XBMC - LiveTV – CableCards and Encryption
#1
I am not sure if this is the correct location for this thread, please move if necessary.

I have just setup up a XBMC with MythTv as the backend with an HDHomerun Prime with. My ultimate goal was to be able to eliminate my cable box from Time Warner and have the media center pc as the main interface. After the setup and some research, I have found out that Time Warner encrypts basically all channels with a few exceptions. The only method of viewing encrypted channels is to have an encryption license for the software being used along with a Cable Card.

Currently, as I am lead to believe; the only software supporting the encryption license to able to view encrypted channels is Microsoft Media Center.

Now, my question is, can this encryption license be added to XBMC? Or purchase separately? This really blows!
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#2
Nope. What you want to pay attention to are the CCI flags (Copy Freely, Copy Once) If Time Warner marks all channels as Copy Once your only option is to use Media Center. I am on comcast and they only mark the Premium (HBO, SHOWTIME etc) as copy once.
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#3
how about me? i use verizon, would i need a cable card, or a coax. adapter?
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#4
Yes if you want your FIOS channels you need a Cable Card Tuner and the Cable Card... Again based on the CCI flags you will only be able to watch Copy Freely content. Anything marked as Copy Once or Copy Never will not work.


(2013-01-18, 15:42)FLMS1 Wrote: how about me? i use verizon, would i need a cable card, or a coax. adapter?

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#5
I have done some research on this in the past few days to see if I understand what is going on. Here is some info.

• BOTTOM LINE - Windows Media Center – IS THE ONLY- application that can unscramble encrypted cable channels with a Ceton cable card.

• Every Cable provider has different policies on which channels are flagged as Copy Freely, Copy Never, or Copy Once. These channels are referred to as CLEARQAM or QAM Channels (not encrypted or encrypted.).

o Copy freely - Content is not copy protected. (ClearQAM CHANNLES)
o Copy Once - A recording can be made, but that is it. (QAM CHANNEL)
o Copy Never - the content can be recorded and viewed for 90 minutes after transmission, and is not transferable. (QAM CHANNEL)

You may want to check with your cable provider and check which channels are designated as CLEARQAM or QAM Channels. Time Warner in New York Encrypts all channels with local channels being the exception. One quick method of finding local channels is the SiliconDust web site. http://www.silicondust.com/support/channels/ Just enter your zip and select provider.

This list is may be changing since the FCC has given permission for local channels to be encrypted.

Some of the reasons behind this is that CableLabs (The governing body), licenses fees are not inexpensive (I heard 100K and higher) and their certification process is strict. Microsoft has been the only software manufacture that has paid the fee and passed the certification process. This leaves many small companies and public domain applications such as MythTv and XBMC with little chance of competing. Probably now and forever, although I still have hope.

Also, lets not forget the monopoly existing by cables companies on the fees currently in place for cables set-top boxes, which is currently between $10 to $30 a month. They will not want to lose that income and will protect the investment (screwing us in the process).

If you want to see liveTV on your media center, you will be restricted to Local, Other The Air (OTA), or Channels that are designated as ClearQAM by your provider, unless you use Windows Media Center.

Hope this helps.
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#6
Just a minor correction to your information. This bit is wrong:
(2013-01-18, 19:36)ylafont Wrote: o Copy freely - Content is not copy protected. (ClearQAM CHANNLES)
ClearQAM and Copy-Freely channels are different things.
- ClearQAM channels are not encrypted. They can be tuned with a simple tuner stick or PCI card. They're usually only the rebroadcast local channels (FOX, ABC etc).
- Copy-Freely channels are encrypted, but they're flagged to say that can be copied. These require a CableCard capable tuner, like the HDHR Prime, Ceton etc. These tuners are able to provide unencrypted copies of these streams for the software to do whatever it wants.

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#7
ooppps, thanks for the correction!
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#8
(2013-01-18, 19:36)ylafont Wrote: I have done some research on this in the past few days to see if I understand what is going on. Here is some info.

• BOTTOM LINE - Windows Media Center – IS THE ONLY- application that can unscramble encrypted cable channels with a Ceton cable card.

• Every Cable provider has different policies on which channels are flagged as Copy Freely, Copy Never, or Copy Once. These channels are referred to as CLEARQAM or QAM Channels (not encrypted or encrypted.).

o Copy freely - Content is not copy protected. (ClearQAM CHANNLES)
o Copy Once - A recording can be made, but that is it. (QAM CHANNEL)
o Copy Never - the content can be recorded and viewed for 90 minutes after transmission, and is not transferable. (QAM CHANNEL)

You may want to check with your cable provider and check which channels are designated as CLEARQAM or QAM Channels. Time Warner in New York Encrypts all channels with local channels being the exception. One quick method of finding local channels is the SiliconDust web site. http://www.silicondust.com/support/channels/ Just enter your zip and select provider.

This list is may be changing since the FCC has given permission for local channels to be encrypted.

Some of the reasons behind this is that CableLabs (The governing body), licenses fees are not inexpensive (I heard 100K and higher) and their certification process is strict. Microsoft has been the only software manufacture that has paid the fee and passed the certification process. This leaves many small companies and public domain applications such as MythTv and XBMC with little chance of competing. Probably now and forever, although I still have hope.

Also, lets not forget the monopoly existing by cables companies on the fees currently in place for cables set-top boxes, which is currently between $10 to $30 a month. They will not want to lose that income and will protect the investment (screwing us in the process).

If you want to see liveTV on your media center, you will be restricted to Local, Other The Air (OTA), or Channels that are designated as ClearQAM by your provider, unless you use Windows Media Center.

Hope this helps.

Neither mythtv nor xbmc are in the public domain. They are copyrighted and licensed under the GPL.
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#9
is there a receiver you can purchase online that can decrypt the information? or can we just look INTO the codes of windows media center?
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#10
Windows media Centre is closed source. Also what you suggest contravenes the DCMA and is probably best kept off this forum.
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#11
sorry about that.
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#12
(2013-01-15, 01:27)ylafont Wrote: I am not sure if this is the correct location for this thread, please move if necessary.

I have just setup up a XBMC with MythTv as the backend with an HDHomerun Prime with. My ultimate goal was to be able to eliminate my cable box from Time Warner and have the media center pc as the main interface. After the setup and some research, I have found out that Time Warner encrypts basically all channels with a few exceptions. The only method of viewing encrypted channels is to have an encryption license for the software being used along with a Cable Card.

Currently, as I am lead to believe; the only software supporting the encryption license to able to view encrypted channels is Microsoft Media Center.

Now, my question is, can this encryption license be added to XBMC? Or purchase separately? This really blows!

Yes, depending on what your provider allows. I have Verizon FiOS and get around 200 channels with my HDHR tuners. ~30 ATSC channels, and ~170 CC channels. What you need to find out is what channels your provider offers that are copy freely, copy once, etc... my ATSC tuner pulls OTA QAM from Verizon over the wire, so I don't need an antenna. You can read more about that on wikipedia...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAM_(television)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATSC_tuner

Most cable companies send their signal encrypted, this is why you need either a CC or a STB. MythTV can tune copy-freely encrypted channels. WMC can decode copy-once, copy-never and copy-freely. So again, it depends on what your provider is sending to you.

Your HDHR Prime can pull both CC and QAM signals, so you should be able to get your locals at a minimum with MythTV.

Hope this helps.
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#13
I have a HDHR Prime. I have WMC on my office desktop, and XBMC on Ubuntu on my HT-room media player box, with a Synology NAS in between. Smile

I'm wondering if I subscribe to HBO, if I'll be able to record a movie with WMC, then *move* (not copy) the copy-once *.wtv file to the server and play it via XBMC from the server. Would that work? Can XBMC play a copy-once file if it hasn't been copied? Or another scenario is to add the recorded-tv folder for WMC to XBMC's video sources and play the copy-once file directly from its own home directory.

Anyone? Big Grin
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#14
No, PlayReady is the DRM windows Media center uses. You can only play the WTV file back on the computer that recorded it. It wont even play on another windows box.

Edit to Add: You cant even Play it in XBMC on the same machine.. PlayReady DRM will only work with the Windows Media Center / Windows Media Player protected content Path (Meaning the Microsoft Renderer etc)

(2013-01-23, 06:53)sion28 Wrote: I have a HDHR Prime. I have WMC on my office desktop, and XBMC on Ubuntu on my HT-room media player box, with a Synology NAS in between. Smile

I'm wondering if I subscribe to HBO, if I'll be able to record a movie with WMC, then *move* (not copy) the copy-once *.wtv file to the server and play it via XBMC from the server. Would that work? Can XBMC play a copy-once file if it hasn't been copied? Or another scenario is to add the recorded-tv folder for WMC to XBMC's video sources and play the copy-once file directly from its own home directory.

Anyone? Big Grin

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#15
(2013-01-23, 06:53)sion28 Wrote: I have a HDHR Prime. I have WMC on my office desktop, and XBMC on Ubuntu on my HT-room media player box, with a Synology NAS in between. Smile

I'm wondering if I subscribe to HBO, if I'll be able to record a movie with WMC, then *move* (not copy) the copy-once *.wtv file to the server and play it via XBMC from the server. Would that work? Can XBMC play a copy-once file if it hasn't been copied? Or another scenario is to add the recorded-tv folder for WMC to XBMC's video sources and play the copy-once file directly from its own home directory.

Anyone? Big Grin
See the last answer, but bear in mind that you "copied once" when WMC coped it to your hard drive.


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