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HDCP question


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5 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   nokilli

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 12:45 AM

In reading the HDTV Tivo manual that was kindly posted on another thread, I see on Page 79 that all HDCP processing is left for the television to perform. I take it that this means that you can still save programs using HDCP to the hard disk and watch them later, is that correct?

I am thinking about upgrading to HDTV, but I want to be sure I don't end up wasting a lot of money, and HDCP I fear is going to make a lot of people *very* sorry they ever even heard of HDTV. If I understand correctly, you can shell out thousands for the TV, and another thousand for the HD TIVO, and still not be able to watch HD programming if its HDCP-encoded.

And it doesn't appear that the television manufacturers are going to make this easy either. I just came from Sony's website and I can't determine whether or not their models even support HDCP.

Personally, I find this to be really ridiculous. Like every other copy-protection scheme they've come up with, the only people who seem to be adversely affected are those who were willing to pay for content all along. Pirates will always find a way around this stuff (witness how the Apple iTunes Music Store was recently "cracked".) You can't keep people from accessing encrypted content if you simultaneously give them access to the key to that content. It's like a law of nature. I wish people would hurry up and learn this already.

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#2 OFFLINE   dswallow

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 07:55 AM

HDCP is content protection, not copy protection. It is designed to protect the digital signal from interception and unauthorized use or recording, not your ability to watch it on a display device, or on the HD DVR's ability to record since it is an HDCP compliant device itself.

It just protects the uncompressed digital data passed from the HD DVR to the display or another device.

HDMI incorporates HDCP technology, so anything with an HDMI connection implicitly supports HDCP.
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#3 OFFLINE   David_Levin

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 08:11 AM

First note that what your asking has never been activated. So it's hard so say what will be ultimately implemented.

As dswallow said, HDCP is a means to protect digital content to the display device. An HDCP stream over DVI (or HDMI) cannot be recorded. And, as you learned, a TV must have an HDMI or DVI+HDCP ports to display the content.

Now, there is also a means to restrict hard drive recording that is supported by the 921 and TiVo which is separate from HDCP. The Broadcast flags can trigger restrictions on hard drive storage duration. So, for example, a one day pay per view might only stay on your hard drive for 1 day. I believe that it's the broadcast flags that can be used to trigger the HDCP. The duration can be as little as 90 minutes (allowing for DVR bathroom breaks but effectively no storage).

#4 OFFLINE   nokilli

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 06:15 PM

Thanks for the replies. Let me see if I have this right...

I will always be able to record HDCP programming on my TiVO/921, however, my opportunity to play back what has been recorded is limited to a period of time determined by the content provider that is not less than 90 minutes.

The point about they're not having implemented this yet is a good one, but it can be a double-edged sword. As I understand it, the industry as a whole isn't terribly thrilled about the existance of PVR's. It doesn't seem to me to be too outlandish to see them someday constraining *all* content so that it must be viewed within 90 minutes, and if that becomes the case, a good deal of the rationale for purchasing this kind of system becomes invalid. For instance, I tend to keep pretty odd hours, and one of the uses I envision for this unit is to allow me to time-shift programming I would otherwise miss because I'm sleeping (or working.) They have the ability to ruin that for me.

#5 OFFLINE   dswallow

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 11:07 PM

Yes, that's about right; there's also concepts of how amny times something could be recorded for personal use.

But all these things naturally are "worst case scenarios." Imagine the outcry if every pbroadcaster tried to stop any timeshifting or recording completely. We're rather entrenched in it now.

And these broadcast flags really are unrelated to the satellite side; they can already do that sort of thing if they so chose because they use proprietary systems. The broadcast flags are specific to ATSC over-the-air broadcasts only.
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#6 OFFLINE   Peluso

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 06:48 AM

Thanks for the replies. Let me see if I have this right...

I will always be able to record HDCP programming on my TiVO/921, however, my opportunity to play back what has been recorded is limited to a period of time determined by the content provider that is not less than 90 minutes.

The point about they're not having implemented this yet is a good one, but it can be a double-edged sword. As I understand it, the industry as a whole isn't terribly thrilled about the existance of PVR's..... It doesn't seem to me to be too outlandish to see them someday constraining *all* content so that it must be viewed within 90 minutes, and if that becomes the case, a good deal of the rationale for purchasing this kind of system becomes invalid.


Your leaving out one component in your logic. The American consumer. We have gotten used to the functions and featurs of the VCR & now DVR usage is growing exponentially. The American consumer won't stand for the restrictions of 90 minutes or most of the other options available to the content providers. It will sort itself out and probably never be used.




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