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Shouldn't copying software be allowed for personal home use?


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55 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   makaiguy

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 07:28 AM

So basically, this was just a simple lack of foresight by whoever wrote the original encryption controls. I'm still convinced it would be an easy oversight to correct. DirecTV pushes software updates all the time. I don't see why this simple change couldn't be included in one of them.


First off, I agree with everyone here that keying the recordings to the account rather than the machine makes perfect sense. Had it been set up this way in the first place, all would be fine. But we all now have a bunch of data that was recorded under the original system. I suspect the fix for this isn't perfectly straight forward, as it has to be implemented without invalidating all our existing recordings.

I have no idea what the data format is, but there is probably a fixed-length field for the receiver ID number. If this field is not large enough for the account ID, then it would not just be a simple matter of recording the account ID number on recordings from now on, and doing a simple OR test to compare the field data with the machine and account IDs.
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#42 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 07:36 AM

Everyone seems to think that the feature they want is just a simple matter of writing some code an pushing it to the boxes. :shrug:

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#43 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 10:12 AM

Everyone seems to think that the feature they want is just a simple matter of writing some code an pushing it to the boxes. :shrug:

Mike


Probably most of the people that think that have absolutely no idea what could be involved in changing the code to accommodate that change.

#44 OFFLINE   rsblaski

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 10:55 AM

Probably most of the people that think that have absolutely no idea what could be involved in changing the code to accommodate that change.


I will most certainly admit to that. But I believe that there have been posts saying that Dish ties recording to the customer account and that external drives can be moved from one dvr to another.
If _Dish_ can do that, I believe that D* could do it if they wanted to. (After all, D* is much better and smarter, IMO, than Dish.)
Remember, when it comes to audio/video, more is always better. (This does NOT apply to remote controls!)

#45 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 12:16 PM

I will most certainly admit to that. But I believe that there have been posts saying that Dish ties recording to the customer account and that external drives can be moved from one dvr to another.
If _Dish_ can do that, I believe that D* could do it if they wanted to. (After all, D* is much better and smarter, IMO, than Dish.)

I don't think anyone is saying that DirecTV can't do it. If they are then they're not correct.

However, it is much more difficult than most people thnk to change what's already been done then it is to start from scratch. That's all I was trying to say. :grin:

Mike

Edited by Mike Bertelson, 20 October 2010 - 12:17 PM.

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Since it costs 2.4¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 4.8¢ worth.  That 4.8¢ is my own and not the 4.8¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#46 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 01:42 PM

I don't think anyone is saying that DirecTV can't do it. If they are then they're not correct.

However, it is much more difficult than most people thnk to change what's already been done then it is to start from scratch. That's all I was trying to say. :grin:

Mike


+1

I could see it happening say in the next generation of dvrs, but it may just not be feasible with the current platform without a total code re-write for the HR series. Was it even possible with the older Direct HDTivo's? I know there was some hacked firmware for some of the older tivo's that could be used to more easily get at the recordings, but thats not really what we're talking about here.

This thread isnt really even titled correctly, we're not talking about copying software here, this is much more akin to being able to copy something like streaming netflix, which if it was possible to do, that delivery system would get overhauled virtually immediately. D* is a digital stream that within their closed system you can receive in your home, and digitally store for shifted viewing or at a much later date...It isnt and has never been meant as a way for anyone to amass huge libraries of material that they can transfer to a different medium or format, which of course would mean someone would try to freely distribute it. This stuff doesnt fall under any reasonable definition of fair use or personal use, no matter how much someone thinks it should.

#47 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 02:27 PM

Well, I have 7 DVRs and 3 of those DVRs Backup the other 4 DVRs in case one Fails.

With MRV I can always access either the Primary Recording or the Designated Backup Recording until I decide that I don't need either the Backup or the Primary.

Very simple operation and it also allow me to have 350 Series Links and 13,000 Gigibytes of Storage Capacity and the Ability to Backup those Recordings I deem necessary to keep and watch later on down the road.

I don't have to spend time offloading material to a DVD and besides you can only record to DVD in 480p so why bother. With MRV it is easily accessible and my 3 DVRs cost me less than $200 thanks to an offer from Directv.

RICH584 does the same thing for Archiving as he has 12 DVRs and 18.5 Terabytes of Storage Capacity so we are pleased with out Archival Process.

Edited by Richierich, 20 October 2010 - 02:33 PM.

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#48 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 10:00 PM

Everyone seems to think that the feature they want is just a simple matter of writing some code an pushing it to the boxes. :shrug:

I would guess that much of the heavy lifting of using files recorded on another DVR had to be done to make WHDS work. It doesn't seem like a huge departure to reseed the decryption hardware with the key from the recording DVR when doing local playback versus WHDS playback.

It might also limit the embarrassment of sending out "refurbished" DVRs with content left on them.

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#49 OFFLINE   sdirv

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 11:02 PM

One example I could think of, and it’s one that gets thrown out pretty regularly when this topic comes up, would be if I wanted to upgrade all my HR21/2/3's to HR24's. If I could copy the existing shows to an external drive, I could then replace all my old DVR without having worry about losing my existing recordings. Hopefully the process would be 2-way, so when I got the new receiver, I could put the shows from the external drive back on the new device.


I've never personally thought of my DVR as a media to store movies I wanted to keep. It's strictly a time shifting device (for me). I started out "life" with a collection of movies on VHS tape, hundreds of movies (better than collecting cats I suppose). Couple years ago I decided to move those movies over to DVD, but the media was so old that the "project" was an utter failure.

Since those early days though, I started "collecting" movies on DVD (some now on Blu-Ray). The use of a DVR and a DVD recorder made that collecting easier, as did getting/copying DVD's in the mail from Netflix. I buy Blu-Rays, but not many....

But then as I started utilizing D*'s VOD and Netflix streaming services a LOT, I started thinking about what I was doing.....I pay for all the premium channels, with DVR service and my DVR hooked up to the internet I've got tons of stuff on VOD.....and now with Netflix I'm streaming just about any title I can think of, and getting the rest on DVD in the mail.....

So...why am I still collecting hard copies of anything. I'm able to watch just about anything I please either instantly or within a couple days.....

I may as well be collecting cats.......

#50 OFFLINE   Mark L

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 02:14 AM

I just go and get the torrents, much simpler

Let the other people do the work.

I got all 4+ seasons of Dexter in HD

Throw that on the external HD, connect that to the Roku, and when they make USB available in November, it'll stream onto the plasma :D

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#51 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:43 AM

The whole copying software/media content issue is a classic "right thing vs legal thing" dilemma. I agree that when you pay for something, what you do with it (barring resale/profit) should be your own personal business.

However...usually in these cases...the lawyers win. :eek2::(
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#52 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 07:52 AM

I would guess that much of the heavy lifting of using files recorded on another DVR had to be done to make WHDS work. It doesn't seem like a huge departure to reseed the decryption hardware with the key from the recording DVR when doing local playback versus WHDS playback.

It might also limit the embarrassment of sending out "refurbished" DVRs with content left on them.

Whole Home DVR Service just means there are more modules/subroutines that need to be addressed if changing the encryption to account number vice RID.

IMO, depending on how Whole Home handles encryption it could make it even more complicated. Unless we know how the firmware is put together neither of us can say for sure either way.

With that said, it's been my experience as both a coder and as an SQA auditor, that it’s usually more complicated than it seems on the surface. Whether or not that applies to this situation I really have no idea.

Mike

Edited by Mike Bertelson, 21 October 2010 - 07:52 AM.

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Since it costs 2.4¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 4.8¢ worth.  That 4.8¢ is my own and not the 4.8¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#53 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 08:18 AM

Whole Home DVR Service just means there are more modules/subroutines that need to be addressed if changing the encryption to account number vice RID.

I can't imagine that using a variety of numbers would be intentionally coded out of the needed modules. That's a SQA time bomb.

IMO, depending on how Whole Home handles encryption it could make it even more complicated. Unless we know how the firmware is put together neither of us can say for sure either way.

No argument from me.

Whether or not that applies to this situation I really have no idea.

Yet you do seem to be bent on the idea that it is more complicated than not. More often than not with software, flexibility has to be expressly coded out.

Replace the RID based encryption seed with an account code upon activation and everybody is happy.

A positive side effect (from DIRECTV's standpoint) would be that nobody could MRV their DVR with one from another account (if even possible now) as they would have incompatible seeds.

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#54 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 08:19 AM

A positive side effect (from DIRECTV's standpoint) would be that nobody could MRV their DVR with one from another account (if even possible now) as they would have incompatible seeds.

That would seem to be the clear base goal.
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#55 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 09:13 AM

I can't imagine that using a variety of numbers would be intentionally coded out of the needed modules. That's a SQA time bomb. No argument from me. Yet you do seem to be bent on the idea that it is more complicated than not. More often than not with software, flexibility has to be expressly coded out.

Replace the RID based encryption seed with an account code upon activation and everybody is happy.

A positive side effect (from DIRECTV's standpoint) would be that nobody could MRV their DVR with one from another account (if even possible now) as they would have incompatible seeds.

I’m not bent on anything in particular. My point is simply that we don’t know how things are coded. We don’t know how the calls are made. We don’t have any idea if there is a single routine that checks the RID that sets a flag. If that’s the case then it’s a pretty simple change; no denying that.

However, there are those that are “bent” on saying it is a very simple thing to implement and DirecTV should just do it. I’m playing devil’s advocate by pointing out that it may not be as easy as code it and go. All we have to go on is that it has not yet been implemented. To me this can only mean three things; it’s still in the works and is coming, it is too complicated to change the current firmware, or they don’t want to implement it. The last two are killers and we don’t know if the first is even being considered. This is all we “know”, which ain’t much.

Would it make a difference if the RID is hard coded on the system board and account number is on the access card? I have no idea but it’s certainly another thing to consider. :grin:

Is it possible that how things are currently encrypted might be described in some carriage contracts? What impact could that have on making changes?

I’m just pointing a larger picture for the purposes of discussion and not stating it is a certain way...it's just a discussion. I’m just sayin’ :grin:

However, I do have to disagree with you on one point. Flexibility usually has to be coded into the firmware. It's very easy to code something that serves a particular purpose but doesn't play well with changes down the road. Keeping everything flexible doesn’t just happen as a matter of course. It takes diligence.

Mike

Edited by Mike Bertelson, 21 October 2010 - 09:18 AM.

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Since it costs 2.4¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 4.8¢ worth.  That 4.8¢ is my own and not the 4.8¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#56 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 04:38 PM

That would seem to be the clear base goal.


+1. I agree.
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