AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
908 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there any word on when fire wire will be fixed on the Comcast DVR's or is it working in some areas of the country? Not working in the bay area of N. California. That is assuming they are even trying to fix it. Don't know that it will do anything to move this on but I filed a complaint with the FCC.



Steve
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,531 Posts
Does your JVC D-VHS VCR not work with your Comcast DVR or Firewire TV?


Cable companies are under no obligation to make Firewire work with computers. In fact, the Firewire on the Motorola DVRs isn't supposed to work with PCs on encrypted cable channels and/or other channels marked with the broadcast flag. That's intended.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
826 Posts
OP is referring to the problem described in this thread .


Supposedly there is a firmware fix but Comcast hasn't sent out a firmware update for these now long-in-the-tooth Moto boxes for a long time now. I'm sure fixing this problem for the miniscule number of users who care isn't a priority for them.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
908 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/16851513


Does your JVC D-VHS VCR not work with your Comcast DVR or Firewire TV?


Cable companies are under no obligation to make Firewire work with computers. In fact, the Firewire on the Motorola DVRs isn't supposed to work with PCs on encrypted cable channels and/or other channels marked with the broadcast flag. That's intended.

It did in the past, work with computers (except flagged programing). As to the VCR I don't know but I will find out. As far as the FCC mandate I don't think it says what devices will or will not work, it just states they have to provide a working firewire and it appears they are not doing that, so it is very possible in the future it will only work with digital VCR ...but then there are none at this point, unless you own one from when you could buy them. I'm not aware of any new digital VCR's since the JVC HM-DH40000U, may be wrong on that one.


hondo21, shouldn't matter if there are only two of us out here, it's a FCC mandate, if that REALLY means a hill of beans.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundance /forum/post/16853095


...but then there are none at this point, unless you own one from when you could buy them. I'm not aware of any new digital VCR's since the JVC HM-DH40000U, may be wrong on that one.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._VHS_HDTV.html - I bought mine from B&H about three weeks ago. If tapes weren't reasonably expensive I'd chuck out my entire firewire-based HTPC recording system. The D-VHS is rock solid and just works, as long as my cableco (Charter) isn't being completely useless and misaligning their TVRO dishes or using jenky encoders, so HDNet/HDNet Movies and TNT are nigh on unwatchable with audio dropouts and freezes.


The 40K isn't actually the latest model, either. I think that's the DT100 (or whatever it was called), or another model. Reportedly much more stable, ran cooler, had a built-in ATSC tuner, and a much more reliable tape transport mechanism. Alas, it was produced in significantly smaller numbers and cost more, so they still command ~$800+ or so on the used market.


As far as 'it shouldn't just work with these', well, you're absolutely right. It is completely ridiculous that one has to be locked into a proprietary system, with nearly proprietary media, which is mostly discontinued, and latched down with onerous copy protection. There is, however, nothing we can do, because we as a society didn't call the bluff of the media industry.


Pray that Matsushita or JVC (It certainly won't be Sony, who sold their soul and stopped producing useful consumer electronics at around the turn of the century) comes out with a home theater Blu Ray recorder component sometime between now and when JVC stops making D-VHS tapes. If they don't, there will be no justification to keep the firewire interface, even with 5C, cable systems will probably begin to move completely SDV and MPEG-4, satellite receivers will be locked down and continue to be immune from FCC rules, and the analog hole will probably be plugged. At that point there will be absolutely no way to record HDTV other than OTA and Clear QAM.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/16851513


Cable companies are under no obligation to make Firewire work with computers. In fact, the Firewire on the Motorola DVRs isn't supposed to work with PCs on encrypted cable channels and/or other channels marked with the broadcast flag. That's intended.

Computers are not specifically disallowed or unsupported for FCC's mandated cable box firewire I/O ports.


In fact if a reputable company wanted to write some PC software combined with a DTCP/5C compliant firewire port on a PC they could create a PC based PVR that is fully capable of recording cable content digitally and in high definition.


Without DTCP/5C compliance a PC can only record unprotected content. You are correct that cable companies are under no obligation to debug PC issues, but they are required to provide FCC compliant firewire ports on the cable boxes if a consumer requests one.


A buddy of mine worked with Intel on DTCP/5C and we looked into what it would take to create a 5C compliant firewire PVR using a PC. Other than the licensing costs, strict digital key protection requirements and protected video pipeline requirements it is perfectly doable. Microsoft already has their DRM (WMDRM) certified for IEEE1394-DTCP to WMDRM hand-off and vice versa, plus Vista's protected video pipeline is also considered compliant. Microsoft already is licensed "large adopter" of DTLA's DTCP (I forget the proper term - there are different membership levels), so their licensing costs would only be pennies per software package/device. If they wanted to they could easily add firewire support to Media Center.


We also looked into developing a firewire compliant PBDA driver and/or a DTCP compliant hardware firewire card that could be used with Media Center. It was the licensing (adopter) and certification costs that held us back.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,101 Posts
So why hasn't Microsoft added firewire support to Media Center? I think the answer is pretty simple here, Cablecard was supposed to be the answer. I don't understand why someone would want to rent an STB for firewire recordings when (on most systems) you can just get Cablecards for a PC or DVR.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,819 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit /forum/post/16854256


So why hasn't Microsoft added firewire support to Media Center? I think the answer is pretty simple here, Cablecard was supposed to be the answer. I don't understand why someone would want to rent an STB for firewire recordings when (on most systems) you can just get Cablecards for a PC or DVR.

Because with a box with working firewire, you can dump HD recordings in native resolution and create a bit for bit copy. Cablecards for a PC have other copyright protection/DRM restrictions. Not so with using firewire output from an HD box. You just get a raw, DRM free MPEG2 file. Hooking up to a PC allows you to archive HD. You simply cannot archive with the paltry 160GB hard drive on the Motorola DVR boxes.


TiVO HD is the next best solution(since you can transfer shows to your PC over a network), but you still have to pay a monthly fee and with the upfront cost, the break even point is not for about 3 years.


I talked to some gal at corporate about this, she told me this updated firmware would fix the issue, but she also said it was due to be pushed out in March. Still waiting.... It's pretty obvious that firmware updates to the 3416 just aren't top priority for Comcast right now.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
893 Posts
ak3883: If Microsoft did go through with adding firewire support to media center and making it DTCP compliant, they would encrypt the content just like they do now with cablecard machines so it'd be the same outcome either way.


The only difference I can think of is that, for the most part, cable STBs are meant to work as close to 100% as possible considering they are leased to a lot of joe schmoe tech illiterate consumers. So theoretically you'd get the reliability from the tuners there when cablecard PC's still run into issues here and there that the cableco's balk on supporting.


(Edit: I should also add the most obvious point: SDV support. Even though the tuning resolvers should be dead easy to support on cablecard PC's, I haven't seen anything yet from MS or the tuning resolver people)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak3883 /forum/post/16855824


Because with a box with working firewire, you can dump HD recordings in native resolution and create a bit for bit copy. Cablecards for a PC have other copyright protection/DRM restrictions. Not so with using firewire output from an HD box. You just get a raw, DRM free MPEG2 file. Hooking up to a PC allows you to archive HD. You simply cannot archive with the paltry 160GB hard drive on the Motorola DVR boxes.

No, Firewire/5C (IEEE1394-DTCP) is digital encryption and the content is also flagged with the same sort of "rules" that CableCard has. In order to time shift "time shiftable protected content", it must always be protected from unauthorized copying - just like CableCard (as Vchat20 said).


If Microsoft was to add support for IEEE1394-DTCP your Media Center PC would behave exactly the same way a CableCard system does. The only difference is an STB would do all of the CableCard interaction, including switched digital video support, and Media Center would simply control the STB (over Firewire), powering it on/off and changing channels.


One advantage to using IEEE1394-DTCP instead of CableCard for Media Center is there would not be any trouble receiving switched digital video content. As long as your STB supported whatever your cable company was using, Media Center would be able to access "time shiftable" content.


The problem for Microsoft in supporting IEEE1394-DTCP is they would be in direct competition with themselves and their CableCard solution. Personally I think it would still be a wise move for Microsoft to add support IEEE1394-DTCP largely due to the SDV disaster. I doubt they ever will though.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
If the 5C DTCP ASICs add a few bucks to the cost of an HTPC motherboard, they won't do it. And if it's possible to emulate it in software, they wouldn't do it, because hackers would be all over that device driver in 20 minutes.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwer /forum/post/16860805


If the 5C DTCP ASICs add a few bucks to the cost of an HTPC motherboard, they won't do it. And if it's possible to emulate it in software, they wouldn't do it, because hackers would be all over that device driver in 20 minutes.

I'm not saying there necessarily is, but if there was a profitable market for digital HD content capable motherboards using Firewire, manufacturers wouldn't think twice about adding a couple of bucks in cost so they could charge $50+ more for these motherboards. To say manufacturers won't do anything if it costs a few bucks is silly. If that was the mentality motherboards wouldn't have extra cost PCI and PCIe slots, SATA controllers, on-board audio, etc., etc. It is the market that ultimately drives product features.


As far as software DRM goes, hackers can crack anything if they put enough effort into it - but they have to first believe it is worth cracking. If software content protection is always instantly attacked and cracked by hackers, why hasn't Microsoft's software DRM been completely hacked?


DTCP done though software would definitely require complex key hiding techniques (to comply with requirements), but unless it was easy to crack it would be far less likely to be targeted than the very software based Microsoft DRM. Hackers would love to be able to completely crack DRM and I'm sure a lot of effort will always be applied to this particular target. Crack DRM and this also provide access to the same recorded TV as well as everything else protected by DRM.


The same goes for DTCP itself. I am not aware of any successful cracks for IEEE1394-DTCP, nor any of the other applications for DTCP (USB, LAN, etc.). Software could be used to crack it and it hasn't been cracked yet.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Some features and interfaces are generic. Not having them means you won't sell any product. For motherboard manufacturers, like the manufacturers of anything, their criteria is the highest profit margin possible. All basic features, reasonable operating performance, and an affordable support lifetime are required or they won't sell anything. Going too low-end, as with going too high-end, will severely limit your market. Which is why there hasn't been an effort to create a 'working' IEEE1394-DTCP implementation on HTPCs. The licensing fees for IEEE1394-DTCP and the DRM associated with it have successfully kept the interface useless for PCs.


No system is completely secure. People will try to exploit anything and everything, for no reason at all other than to spend some time. Breaking something open that lets you access useful features or content will have more effort put behind it, but still. The fact that nobody's successfully (publicly, at least) demonstrated any substantial exploits for DTCP doesn't necessarily say that DTCP is amazing, just that the right effort hasn't been applied. I didn't say instantly.



Of course, side channel attacks are always easier to do, which was my overall point. It'd probably be easier to break Microsoft's DRM than it would be to break DTCP. Which is why I'm guessing that the powers that be with DTCP don't particularly want to authorize a device, and have to revoke its keys in six months.


This is getting slightly off-topic, but it does point to the right direction overall: there is a dearth of DTCP-compatible equipment. If it doesn't get filled reasonably soon it will be used as an excuse to kill the interface and remove any ability to make digital copies of HDTV content within the fair use rights guaranteed by copyright law. No, DVRs don't count. Temporary copies locked on encrypted hard drives inside proprietary devices (often with provider restrictions) with no provision for reasonable backup is a piss-poor excuse.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwer /forum/post/16863533


Which is why I'm guessing that the powers that be with DTCP don't particularly want to authorize a device, and have to revoke its keys in six months.

Based on the DTCP overview pdf file I linked to above and everything else I've read, it appears that the DTLA (DTCP licensing body) would actually be very interested in authorizing PCs to use IEEE1394-DTCP. Every DTCP document I have read (most written by Intel) discuss how DTCP will bring premium digital HD content into PCs, starting with DTCP over Firewire and then DTCP over the local LAN and over USB to transfer and share content.


Why DTCP was never really put to use in a PC will probably always be a bit of a mystery. It was designed for PC use and advertised for PC use - but this never happened for some reason. The licensing costs are not that bad for a corporation to handle. The fees are too much for an individual such as you or I to develop a DTCP compliant system, but $10,000 to $20,000 plus a couple of pennies per device sold wouldn't be a problem for a larger company. Is $10,000-$20,000 too much for Sage, Cyberlink, Intel or ATI to consider? Perhaps it is. (noting that the fee provides the right to use DTCP everywhere it is supported, not just over Firewire - so this would support local networking and moving content to portable devices)


In reality Intel actually did at least partially include DTCP support with ViiV compliant motherboards and PCs. My understanding was Intel intended to support Firewire with DTCP but ViiV died before it really started. ViiV did (or does) support DTCP over LAN though.


The problem might be that competing options in general look better - at least in theory. CableCard for example gets rid of the STB and in theory provides a more user friendly solution compared to DTCP. If someone was to choose between CableCard and Firewire, they would probably go with CableCard.


On the other hand, for a company like Sage TV to go with CableCard would take a fair bit of work. For Sage to support Firewire with DTCP for HD content, as long as they leverage Vista's existing protected video path and Microsoft DRM protection for file storage (using a DVR-MS or WTV container) it wouldn't be too difficult to implement.


Perhaps the problem is companies like Sage fundamentally refuse to support DRM and the behemoth Microsoft is only interested in what they feel is "the best" solution for HD (CableCard).
 

· Registered
Joined
·
908 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv /forum/post/16851513


Does your JVC D-VHS VCR not work with your Comcast DVR or Firewire TV?


Haaa! Sunny Beach, it does. My JVC 40k records cable via FW. Haven't had it out and tried in a year, just assumed (daaaa!!) it wouldn't work if the computer didn't. My Mac sees the JVC 40k so I am hoping I can capture from the 40k, a Bass akwards way to do it but no other choice.



Thanks
 

· Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundance /forum/post/16864942


Haaa! Sunny Beach, it does. My JVC 40k records cable via FW. Haven't had it out and tried in a year, just assumed (daaaa!!) it wouldn't work if the computer didn't. My Mac sees the JVC 40k so I am hoping I can capture from the 40k, a Bass akwards way to do it but no other choice.



Thanks

It's a pity the 40k's AV/C Tuner device can't stream directly from the STB to the computer, eh?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,531 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundance /forum/post/16864942


Haaa! Sunny Beach, it does. My JVC 40k records cable via FW. Haven't had it out and tried in a year, just assumed (daaaa!!) it wouldn't work if the computer didn't. My Mac sees the JVC 40k so I am hoping I can capture from the 40k, a Bass akwards way to do it but no other choice.

That's what I thought.



It appears there are interoperability issues with available PC/Mac Firewire drivers that don't impact the JVC D-VHS VCRs or even the Firewire-enabled TVs (all of which support 5C).
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top