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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:33 pm 
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Hi Everyone, I have a mythtv setup using both an OTA HD tuner and a comcast provided motorola 6200 box via firewire for recording programming. Verizon fios TV became available in my area recently and I signed up for it. I asked for a firewire-enabled STB which they did provide and install for me. But when I went to record off of many of the channels, I discovered that many of the channels have the CCI value set to 0x02 which prevents mythtv or any other non-5c compliant device from decrypting the data.

So, I called up and asked and my first answer came from their tech support, which told me in the nutshell that it wasn't so much their decision but the result of the contract that the content providers (i.e. the cable networks) require now for new cable providers to carry their digital programming. The guy seemed to know his stuff, and was even familiar with mythtv!

I said that I would like to cancel my service and they seemed rather surprised. But it didn't seem that they could resolve my issue so they agreed to let me cancel at no charge and even get $200 in amex gift cards since I won't be eligible for their free tv promotion anymore.

I read some posts online that it might be worthwhile to file a complaint with the FCC regarding this, although reading up on the cable tv laws it seemed that they were within their legal rights to do this. I got a response a few days later from their customer advocacy division and they seemed pretty sympathetic to the whole situation. The woman forwarded the complaint onto a supervisor in the cable TV division and he called me saying he’d find out from the higher-ups what the real issue was. He called back about a week later and said he’d email their response. Below is the text portion of that:

Quote:
The customer is correct that most of our providers content leaves our STBs today flagged as CCI 0x02 (copy once). This a result of several factors, none of which I see any change in status to anytime soon.

1) A firewire port on any MSO provided STB must be enabled per the FCC. Verizon / Motorola are compliant with this FCC ruling. The 6200 and 6416 STBs have two 1394 (firewire) ports available, one for external display and the other is for an external HDD. The port closest to the AC plug is for external display and can be used for digital recording to an external device.

2) Broadcasters and other providers had the CCI encryption standards (DTCP, aka 5C) developed and implemented several years ago (~1998) to protect their content in the digital domain (similar to Macrovision for analog content or HDCP for HDMI connections). Firewire is a digital transport mechanism, in which some CPE is DTLA licensed to support CCI and others that are not. This is referred to as 5C compliance. Our STB fully supports 5C content transmission.

3) The customer mentioning below that he has inability to make a digital copy of content leaving the STB flagged CCI 0x02 (copy once) is a clear indication that the equipment he is using is not 5C compliant.

4) We understand the customers frustration that he is encountering the inability to record with his equipment content with a copy once flag. CCI requires a 5C compliant device to record this content, as the device making that one copy must be able to change that flag to CCI 0x01 (copy no more), so no additional copies can be made. A non 5C compliant device is not capable of this, so no copy is allowed.

5) Verizon / Motorola are adhering to the best of our ability with all the applicable laws regarding content protection, and the result of this adherence is the majority of content leaving the STB flagged CCI 0x02 (copy once).

Let me know if you need more detail on this issue, I can explain why the content is being flagged as such (after many months of discussions with Verizon's and Motorola's legal depts). For the purposes of responding to this customer; we are compliant to the law and the issue can be resolved with 5C compliant CPE.


Anyways, sorry for the long post, I was just curious what the thoughts in the myth community were regarding this, if they have seen it on other providers or if there are any work arounds.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:04 pm 
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Location: Virginia, USA
As a Fios subscriber, I really appreciate this post. Thanks.

Can you tell me which channels did work over Firewire? Did at least the open QAM channels (locals, maybe some others) work?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 23, 2004 1:50 pm
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Location: Palmdale, CA
This is pretty typical of cable providers as far as I've seen. The content providers have a right to protect their stuff... Myth isn't a 5C compliant recording device because the people that provide the 5C specs and such only provide the 5C elements necessary to companies that can be sued for non-compliance.

Unfortunate but true... And not really very likely to change anytime soon...


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:52 pm 
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Everything you were told seems to jive with my understanding of the situation. A typical compliant device would be a D-VHS deck. I don't recall all the rules about this, but I think OTA programming must not be flagged. I think most everything else can be copy-once, but maybe PPV (or is it VOD) can be copy never.

Also I think some form of unrestricted 480 output would be maintained, perhaps to avoid putting fair-use on trial again. I don't know if that was in any of the regs, or was just the CW at the time.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:33 am 
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Location: Ft. Worth TX
Well, my reaction, for the content provider's edification, is that if I can't record their HD content, I won't BUY their HD content.....


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:37 am 
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Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Exactly.

They have the "right" to make their content as inaccessible and unusable as they want. Our "right" is to walk away. I'm doing the same. I record only OTA with my MythBox and I don't pay for cable at all.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:10 pm 
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Location: California
The situation is the same on Comcast where I live -- see this threadfor the details, but it's basically the same story. It's probably worth noting that while OTA channels can't encrypt their transmissions, they can set the copy protection flag. The flag can be turned on and off as they see fit. In my case, fox set the CCI flag for "24" last season, so I was unable to record 24 from my comcast HD service using the comcast-provided Motorola DCT-6200.

Marc


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:33 pm 
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Check on AVSforum, I know this has been discussed there. I thought OTA re-transmissions couldn't be flagged (although I know they sometimes are).


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:48 pm 
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Hi everyone, thanks for all the replies. I'm still trying to cancel my fios tv service, it seems that they feel that although I have cancelled it via phone several times they are still billing me and the box still works. I just discovered that in the past week comcast has turned on the cci flag for A&E HD and History HD. They also turned it on for WBZ (CBS) which is in fact illegal. I gave them a written complaint, we'll see what happens. I'm going to look into getting RCN which is also available and they seem to have most of their channels unencrypted alltogether, which work fine with a HDHomerun box.

I think the growing trend will be that the CCI flag will be set more and more as companies renew their contracts with networks. Hopefully someone will find some sort of "workaround" in the future.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:49 am 
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Location: IN
The best "work-around" I have found so far is my OTA antennae. I plan to upgrade my PC and buy more video games with all the money I'll save.

Martian

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:38 am 
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Update: LOVE RCN RCN RCN RCN!

The guy came at 8 am sharp, had everything installed in about 1 hour. I have yet to find a 0x02 channel on it, even HBOHD was coming through in Myth with no issues (I get hbo for 3 mo free). Package is $43/mo with box. I hope that this small cable company can stick around and doesn't turn on the CCI protection. I had to go to work afterwards so I didn't have time to really dig in, but watching a SD channel with locally-inserted commercials didn't seem to glitch like they do on comcast which was the major issue (besides the CCI) that I had. Hopefully this will fix the front end crashing I've had when it hits those glitches.

I wonder what the cable guy thought when I went into the diag menu a few times in front of him....


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:37 pm 
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Well, I've been having a great experience with RCN, but today I found 3 OTA channels that had the cci bit set. I had to look up and read through several FCC dockets to find the part that says that this is illegal. Page 30 on http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-225A1.pdf says it all, at least I think. I sent them an email since I didn't feel like waiting 20 min on their tech support line. Hopefully I will hear back soon. I'll post what happens here.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:37 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Hi,

I started checking out info on the CCI and the legality of cracking it, and came across the following brief to the US Supreme Court that had some interesting reading. For example:
Quote:
The 5C Digital Transmission Content Protection technology (DTCP) used in the ATSC “broadcast flag” is not effective because it uses outdated 56-bit encryption technology that is no longer industry standard and will be easily circumvented using technology from the near future.
.....
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) attempted to set the standard for
digital television (“DTV”) broadcasts by proposing the broadcast flag regime. The flag appeals
to movie studios because it digitally locks DTV broadcasts to safeguard against illegal
redistribution of television content. Under the proposed FCC order, the flag would be required on
all new televisions, DVD players, computers, and any other device that could receive or playback television content. The flag puts the FCC in the position to approve devices and uses before their use, including activities protected by fair use and educational exemptions. As technologies evolve, educators’ and consumers’ access to information should also evolve. The broadcast flag, however, could limit the expansion of educators’ and consumers’ access to information by restricting time and place shifting. Moreover, the public’s right to receive information is protected by the First Amendment. As a result, educators’ and consumers’ speech could be unreasonably limited by the broadcast flag.


If you want to check ot the whole document:
http://techlaw.lls.edu/events/atc2006/docs/brief-petitioner.pdf

BTW, you have it good in the US. In Canada the cable companies are encrypting all channels, even those available OTA. No fair use clause.

Victor

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:55 pm 
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Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
I know this doesn't directly address the firewire output, but since people may read this thread to learn about MythTV and FiOS TV, here's some additional info:

I just got back from helping a friend test out an HDHomeRun on his FiOS TV setup, and he was able to tune all local channels, all music channels, all music video channels, and some relatively useless channels like HSN TVguide, etc. Most channels were 480i or 480p. It seemed like only local channels were in 1080i or 720p. I'm not sure how this compares to what people can normally tune unencrypted with old-school digital cable providers like Comcast, or whether or not FiOS varies its encrypted channel list from region to region.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:51 pm 
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Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I may be in a position to help out. One of my friends works on the hill and interfaces with the verizon reps fairly regularly. I mentioned to him the problems of recording even the stations that are supposed to be clear, and he offered to bring it up with them. No guarantees, but it never hurts for a staffer to mention to a lobyist that they're paying attention to the issue. This guy's been using a mythtv system for the past three years, so he's certainly seen the advantages of it.

Unfortunately I don't actually have digital tv yet, I'm still on analogue cable, so I can't really speak on the problems you guys are having. If you guys have specific complaints could you share them, preferably in language a non technical person can understand, so that I can pass them along. Specifically people from Northern VA since that's where this guy's district is. Obviously anything they're doing that you believe is against FCC regulations would be good to pass on.

He also suggested a well timed flood of complaints to the FCC to get the issue some attention.

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