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Old 05-18-2008, 07:21 AM   #1
drcos
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Comcast and CCI bytes

All the 'new' HD channels Comcast has added here in SWFL have the CCI set to 0x02. I have been unsuccessful in getting them to change this (or to realize that they are the ones inserting the byte in the bit stream).

I can understand 0x02 on HBO, Cinemax, etc.
But here are the 0x02 channels: TNTHD, USAHD, HISTHD, CNNHD, DSCHD, TLCHD, APLHD, SCIFIHD, FAMHD, DISNHD, ESPNHD, ESPN2HD

And these are 0x00: MOJO, UHD, HDT, AETVHD, MHDTV, NGCHD, FOODHD, HGTVD

This makes absolutely no sense to me. The non HD counterparts for the above channels are all 0x00 (or do not have the SCMS-A on).

And HDT vs. DSCHD??

I am in communication with 'executive care' but there seems to be a disconnect between them and the right people at the head end. I have been told it 'cannot be done' or it's because I have the Tivo, not the Comcast box (which I explained was 1: not true and 2: illegal if true).

Any ideas? (I have to call back Brian Roberts' secretary early this week and will be discussing it with her.)
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Last edited by drcos : 05-20-2008 at 05:55 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:58 AM   #2
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At least you have new HD channels. Here in Jersey City we don't have new HD channels yet.
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:24 PM   #3
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It makes no sense to me either but Time Warner does it too. Even to 95% of the regular digital channels let alone HD.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:35 PM   #4
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whats funny is I live in an area that used to be served by patriot media. Patriot marked EVERY digital channel (SD or HD) except the reboradcast locals as 0x02. Comcast bought up patriot and added like 5-8 HD channels recently. All of the new channels got put on 0x00.

the various comcast systems all are doing different things.

Last edited by MichaelK : 05-18-2008 at 04:22 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-18-2008, 03:53 PM   #5
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I am in communication with 'executive care' but there seems to be a disconnect between them and the right people at the head end. I have been told it 'cannot be done' or it's because I have the Tivo, not the Comcast box (which I explained was 1: not true and 2: illegal if true).
Actually, you're mistaken on both accounts. It is because you (we) have a TiVo; it was TiVo's decision to treat 0x02 as an absolute copy prevention, and that's the ramification you're struggling with. And applying 0x02 isn't illegal: MSOs can apply 0x02 to any cable channel they wish -- it is their prerogative; they only are prohibited from applying it to local broadcast channels.
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Old 05-18-2008, 04:18 PM   #6
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Actually, you're mistaken on both accounts. It is because you (we) have a TiVo; it was TiVo's decision to treat 0x02 as an absolute copy prevention, and that's the ramification you're struggling with. And applying 0x02 isn't illegal: MSOs can apply 0x02 to any cable channel they wish -- it is their prerogative; they only are prohibited from applying it to local broadcast channels.

however cable frequently choices to apply copy protection flags to their cablecard systems (like tivo)- and not their own proprietary systems. (people can copy content via firewire from cable dvr's in some places where tivo content is flagged). I think that is what the author is aiming at with 1&2.

And while you are correct it is not illegal, it certainly "feels" wrong to some people that cable has different rules for cablecard customers than their own. maybe you dont have that feeling, but i dont personally think it's abnormal for people that think such a thing is another example of cable giving people the shaft. (and that's the argument I'd make to Comcast- why have they DECIDED to treat their cablecard customers differently then "regular" customers)

Myself- I think it's much less sinister and merely incompetance since various comcast systems are flagged differently.
(I'd actually politely go down this route if I cared to enough to take the time to get into it with them- that it seems to be a mistake since so many headends and channels are wide open while others are not)

Also- tivo didn't "choose" to treat OxO2 as anything. The relevent cable standards say it is not to be copied again off the TiVo. Tivo could work around that by streaming such content like others have done- or they could create a system to MOVE content- those are the things they have decided not to do. But they can't just willy nilly let people COPY stuff.
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Old 05-18-2008, 04:31 PM   #7
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however cable frequently choices to apply copy protection flags to their cablecard systems (like tivo)- and not their own proprietary systems.
You're going to have to explain how the coax knows how to send one CCI byte down one pipe and a different one down another pipe -- especially when I've had a splitter splitting the signal between a TiVo and Comcast DVR. The reality is that the same is sent to both.

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(people can copy content via firewire from cable dvr's in some places where tivo content is flagged).
Again, that's blaming the cable company for something TiVo did wrong, i.e., not supporting Firewire output. That was all TiVo's doing.

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And while you are correct it is not illegal, it certainly "feels" wrong to some people that cable has different rules for cablecard customers than their own.
Well, since they don't, it shouldn't feel wrong.

Besides, there's a lot of stuff posted on these boards that "feels" wrong to me.

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maybe you dont have that feeling, but i dont personally think it's abnormal for people that think such a thing is another example of cable giving people the shaft.
I think what you're putting your finger on is this issue of unfounded expectations; people wishing they didn't have to pay so much, wishing things worked more reliably and consistently, etc., and projecting that onto the biggest company they can blame for their wishes not being fulfilled.

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Also- tivo didn't "choose" to treat OxO2 as anything. The relevent cable standards say it is not to be copied again off the TiVo.
You are mistaken. TiVo did indeed decide to treat Copy Once as Copy Never. That's all on TiVo.
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Old 05-18-2008, 04:50 PM   #8
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the proprietary systems apparently do NOT look at CCI bits. they apparently look at the proprietary flags that are applied. (or perhaps since they dont even get cablelabs approval they completely ignore the DFAST rules and ignore flags)

it's documented bicker- look around at AVS forums or here.

(what the hell does fire wire output have to do with allowing copies or not?- boy you are anti-tivo today. Did tivo also invent cancer?)

You are assuming that the COPY on the tivo is not the copy once. Apparently Tivo beleives it is. Do you really think they never discussed the issue with cablelabs? That they never thought they should at least ask so as not be in a competitive disadvantage to MS and/or others?
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Old 05-18-2008, 05:10 PM   #9
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Michael: We'll just have to agree to disagree. I believe you're mistaken about a number of things, but if you want to go on being upset with the cable company, even though all of these issues happen to be TiVo's fault, I'm not going to stop you.
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Old 05-18-2008, 05:55 PM   #10
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as above- i am not all that upset with my cable company at all.

I think there's a little incompetence going on in cable land. But I think there's a little incompetence going on all over.

I guess you do do- you think tivo is so incompetent that they misunderstand the dfast rules.

But I guess we will have to agree to disagree. You believe I'm mistaken. I believe you are mistaken. Have a nice day.
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:55 PM   #11
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You are mistaken. TiVo did indeed decide to treat Copy Once as Copy Never. That's all on TiVo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK View Post
You are assuming that the COPY on the tivo is not the copy once. Apparently Tivo believes it is.
I am no expert on this subject, but in reading thread after thread over the last year, I can't recall seeing anyone disagree that 0x02 means copy once, and that the original TiVo recording is the "one copy". Bicker, your post is the first I can recall stating TiVo should allow one more copy.

Has this been brought up before in these threads (in which case memory IS the 2nd thing to go), or is this a new point?
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:48 AM   #12
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I am no expert on this subject, but in reading thread after thread over the last year, I can't recall seeing anyone disagree that 0x02 means copy once, and that the original TiVo recording is the "one copy". Bicker, your post is the first I can recall stating TiVo should allow one more copy.
Actually, that isn't what my post said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker
TiVo did indeed decide to treat Copy Once as Copy Never. That's all on TiVo.
TiVo is treating Copy Once as Copy Never. TiVo could allow a single copy for Copy Once material. Copy Once should allow a single copy from the TiVo to another TiVo. That is according to the actual rule. However, TiVo is under no requirement to allow that copy, if they choose not to (as is the case); they would be required to not allow a subsequent copy.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:38 AM   #13
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I thought copy once meant that the program could be recorded in the first place. But that's all, just recorded...one time. After it's recorded, it can't be copied from the TiVo that got it. The definition makes sense to me. It was copied once from the original broadcast.

But while the definition makes sense to me, the policy of applying them does not. I don't care how the technology is treating the flags, or what TiVo could do, or whatever. The point is that 0x02 flags on normal, commercial laden broadcast content has no purpose. No purpose other than to break a feature of TiVo (TTG, MRV). The content creators and networks are not asking for it. In fact, I would think they would want it given that it extends the placement of advertising. Cable HW does not offer any of these features, so this only affects TiVo users. It's crap.

I've been going round and round with Comcast in Houston over this. Here's a summary:

Noticed 0x02 showing up on common channels (BBCA, SPEED, TNTHD, NICKTOONS and TVLAND.....yeah NICKTOONS and TVLAND?, plus many others)

Called Comcast, leave messages, no help.

Filed a complaing with the Houston City Council, franchise authority, no help.

Filed a complaint with the FCC, got a letter back saying they are investigating.

Got a call from Comcast referencing the FCC complaint. Finally came to an understanding of what I was talking about, they needed to research with their MIS group. Supposed to get a call from MIS group, never did.

Continued conversation with Comcast, and the support rep says that they understand the issue and that they will be putting 'controls' into place to fix it. Yippee! The flags should have never been applied to those channels he tells me. He did not have a timeline, but said in about a week. (This was about a month ago).

Got a copy of their letter to the FCC saying that the issue has been resolved, and it mentions those 'controls'.

Still waiting to see if 0x02 gets removed. They have not. 0x02 flags are still present, I cannot see where any changes have been made relative to the statements made to me and their letter to the FCC that it has been resolved.

I called the service rep that I have been talking to about this early last week. Left a message, he has not called me back. I told him that the flags are still present in my message.

Thinking about calling again, and then perhaps writing a letter to the FCC stating that their letter from Comcast discussing the resolution of the issue is not correct. The problem still exists.

Oh, and I am emailing Verizon once per week via their website, and the emails start off with, "PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring your FiOS TV service to my zip code...."

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Old 05-19-2008, 09:40 AM   #14
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Tivo is treating the initial recording, on the DVR, as the first copy. Tivo won't allow a copy to the PC because tivo considers that to be a second copy. Copy never is generally applied to VOD, many cable company DVRs won't let you record VOD.

It's not clear if tivo is being unduley conservative in their interpertation, if the requirements for cable card certification is unreasonable or if the cable companies aren't following rules.





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TiVo is treating Copy Once as Copy Never. TiVo could allow a single copy for Copy Once material. Copy Once should allow a single copy from the TiVo to another TiVo. That is according to the actual rule. However, TiVo is under no requirement to allow that copy, if they choose not to (as is the case); they would be required to not allow a subsequent copy.

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Old 05-19-2008, 03:41 PM   #15
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This is in fact the complaint, that I cannot 'archive' from the Tivo or use TTG on these channels.
I completely understand with 'premium' channels (HBO) but why with non-premium channels?
My opinion would be that any channel with commercials should be 0x00. I am with 20TIL6 here, if it was my content with commercials I would be all for spreading it around.
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:53 PM   #16
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Tivo is treating the initial recording, on the DVR, as the first copy. Tivo won't allow a copy to the PC because tivo considers that to be a second copy. Copy never is generally applied to VOD, many cable company DVRs won't let you record VOD.

It's not clear if tivo is being unduley conservative in their interpertation, if the requirements for cable card certification is unreasonable or if the cable companies aren't following rules.
I believe Tivo took the easy approach on this one: anything other than CCI=0x0 is not allowed to be copied period regardless of the specific setting. This was a much easier approach than trying to enforce the various DFAST requirements for other settings.

Note that DVHS recorders recording from firewire port of a cable set top box or DVR can record shows with CCI=0x02 which indicates the copy on the cable DVR itself is not considered the one and only allowed copy. CCI=0x03 shows cannot be recorded with DVHS recorders as expected. To me this clearly indicates that Tivo took the easy way out and I think they admitted as much when MRV/TTG was first made available for S3 units.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:15 PM   #17
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That is correct. It is strictly a matter of how TiVo decided to implement TTG and MRV. I know folks don't like the idea of that. :shrug:
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:11 PM   #18
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This is the DFAST license
http://www.cablelabs.com/udcp/downlo...ch_License.pdf

The relevant section starts on page 27.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:22 PM   #19
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I believe Tivo took the easy approach on this one: anything other than CCI=0x0 is not allowed to be copied period regardless of the specific setting. This was a much easier approach than trying to enforce the various DFAST requirements for other settings.

Note that DVHS recorders recording from firewire port of a cable set top box or DVR can record shows with CCI=0x02 which indicates the copy on the cable DVR itself is not considered the one and only allowed copy. CCI=0x03 shows cannot be recorded with DVHS recorders as expected. To me this clearly indicates that Tivo took the easy way out and I think they admitted as much when MRV/TTG was first made available for S3 units.

I dont agree (while I wont say it's entirely impossible that tivo didn't "go the easy route")-

for one- CCI 0x03 behaves sompletely differently- self destructing the recording after 90 mins.

Also unbox and other various tivo download things have various other flags with all sorts of limits- i hell of a lot more complex then allow one more copy and then stop-

So clearly tivo is capable of creating and enforcing complex rules based on what the provider wants.


There's not a single cable company box that I am aware has gotten cablelabs approval- so as far as i know not a single box has had to comply with dfast rules. So Who's to say what the cable company boxes does is the "correct" behavior? IN my mind all the other "odd" things cable does points to yet another set of rules that cable does one thing and 3rd parties have to do another.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:25 PM   #20
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That is correct. It is strictly a matter of how TiVo decided to implement TTG and MRV. I know folks don't like the idea of that. :shrug:
bicker,

Why would the cable company (Comcast in my case) flag content being broadcast on any non-premium channel as anything other than 0x00?

In my case, that's how it was up until last February. Then for whatever reason, Comcast decided to flag most channels in the digital tier with 0x02.

HBO, SHOW, MAX, PPV, VOD, yes I understand those.

NICKTOONS, TVLAND, TNTHD, BBCA, why? Nothing warrants it.

Cable company equipment is immune to this because content transfer is a feature they lack. Flipping this bit one way or the other makes no difference in the context of their hardware.

But doing so, does impact TiVo features. And that's the part I don't like. I cannot see any merit, reason, or benefit as to why Comcast would have to do this. Nobody at Comcast has told me why, but a rep has told me that it should NOT have been done. I am left only to complain to the FCC as I can only interpret this as a competitive business move that results in the disabling of a feature offered by a competitor's hardware (TiVo).
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:39 PM   #21
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This is the DFAST license
http://www.cablelabs.com/udcp/downlo...ch_License.pdf

The relevant section starts on page 27.

the problem is- no where in the document does it say with certainty if the recording on the dvr is THE copy or not.

they specifically call out PVR's as not being permitted to record 'copy never' except for a pause buffer. So if it can't copy never then obviously a copy on a pvr counts as a copy. (in that case at least- but they could have just included that phrase all over and made it clear.)

Since there's no other DVR with the ability to copy content that is required to abide by the DFAST agreement then it's tough to figure out what the "standard" is.


Or can MS Mdeia centers copy also and not just stream?

The cablecard sony dvr- never got the ability to copy did it?
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:04 AM   #22
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Why would the cable company (Comcast in my case) flag content being broadcast on any non-premium channel as anything other than 0x00?
You'd have to ask them. Though, be forewarned, folks have asked, and gotten either conflicting, inconsistent, misdirecting, or vacuous replies. All we know is that they're allowed, and that they do. "Why" may be inaccessible.

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I am left only to complain to the FCC
Yeah, you won't get anywhere that way, IMHO (especially since your interpretation of why they're doing it is probably wrong, and myopic). Folks at the FCC can consider this simply a way for service providers to protect the service the service provider is offering.

If you want to get somewhere, with your concerns, get your Member of Congress to care about this. And good luck with that.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:04 AM   #23
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Michael: We'll just have to agree to disagree. I believe you're mistaken about a number of things, but if you want to go on being upset with the cable company, even though all of these issues happen to be TiVo's fault, I'm not going to stop you.
Most of us have to use cc. Tivo is subject to Cable Cards Labs rules. Most cable provided DVRs don't currently use cc and the cable company isn't subject to those rules. Tivo isn't "at fault", they have to follow rules that aren't applicable to cable company DVRs.

Setting the flag, in a matter not required by the content provider, is a cable company issue not a tivo issue. Again tivo isn't at fault.

I think the posters have a right to be upset with their cable company but I don't think there is anything that can be done about it.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:33 AM   #24
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All we know is that they're allowed, and that they do.
Their equipment is capable of setting the flag. You've never established your source for saying the cable company is "allowed" to.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:46 AM   #25
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Since there's no other DVR with the ability to copy content that is required to abide by the DFAST agreement then it's tough to figure out what the "standard" is.

Or can MS Mdeia centers copy also and not just stream?

The cablecard sony dvr- never got the ability to copy did it?
For whatever it's worth, I'll note my experiences with 2 Sony HDD250s that I've had since 10/05. I've used Verizon since 11/06 so that stretch is irrelevant to this discussion; CCI:0X00 across the board.

Comcast was my provider before VZ. I didn't know what a copy flag was until some of my recordings of tennis on ESPN2HD began to be denied - "recording not permitted by content provider". Comcast Philadelphia had flagged the ESPNs, the HBOs and other premiums CCI:0X02; the others remained at 0X00. The Sonys saw 2 consecutive recordings of the same channel (common in televised tennis) as copying twice. The tedious workaround was to schedule 1 minute manual recordings on another channel in between ESPN's episodic daily coverage of tournaments.

For the last 4 - 6 months with Comcast Phila., every channel was flagged CCI:0X02 including the locals, SD and HD. I never checked but I would have been shocked if they made an exception for The Weather Channel. I routinely made DVDs later from the Sony recordings with an older Panasonic DVD recorder - connected at 480i with S video cable. No problems with that regardless of copy flag. It's a relief to have FiOS nevertheless. I hope their CCI policies don't change.

The Sony DVRs haven't had their abilities expanded by software updates, except for what is enabled through Gemstar TVGOS updates. These are minor: Advertising on a side pane of the guide and the dropping of 8 hours as maximum single recording length for example.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:36 PM   #26
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Most of us have to use cc. Tivo is subject to Cable Cards Labs rules. Most cable provided DVRs don't currently use cc and the cable company isn't subject to those rules.
Most cable-provided DVRs deployed in the field don't use CC, but all cable provided DVRs now being distributed (ie after the deadline) must use CC, assuming they weren't granted an exception, which very few were.

So, looking forward, *if* the cable provided DVRs using CC have functionality that is not allowed by a license that TiVo is forced to abide by, that is unfair. *If* however that functionality is available to both and TiVo just chose not to implement it, then that is on TiVo.

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Old 05-20-2008, 02:10 PM   #27
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Most cable-provided DVRs deployed in the field don't use CC, but all cable provided DVRs now being distributed (ie after the deadline) must use CC, assuming they weren't granted an exception, which very few were.

So, looking forward, *if* the cable provided DVRs using CC have functionality that is not allowed by a license that TiVo is forced to abide by, that is unfair. *If* however that functionality is available to both and TiVo just chose not to implement it, then that is on TiVo.
FiOS was granted an exception, not sure about any other systems. FiOS isn't changing the flag so it's not currently an issue.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:11 PM   #28
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Cable company equipment is immune to this because content transfer is a feature they lack. Flipping this bit one way or the other makes no difference in the context of their hardware.
Cable company equipment does support transfers to DTCP-approved equipment over firewire. They could still be immune, but not because this is a feature they lack.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:36 PM   #29
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And HDT vs. DSCHD??
Have you tried contacting Discovery and asking them what copy protection they intended to set for their programming?

Explain to them that Comcast is setting CCI=0x02 and this is making it difficult to watch their channel (because your DVR is running out of space and you can't offload for future viewing) so you are thinking about dropping the channel altogether. However you thought it strange that HDT would be 0x00 (I assume your original post had a typo) while DSCHD would be 0x02, so you wanted to check with them first to see whether that was their intention.
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:10 PM   #30
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... the cable company isn't subject to those rules.
They are now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lew View Post
Setting the flag, in a matter not required by the content provider, is a cable company issue not a tivo issue.
And the cable company is allowed to set the flag as they do, on cable channels. What is at issue is how TiVo has chosen to handle that one specific flag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lew View Post
I think the posters have a right to be upset with their cable company but I don't think there is anything that can be done about it.
People have a right to be upset about anything that they want to be upset about it. It doesn't have to make any rational sense.
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