Grabowy, Chris on 8 Aug 2011 11:28:17 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] EXTERNAL: Re: Comcast going all digital for me

There are means of copying videos from Tivo to a PC.  And I bumped up the storage on each of my Tivos.  A few weekend ago I just bumped my Tivo P to a 2T drive.  So I have plenty of room to hold movies/tv shows until I want to watch them.  The Tivos are spouse proof.  Click the remote button and it just works.  

Anyway, in a separate email I was asking about Steve Brown's configuration:

> I have a number of the Ceton infiniTV 4's with cable cards and 
> they work quite well on Linux. They can't tune PPV or Premium 
> channels, but seem fine for everything we want to watch.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Rich Freeman
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2011 2:12 PM
To: Philadelphia Linux User's Group Discussion List
Subject: Re: [PLUG] EXTERNAL: Re: Comcast going all digital for me

On Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 1:42 PM, Grabowy, Chris <> wrote:
> And so I have two Tivos that use cablecards and knock on wood, have been working really well.  I do not recall having ANY
> problems with the cablecard.  Again, the cable companies are forced to use cablecards in their own cable boxes...

I wouldn't expect a Tivo to have any trouble with Cablecard, just as I
wouldn't expect a TV to have any trouble displaying HDMI with HDCP

Cablecard employs DRM.  That means that people making consumer-grade
hardware get keys to let them operate hassle-free as long as they
ensure their customers don't get hassle-free access to the unencrypted

A tuner card provides unencrypted video to linux software, so in order
to get their keys to interact with the cablecard they need to block
access to anything marked as do-not-copy/etc.  The cable provider gets
to control what flags are applied to what programming.  So, one day it
might work, and another day it might not.

Your Tivo won't be affected, since it is allowed to record anything
(as long as you subscribe to the channel), since the Tivo doesn't give
you any way to extract the video, or if it includes a DVD burner it
will follow the rules of the CableCard spec.  With cablecard, windows,
and brand-name video recording software that advertises CableCard
compatibility, chances are everything will also just work.  With
something like MythTV you're going to be hit-and-miss, and no
guarantees down the road.

This is similar to how DVD players were before CSS was broken.  If you
were running linux, then you couldn't play mainstream DVDs, period.
With cablecard there are levels of access beyond yes/no - like "copy
freely" or "do not copy" - and your access is conditioned on whether
your software was audited and licensed to enforce those rules.

Now, if somebody hacks your card firmware or obtains software keys to
unlock your card, then just as with DeCSS you may be fine.  DRM is
fundamentally broken, but in practice it can be painful to work

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