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922 HDCP enforcement on HBO & Cinemax & possible solution


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#1 OFFLINE   JimD

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 11:48 AM

I noticed that my new 922 would not allow me to watch HBO or Cinemax in the evenings (maybe during the daytime too - but I don't recall if I ever tried). It would allow me to record shows on these channels - and watch them later, but it would not allow me to watch them live! How weird is that?

If I attempted to watch one of them live, a box (098?) would pop up that said something to the effect that the receiver has detected that the TV does not support HDCP, and the content requires this - so I am being disallowed access.

My 722 never did this, and it had been connected to this same TV (a Samsung HLT-6189s - which is HDCP compliant) over a period of 2 or 3 years, so it seems this is unique 922 behavior. That or it is new HBO / Cinemax behavior.

Anyway - if anyone else is seeing this same issue I may have a solution for you. I found the cause (in my case) was that the cable between the TV and the 922 was a DVI-HDMI cable with a HDMI-DVI adapter on the DVI end. So the ends were both HDMI but it wasn't really an HDMI cable.

Replacing the cable with an actual HDMI-HDMI cable solved this problem for me. Most of you will probably say "duh", but I forgot that this weird cable was in there when Dish installed my 922. The Dish installer did not consider it.

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#2 OFFLINE   brucegrr

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 02:02 PM

When these moments happen to me I say to myself "BRILLIANT!" :)

We have a lot of cables these days. It is easy to forget.

#3 OFFLINE   JimD

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 07:01 PM

Update. I was wrong! Tonight, same issue! Unplugging and re-plugging the HDMI cable at one end resolved it this time.
This is not good. I will need to contact support again. Anyone else seeing this problem?

#4 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 08:23 PM

I haven't... but I thought I remembered reading somewhere that some of the HBO channels might start enforcing HDCP... so it could be we are finally seeing that implementation, and then finding some Dish receiver/HDTV incompatibilities coming to the surface.

Just a guess, since I haven't seen this myself... but IF true, I'm sure Dish would be on top of it as people report the issue if it is repeatable.

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#5 OFFLINE   MattG@DISH Network

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 10:19 PM

I haven't... but I thought I remembered reading somewhere that some of the HBO channels might start enforcing HDCP... so it could be we are finally seeing that implementation, and then finding some Dish receiver/HDTV incompatibilities coming to the surface.

Just a guess, since I haven't seen this myself... but IF true, I'm sure Dish would be on top of it as people report the issue if it is repeatable.


It is known that HBO and Cinemax recently added HDCP to all of their channels. If the TV/receiver shows the HDCP message, the fix is to use component cables instead of HDMI (may need a reset after, the HDMI needs to be completely disconnected)

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#6 OFFLINE   Bill R

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 09:38 AM

It is known that HBO and Cinemax recently added HDCP to all of their channels. If the TV/receiver shows the HDCP message, the fix is to use component cables instead of HDMI (may need a reset after, the HDMI needs to be completely disconnected)


That isn't a fix. It is a work-around that will result in a poorer picture (HDMI vs. component) for the subscriber. The REAL fix is for Dish (and other providers) to tell the HBO's of the world that this is unacceptable to customers. If the providers don't support us (complain to HBO) THEY are going to be the big losers. People will not subscribe to channels that they can not watch the way (FULL HD via HDMI) the way they want.
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#7 OFFLINE   umbertob

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 10:11 AM

It is known that HBO and Cinemax recently added HDCP to all of their channels. If the TV/receiver shows the HDCP message, the fix is to use component cables instead of HDMI (may need a reset after, the HDMI needs to be completely disconnected)


Somewhat related: Last night I connected the component video out from my 922 (with an optical audio cable) directly to my AVR, and the HDMI out to my Logitech Revue /. GoogleTV, and from the Revue to another HDMI input on the receiver. I expected both HDMI and component to work together, but it doesn't seem like they do. HDMI works fine through the Revue, but when I switch the receiver to the "direct" component input from the 922 I can't switch channels, the guide comes up but freezes, etc. Eventually the screen goes blank and the only way I can get the 922 back is to switch to the HDMI input of the Revue, and back to the component input. Why is that? Has this always been the case or is this the result of this HDCP thingie? I looked up older posts on this forum and I was under the impression you could output HD video from both HDMI and component outputs of the 922 concurrently.

PS: The reason I am doing this is because the Logitech Revue, which I otherwise like, does not pass through Dolby Digital audio to my receiver. So, I wanted another input on my AVR to come directly from the 922 to enjoy DD encoded programs, without the Revue getting in the way. Since the 922 only has one HDMI out and the Revue only accepts HDMI as an input, I used component.

#8 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 10:45 AM

That isn't a fix. It is a work-around that will result in a poorer picture (HDMI vs. component) for the subscriber. The REAL fix is for Dish (and other providers) to tell the HBO's of the world that this is unacceptable to customers. If the providers don't support us (complain to HBO) THEY are going to be the big losers. People will not subscribe to channels that they can not watch the way (FULL HD via HDMI) the way they want.


It's not a poorer picture with component...1080i is 1080i. Your "FULL HD" comment doesn't apply, either. This isn't BluRays where you need HDMI for 1080p material. HBO (and all other channels) are sending 1080i max, which component can fully handle.

But if you're talking about a DVR or set-top box, the only advantage HDMI gives you is convenience--because one moderately thin cable carries both sound and picture, you don't have to mess with as many plugs. I'm not saying that convenience isn't important, I'm just pointing out that if there's a practical reason not to use HDMI, you don't have to worry about it.

A Component Video connection--which is comprised of three color-coded RCA jacks--is perfectly capable of transmitting 720p and 1080i video streams. That's all you're going to get from broadcast, cable, or satellite sources, anyway.

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#9 OFFLINE   umbertob

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 12:42 PM

More on topic, I also started seeing that "TV is not compatible with HDCP" pop-up message since yesterday when tuning to certain channels (HBO for sure, but I could swear the error popped up even when I tuned to a local channel here in L.A.) If it helps Dish troubleshooting the issue - I'm assuming it may be hardware related, or is it unsuitable HDMI cables I am using? - my equipment is 922 > Logitech Revue > Denon AVR-A100 > Panasonic P65GT30 plasma. Rebooting the 922 or disconnecting and reconnecting one of the HDMI cable usually works to eliminate the pop-up, but only for a while.

#10 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 01:22 PM

I would try a right HDMI splitter ( what is support HDCP): 1 to 3 or to 4 outputs.
Or eliminate all those 'middleman' and connect HDMI cable from 922 to your TV.
Need to avoid delays in HDCP negotiation process, what is usual cause for the messages.

#11 OFFLINE   umbertob

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 02:46 PM

I would try a right HDMI splitter ( what is support HDCP): 1 to 3 or to 4 outputs.
Or eliminate all those 'middleman' and connect HDMI cable from 922 to your TV.
Need to avoid delays in HDCP negotiation process, what is usual cause for the messages.


Thanks, makes sense. I tried looking for such a 1-input to 2+ outputs HDMI splitter before, couldn't find one. Any links?

PS: Never mind. I'll give this one a shot and see: http://www.amazon.co...y/dp/B0015YRMXI

Edited by umbertob, 06 October 2011 - 04:09 PM.


#12 OFFLINE   gtal98

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 05:02 PM

PS: The reason I am doing this is because the Logitech Revue, which I otherwise like, does not pass through Dolby Digital audio to my receiver. So, I wanted another input on my AVR to come directly from the 922 to enjoy DD encoded programs, without the Revue getting in the way. Since the 922 only has one HDMI out and the Revue only accepts HDMI as an input, I used component.


I'm not sure on your AVR, but mine will allow me to assign the video from and HDMI and the audio from an optical port, so you could still use the HDMI for video and get the DD from the optical - might be worth looking into.

Also, HDCP issues aren't necessarily Dish's problem - they could be real HDCP issues (old TV, incompatible cables, etc.). Now if everyone with a 922 suddenly has the problem then it's a Dish issue, otherwise I'm going to guess the occasional problem is specific to the users setup. Dish has to enforce HDCP if requested by the content provider.

#13 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:43 PM

It's not a poorer picture with component...1080i is 1080i. Your "FULL HD" comment doesn't apply, either. This isn't BluRays where you need HDMI for 1080p material. HBO (and all other channels) are sending 1080i max, which component can fully handle.


While what you say is mostly true for a channel like HBO... Dish does have some 1080p PPV content that he would no longer be able to view over component in the intended display method.

Also... the "other shoe" has yet to drop... remember that one of the things that also can be done via HDCP is prevent 1080i or even 720p content from being displayed over component. This is in the spec, the "downconvert flag"... and everyone agreed to push off enforcing this until, I think, 2013... but we could be inching closer to the day when you'll only be able to view HBOHD in HD over HDMI, and not component...

So this workaround has current and potential future ramifications if Dish isn't able to get a handle on it.

Also, HDCP issues aren't necessarily Dish's problem - they could be real HDCP issues (old TV, incompatible cables, etc.). Now if everyone with a 922 suddenly has the problem then it's a Dish issue, otherwise I'm going to guess the occasional problem is specific to the users setup. Dish has to enforce HDCP if requested by the content provider.


True... the HDMI (and HDCP) specs have some holes in them, and there have been lots of device-to-device negotiation/handshake issues... so it could be his HDTV that isn't properly compatible rather than his Dish receiver or A/V receiver... but Dish kind of gets stuck having to issue firmware fixes sometimes for these incompatibilities too even if it is the HDTV at fault.

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#14 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:49 PM

so it could be his HDTV that isn't properly compatible rather than his Dish receiver or A/V receiver

For HDTV what is start selling this [2011] year ? You stretched too far ...

#15 OFFLINE   JimD

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:31 PM

Happens every night now. Power cycling the TV via the remote makes no difference. I don't yet know if removing AC power makes any difference.
I have to UNPLUG the HDMI cable and then plug it back in. That fixes the problem every time. So, the 922 figures out that the TV IS fully HDCP compliant when the connection is made. WHY DOES IT FORGET THIS?

For those suggesting that the TV is at fault - come on, folks. What's more likely: My Samsung HLT6189S is not really fully compliant with HDCP - or the VIP 922 has a firmware bug?

Sanyo must manufacture tens or hundreds of thousands of HDCP compliant devices. How many 922s are there?

#16 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:11 PM

Big secret - dish will not reveal that, only in a court if TiVo will go after the model.

#17 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 03:04 AM

For HDTV what is start selling this [2011] year ? You stretched too far ...


That's difficult to say. Since actual enforcement of HDCP is new, it can uncover new bugs in receivers, Blu-ray players, HDTVs, etc. that they might not have been able to test previously.

Think about it... a 2011 released HDTV was being designed/tested/manufactured a year or two ago... and this being a recent change at HBO/Cinemax means they couldn't have tested this last year.

I have to UNPLUG the HDMI cable and then plug it back in. That fixes the problem every time. So, the 922 figures out that the TV IS fully HDCP compliant when the connection is made. WHY DOES IT FORGET THIS?


I would agree with you if we knew that was what is happening... but without knowing for sure what is happening, it is also possible that the HDTV is dropping something on the handshake too.

I honestly don't know how the average consumer would be able to reliably diagnose an HDCP failure as coming from the receiver vs the HDTV without some diagnostic equipment.

For those suggesting that the TV is at fault - come on, folks. What's more likely: My Samsung HLT6189S is not really fully compliant with HDCP - or the VIP 922 has a firmware bug?


Honestly... given the weirdness of HDMI and HDCP... at this point I'd have to say it is about 50/50. Until HBO started using HDCP you probably didn't have anything else connected to your HDTV that was using it in this manner... so you might not have a way of knowing if your HDTV is the culprit.

I grant you, though, that it is equally likely that the 922 receiver is at fault, for exactly the same reason... Until HBO turned this on, Dish couldn't have tested their 922 with all possible HDTVs to see what happens.

Sanyo must manufacture tens or hundreds of thousands of HDCP compliant devices. How many 922s are there?


Again, the problem is that I don't think Samsung (I assume you typoed "Sanyo" there) would have had a reliable way of testing with HBO's HDCP until HBO recently started using it... so neither Dish nor Samsung may have been able to 100% verify their implementation was compatible.

This is why Dish wants to know the make/model of HDTVs experiencing this problem so they can see if they can duplicate the problem and talk with HDTV manufacturers to see what to do IF Dish needs to fix this OR to help the HDTV manufacturers fix it if that is the need.

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#18 OFFLINE   JimD

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 06:01 AM

Again, the problem is that I don't think Samsung (I assume you typoed "Sanyo" there) would have had a reliable way of testing with HBO's HDCP until HBO recently started using it... so neither Dish nor Samsung may have been able to 100% verify their implementation was compatible.

This is why Dish wants to know the make/model of HDTVs experiencing this problem so they can see if they can duplicate the problem and talk with HDTV manufacturers to see what to do IF Dish needs to fix this OR to help the HDTV manufacturers fix it if that is the need.


DOH! Yes, I meant Samsung. What on earth made me type Sanyo? I blame iPad's auto-correct. :-). Still, I imagine that Samsung has more opportunity to test this functionality worldwide than DISH does.

#19 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 09:10 AM

If you look to the issue from technical standpoint we will definitely blame the 922's FW:
- only model 922 behave like that
- after restart it's doing OK with the same TV

Also, there are more stat about HDCP attempts/failures, JimD if you could make snapshots of those HDMI stats before and after the message.

#20 OFFLINE   JimD

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 08:08 PM

If you look to the issue from technical standpoint we will definitely blame the 922's FW:
- only model 922 behave like that
- after restart it's doing OK with the same TV

Also, there are more stat about HDCP attempts/failures, JimD if you could make snapshots of those HDMI stats before and after the message.


Funny you should say that. I thought about trying a diagnostic, and noticed under menu/settings/HDMI/HDCP there were a number of values displayed. Here is what they looked like before (failing case) and after (working case):

Before unplug/replug cable :

HDCP APP STATE
hdcp_state : AUTH PENDING
hdcp_enforce : 0
hdcp_enable : 1
hdmi_connected : 1
attempts/successes : 41/1
surprise successes : 1

After unplug/replug cable :

HDCP APP STATE
hdcp_state : ENCRYPTED
hdcp_enforce : 0
hdcp_enable : 1
hdmi_connected : 1
attempts/successes : 43/2
surprise successes : 1

Tomorrow I will check this in the morning. I suspect it is the nightly reset/reboot that makes the 922 "forget" the state of things.




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