Archive | Uh-Oh Bad PVR News

Time Warner Won’t Allow CableCard for Tivo Series 3 boxes?

Posted on 27 July 2006 by

This could be a harbinger of things to come. Time Warner won’t provide CableCARDs for Series 3 TiVos?

…a complaint on the website ConsumerFury contends that Time Warner Cable’s Raleigh division responded to a recent customer inquiry on the matter by stating that “Time Warner Cable of Raleigh does not provide support for or allow TiVo devices on our cable network…CableCARDS will only be installed on cable-ready, CableCARD-slot-available television sets.”

Now this could be just a handful of bad customer service reps, or it could be an indication of cable companies circling the wagons to protect their inhouse DVR products/sales. In any case, if the cable companies take this type of stance with Tivo Series 3 boxes, I’m not sure what hope future HTPC based CableCard systems might have.

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.

Broadcast Flag Re-Re-Re-ReDux: Back in Congress

Posted on 11 October 2005 by

The Broadcast Flag for terrestial OTA digital TV is resurfacing in Congress. Here’s the link/news/commentary round up.

join the fax brigade / call to action against broadcast flag

Excellent EFF insight into the latest salvo on the war against fair use/DTV

Protect your legal right to record television. MPAA tries to get sneaky (again) with broadcast flag legislation

20 suicidal Congressional Reps demand a Broadcast Flag

Slashdot on the terrible 20 and the broadcast flag

Read articles, Scream out loud, Notifiy your representative.

Nightmare on Your Street: Return of the Living Broadcast Flag

Posted on 26 September 2005 by

*sigh* not that I expected it to just go away quietly in the night, but there’s some interesting not all that speculative speculation/commentary on how the MPAA and RIAA are teaming up for the uber-Broadcast Flag Congress end-a-round

Via the anti-DRM broadcast flag haterz at BoingBoing ;)

“MPAA/RIAA subvert democracy with super-broadcast-flag bid
The RIAA and MPAA have teamed up to demand that Congress get the FCC to create a super-duper broadcast flag for radio and TV. This means that they’ll get a veto over pretty much anything that can play video or music — from your iPod to your PC’s tuner card.

My cow-orker Danny O’Brien has written a brilliant, witty explanation of how the MPAA and RIAA are pulling this off in Congress, sneaking around behind closed doors to get this enacted without debate — and what you can do to stop the enterainment cartels to stop undermining American democracy

It’s time to renew/reup my EFF donation/membership and suggest you consider it as well. (and not JUST for the BroadCast Flag stuff, they do a lot of defense of p2p and other digital fair use rights stuff that’s important, IMHO!)

More TiVo Content Protection DRM Snafu

Posted on 15 September 2005 by

Following up on previous Tivo DRM Snafu coverage

PVRblog notes that Jim Denney, TiVo’s Director of Product Marketing,
told TechBlog
that these were probably just “false positives.”

“Denney said the copy protection is trigged by a flag in the video signal. The reports appearing on the Web appear to be cases where TiVo misinterprets noise in the signal as a copy protection flag, and imposes the restrictions.”

Cory dug asked around at a DRM conference and didn’t find TiVo’s claim that “noise” somehow triggered the content protection too credible, unless it’s due to incompetence.

O’reilly blogger Mark thinks TiVo is being disengenious about noise-gate.

Wendy Seltzer would rather use MythTV anyways She’s got a MythTV HDTV HD-3000 project page worth checking out.

The blogosphere seems to really be considering tivo alternatives like byopvr ;)

TiVo’s DRM Red Flag Snafu

Posted on 14 September 2005 by

PVRblog broke the news of content protection in Tivo rearing it’s head albeit supposedly it’s just an accident/glitch. The fact that the capability is built in and can be triggered “accidently” at the head end when certain shows should expire doesn’t bode well for TiVo, in my opinion.

See also:

“A bug in the latest version of TiVo’s operating system has some users concerned that the service’s content protection mechanisms–supposedly intended solely for pay-per-view and video-on-demand content–may someday be applied to broadcast television programming.”

TiVo won’t save certain shows or allow moving them
BoingBoing Tivo Alternatives
SlashDot: Tivo OS update adds content protection
PVRwire: DRM scare creeps into Tivo
TVHarmony: Tivo and the red flag
Gizmodo: Tivo OS 7.2 aka screw you luanched
Kottke: Tivo hates its customers

You probably already know how I feel about DRM in general, but to surmise: I can’t stand that a device I own and a service I pay for can be a moving target (in the wrong direction) with the possibilty of me having less PVR functionality now than when I purchased the device.

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

Posted on 26 August 2005 by Charles

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.

Supreme Court Rules “Against” Grokster P2P

Posted on 27 June 2005 by

The SCOTUS Hat Trick of bad decisions is now completeHollywood wins Internet piracy battle: The U.S. Supreme Court rules against file-sharing service Grokster

Corante on the Grokster decision “Grokster Loses – Unanimously – Inducement Test?” Tons of links and info on the grokster ruling post@boingboing

Via SlashDot article | EFF Lawyer interviewed about the decision

hat tip TVHarmony

Broadcast Flag Redux Commentary

Posted on 28 May 2005 by

Thomas Hawk has posted a link on Slashdot to an oped piece on CNET by the CEO of the MPAA extolling the virtues of the broadcast flag. Hawk summarized the MPAA’s argument succintly as if they don’t get their way they’re taking their ball and going home

There’s an interesting Broadcast Flag counterpoint by Jim Burger also appearing on CNET.

If you aren’t overwhelmed with linkage yet, don’t forget the EFF’s Broadcast flag page and call to action — email your representative campaign.

Also worth viewing/listening to: Cory Doctorow lecture on Broadcast Flag

The Return of the Son Of The Broadcast Flag

Posted on 13 May 2005 by

Well it looks like engadget (and anyone with a little political savvy) was right:

Broadcasters and movie studios look to Congress to save the broadcast flag

So we’re totally not surprised to see that the MPAA has moved quickly to draft up some legislation to shop around to Congress to help them implement the Broadcast Flag that was struck down last week by a U.S. Court of Appeals.

Advocacy group Public Knowledge has gotten hold of a copy of the legislation, which specifies that the FCC should have “authority to adopt regulations governing digital television apparatus necessary to control the indiscriminate redistribution of digital television broadcast content over digital networks.” The DC Circuit court’s decision said that the FCC does not currently possess that authority, and the Congressional bill seeks to establish this ridiculously broad and sweeping power to the FCC

CNET news dot com dot com article and slashdot broadcast flag redux article

The MPAA sure has been busy this week (going after TV bittorent download sites as well)