Archive | Uh-Oh Bad PVR News

The DVR, Sue Me

Posted on 05 April 2012 by sam

The DVR is quickly becoming the piece of technology that is the most hated by Hollywood. TechCrunch’s opinion piece explains that Hollywood has always had a bad relationship with technology even though there are many ways to profit from the technology.

As a side-note: in Belgium we have only one cable operator that has encrypted all of their media streams. So it’s impossible to watch any digital channel without their boxes (that are pretty damn expensive). This has rendered the market for DVR’s pretty much non-existent since they only work on the few analogue channels.

Cloud DVR is a Power Hog

Posted on 03 April 2012 by sam

If you think your DVR is using a little too much power in standby mode. You may think a cloud-based DVR is a better idea. Well, not so fast. It turns out a cloud based system could be using even more power.

The reason? Due to copyright/fair-use laws a DVR in the cloud has to store a copy for every single program every single user records. So if 100k people record American Idol, there are 100k copies on the servers.

End of standalone Boxee software announced

Posted on 10 March 2012 by

Boxee focuses on Box, looses DIY crowd
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Zap2it Labs Closing Free EPG Guide Data

Posted on 21 June 2007 by

Saw the bad news on Zap2It Labs via Slashdot: Zap2It Labs Discontinuing Free TV Guide Service

For several years we have offered a free TV listings service to hobbyists for their own personal, noncommercial use. In October of 2004 we posted here an open letter saying the future of Zap2it Labs was at risk because of certain growing misuses of the Zap2it Labs data. Unfortunately this misuse has continued and grown. These misuses, combined with other business factors have led to the decision to discontinue Zap2it Labs effective September 1, 2007.

We thank those users who have honored the terms of the agreement, and we suggest you consider the many TV listings options offered by the commercial licensees of TMS TV listings data.

discuss the Zap2it Labs free tv guide data closing in our forum.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes to replace this market need for guide data for Mythtv and other free PVR/HTPC software.

UPDATE: Discussion of what this means for GBPVR in the GBPVR forum. There’s a lot of smart people in the byopvr/HTPC community, I’m sure we can figure out *something* to keep the free PVR software train rolling.

Possible Issues With Windows Media Center 2005 October Rollup?

Posted on 27 October 2006 by

PVRwire asks: Are there problems with the October 2006 Rollup for Windows MCE 2005?

A few days ago I wrote about a new update available from Microsoft, the October 2006 Update Rollup for MCE, and it seems like there may be some issues with the patch. Some readers left comments for the post and there seems to be problems related to the update.

Chris was having trouble with what appears to be a DRM issue and Mike seemed to be having a slew of issues, including network cutouts, video decoding problems and stability issues. I myself have also had an issue with my MCE which required me to start rebuilding it last night, however I can not confirm that it is due directly to this patch.”

Tivo Series 3 “Self Destruct Button” Destructs – (DRM Macrovision)

Posted on 11 October 2006 by

TiVo’s Series 3 Macrovision”self-destruct button” destructs

The Macrovision DRM in the new TiVo Series3 recorders is so broken that just having the wrong piece of equipment attached to your TV can cause it to register some shows as un-savable to your VCR, DVD recorder, etc. TiVo characterizes this as a glitch, but that’s not the whole story.

By including Macrovision with its products, TiVo is designing a product that is intended to control its owner and treat its owner (TiVo’s customer) as an attacker. They’ve added a swatch of functions that act directly against a user’s interests (there’s no time at which it’s in a user’s interest to have her device refuse to record a show the user wants to record). In so doing, they’ve created a bunch of potential failures in which the user is locked out of her own equipment.

It’s like those movies where an accident or a bad guy triggers the “self-destruct button” on a spaceship. Often the self-destruct button is locked away behind plexiglas and padlocks for safety, but wouldn’t it be safer not to include a single command that blows up the whole space-ship?

TiVo’s problem is a “glitch” but the reason they’re having this kind of glitch is that there’s a single command that can tell the TiVo to stop listening to its owner. Wouldn’t it be better if TiVo didn’t build in any technology that attacks its customers? “

See the CNET Tivo Series 3 Review

Who Killed TivoToGo in Series 3 HD Tivo’s? (DRM)

Posted on 03 October 2006 by

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has an excellent article about the conspicuous absense of TivoToGo in the new series 3 HD Tivos Lots of good info on how big media is crippling hardware needlessly.

see also the National Day Against DRM post…

National Day Against DRM

National Day Against DRM

Posted on 03 October 2006 by

Today is October 3, the International Day Against DRM — the first global day where people rise up and say no to anti-copying technology that treats you like a crook. Remember, DRM doesn’t stop “piracy” — the only people who get DRM infections are people who don’t pirate their media. You get DRM by buying your movies, music, games and books through authorized channels — the stuff you download from P2P or buy off of a blanket at a flea-market has already had the DRM cracked off of it. They say that DRM “keeps honest people honest” — but all it does is keep honest people in chains.

Here’s some things to do and read to celebrate No DRM Day:

DefectiveByDesign’s list of anti-DRM actions contains over 200 suggestions for activities you can participate in today and all year round to fight DRM. is a search-engine for DRM-free music for sale on the Internet, a single index of dozens of sites that sell or give away music without crippleware. is a site aimed at explaining DRM to the uninitiated — what DRM is, why you should care, and what you can do about it. Tell your friends!

UPDATE: I like this anti-DRM commercial by defective by design it explains very simply what’s wrong with drm.

Fox Tries to Thwart DVR Fast Forwarding

Posted on 21 September 2006 by

Fox Tries to Thwart DVR Fast Forwarding

I dunno, this actually seems kinda clever… but are there enough DVR owners to make it worth annoying/boring regular “live” tv viewers to death with a static image? *shrug*

Windows Vista 32 Bit Edition Loses HD Playback (NOT!)

Posted on 24 August 2006 by

Windows Vista 32 Bit Edition Loses HD Playback

Microsoft revealed today that no 32-bit versions of Windows Vista will be able to play back “next generation high definition protected content” (translation – studio-released BluRay and HD-DVD movies).

By far the majority of PCs use 32-bit processors, because despite AMD’s efforts to push 64-bit CPUs into the marketplace early, Intel’s first widely-promoted 64-bit CPU is the just-released Core 2 Duo.”

see also Slashdot: No Full HD Playback for 32-bit Vista

UPDATE: or does it? Windows Vista 32-Bit CAN Play HD DVD, Blu-ray Movies

…it turns out the 32-bit version of Windows Vista can play next-gen protected high definition content. Microsoft reps said Senior Program Manager Steve Riley was mistaken when he told a group of Australian developers that Vista couldn’t handle the high definition movies.

But the Microsoft representatives said the support will come from third party HD DVD/Blu-ray movie playback software developers like CyberLink who already make DVD playback software.