Blu Ray recorder coming to US -- sort of... - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

Isnt it against the law for the cable companies to disable the firewire interfaces on their STB's?


Early this year I had the following exchange with a Mr. James Snider. Executive Director of the 1394 Trade Association

My email:
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On Dec 30, 2008, at 12:20 PM,

Mr. J Snider

I recently did a Google search in hopes of finding a method of activating the firewire ports on a STB I recently received from my local cable company. I came upon a very old topic on the AVS forum (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=649140 ) wherein you requested feedback from anyone that had received a STB with the firewire ports disabled.

I have just received a Motorola DCH6416 DVR that indeed has had these ports disabled, and the cable company (Insight Cable, Covington, Kentucky) has told me they will not activate them.

Do you have any information that is current on this matter? Is there a method to activate these ports?

Thank You
Gerald XXXXXXX
20 XXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXX






Mr. Sniders return email:

Gerald,

Thank you for your email. This is unquestionably a violate of a clear FCC directive. You should let Insight Cable know that they are in violation and that you are filing a complaint with the FCC. The cable companies hate the FCC knowing about their misdeeds and they will usually fix the problem but you have to file the complaint. Cable companies are notorious for stalling in hopes that you will just give up.

Here is the FCC complaints web page http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm
Unfortunately, they changed the format of this about a year ago. You have to step through menus that do not exactly match your complaint. Get as close as you can and then just file the complaint. If you mention "CS Docket number 97-80", it will get to the right people. That narrows the focus for the FCC. Wording along these lines should work:

"I wish to file a complaint against Insight Cable of Covington, Kentucky for business practices in violation of FCC rulings covered in CS Docket 97-80. In particular, I wish to report their refusal to activate the 1394 port on my Motorola DCH6416 DVR set top box in violation of requirements specified in 47 C.F.R. 76.640(b)(4)"

Those words in the FCC filing should get you some attention. The cable guys do not like the FCC and the FCC does not like them. The FCC has the power but the cable guys do their best to fly under the FCC radar. If you send a letter to Insight Cable informing them that you just filed a complaint with the FCC, it will probably motivate them to fix your problem.

If you will let me know any docket number assigned by the FCC to your complaint and send me a copy of any correspondence you get back from Insight Cable and/or the FCC, that would be helpful. I plan on visiting them once the new commissioners are in place in early 2009.

Also, fee free to copy all the commissioners on your complaint. Some of them will leave when the new administration takes over, but some of them will stay around. Chairman Martin in particular hates the cable companies, but he will probably leave in a month or so.

You are going to have to go to the FCC web page and direct email them from the FCC web page www.fcc.gov but all their contact info in on the home page, right hand corner.
You should probably address them as "Honorable Commissioner Copps" and "Honorable Chairman Martin" etc. but it not get your email tossed out if you do not use the right protocol.

So:
1) File a complaint with the FCC on the FCC web site
2) Tell you cable company you did so and include things like "FCC Docket 97-80" and "Section 47 C.F.R. 76.640 which requires an 'functional' 1394 port on all High Def Set Top Boxes" that lets them know that you know what you are talking about and can really get them in trouble
3) If you are still motivated to make things happen, the email your complaint to all the commissioners.

Let me know if you need any additional help...and Happy New Year!

James Snider
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

Isnt it against the law for the cable companies to disable the firewire interfaces on their STB's?

Yes, it is against the law (47CFR76.640) except on any STBs that the cable company acquired before 7/1/2005.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kckay View Post

Isn't it a fact that even though not yet regulated more and more OTA broadcasts are copy protected? I am under the understanding that is the case, and, in the near future almost all broadcast will be encoded save the PBS channels. Eventually all will be.

No, it is not the case for OTA television. Broadcasters can include the so-called broadcast flag in their transmissions, but equipment makers are under no obligation to recognize it -- and since the broadcast flag doesn't include any encryption (which, after all, would obsolete tens of millions of receivers), those programs remain freely recordable *if* you can find the equipment to make the recordings with.

As for cable...HD versions of cable programs do show up on file sharing services, which suggests that *someone* is successfully recording these shows. I'm an OTA-only viewer, so I can't comment on the technology, but I see a couple of other folks have responded in detail regarding the laws on firewire outputs from cable boxes.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas Desmond View Post

As for cable...HD versions of cable programs do show up on file sharing services, which suggests that *someone* is successfully recording these shows. I'm an OTA-only viewer, so I can't comment on the technology, but I see a couple of other folks have responded in detail regarding the laws on firewire outputs from cable boxes.

See my post #15 above for one readily available avenue to post HD shows on-line. As long as it is OTA or unprotected cable, one can record it, transfer to PC, convert and upload it. All it takes is a willingness to spend some fraction of one's time doing so.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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Old 05-20-2010, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Could it be, that there is simply no market in the US for a home BD recorder -- or any removable-media recorder for that matter.


Haha, yeah, right. Have you never heard of a DVD recorder? If what you said were true, then why have there been and are there so many (standard) DVD recorders sold since about 2005?
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MaxxFordham View Post

Haha, yeah, right. Have you never heard of a DVD recorder? If what you said were true, then why have there been and are there so many (standard) DVD recorders sold since about 2005?

Dude, you are seriously out of date. You should of at least read the next sentence of my post before you responded. The DVD recorder market never made it big and died in the US 3 yrs ago when the FCC DTV timetable required them to have ATSC tuners. All the majors, except Panasonic pulled out and left the market to the low-end Funai. The only DVD recorder with a HDD on the US market is the Funai-made Magnavox, sold on-line by walmart -- that pretty much says it all about the state of the DVD recorder market. Panasonic still sells a couple models without HDD but has not updated them in 2 yrs.

The market is dead because very few people care about making their own archival recordings to disk -- and probably 90% of those people can be found on the AVS DVD Recorder Forum. No market = no product.

You were basically told all this by jtbell back in October. Just needed a second opinion?

- kelson h

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Old 05-20-2010, 04:47 PM
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I could have sworn this thread was in the DVD Recorders forum
Anyway, what Kelson said, Standalone DVDRs in the US are a dead product. Panasonics has basically had the same models since '08 and the '08 line was basically a warmed over '07 line. Other quality units of the past are also basically producing junk: Toshiba, Sony, JVC, etc., Pioneer dropped out of the US in '07 with the mandated digital tuners and now they are no more even internationally.
I'm going to guess tunerless DVDRs far outsell tunered models. The few that use them are mostly just offloading their cable/Sat. DVRs.
Being OTA(as Kelson is also) I'd like to see things different but alas that all we've got in the US.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Dude, you are seriously out of date. You should of at least read the next sentence of my post before you responded. The DVD recorder market never made it big and died in the US 3 yrs ago when the FCC DTV timetable required them to have ATSC tuners. All the majors, except Panasonic pulled out and left the market to the low-end Funai.

The market was dying before the ATSC tuner mandate kicked in -- the mandate just helped accelerate the decline, I'd say.

It's unfortunate, because I would love to see a good selection of HD recorders available in this country, including ones that use removable media. But it just doesn't seem likely to happen.
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by CKNA View Post

Yes it is 5C compatible and will record anything that uses MPEG2 TS like cable MPEG2 or MPEG4 plus of course camcorders. These are full BD Recorders with all the features minus tuners. Nobody really records OTA in US anyway.

That's simply not true. We use our Panasonic DVR to record shows WEEKLY. A lot of PBS stuff (no commercials) and some regular network stations. We finally have a new Panasonic VIERA HDTV and it's kind of sucky knowing that all of the stuff we are recording is only in SD. I'd like my recording capability to match my TV capability.

With the advent of HDTVs, the entire TV world has been upended - and NOT for the better. CC is a kludge at best (especially on recorded content), only some shows are broadcast in HD, and even then they don't all match the screen size. It was VERY nice when everything was broadcast in the same format, resolution, etc - AND the output and recording devices all matched.
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