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.