Good article on atsc 3.0

I love this:

"such encryption is standard practice with most internet media today including YouTube videos and is generally invisible to the consumer, and that it was always part of the 3.0 standard. He adds that there are no existing NextGen TV sets that have a problem receiving encrypted signals"

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Doesn't seem like ATSC3 will be good thing for Channels DVR as encryption is enabled on most network channels.

Encrypted is different than DRM ... none of my ATSC 3.0 Channels are encrypted ... once Silicondust gets Encryption sorted on their end I am sure Channels DVR will do the same.

All Cable Channels are Encypted but the Primes(cable Card) Decrypts them.

Encryption - Silicondust

Security for Next Generation Television – Security for Next Generation Television (

I wouldn't be so confident. This looks like the same situation as the DRM support on cable card that SD was never able to resolve completely (no recording) and only works on their own app. NedS on their forum already said a solution for ATSC 3.0 encryption/drm may be similar (requiring use of their app and no recording.) Where does that leave Channels?

Based on comments (and lack of) from NickK on the SD forums, this looks eerily like an identical situation with identical limitations. They are making no promises and are being very careful with their choice of words.

My belief is that because the SD hardware works as a gateway (their word) instead of a completely closed ecosystem like a box that does the decoding right at the TV, they're never going to be able to fully satisfy the necessary requirements to make it secure.

They'd need to rethink their architecture in order to support this type of requirement fully and allow multiple apps to utilize it.

And the Channels app looks like it's going to left out in the cold once ATSC 3.0 is encrypted across the board. If I were the Channels devs, I'd be negotiating now to license whatever SD develops to support it or they're dead in the water.


I am a KICKSTARTER supporter for DRM and Still waiting I am sure you are in the same boat.. They will have to do something, or their company goes under the water.

Again, my belief is it's simply not possible due to their architecture decisions. If it were possible, it would have happened already.

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Figures I finally have everything running smoothly how I want it and her comes DRM. SMH ..

Yea, I invested in a Flex4k and I really feel swindled again by SD for not divulging any of this.

Yes, hopefully we have at least 3 more years before they start shutting down ATSC1 transmitters. I certainly wouldn't recommend any one buy a tuner device that didn't have NextGen certification.

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I see Tablo also has a problem ...

Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD OTA DVR Status Update – Tablo (

All the stations in New Orleans went to 3.0 in December. I blithely bought a Flex 4k and gave my 4 tuner to my son. Everything was great. The signals were strong and I swear the image was better. All the stations are now encrypted for no apparent reason. I am no worse off than I was in December except for the cost of the new tuner. I check daily for updates from SD.

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The beta firmware update out today sounds… ominous :neutral_face:

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Is this going to be an issue for cablecards too or just antenna based stuff? I ask because I am probably moving back to the states to live with an older relative who needs some help. They have cable and I’ll never teach them (primarily because they don’t want to learn) to use anything that a cord cutter will use so I was thinking that I would buy one or two HDHomerun Primes off of Newegg or eBay or something and set up my recording that way. But if it’s going to be an issue with cable cards too than that will be a problem as at least some of their local networks have already gone to atsc3

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ATSC 3.0 refers to over the air broadcasts so it really doesn't come into play with cable.

DRM, however, is an issue with cable cards depending on your provider. Some providers put DRM on quite a bit of content, some on very little.

If your provider uses DRM on various channels, you're not going to be able to record it and you're not going to be able to use the Channels app for that content.

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This is where I would miss Windows Media Center. Their DVR software allowed you to still access channels with DRM, even channels like HBO (at least they did with my Hauppauge cable card reader I never had a Prime). You could only watch those recordings on the device you recorded it on, but you could still watch and record those channels. I’ll have to figure out my best option. It might end up being something other than channels, like a Hauppauge PVR instead.

There are no other options for playing DRM content after WMC. That was the original premise of the HDHomeRun kickstarter campaign. They failed to deliver full functionality on any single platform yet they keep stringing people along saying "we're working on it." After 8 years, I don't think so.

This is why it's highly alarming to me that we're seeing the same issue now on the ATSC 3.0 front.

I fully believe the problem is that there is simply no way to completely secure the entire path due to the architecture they chose. You can't lock down an OS (Windows, Mac, Android, etc) enough to guarantee that it can't be hacked unless you can do so at the kernel level. In the absence of that, you need to do it in hardware, not software.

The Hauppauge PVR allows you to use it with a cable box. It has an IR blaster to change the channel for you, and you can also use it to record stuff you’ve recorded with the cable company’s DVR so you can get stuff off it that way. It’s similar to using a capture card, but the IR blaster and their software means that it can do at least some of the recording while you aren’t at the TV. Of course it can only record one channel at a time that way, or one recording. I don’t know. I’ll have to see what issues I might have once I get there. I know that the area there has at least some stations using ATSC 3.0. How much that would impact me based on what channels I use most, I don’t know. Or maybe it’s worth looking into TiVo again. I believe they still have the option to download to a computer.

I lucked out...I bought a flex two weeks ago, read this page, and just returned it to Amazon. I’ll be happy with my ATSC 1.0 implementation for now.

Honestly it depends. I do a fair amount of recording, and right now I just use TVE with a VPN because I’m outside the USA. But I know Xfinity in the USA has gone to limited amounts of data in the last year or two. I have no idea how much data I use every month with my recordings and streaming, which is what concerns me most. I figured since I was going back to a house that had cable, the Prime would be the answer. But now it’s seeming like it might not be. And I don’t want to lay out a bunch of money for a prime or two only to realize they don’t work for me because of DRM.


You could Play DRM Cable Channels using the HDHomeRun APP on Android official TV devices for ex ShieldTV. You just cannot record them. I can also watch DRM on my Samsung s21 Ultra and Galaxy Tablets.