Originally Posted by Joseph Dubin
Unfair as it may seem, TCM and others allow 1080i signals to be downcoverted to 480i for recording via the "out to VCR" function on DVRs but enforces copy protection of actual HD quality to protect against pirating. Single copies can be made on an individual's DVR or Tivo but they want to prevent multiple copies in full 1080 being made on a computer burner.
On TWC/LA this TCM-HD channel does not yet exist, so I can't speak from firsthand experience.
However I can't imagine that with the proper DVR (e.g. Moto family, like DCH3416) which contains an active and fully-functional firewire port that archiving from DVR to DVHS would/could be prevented. Remember, DVHS machines are 5C-compliant and thus acceptable to the DVR for offloading digitally via firewire, certainly to create that first generation DVHS copy. Computers are not 5C-compliant and so anything but "copy freely" content cannot be offloaded from DVR to computer via firewire.
"Out to VCR" is not a Moto-family DVR concept. I believe it is associated with SA DVRs.
This is not pay-per-view (which is "copy never" and thus prevents recording even to DVR, as well as preventing "live" offloading to DVHS via the firewire port). At worst it would be "copy once" which allows creating one DVHS generation copy from DVR via the firewire port.
Obviously, down-converting resolution to 480i to allow S-video output (on a Moto DVR) is not prevented. It is the digital firewire content which is being protected here.
And of course if you have a SA DVR (with no firewire) or Tivo DVR (with no firewire) there's no hope. I think the newest Samsung boxes have firewire, so I would expect them to work like the Moto boxes.
Bottom line (and again, this is sheer speculation on my part since TCM-HD has not yet arrived at TWC/LA): I would think TCM-HD may well be just like any another premium HD channel (e.g. HBO-HD) which is "copy-once" and thus allows first generation DVHS copies (via 5C-compliant DVHS VCRs) of 1080i content from DVR via firewire, but no further generational copies from DVHS to DVHS. And certainly there would be no DVR-to-computer copying allowed via firewire, since computers are not 5C-compliant.