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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


I've had directv for a little over a year and my contract is up.


Previous to this, I had charter cable and a home built DVR box with beyond tv from snapstream on it and i was happy with this. This was only standard def. I've since upgraded to HiDef and I've been using the supplied DVR/tuner from directv.


I'd REALLY love if i could use my own box so i can stick as big a HD as i want in it and also so i can watch whatever i record on whatever screen in the house i want to. With the beyond tv box, i could watch recordings on any PC in the house, through the PS3, or even on my cell phone screen. Not to mention i have complete control of the media so i could (and did) edit and re-compress some some of the stuff i wanted to keep. Mostly educational stuff that i didn't need in perfect HD quality, so re-compressing to save space was fine.


I've started looking at some products which support cable cards. I looked at moxi, but i'm not thrilled with shelling out $500-$800 for hardware that's basically closed to me.


I also looked at the ATI OCUR cards and then at the ceton card that supports cablecard and quad-tuners.


I'm completely new to digital cable. My experience with home built DVR's has only been with the non-encrypted stuff since i was previously not using any HD channels.


So i was wondering if some of you that are more knowledgeable could tell me what my options are right now.


My understanding is if i use one of those cards i mentioned above, i would have to use the windows media center interface and that there would be some sort of DRM attached to the recordings. How restrictive is the DRM? Can the videos be played at all on other pc's in my house? What about through the PS3 or a network attached HDTV? I assume I wouldn't be able to edit these videos? Would i be able to copy any of them and watch them on a laptop or PSP while traveling? What if i use something other then windows media center? I know sagetv is a pretty popular alternative to beyond tv, as well as mythtv, but i haven't used either of them.


I've just had time warner cable installed (los angeles area) but i'm open to switching to any other service in my area if it lets me do what i want. I've got 60 days before i'm locked into a contract with TW.


Thanks in advance for any advice on this.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by merkk /forum/post/18149684


I've started looking at some products which support cable cards. I looked at moxi, but i'm not thrilled with shelling out $500-$800 for hardware that's basically closed to me.

You are not going to get CableCard support on a completely open platform, as CableLabs' imposes the same restrictions on all unidirectional CableCard products.

Quote:
Originally Posted by merkk /forum/post/18149684


I also looked at the ATI OCUR cards and then at the ceton card that supports cablecard and quad-tuners.


My understanding is if i use one of those cards i mentioned above, i would have to use the windows media center interface and that there would be some sort of DRM attached to the recordings. How restrictive is the DRM?


Can the videos be played at all on other pc's in my house? What about through the PS3 or a network attached HDTV? I assume I wouldn't be able to edit these videos? Would i be able to copy any of them and watch them on a laptop or PSP while traveling?

If the content is flagged as "copy freely" (CCI=0x00), then there are basically no restrictions; you can edit and view recordings on the other PCs in your home, as well as compatible media players. You can also copy/transcode the recordings for portable media players.


If the content is flagged as "copy one generation" (CCI=0x02), then DRM limits you to viewing on the original PC and authorized Windows Media Center extenders like the Xbox360. Those recordings can't be edited/viewed on other computers or devices; there's little you can do with them.


Cable providers are required to flag locals as "copy freely," but they can do whatever they want (subject to their contractual obligations) with the cable channels. Time Warner and Brighthouse are probably the worst offenders when it comes to protecting content; they flag virtually all of their digital cable channels as "copy one generation." Contrast that to FiOS, which flags virtually everything as "copy freely."

Quote:
Originally Posted by merkk /forum/post/18149684


What if i use something other then windows media center? I know sagetv is a pretty popular alternative to beyond tv, as well as mythtv, but i haven't used either of them.

You can't. Windows Media Center, Moxi, and TiVo are the only CableCard compatible platforms available.


SageTV is trying to hook into Windows Media Center, to put their own UI on WMC's recording and DRM, but I'm not sure how that is progressing. If they get it working, they'll be subject to all the same restrictions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by merkk /forum/post/18149684


I've just had time warner cable installed (los angeles area) but i'm open to switching to any other service in my area if it lets me do what i want. I've got 60 days before i'm locked into a contract with TW.

If your Time Warner system is like most, virtually all cable content will be flagged as "copy one generation," thus restricting what you can do with it. If FiOS is an option in your area, that would be a good alternative for your purposes.


AT&T U-Verse delivers its channels with IPTV and does not support CableCards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
bleh - this really blows. I dont understand the cable/media companies. I can already get pretty much every single show i watch from at least one online source (legal or otherwise). So basically what they are doing is asking me to pay them money so i get less choices then if i go and grab everything for free. If i want to even come close to having the same options i have with the free choices, i have to go and spend even more money on additional hardware even though what i have now should be perfectly capable of doing what i want.


Seriously, who in the board room thinks this is a rational way to go?


Sorry, i'm sure i'm preaching to the choir here.


So really the only thing i'll gain by setting up a pc-dvr is the ability to stick a bigger hard drive in and i can do what i want with the broadcast channels.


Is there any way to get a list of all the channels that TW marks as copy one gen?


Unfortunately Fios isn't in my area yet - no idea when or if it will be. I just checked the fios coverage map on dslreports - it shows no one in my area with it but shows people around my area (91325) with it. No clue if those are legit reports or not.


I assume it would be against the rules of the forum for me to ask about circumventing the windows media center drm ?


thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh - and i just checked - att uverse isnt available in my area. I'm begining to think i live in some sort of black hole. I checked the availability map for uverse on dslreports and just like fios there appear to be people all around northridge that have it but no one in northridge itself. Are the streets extra hard in my area and too tough to dig up to lay down lines or something?
 
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