Archive | Uh-Oh Bad PVR News

Broadcast Flag on Steroids (again!) and The Analog Hole Closing Legislation

Posted on 01 November 2005 by

Some Scary Halloween Broadcast Flag/Analog Hole legislation has come to D.C.

“Here’s what the proposed law says, in a nutshell:

Every consumer analog video input device manufactured in the United States will be, within a year, forced to obey not one, but two new copy restriction technologies: a watermarking system called VEIL, and a rights system called CGMS-A (we’ve covered CGMS-A before; we’ll talk a bit more about VEIL soon). “

EFF “blog” entry with the broadcast flag scoop

Original EFF broadcast flag page and here’s a PDF of the draft of the legislation… it’s been nicknamed “Broadcast Flag on Steroids” 🙁

Choice quote from Cory@BoingBoing This is like the Broadcast Flag on steroids. The Broadcast Flag only covered TV receivers. This covers everything with an analog video input. If this had been around in 1976, the VCR would have been illegal. Today, it would ban Mythtv, every tuner-card in the market, and boxes like ElGato’s eyeTV the Slingbox and the Orb and the vPod. This is a proposal to turn huge classes of technology into something that exists only at the sufferance of the studios.

Speculation on Windows Vista, DRM, CableCARD & 3rd Party DVR

Posted on 26 August 2005 by sam

You probably already know that DRM is a dirty word in these parts… you probably also know that I’m dying for a legitimate way to record HDTV via cable without using the cable company’s DVR i.e. the mythtical cableCARD PC device. I’m not sure that i’d trade DRM up the wazoo to get it, however…

It is rumoured that with Windows Vista (nod to Ed Bot) there’ll be sufficient DRM and content “security” to appease the content providers enough that maybe there’ll be CableCARD support in Windows Vista MCE.

A few prominent bloggers are wondering what Windows Vista means to 3rd party PVR software including the always insightful to read Chris Lanier MSMVPPC PVR Needs Vista and PVP-OPM! and Your Company is NOT Ruined, SnapStream in response to a rightfully skeptical SnapStream devblog entry

Now there’s no reason to panic or schedule an EFF rally or the like yet, even though i’m not sure I trust the big players in all of this to have the consumers best interest in mind here. There’s a gradual closing of the analog loophole endgame afoot, and eventually digital content will be handcuffed to HDCP approved devices that only DMCA violating daredevils will attempt to supercede. Can I trademark HDCP-X-copy now to beat the rush?

Between intel’s trusted computing platform, HDCP, PVP-OPM and the like it doesn’t look to promising for fair use (or competition!) in general.

Cable companies will expire your Six Feet Under DVR recordings

Posted on 12 December 2004 by

BoingBoing post by Cory Doctorow which highlights to me why the homebrew PVR approach is important even if your cable company offers a DVR for only 5 bucks a month… Cable companies will expire your Six Feet Under recordings after 2-4 weeks

Other related articles:
Is ‘Transitional Fair Use’ The Wave Of The Future? CopyFight: All your fair use are belong to us

“Time-Warner is arm-twisting cable companies into agreeing to a scheme to automagically erase your saved episodes of Six Feet Under from your cable-company-provided PVR after a month or so. This is the danger of sucking up to the studios in the first place: they say, “Suuuure, we’ll ‘let’ you build a PVR that will tape the shows you cablecast to your customers, but that permission is contingent on our ongoing goodwill. So if in the future we decide, for example, that your PVR can’t record certain shows, or can’t skip certain commercials, or can’t store certain recordings for more than a few days, you’d better implement it. Or else. So what if your customers can’t figure out why their PVRs don’t work properly? That’s your problem, pal.”

continued…

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Networks Tweak Timeslots to Bork TiVos & DVRs

Posted on 02 December 2004 by

TV Networks Shift Times, Run Longer Shows

“Television networks are lending new meaning to time-shifting: TV shows don’t necessarily start or end right on the hour or half-hour anymore, screwing up some viewers’ video recordings.

More programs are running an extra minute or two longer to keep viewers from switching channels. Shows recently padded include CBS’s “Without a Trace,” Fox’s “Renovate My Family,” ABC’s “The Bachelor” and NBC’s “ER,” according to Nielsen Media Research.

The tactic has been used on and off for a few years but has grown more popular as competition in network television stiffens.

As a result of the overruns, people who use VCRs and digital video recorders like TiVos end up clipping the beginning or ending of a show. For some, the time conflict could also prevent a later show from being recorded. “