Originally Posted by scotty588
Why would they put these copyright restrictions on these channels when back in the day you could record any channel you wanted right onto your VCR?
You STILL can record ANYTHING you want using your VCR... which means feeding it say from the S-video analog video output of the STB/DVR along with L/R-stereo analog audio output. They couldn't care less what you do in the analog world. There is ZERO copy-protection of any kind... including on premium channels. (you may even be able to record pay-per-view using analog)
They also do not protect "analog HD", i.e fed with component video. Again, if you did have a component video recording device then this would be "very good HD quality" but not "100% digitally perfect HD".
What they are protecting is the firewire-source feeding a digital recording device, with a 100% PERFECT digital copy of the original copyrighted program content.
That's why there are no HDMI-facilitated or firewire-facilitated recording devices (e.g. direct to BluRay from original pristine digital-form 720p/1080i) even though there are S-video-facilitated (e.g. direct to DVD from 720p/1080i downconverted-to-480i even if then upconverted to 480p for recording on the DVD, making the end result very far reduced from the original 720p/1080i HD).
What is the difference between the "copy once" and "copy never" flags? I thought the whole point of this STB is to decrypt these channels so you can watch / record them as you please and the firewire port was basically another video out.
Not quite accurate. They don't mind if you WATCH... but they have a big problem with your desire to RECORD.
The idea of "copy never" is strictly for things like pay-per-view, where they don't want to let you even record it to the DVR's hard drive. You are obligated to either (a) watch the event "live", or (b) watch the event during say whenever you want during the purchased 24-hour view-anytime window. In theory there's really no justifiable complaint about either of these two ideas.
But the real meaning of "copy never" is that the program can simply NEVER be recorded. It can only be watched from the stream provided by the cable system, whenever it's available.
As far as "copy once", this means you can record it to DVR hard drive and then watch it whenever you want. Also, if you have a DVHS VCR (connected by firewire, and the recording is 100% perfect digital) then you can offload that program to the DVHS VCR, which actually counts as the "copy once" count of 1. The DVR recording doesn't actually count in this particular situation.
But that DVHS VCR recording is copy-protected by the VCR itself and that 1st-generation tape recording cannot be further duplicated into a 2nd-generation tape recording (e.g. if you had two DVHS VCRs, and tried to copy the 1st-generation recording to a 2nd-generation recording on the second VCR connected via firewire to the first VCR).
So "copy once" means (a) you can record it to DVR, and (b) you can offload it 100% digitally perfect from DVR to [a 5C-compliant, meaning it will obey the copy-once flag] DVHS VCR which then becomes the authorized 1st-generation "copy once" recording. But that 1st-generation DVHS copy cannot be re-copied (via firewire) into a 2nd-generation digitally 100% perfect DVHS copy.
The firewire port is a very significant output option, specifically because it provides 100% digitally perfect datastreams. Note that the onscreen graphics (e.g. the Guide, MyDVR recording list, etc.) is NOT visible on the firewire port. It contains only the pure program content datastream. So even if you were watching something on your HDTV (say via HDMI) from the STB/DVR and pushed the GUIDE button, what graphics you then see on the HDTV is NOT impressed onto the firewire output. The graphics are only impressed onto the true video outputs of the box... composite/S-video, component video, HDMI, but NOT on the firewire output (which strictly speaking is really is a data output, not an official audio/video output).