Can Cable Company Block All Digital Channels?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by ldudek, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    Slingcatcher is True HD capable. HDMI output at 1080i

    Slingbox Pro-HD is capable of sling'ing TRUE 1080i HD content. Although because of HDCP. HDMI input is NOT possible. Input will be via Component Cable. It is also suppose to include a OTA ATSC tuner, as well as a Clear Qam cable tuner. Sorry no cable card support.

    Slingbox Pro-HD is scheduled to be released by Q4 of this year. While the slingcatcher is scheduled for Q2. Of course things could change.

    TGC
     
  2. ldudek

    ldudek New Member

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    Your absolutely right. They can do what they want with the digital channels. I've never been upset with TiVo but I am now. They show no interest at all in getting involved in trying to get this changed so if you're stuck with a crappy cable company then you get restricted recordings.

    Perhaps TiVo is working on doing something about this but they probably wouldn't talk about it as it's a legal matter. That's what I want to believe.

    I will be contacting the FCC, my congressman, senators and whomever about this unfair issue.
     
  3. m_jonis

    m_jonis Member

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    Albany, NY
    They can also implement the macrovision flag on analog channels as well. Unless they're OTA analog channels.

    But there's nothing stopping them from flagging an analog version of say, Sci-Fi.

    It just usually doesn't happen too often, but you'll see quite a few cases here where it has happened (I've had it happen on our local Fox station on analog for shows like "The Simpsons" or something). The Series 2 will "pay attention" the Macrovision flag as well.

    Or, you could be lucky like those of us in TW country where they make the cable cards only capable of receiving digital simultcast (ie, you don't get ANY analog-tier channels sent as analog--they send them as digital) and then they flag all of those as 0x02.
     
  4. ldudek

    ldudek New Member

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    When you say "flag" are you referring to macro vision? Because according to what TexasGrillChief is saying he found out they can't put the "copy once" code on anything analog. Now I don't know about macro vision but I kind of doubt they would do that.

    Also don't be so certain that you can't get to your analog locals. I found them and while there is no guide data they are there, at least in my area.
     
  5. pkscout

    pkscout Well-Known Member

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    Honolulu, HI

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    It's more than that. In order to get the Series 3 certified by CableLabs (which is required to use a CableCard), TiVo was obligated to abide by CableLab guidelines. Namely, TiVo must honor the CCI byte. Cable companies can't set the CCI byte to anything but 0x00 (copy freely) on OTA rebroadcasts. They can set anything up to 0x02 on digital content (copy once). They can set 0x03 (copy never) only on PPV and OnDemand content.

    Yup it's a bummer.
     
  6. ldudek

    ldudek New Member

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    The funny part about all this is that I don't even watch that much digital television! Mostly I watch HD broadcast with the exception of some HD on TNT and HBO. It just kind of ticks me off that they can do this and get away with it.

    Well time to write all those people.
     
  7. ldudek

    ldudek New Member

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    I have sent the following letter to my Congressman and Senator:

    Please feel free to copy, edit as you like.



    I'm writing you about a matter that I believe restricts our rights to use modern technology as it is inteneded.

    I subscribe to Time Warner Cable. They have their own digital vdeo recorders but due to the quality of their devices I do not use them.

    I own a TiVo S3 and a TiVo HD. I don't know how familiar you are but basically they are digital video recording devices. The differences between them and what the cable company offers are quality, reliability, ease of use and the ability to record on one device and move it to another to watch. Those are just the basic differences.

    This is handy if you have 3 or even 4 programs that are on at the same time. You could record two on each machine and then if you choose you can transfer to whatever television you would like.

    These devices use cable cards. With these cable cards certain restrictions can be applied for copy right protection. That's understandable.

    So you can't copy a movie on HBO or something on Pay Per View and move it to your computer. That's fine.

    But what Time Warner has done is gone a step forward. They have set all of their digital channels to the code 0x02. That means you can record but you cannot move it to another machine.

    Now as I'm sure you are aware many of the digital channels are things like Hallmark, National Geographic, Biography etc. There really isn't anything that needs copy protection. And previously these channels were not set to these codes.

    As I understand it the cable company is within their right to make these restrictions by law. But when a law is wrong, it needs to be changed.

    Such is the case here.

    What sense does it make to be able to copy freely anything on ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and TBS but not be able to copy freely the High Definition versions? And why did Time Warner decide to restrict all digital?

    The answer is simple. They don't want you to buy other equipment, they want to rent out theirs which isn't capable of doing these transfers. This is unfair and the law should be changed. I really don't care about the restrictions on the digital channels personally, but I do care about restricting the HD broadcast of channels that can be copied freely on their analog counterparts.

    So I'm requesting your help to do something about this. Chane the law so that it is fair.

    I know there are far more serious problems then this but never the less we should be able to get what we pay for and Time Warner is preventing us from doing this.

    Please change the law to allow digital channels and channels that are broadcast in analog and HD to have the code of 0x01. While I feel that it should really be a copy code of 0x00 it would be at least a compromise of sorts.

    I await a response from you.

    Sincerely,
     
  8. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    Very hard to tell what TiVo is doing to help or work around this issue. History has shown though that TiVo tries very hard to stay out of the court systems. They don't wish to be like replay TV or others who were jsut sued out of business. They don't have the financial resources to fight a major lawsuit and still stay in business. Catch 22.

    I am very glad you will be contacting those who might be able to do something about this issue. I know I have. Let's push others to do the same.

    TGC
     
  9. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Macrovision in an encoding process that doesn't prevent you from copying a program. But if you do it "Encrypts" it and makes the video signal UNVIEWABLE.

    HOWEVER... there is a workaround to this for $59. You can get a device that plugs inline with either S-Video or Composite cable & removes the macrovision.

    This device came around when people wanted to move their VHS Movie collection TO DVD without having to BUY new copies.

    How TiVo handles macrovision is another story.

    TGC
     
  10. Gregor

    Gregor Wear Your Mask! TCF Club

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    Why not? Because much of the success of streaming video is determined by the bandwidth of the network. I would guess Tivo doesn't want support calls due to home network inadequacies.
     
  11. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    I wouldn't call it TRUE 1080i HD as the Slingbox will take an analog component input and re-encode on the fly anything it's getting, therefore not preserving the original HD encoding and quality will suffer as a result of the A->D and real-time re-encoding by Slingbox.
     
  12. toy4two

    toy4two New Member

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    there is also one more option, if TWC wont play nice and the govt won't change the law, then you can apply a hack to your TIVO HD via prom mod and bypass every flag TWC can throw at you ;)
     
  13. wierdo

    wierdo New Member

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    I consider myself very lucky that only two channels are CCI 0x02 here. HBO and Showtime. I think Showtime is only on that list because they meant to copy protect Cinemax but fat-fingered the configuration. ;)

    I never have been quite sure which I'd rather have set 0x00. Cinemax shows things that were previously on HBO that I want to MRV or TTG. Showtime shows wider than 1.85:1 movies in their original aspect ratio. I decided it was best not to rock the boat, lest all the movie channels become 0x02.
     
  14. ldudek

    ldudek New Member

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    Just in case your post should disappear, there is a rule that says you can't discuss hacking in the TiVo Forum. Which means this post may diisappear too.

    Now to google prom mod.....
     
  15. ldudek

    ldudek New Member

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    This is something recent for me. They always had the digital channels copy freely until now. I think TW is just trying to mess with people who have TiVo's.

    Oh and that Prom Mod stuff. Ummm, no thanks a little bit risky.
     
  16. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    Good point. Some quality will be lost in the A->D encoding. Some is lost in the D->A conversion when going to component. Although some are claiming they can't tell the difference between HDMI and Component.

    While NOT abosolutely perfect... it is still better quality then before.

    TGC
     
  17. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Nice but voids any warranty.

    TGC
     
  18. m_jonis

    m_jonis Member

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    Albany, NY
    Although one of the articles mentioned that Tivo *may* (I'll believe it when I see it) allow you to MOVE (not copy) and supposedly THAT is allowed by the CableLabs DFAST licensing agreement?

    But I've not seen anything here about Tivo even mentioning/contemplating this.
     
  19. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

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    I have heard rumors of this. I haven't heard anything yet on the legality of it, and the viewpoint of TiVo as well.

    TGC
     
  20. sinanju

    sinanju Active Member

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    That would explain why it took so long to get TTG and MVR for the S3. TiVo might have been trying to get "move" rather than "copy" approved and decided to just cut their losses. I was sure the problem was the ease with which DSD and the like unwrapped recordings. I was completely surprised DSD continued to work with S3 transfers.
     

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