An update on DRM support

In my market, Las Vegas, Cox currently has many channels without DRM thankfully, but seems to randomly add DRM to existing channels whenever they “touch” them, so while I still use Channels, several of my girlfriend’s favorite channels have disappeared like MTV, WGN, Lifetime, as have all of the premium channels which used to work. And in many cases, they leave the SD channel unencrypted, but DRM the HD version. Every few weeks I scan through the Channels app, and one to five or more channels have got DRM on them and I have to hide them. Eventually, I expect I won’t be able to use Channels at all.

When I first discovered Channels, I bought my mother an Apple TV and HDHR Prime, ordered an m-card from her provider, but found that every single channel, except local was DRMed, which was heart breaking.

Since Channels has been mum about it, I’ve been looking at SiliconDust, but they seem to be struggling to get DRM working across the board. And “native” TV streaming apps from each network work, but every app behaves differently, don’t allow fast forward through commercials and are generally vastly inferior to Channels.

I have no idea if all cable companies will go the way of Spectrum and Cox, but if so, Channels, without DRM, is going to be an OTA niche. So, we’re forced to stick with cable company DVRs, which is of course what cable companies want.

Well, DRM wouldn’t exist if there weren’t people willing to pay for it. Personally, I vote with my wallet. The OTA niche is pretty big, somewhere around 25 million households just in the US. And even bigger in other countries.


Channels, it is sad that there is no interest in addressing the DRM problem. get it fixed and you will have many more customers. pretty annoying.

Precisely my view.

Excerpt from 50 Years of the Video Cassette Recorder

Now, with DRM, the studios are accomplishing via the “back door” what they could not going through the front: DRM’ing everything and making the entry barrier so high that only fellow big-media companies can overcome it.

Another reason to not pay for subscription TV, in my view. And if they eventually do that to OTA then I guess I’ll just stop recording it. Which means I’ll watch less TV. shrug I’ll probably go back to reading more books, at that point. Which will be better for my brain, anyway :slight_smile:

Does anyone know how it works with Google’s own Live Channels app since they’re using HD Home Run as the tuner? Is that something Channels could implement?

Channels doesn’t have the requisite (extremely high) financial standing to be able to pass certification for DRM. AFAIK, this would be a totally unreachable goal for Channels now or in the foreseeable future.

I’m one of those users caught in the middle. Some (many) are abandoning cable co reliance…especially with the latest HDHR Premium TV offering. As my HOA provides cable TV programming (paid with quarterly dues…no opportunity to opt out), all of the channels offered on newly Premium TV channels are already included…adding Premium TV would only be a duplication at a doubled cost for us.

My DRM channels (~39) are offered as a $10 add-on (Starz, MGM, Encore, Flix, etc.). We do utilize these channels + the also included Smithsonian (non DRM) for approx 80% of our viewing. No way to add on demand for same as Comcast denies us this capability. Hence we have to use SDDVR for real time viewing…while patiently (not) :rage: waiting for SD DRM recording capability (3 years).

Suggest others, those not handicapped as we are, to explore other possibilities as SD is still not answering inquries re: DRM recording. Personally, I am beginning to believe that this effort by SD will finally fail, although I keep on checking and beating my head against the wall.

They sure have put a lot of work into it to have it fail :frowning:

Personally, as an ex-software developer, myself, and having been in the tech industry since the days of glow bottles, my feeling is DRM is a pox on consumers. It’s a moving target, appears rigged to keep the little guy out and is very bad for consumers.

If our Legislators weren’t in bed with Hollywood and the music industry it’d probably be outlawed for its degree of consumer-unfriendliness.

And I fear you may be right, Debbie: It may well be SD’s effort was doomed from the start.

Agreed. I was a Shareware author and one of our biggest credos was to trust the user and not play DRM games. That is what this is – I feel they expect to be able to suck the user dry with repeated fees for the same content.

6 posts were split to a new topic: Trying out Channels DVR (QAM)

AFAIK Windows Media Center is the only client that could play and record QAM DRM content. It was encrypted as it was received so that it could only play on that particular WMC PC. It could not be edited, transcoded, or transferred to a different PC. Extenders couldn't receive a stream of it. Instead they used remote desktop, effective for screen sharing and remote control but very inefficient for gaming and video. Can Channels somehow overcome these limitations?

The New TVE bypasses the DRM problem for the most part. Of course only for OTA and Cable Channels that support TVE.

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On, Isaw the following:
DRM content viewing for MacOS and TVOS coming soon.

Can this help out with DRM support?

That's only for SiliconDust's apps and DVR, nothing else.

I wonder how they're going to handle tvOS DRM, since they don't even have a tvOS app yet. They require you to use AirPlay from iOS.

Also, their switch to their "New UI" is a cluster*. The UI is served from a web server, and while they've now made it the default it is still in a beta-state.

The Link still says tvOS is AirPlay.

I have cable with Spectrum with a tuning adapter and cable card for my Tivo Bolt. The cable card is always dropping channels forcing me to reboot the tuning adapter and TiVo Bolt. I'm paying for all of these channels but I still cannot use all of them via a service like Channels. That's what I'm sour about. I'm paying for cable service but I can only use those channels where they want me to use them. Channel in question is TV Japan.

Curious, does Spectrum protect the TV Japan channel with DRM?
Or could it be SDV and your tuning adapter is flaking out and not allowing it to tune?

In order to use Channels you need an HD Homerun tuner.

Yeah, Spectrum basically protects almost everything including TV Japan. Some DRM channels I can use and some I can't. I should clarify that I'm running the Channels DVR server on my QNAP but using TV Everywhere Beta. I definitely want the HD HomeRun Prime 6 if it ever comes out however.

I'm in the same boat. For some reason the tuning adapter is flakey as there are times where the Tivo Bolt seems to lose its connection to the tuning adapter and I need to restart the tuning adapter. Right now I have a Slingbox attached to one of my Tivo Minis, but when the tuning adapter connection is broken I'm SOL. That's why I like the Channels DVR coupled with TV Everywhere access better. I'm still planning on getting an HDHomerun Prime 6 when they come out so I can get the other channels that aren't on available via TV Everywhere (such as the Dodgers), but the dropping out of the tuning adapter has me concerned. I've picked up a homekit enabled power plug to attach to the tuning adapter so I can remotely recycle the power to the tuning adapter if it goes out.

You have a couple options. If the tuning adapter is flakey, I'd ask for a new one. I've had quite a few of these on various systems, and when one was acting up, a new one would replace it and work properly.

The second option is to remove the tuning adapter entirely to see which channels it really affects, and if it bothers you. As of right now, Spectrum only has (2) channels in our region that require SDV, and as a result a tuning adapter.