Chater does firmware uprgrade on CableCards to flag premium content as Copy Once?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by shrike4242, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. shrike4242

    shrike4242 Member

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    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    In the St. Louis area, Charter was going through a firmware upgrade of all of their devices, CableCards, Tuning Adapters and set-top boxes, with nothing being done to DVRs. This was done a couple weeks ago, and the reason this was found out was because one Tivo at my residence, a S3 with two Motorola M-Cards in it, suddenly lost its pairings on both cards. This caused none of my premium content (HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz) that I record regularly to get recorded on my S3. My three Tivo HDs and one Premiere XL had no issues with this firmware upgrade. I found out about the firmware upgrade when I called into Charter to set up a service appointment to get my cable cards replaced, as I assumed they were defective. No one on the phone that I spoke with had any idea about this firmware upgrade, though the service tech that came on-site for a service call told me about it as it was discussed in his morning conference call. This firmware upgrade appeared to happen between 10/7 and 10/9, as I was able to record content from a premium channel on 10/7 and ran into the issue on 10/9 with something not recording from HBO.

    It took a few phone calls by the tech to get the issue resolved, as he had to work up the ladder of cluefullness to get to the right person to fix the issue. After the repairing was done, all my premium channels came back without any issue.

    However, when I wanted to pull over a show I had recorded on my S3 from a non-premium channel to watch on a Tivo HD, I noticed that all of the premium shows I had recorded from a week ago or longer (the timeframe of the firmware upgrade) are set to have the CCI flag of Copy Never, so none of them can be copied via MRV.

    Charter's page about the CCI flag:
    http://www.myaccount.charter.com/customers/Support.aspx?SupportArticleID=2383

    I called Charter's tech support this afternoon and the front-line reps were useless. I did manage to get a supervisor who talked with someone at their higher-end support levels and according to what she told me, Charter enforces the Copy Once flag on all premium channel content and she doesn't know why it appears that the premium content is flagged as Copy Never.

    I did tell this supervisor that I've never seen anything hit with the CCI flag in the multiple years I've had Tivos with CableCards. She told me that she's going to look into it and get back to me.

    I wonder if anyone else in the St. Louis area, or even elsewhere in Charter service areas has run into this issue with the CCI flags.
     
  2. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    A "copy never" flag results in the TiVo automatically deleting the recording after 90 minutes.
    http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/243

    Is this happening with your recordings? If not, then they are not set to "copy never".
     
  3. shrike4242

    shrike4242 Member

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    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    From the Tivo link above, it looks like if the flag is anything except 0x00, it'll get flagged as uncopyable via MRV or TTG.

    It sounds like what Charter has on their site as Copy Never is actually Copy Once, which has it behave in the same way, uncopyable via MRV or TTG.

    Regardless, this is something that wasn't an issue prior to this firmware upgrade that ws done, so at the moment, I can't do any MRV or TTG of any premium content. Anyone else that's a Charter customer run into this issue?
     
  4. 1idjack

    1idjack New Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Saint...
    I have Charter in Saint Charles(it's in the Saint Louis service area). Until recently, everything I recorded could be transferred; now some(but not all) programs recorded from premium channels are locked. The oldest locked movie is from 9-28-11.
     
  5. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

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    There's an ongoing thread where Stormspace tracks these issues.
     
  6. hifiauto

    hifiauto New Member

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    I've had the same experience as 'shrike4242'. Just had a Charter tech out to the house (Charter-Cleveland, TN area). He confirmed with his tier 2 support that due to FCC changes, they recently updated their cable cards. All my pay channels are 'Copy Once'. Which means no more MRV & TTG for me for those channels. All else is clear.
     
  7. JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    Cocoa, Florida
    Has nothing to do with ANYTHING recently changed by FCC. Sounds like Charter just started setting the CCI bit. Some cable companies set all channels except those that you can receive OTA to copy once, so if you can MRV and/or TTG basic cable consider yourself lucky
     
  8. shrike4242

    shrike4242 Member

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    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    I did some more checking, and it looks like anything I've recorded from Starz, HBO and Cinemax is showing up with the CCI flag set to Copy Once.

    Stuff I've recorded from Showtime doesn't seem to be affected, as one of my Tivos has been recording something from Showtime (Homeland) and it's not showing as flagged for Copy Once from other Tivos.

    Items I've recorded from HBO (Boardwalk Empire, Hung), Cinemax (Strike Back) and Starz (Boss) since the first week in October are all showing as set with Copy Once.

    The rep I spoke with from Charter still doesn't have a clue and I've not heard from them since yesterday to tell me they're still looking into the issue. :thumbsdown:

    Regardless of how clueless they are, they shouldn't have done something like this without informing us in some way.
     
  9. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    It's naive to think the folks in control are clueless about this. TWC acts the same way but you can bet their lawyers were involved in making the corporate decision on these policies. The worker bees you typically talk to are clueless because it isn't important (to anyone but you) to be informed.

    Some of us sent complaining emails to TWC a while back and they responded with very carefully worded identical statements explaining it was legal for them to copy protect (and it is) and, in so many words, that they weren't going to explain why they do it. The wording was crafted so as to suggest (but not actually state) that their content provider agreements required the protection.
     
  10. shrike4242

    shrike4242 Member

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    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    After three days of no response from the supervisor I talked to at Charter, I called their CS escalation line (their corp offices are about 10 minutes from where I work) and explained the situation to them. Should have some idea back from them in a couple of days, I hope.
     
  11. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Dallas, TX
    I'd be willing to bet that you get a response similar to what dlfl described above.
     
  12. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    This has nothing to do with the firmware or the CableCard directly. In order to obtain CableLabs certification, all devices seeking said certification must honor all CCI byte settings. This has been the case for the better part of a decade. The CableCards do not establish the CCI byte. It is set or not at the headend.

    This is typical of the lies told by CATV companies. It strongly suggests they are required to set the CCI byte by contractural agreements. It's pure horse$#!%. Although it would be legal to make such a requirement part of the contracts with the CATV companies and in that case they would indeed be required to honor the restriction, virtually none of the content providers do so.
     
  13. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Not so much. The FCC regulations state in very clear English that the CATV companies are allowed to set CCI=0x01 on any channel they like unless it is an OTA channel. They may have asked their lawyers, but if so it was just about the shortest conversation anyone has ever had with a lawyer.
     
  14. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Dallas, TX
    And when the content owners specifically ask that their channels be copy freely, they just get nose thumbed.
     
  15. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    (Emphasis added)
    LOL. Statements just aren't considered correct (by you at least) until you say it in your particular choice of words, right? :rolleyes:

    I never said they had a long conversation with their lawyers and my post already stated it was legal for them to copy protect. (See emphasized portion of quote above).
     
  16. shrike4242

    shrike4242 Member

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    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    Well, I just finished a rather long and ridiculous phone call from the Charter escalation rep about the situation.

    Here's the latest line of ridiculousness from this situation:
    Basically, as far as they would state to me, every single one of my CableCards (which goes back to the first CableCard I received in my first TivoHD which goes back to early 2008, if I'm remembering correctly) has been "defective" and their recent firmware update "fixed" the problem. The CCI flag of Copy Once has always been set, according to their premium content providers (HBO/Cinemax, Showtime/TMC, Starz/Encore, etc) and this "mistake" has just recently been corrected. I did tell them that for me, only HBO/Cinemax and Starz have been affected and Showtime hasn't been affected. They indicated that it would be "fixed" in the future.

    So, as I asked them about this situation and if it was one of the two possible options:
    1) They've been out of compliance in providing CCI information for my Tivos to interpret and it's been that way for 3+ years and they're just now getting around to fixing it. That, and that the content providers have been CCI flagging the content since I've had my first CableCard, that they've just been having defective CableCards until they "fixed" it,
    2) The premium channel content hasn't been CCI flagged until just recently, and to make sure the CCI flags are being used correctly, they've firmware upgraded their CableCards to properly pass along CCI flags.

    They went with option #1, which is that they've been screwed up for multiple years and they just figured out how to fix it recently.

    I also asked why they didn't email/postal mail all of their CableCard customers to let them know about this change and they didn't have an answer to why that was. I would assume that they should be able to run a query on their billing system, kick out anyone who has a CableCard and send them a mailing to let them know what's happening.

    I did really enjoy telling this rep that using MRV isn't breaking the law, as he really seemed fixated on letting me know how I've been breaking the law for the past 3+ years with using MRV in my own residence to move shows from Tivo to Tivo.

    I'm sure there will be more idiocy to come, though we'll see how it plays out going forward.
     
  17. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Dallas, TX
    Resistance is futile. :p

    You're never going to get anywhere with this. It's a lost battle.
    Unless you really have nothing better to do with your time...





    Like watching TV. :D
     
  18. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    +1 and the OP doesn't even have much of a complaint. I wish my Time Warner Cable protected ONLY the premium channels! If you enjoy tilting with windmills just keep wasting time trying to change this. And brace yourself for when Charter starts protecting almost all channels, like TWC.
     
  19. shrike4242

    shrike4242 Member

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    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    The complaint I have, beside Charter being a bunch of disorganized idiots, is that how can they let an issue like this run around unresolved for 3+ years and not have the decency to send off a postal mailing, email or phone communication that they're going to "fix" it.

    I talked with a rep at HBO, and unsurprisingly, CCI flag of Copy Once is how it's been since the beginning. I put in inquires to Starz/Encore and Showtime/TMC and I'm waiting to hear back from them.

    If HBO/Cinemax and Starz/Encore are all CCI flag'd at Copy Once, why are Showtime/TMC channels not CCI flagged as the same, if all the channels are supposed to be treated the same?
     
  20. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Sometimes lost battles are the ones most worth fighting. OTOH, one can simply ignore the silliness of the CATV companies and modify one's TiVo.
     

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