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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > TV & Media

TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old May 30 2010, 03:02 AM   #1
Temis the Vorta
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copy protected TV shows

Has anyone run across TV shows that are copy protected? I haven't encountered this myself, but I've heard that cable channels like Discovery, Travel and Science, that make a lot of money selling DVDs, tend to copy protect shows. (I don't even get the latter two channels and don't often record anything off Discovery.)

Are certain cable/satellite providers more prone to this sort of thing, or does that matter? I've heard that this happens with DirecTV. I used Comcast and haven't had a problem. Thinking of switching to DirecTV or Dish Network, which is why I'm wondering if there's any difference.
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Old May 30 2010, 04:14 AM   #2
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Re: copy protected TV shows

Just get your own independent DVR. The shows themselves aren't copy protected. The companies are telling their hardware not to let you record it.
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Old May 30 2010, 06:41 AM   #3
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Re: copy protected TV shows

I remember a college friend of mine was keen on getting Mythbusters on DVD, but when he saw what they were charging for the first box set he just decided to forget about it.

I've heard these "Discovery Channel" type shows trend toward the ridiculously insane in terms of price.
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Old May 30 2010, 08:21 PM   #4
Temis the Vorta
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Re: copy protected TV shows

Checkmate wrote: View Post
Just get your own independent DVR. The shows themselves aren't copy protected. The companies are telling their hardware not to let you record it.
I do have my own DVR. Not sure if it's independent - probably not. It's been working just fine but now the evil fucktards of Comcast have started blocking whole networks from being copy-able. The broadcast stations - which of course are now digital too - are still copy-able. I believe they have to be, by law? I certainly hope Comcast isn't being given permission to block stations that existed before they ever rose from the primordial muck, so they can profit from things they had no hand in creating.

So the upshot is, if I keep Comcast, I have to use their stupid DVR service to record cable stations like History, Sci Fi, AMC, etc. An independent DVR wouldn't get around Comcast making the stations uncopy-able, would it? Maybe I should dump Comcast get satellite, but couldn't they pull the same shit?

I called Comcast to check into their DVR service and they did mention although all stations are recordable, certain programs might not be, and they didn't have a list. What's the point of getting their DVR service unless you know what you can or can't record?
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Old May 30 2010, 10:15 PM   #5
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Re: copy protected TV shows

Yeah, I've had a few people tell me they can't copy certain TV shows. They can't even pause it because the DVR considers that "copying" (even though it's a strictly temporary form of copying.) If you use the company-provided DVR device those have to respect the "do not copy" flag.
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Old May 30 2010, 10:44 PM   #6
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Re: copy protected TV shows

Which shows are those? Is there any pattern to the show type/channel?
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Old May 30 2010, 10:45 PM   #7
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Re: copy protected TV shows

The only channel I know of for sure is USA, and it's only for certain shows (and I don't have a list handy, sorry.) I do know that it's some of the original shows, not ones they've licensed from other networks.
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Old May 30 2010, 11:03 PM   #8
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Re: copy protected TV shows

I thought it was only stopping shows from being copied to DVD, rather than to the hard drive of your DVR... at least that's the worst I've heard of being used in the UK.
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Old May 30 2010, 11:38 PM   #9
Temis the Vorta
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Re: copy protected TV shows

The only channel I know of for sure is USA,
I don't much care for their style of shows anyway. I sure hope AMC doesn't start doing it, tho.

Bob the Skutter wrote: View Post
I thought it was only stopping shows from being copied to DVD, rather than to the hard drive of your DVR... at least that's the worst I've heard of being used in the UK.
My cable channel here in San Francisco is now blocking most of the basic cable lineup from being recorded, but not the old broadcast stations, which are now digital, or Discovery Channel. (However, my DVR does copy onto DVDs - I use DVD-R's - maybe that's the problem, and if I had a DVR that copies to a hard drive, the problem would vanish?)

Their reason for doing this is transparent: they want to make more money off forcing their customers to subscribe to their DVR service.

However, even their DVR service is subject to copy protected individual shows. Apparently this is out of their control, since it would be in their interest to allow all shows to be recorded via their own DVR service.

I've heard that TiVO has also been hit by copy protected shows, which makes their customers mad and undermines the value of TiVO.
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Old May 30 2010, 11:41 PM   #10
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Re: copy protected TV shows

It's like a VCR. They can't stop independent hardware (ie, one lacking whatever chip or programming they're using) from copying a show. All they can do is tell their hardware, or some standard chip/programming that may be perpetuated through the market, not to record it.

All you need is the right hardware. If this sort of thing becomes mainstay, you can fully expect the independent DVR market to skyrocket.

Oh, and Comcast sucks regardless. You should definitely get another service for that reason alone.
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Old May 31 2010, 08:37 PM   #11
Temis the Vorta
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Re: copy protected TV shows

Interesting, thanks. I'm using a Panasonic DVD recorder now. So was my mistake buying a DVR that I didn't know was independent? Does the Panasonic have something in it that knows when a channel or show is being blocked, and complies with the blocking, but Moxi is set up so that it never complies?

Yes, indeed, Comcast sucks. But I've been skeptical that any other service would suck less. I'm planning to move soon anyway, so I'll go for Dish Network or DirecTV when I get my new setup. Any reason to prefer one over the other?

Edit: Rats, I just read the Moxi FAQ. They don't support satellite services!
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