The reason copy protection was activated was because a HDMI cable was connected to Cablevision's HD DVR. I received the following today from cablevision:
"HDMI uses HDCP (High Bandwith Digital Content Protection" to protect unauthorized duplication of content. HDMI, when used in combination with HDCP provides an audio/video interface that meets the security requirements of our program providers.
When devices such as digital boxes, DVD players, or other digital multimedia video devices are connected to a DCR TV, digital video and/or digital audio recording, devices may be restricted or temporarily disabled to prevent the unauthorized duplication of copyrighted programming. If a customer is unable to make a digital copy of a program, the programmer has applied HDCP to that particular content. The copy restrictions include 'copy never', 'copy once' or 'copy freely'.
Another copy protection technology is called the 'Copy Generation Management System for Analog' that allows customers to make one copy (analog or digital) of a program but will prohibit additional copies of the copy. HBO currently uses this protection to secure HBO-On-Demand, and Cinemas-On-Demand programs."
In other words, I can't use a HDMI cable if I want to record to a DVD player. I could use DVI but might be restricted to one recording once which makes hard drive dubbing useless. The only way around this and still use the HD DVR is to use component cables, which is a step below DVI/HDMI quality.
Cablevision told me they have nothing to do with copy protection and that it is incorporated into the signal by the stations (then why did it also happen on Channel 12 news?).
To avoid further headaches
I traded in my HD DVR for a HD Box with just the DVI output (I have an adapter so the cable's compatable). I no longer have the flexibility of hard drive dubbing but will be able to record movies directly to DVD via timer recording ala VCR.