An update on DRM support


Well, I’ll tell you, in my house, we have a $127/mo cable bill, not counting internet. And $51 per month of it is for our 2 DVRs and 1 receiver. I would be happy to give up cable all together, but my significant other loves her cable channels. So, even if channels DRM was $180/yr, I’d probably pay it to ditch the $610 a year I’m paying in cable box rentals.

Incidentally, what percentage of Channel customers are OTA vs Cable? Are you guessing, or was that announced?


I am guessing, but the original hdhomerun models were only OTA. Now, there are multiple different models, but only one is for people who already pay for cable (the prime). It just seems to me that if these users were the mainstream, then there would be more products to appease these customers.


It might be hasty to presume. 89% of homes with televisions in the US still rent cable boxes, while just 11% are solely OTA. Among the greatest complaints to the FCC are excessive cable box rental fees, which have gone up 185% since 1994. It seems like there should be an enormous market of people unwilling to cut cable, but wanting to pay hundreds less for the same service. It would be interesting to hear from tmm1 the true proportion in the user base.


I have a Prime for my cable subscription, and then a Connect to add two tuners for local OTA channels that lets me record/watch 5 things at once. For channels that are DRM I just use the Xbox One with HDHomeRuns app or use the apps (like HBO Go). Only problem I have is Starz cuz Comcast sucks.


I see. You are proposing a new business plan to attract new customers. A subset of people who want to keep their cable subscription, but get rid of the cable boxes and pay higher fees to Channels DVR… with the hopeful end result of getting a similar service as that offered with the cable company equipment except with reduced fees.

There might be a market for this. Similar to the market of people who own their own internet modems. Although owning your own modem doesn’t require purchasing hardware/networking components, installing software, configuring a server, and subscribing to a new monthly service.

Regardless, 20k/year + liability insurance for $8 million is still a business risk and might not be profitable until there are hundreds of users willing to pay the substantially increased subscription costs.


+1 on Kickstarter campaign for this. Why not? Nothing to lose.


These seem like very small potatoes discussions. There is a much larger market for this functionality than a few hundred users. I’m sure they could get into the 10’s of thousands at least - but we’ll never know if this huge pain point exists that so many channels that people take for granted cannot be played on the system.

Also don’t see this as that much of a change in business model. I am interested in this specifically for this functionality. I have no OTA in my area and must use cable box. I think there are a lot of people in the same boat.

To me the idea is that the AppleTV becomes a single box for all TV. I am willing to pay for that. I want to stop needing to change inputs if possible. That would be worth something to me.


+1 on kickstarter… really would love this feature, don’t mind paying for it…


So, we’re either in a holding pattern regarding DRM, or there’s non-public stuff going on behind the scenes, I guess. I hope the latter.


ugh…every time i see this thread pops up, i become so excited hoping for good news…the thread’s title always gets me :wink:


+1 on the Kickstarter. If you price the liability insurance and find you need $30K for DTCP-IP licensing and liability insurance for one year, hopefully you can get enough funds to make it happen. That’s long enough to see if it is a viable product beyond those 300 people who have expressed interest (I am also interested, but haven’t signed that list, so there may be others like me)

Once the solution exists, if SiliconDust was to link to it on their site, some web sites writing articles about a way to reduce what you pay the cable company etc., you may have more than enough customers to make it viable. Maybe wouldn’t even have to do a monthly fee, just an in-app upgrade to add DRM support.

One other angle to consider are SiliconDust’s commercial customers. They are buying much more expensive hardware, but that hardware allows unlimited multicast streaming (i.e a single tuner could be streamed to 100 TVs if they were all watching the same thing) That is a lot of potential sales down the road if Channels had a polished commercial grade solution.


I would Kickstart this in a heartbeat. I got an HDHomeRun, paid for the Channels iPhone and Apple TV app only to be let down that I can’t watch DRM channels. YEs, I understand this was my fault for not researching in depth before purchasing.

That said, I did sign up for Channels DVR, but subsequently cancelled because no DRM. I would pay a reasonable amount to make this happen. Please add this feature!


Would have been really good to know before I bought in. Should advertise this as a strictly OTA. If you use cable, it’s pretty useless. More people than you think would live to ditch the boxes and want this feature. Without DMR, Channels is pointless for premium cable people and more economical to use the cable company equipment, pursue a refund on and send back my HD Prime.


I am a proud OTA user, but agree that Channels should be marketed to avoid DRM cable users. The software works better, in general, for OTA. The guide and favorites fit nicely on screen and are easily navigated. There is no need to input channel numbers (a request I have seen). All the best channels are OTA. The OTA broadcasts are in the highest quality video format. And it is far more economical than paying the cable company.


Well, it does state on the description page of the app as well as the site that DRM isn’t supported. There isn’t any reason to exclude all cable users because not everyone has the same DRM exclusions or requirements.

Well wishes.


Speak for yourself. I use cable and get everything but HBO, Showtime, and Starz on Channels.


Same here. I am on Frontier FIOS and all of my channels do not have DRM. I do not subscribe to HBO, Showtime and Starz from FIOS so not sure about that. I get those via streaming subscription. I have 2x HDHomeRun Primes with Cable Cards so not useless for me. But to be fair I understand that some providers use DRM for most channels (except OTA type channels) so for those customers you would need to get more channels via streaming options if you want to use the Apple TV for everything (like me).


You guys have a GREAT product and it’s definitely helping me fulfill an ever-increasing desire to break away from the stranglehold of the Cable monopoly. I’m a recent convert to SD and Channels/DVR and I love it. I am saving over $50/mo. by using this solution and I love that I can control everything from my Apple TV. I don’t currently subscribe to premium channels and I’m on xfinity so DRM is not currently a big issue for me. That said, I agree with others here that at some point (maybe sooner than later) DRM licensing and R&D may need to be built in. If the big guys (xfinity and verizon) decide to DRM everything, Channels will become bricked for those of us using it with SD HD Homerun prime.

I would be willing to pay a modest subscription fee (~$5/mo.) for the DRM support, even if not currently using it. Maybe you guys can go to the Shark Tank and get one of them to bite on some capital investment. In the very least, it will raise more awareness of your product and the space it works in. Anyway, keep up the great work and I look forward to more features and ease of use from your Team!


I want to have a basic channel offering and can’t get any OTA. My cable company in it’s wisdom encrypt almost all channels. I would gladly pay a premium to get DRM. Kickstarter and/or subscription.


Any updates on getting access to DRM Channels?