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Copy Protection is coming, but don't blame DIRECTV

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Tom Robertson, May 23, 2008.

  1. May 23, 2008 #1 of 268
    Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    All the Pay TV operators are contractually required to start using copy protection technologies in their set top boxes for premium content. I don't know the timeline of the requirements, I don't know which technologies are required in all the outputs, but I do know it is coming.

    Don't blame DIRECTV, Dish, or cable. This is forced upon ALL of them.

    DIRECTV is taking a proactive approach educating users and testing the technologies at install time.

    This thread will be a discussion of those technologies, what they might mean, and I'll try to share what information DIRECTV will be using to educate us and customers.

    The first trial right now is HDCP. There will be other tests coming soon.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  2. May 23, 2008 #2 of 268
    Tom Robertson

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    Background (notes from DIRECTV)
    - What is HDCP? HDCP is a form of copy protection that protects digital video and audio content as it travels across either DVI or HDMI interconnect cables. (see http://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/kb.aspx (choose Category "HDCP - Content Protection") for details.

    - Why is DIRECTV using it? Major movie studios have obligated ALL Pay-TV operators including DIRECTV to incorporate this content protection for PPV and VOD movies. We will see this on all cable and satellite set top boxes very soon.

    - How does it work on DIRECTV HD set-top boxes? If a DIRECTV HD STB is connected using an HDMI or DVI cable to an HDTV or HD monitor that doesn't support HDCP content protection, and the programming tuned requires that HDCP content protection be applied, then the STB will not output the programming and display an On Screen Display (OSD).

    - How does the HDCP OSD read? "This program includes content protection that restricts viewing on the television attached to your DIRECTV receiver’s HDMI connector."

    - Which are the DIRECTV HDCP test channels? HDCP content protection is being applied currently to channels 100, 200, 488 and 500. These are being used by installers today to confirm HDMI/HDCP compatibility between the DIRECTV HD STB and the customer's HDTV.

    - Why is this test being done? DIRECTV wants to ensure that the HDCP implementation works for as many TV makes/models as possible. Information on the combinations that do not work will help minimize the number of customers whose HDMI viewing is disrupted when watching PPV and VOD movies.
     
  3. May 23, 2008 #3 of 268
    Tom Robertson

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    Thread is opened for business. :)
     
  4. May 23, 2008 #4 of 268
    viperlmw

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    I have a Pioneer PDP-424MV, HDMI to DVI adapter out of an HR21-700. When I tune to ch 200 and 488, I get the message in the bottom right corner, over a grey screen.
     
  5. May 23, 2008 #5 of 268
    bwaldron

    bwaldron Impossible Dreamer

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    Tom, is this going to be limited to PPV and VOD?

    This is unsurprising, but bad news to those who have older HD sets with only component connections.
     
  6. May 23, 2008 #6 of 268
    evan_s

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    Argg I hope they don't disable the component outputs on the unit. I already have to use HDMI for my DVD player so I can upscale dvds and I really don't want to have to get an hdmi switch to watch tv in HD.
     
  7. May 23, 2008 #7 of 268
    Radio Enginerd

    Radio Enginerd New Member

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    Thanks for the information Tom.

    This is going to be a rough road ahead for DirecTV, Dish and Cable companies. How does DirecTV start the process? They must receive a list of common TV's/monitors to start with.
     
  8. May 23, 2008 #8 of 268
    Michael D'Angelo

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    I believe it is only going to be for PPV and VOD.

    Component video connections will work fine. It is only when using HDMI or DVI you could have a problem.
     
  9. May 23, 2008 #9 of 268
    vertigo235

    vertigo235 Godfather

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    Sounds like component connections are unaffected, only those with old HDMI connections that dont support HDCP.
     
  10. May 23, 2008 #10 of 268
    Brandon Wedgeworth

    Brandon Wedgeworth Administrator Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Just tested out channel 100 for myself. I saw the message in the bottom right corner for about half a second before the programming appeared. As info, I have a HR20-100 connected via HDMI to a Philips 42PF7421D 42" LCD.
     
  11. May 23, 2008 #11 of 268
    Tom Robertson

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    This will appear wherever the content providers require. PPV and some VOD certainly; some if not all premiums; then who knows who might institute it.

    As far as component only, I hear you loud and clear! I'm entirely in the same situation on my big screen.

    I hope/think there will be some copy protection scheme (like macrovision for S-video/composite) that won't require downrezzing. At least for a few more years so I can get 10 years out of my TV... :(

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  12. May 23, 2008 #12 of 268
    bwaldron

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    Well, that would be fine -- but it is very surprising. I assumed that component connections would get 480-only on protected HD content. I thought one of the main reasons for the protection was to close the analog hole. :confused:
     
  13. May 23, 2008 #13 of 268
    poppo

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    But doesn't that pretty much defeat the purpose of implementing the copy protection (without downrezing)?
     
  14. May 23, 2008 #14 of 268
    kokishin

    kokishin Godfather

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    Silicon...
    HDCP is used to protect copying DIGITAL content only so only HDMI and DVI outs are protected. Reason: one can make an infinite number of perfect copies using HDMI or DVI without HDCP. Component is analog so each serial copy degrades the quality of the original analog signal.

     
  15. May 23, 2008 #15 of 268
    Tom Robertson

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    There will be component and composite copy protections as well. HDCP is built into the HDMI spec and is the first round of testing.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  16. May 23, 2008 #16 of 268
    stim

    stim Legend

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    I thought that the content providers didn't want you to be able to have a perfect digital copy of a program. Since component connections are analog I think they would be excluded... That is probably wishful thinking though and you are probably correct.. :(
     
  17. May 23, 2008 #17 of 268
    gpg

    gpg Well-Known Member

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    I don't get any message, but the programming on 100, 200, 488 and 500 is only SD. What does that mean?
     
  18. May 23, 2008 #18 of 268
    kokishin

    kokishin Godfather

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    Silicon...
    Macrovision??? lord help us.

     
  19. May 23, 2008 #19 of 268
    bwaldron

    bwaldron Impossible Dreamer

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    I hope you are correct, but everything I have read about plans for HDCP specifies that protected HD content will be downrezzed via component connections -- at the option of the provider/studio. We're seeing this with some Blue-Ray discs.

    Once I were to capture the analog signal via a component capture card, I could easily make multiple perfect digital copies from that, with very little quality difference from a completely digital capture path.
     
  20. May 23, 2008 #20 of 268
    Tom Robertson

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    You pass this round. :)

    This is not a downrezzing test, just a pop-up test.
     

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