DRM Support


Done. Submitting request to Apple Development for HDCP support.


We haven’t heard anything back from Apple on our bug report. Minor version updates like the recently released 9.2.1 rarely include new APIs, so the earliest we could expect anything announced is this summer at WWDC.

In the mean time, we are exploring to see if there are other options for enabling HDCP without an official API. If anyone has had their ATV show an “HDCP Error” in HBO, Netflix or other apps please contact us about it.


Submiitted API request


Submitted Apple Developer bug report…



I sent you an email privately regarding this, could you please read it and send me your reply.

If you have any questions, let me know.


I am writing in response to an email you sent on May 17.

I want to be sure we understand your request. Is your ultimate goal to make sure the content you are playing back is protected with HDCP when sent to an external display? Do you need to be able to verify the HDCP status?


I sent an email to Tim Cook on May 17th regarding your request for new APIs which would support applications to turn on HDCP or to check if it is enabled.

Could you please provide a detailed response you would like me to send to the Manager of Worldwide Developer Technical Support at Apple?


Correct. Specifically, our content is not compatible with AVPlayer so we are using our own custom video player which uses OpenGL to display the content on screen. We need a way to enable HDCP while this content is playing. This is also outlined in our bug report rdar://24514980

Yes, as part of DTCP-IP certification we need the ability to verify HDCP is enabled before we allow video playback.


I hope this note finds you well.

We do offer strict HDCP enforcement when content is encrypted and delivered using FairPlay. Does this meet your requirements?

You are correct in that there is not currently an API that indicates the current HDCP state.

Should the FPS based enforcement not be sufficient for your needs, could you please let me know if you have filed a bug report/enhancement request for this feature?


I received the following email reply from Apple listed above and sent them the information you provided.

On another note, would you be able to provide a bit of detail on how you are implementing the DVR functionality on tvOS? Namely, how the pause/rewind of a currently live program is implemented? Is this done in memory, or are you using a disk-based ring buffer?

Listed above is another email I received from Apple this morning.


Ha, thanks. We have an open thread with Apple Developer Relations regarding this. Funny that they’d make that comment on your radar though.


We use a combination of memory and disk ring buffers. You can have Apple contact us directly at [email protected] and [email protected]


Any updates on the API you need being supplied by Apple? Perhaps in tvOS 10 ???
I have submitted both a developer request and a regular feature enhancement request.

Have you heard any more from them? The DRM issue is a nonstarter for use of Channels


No APIs were added in tvOS 10, and we have not gotten any response from Apple :frowning:


Well… I’m not really sure how I feel right now… Just found out that a bunch of channels were just encrypted with DRM from my provider… This puts a massive dent in my whole deployment of Apple TV’s in my house, at first I was fine with not having FOX but now it’s a lot more channels… I am debating whether or not to send back my Apple TV’s, is there any possible roughest estimate of the status of DRM? I am at a crossroads right now…


Wow, that sucks. Who is your provider? What channels did they add DRM to?

Some customers have reported success calling up their provider and getting the copy-once bit removed, but it really depends on what cable company you’re dealing with.

There’s not much new to report on the DRM front… we’re still waiting for any sort of response from Apple.


Frontier Communications, I was one of the “lucky” people who had had their area sold to Frontier from Verizon. They just added DRM to basically every movie channel I pay for (I have every channel they offer) so that kinda sucks. I know that FOX has always been DRM protected, but they are just not being very friendly. I will try to call them later today and see if I can get them to remove the copy-once flag. (Copy-once is the same as DRM right?) How do you think I should go about asking them such a peculiar question? I know my provider is about the bottom of the barrel in terms of customer service.


@Shadow_Bullet - I am very interested in your status. I am in Southern California which switched from Version FIOS to Frontier FIOS and my channel lineup has not changed. Still the only channels that have DRM “that I watch” is FOX News/Business.

In particular what do you mean by this "every movie channel I pay for ". Are you talking about HBO, Showtime etc? If so, then I do not pay them for those from Frontier.

I have the Preferred (I think). About 240 Channels and NO Premium Channels. Mainly FOX is all that I notice but could be a little more. I make every effort to limit what I buy from Frontier.

If they DRM CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, Hallmark Channels and about 6 others I am in pretty big trouble. But some I could use the Apps but have to watch commercials which is a real problem. Hulu helps a lot and the DVR helps as well.

Since I only use Apple TV’s (8 in total) I also have the following Premium that I pay for outside of my TV Bundle which are not part of Channels.

  1. HBO Now
  2. Showtime
  3. Startz
  4. Feeln
  5. Hulu
  6. Netflix
    Since all but Hulu and Netflix I buy via iTunes I use discounted iTunes Gift Cards that I normally buy around Black Friday at 15-20% discount.


Yeah it would appear as though that it happened last night I believe. I pay for FiOS Ultimate so I have the complete package. Right now it looks like HBO and cinemax were encrypted, Fox was encrypted from the start. I am worried that Frontier might encrypt more as time goes on. As I am typing this, I am speaking with them now about removing the copy-once flag. I will let you know my results.


Okay so I more or less backtracked on this, the lady on the phone kinda broke my cablecard so now it won’t even activate to SEE the DRM channels, having a new one shipped out then I will pursue again.


i have Frontier (Texas former Verizon FIOS), like Mike I don’t pay for any premium channels through Frontier but subscribe directly with their apps (Starz, HBO, Showtime, Netflix and Hulu). I haven’t seen any additional DRM applied other than FOX channels which was done from the beginning. Since I don’t have premium channels I can’t confirm if any of those have changed.


Any ETA on DRM support yet? I recently switched from DirecTV to Time-Warner cable and HD Prime with cable card hoping to use AppleTV on all of my TVs and eliminate cable boxes. I thought Channels was my solution until I found out almost every channel on Time Warner has DRM. When I tested out while I still had DirecTV, I only had their starter package which is basically just locals which aren’t DRMed so everything worked great. So now I am stuck either watching just locals or paying TW for crappy cable boxes that I don’t want.