
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Well this topic has got legs... several blogs, in addition to PVRBlog, have picked up the story such as BoingBoing.net. I expect it will continue to spread. Bug or no bug, the technology framework exists on our individual boxes and it seems to rub people the wrong way.

Wouldn't it be nice if Tivo responded by announcing auto-commercial skip, a la ReplayTV, to soothe the masses. Am I dreaming?
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Old 09-13-2005, 05:24 PM   #59
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Wouldn't it be nice if Tivo responded by announcing auto-commercial skip, a la ReplayTV, to soothe the masses. Am I dreaming?
Considering ReplayTV was sued and ultimately had to remove this feature, I'd say yes you're dreaming.

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Old 09-13-2005, 05:26 PM   #60
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bummer, there is the report of it lasting. I was hoping there was some FCC reg. that would compel the broadcaster to fix things more quickly.
There is! anything broadcast over public airwaves is prohibitied from containing any copy protection. He should contact the FCC and see if they'll throw a few fines at the broadcaster. That should get them to fix it a little quicker.

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