Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Shaw Cable Again Blocks Firewire On Canadian Set-Top Boxes

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the now-that's-value-added dept.

Television 257

WestCoastSuccess writes with this excerpt: "A year and a half ago, Canada's Shaw Cable began encrypting channels with the '0x02' flag. This flag has the effect of making the IEEE1394 (Firewire) output useless to customers who use third-party PVRs (such as the excellent MythTV, for example). After complaints to the CRTC and Industry Canada about this practice, the encryption flag was dropped on most channels and the Firewire connection again functioned. Until last night, that is."

cancel ×

257 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I am Canadian, (5, Informative)

JaCKeL 1.0 (670980) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006177)

I am Canadien and I really want to be able to record my HD cable with my PVR. Where do I sign ? Right now Canadian cable company are working with these rules : 1. Block way's to record with third party PVR 2. Sell their really crippled and overpriced PRV 3. $$$ Seriously, what can we do ?

Re:I am Canadian, (5, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006233)

Write to the company and inform that you are droppng your cable subscription because you are completely unable to record your HD shows in HD quality, and that until they fix this issue you will be enjoying your HD on dvd and/or bluray.

And if they contact you trying to offer you a discount or something, stick to your guns. If they aren't willing to offer you the ability to record HD shows in HD quality, you aren't willing to subscribe to their service.

Give it a go. You'd be amazed at how quickly you stop worrying about what's on the TV anyway.

It's like quitting smoking. (4, Insightful)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006419)

Give it a go. You'd be amazed at how quickly you stop worrying about what's on the TV anyway.

This. I gave up TV a while ago and I don't miss it at all. It'll be one of the most liberating things you'll do. After a while, you'll be wondering why you ever let that shit get into your brain for hours a day. Just like how a chain smoker quits and starts wondering to himself why he let himself breathe in a pack a day worth of smoke and carcinogens.

Every once in a while, I'll watch the Daily Show or 30 Rock, but I figure that's like having the occasional smoke or cigar with a drink.

People can go on and on with their righteous indignation over how they record their HDTV programming but when you walk away from it, you'll realize that getting your panties in a twist about a TV program is indicative of an addiction, not rationality.

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (5, Funny)

revoldub (1425465) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006465)

I'm assuming that your comparison of TV and cigarettes would in turn imply the comparison of internet and crack.
Sure anyone can go without TV, but NO INTERNET?!?!?! ARE YOU FREAKING CRAZY MAN!??!? I GOTTA HAVE MY INTERNET!

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (5, Informative)

VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006709)

You *are* aware that the internet isn't just for facebook and youtube, right? In fact many people (heck, most people on Slashdot) use it as a *tool* to get work done. I just ssh'ed into the server at my lab so that I could check on a bioinformatics project that I have going on. For me, the internet is a tool that I use to be more productive, check Slashdot and to keep up on news without my TV

TV is pretty much only about entertainment and wasting time.

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006943)

It's nice how you admit that checking slashdot and keeping up with news are separate things.

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (1, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007051)

It's nice how you admit that checking slashdot and keeping up with news are separate things.

What? Slashdot isn't news?

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (0)

SmlFreshwaterBuffalo (608664) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007329)

You *are* aware that TV isn't just for reality shows and pay-per-view, right?

I find it amusing that in the same post you are both defending the internet as a tool for checking the news and stating that TV is only about entertainment and wasting time, considering TV has been one of the primary sources for news for years.

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (4, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007641)

Have you ever actually watched the news on TV? Especially cable news?

It's just a morbid form of entertainment, 99% of the time you aren't getting anything useful out of it, and would do better getting your news elsewhere.

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007351)

I though the internet was for free pron and computer gaming, you mean you actually use if for work, damn what a waste ;).

Of course what is really good about the internet is you can do a whole bunch of things. Commerce, politics, education, social interaction etc. it is basically a digital bridge between you and everybody else that's connected and planet's worth of digitised data.

So yeah, who cares what cable networks wants to do or what free to air want to do, I have not watched either one of them this year at home, not once, not even a few seconds worth, your perception of life does alter when you are free from the endless manipulative drone of mass media adds. I get most everything from the net, apart from some DVD content bought cheap and legal and, that is basically just as background entertainment.

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (5, Funny)

lumenistan (1165199) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006779)

Meh... it's not that bad. I haven't been on the internet now for months, and I don't miss it one bit. :p

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (1)

lastgoodnickname (1438821) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007003)

I never even start on the internet. I go around looking at drawings on cave walls.

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007011)

Meh... it's not that bad. I haven't been on the internet now for months, and I don't miss it one bit. :p

oblig xkcd [xkcd.com]

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (5, Funny)

mldi (1598123) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006781)

I'm assuming that your comparison of TV and cigarettes would in turn imply the comparison of internet and crack. Sure anyone can go without TV, but NO INTERNET?!?!?! ARE YOU FREAKING CRAZY MAN!??!? I GOTTA HAVE MY INTERNET!

I know that can seem tough too, but after awhile you don't even realize it's there. I've been free of the 'net for about 3 days now, and.... oh CRAP!

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (5, Interesting)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006499)

3 years for me, but it's not as difficult as quitting smoking. The rewards are probably as great or greater than quitting smoking. The time freed up for living is the most mind blowing thing, not to mention being able to keep up with the core science stuff and getting back to being playfully curious rather than a spoon fed couch potato.

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (3, Insightful)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006651)

Well, if you're anything like me, you substituted one addiction for another. Mine teh internets. It's like trading nicotine for cocaine.

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (4, Informative)

yanos (633109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007083)

Yeah but at least your are seeking intertainment, rather than being spoon fed, like the GP said. It's a much more active brain state. If sometimes being on teh internets means reading interesting things, you're no really wasting your time.

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (2, Funny)

Flere Imsaho (786612) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007129)

Cocaine and hookers, you mean - don't forget the pron ;-)

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (4, Funny)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007213)

Don't forget the porn? What did you think I meant by the internet?

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (1)

Mozk (844858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007297)

Don't ever go to TV Tropes [tvtropes.org] .

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (3, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006763)

I gave up on TV when I realized that I was often feeling bad for missing shows I wanted to watch and how meaningless my attachment to them was. It makes no sense to be emotionally manipulated by worthless entertainment. It doesn't hurt that the networks only pump out dreck nowadays. Other than small dose of news and educational shows I occupy myself elsewhere.

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006783)

I have found that righteous indignation usually comes from those that don't watch TV and feel the need to tell everyone about it.

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (2, Insightful)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006979)

Nah. You're but an AC, but I'll help you out anyway. If you had any sort of decent education, you'd know how to pick up the tone of a given written passage. Because you are failing to understand the blindingly obvious that even the most brain dead blithering idiot would have picked up is that parent post and this reply are examples of condescension.

Okay, now you have a chance to be righteously indignant.

See what I did there?

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (3, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006817)

Exactly! I used to waste 6 hours a day watching television. Instead, I now waste 10 hours a day on the Internet, and it's done wonders for my life!

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (4, Interesting)

intx13 (808988) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006985)

I too gave up cable for precisely this reason: Cox wouldn't give me a box with working Firewire (despite angry phone calls to managers citing the FCC regulation that requires it here in the States). After a few weeks I decided that the cost of pursuing it further up the ladder and the cost of the service in the first place wasn't worth the quality of service, so I cut the cord.

I replaced my cable subscription with broadcast HD (for sports, particularly the home team) and a two-at-a-time Netflix subscription, which worked out quite well.

Anyway, for some people television is as important a media as the Internet is for us here on Slashdot. There's certainly a lot more intelligent material on the Internet than on television, but face it, most people aren't using the Internet for that anyway. Television is a good way to turn your brain off and relax, which, in moderation, can be a good thing.

My guess is that, like the FCC, the relevant Canadian authorities have little care about this particular issue. Cable companies in the states don't blink when you cite the FCC. Everyone but a single tech at Cox claimed straight-faced that the FCC mandated no such thing. Either they haven't heard of it before, have never had anyone complain before, or simply hoped I'd go away.

(Incidentally, I made it very clear to the manager of the local Cox management why I was disconnecting my service and why I would encourage others to do the same. He didn't seem fazed and I never got any offers for reduced cost service.)

Re:It's like quitting smoking. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007565)

Yes. If I had mod points, parent and GP would BOTH get them.

A life that revolves around TV scheduling is an empty, shallow life, IMHO. People need to get out and DO STUFF. Basket weaving seems a silly pastime to me, but I would much rather do a little basket weaving with a grand daughter, than to waste those hours watching spongebob, or some other mindless "humor".

If a person has NOTHING better to do with their time, then they should get out and meet neighbors. Doing things with and for other people is a rewarding activity, in and of itself. The old widow around the corner might even remember you in her will, if you spend time with her.

("To my cats, I leave my fortune of $98.32. To my daughter, I leave my wardrobe. To my son, I leave the heap in the garage that hasn't run since 1963. And, oh yes, I remember that sweet young man who sat on the porch with me from time to time!")

Re:I am Canadian, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006439)

They'll just offer to rent you their locked-down PVR, or on-demand service (for extra $$ of course).

Re:I am Canadian, (2, Informative)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006537)

The original poster has already tried that route. He's willing to pay for a PVR that can record HD shows in HD quality - the company just isn't willing to provide one.

So, care to try again with a better solution for our ill-stricken friend?

Re:I am Canadian, (2)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007309)

http://www.shaw.ca/en-ca/ProductsServices/Television/HDTV/Hardware-HDPVR.htm

They have sold PVR's capable of recording in HD for quiet some time.

And from the original poster "Hereâ€(TM)s why this is an issue for Industry Canada (as previously outlined below): in order to use a PVR other than Shawâ€(TM)s to record programs (and, specifically, HD programs), the IEEE1394 output is required."

He is not willing to pay for a box that Shaw provides.

The real question is this: When a provider uses technology that breaks 3rd party equipment, is it the responsibility of the provider, or the 3rd party to provide a fix. This has happened with Microsoft and Apple many times - and often old hardware does not work until the vendor provides a fix. Shaw does not support firewire connections on their own set top boxes and openly advise this. Why should they be providing support for 3rd party set top boxes WHO CHOOSE to use firewire?

Re:I am Canadian, (1)

Mad Leper (670146) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007415)

No one is asking Shaw to support firewire, all that's being asked is that they stop blocking it. The hardware is present on the boxes they sell, it works and they have no reason to block it EXCEPT to protect their business model.

All the box is for is to provide a service. Shaw should not be allowed to dictate what the consumer decides to do with the service they paid for after it leaves the box.

Re:I am Canadian, (4, Interesting)

crossmr (957846) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006541)

This doesn't do anything unless it is picked up as a major news story. I hate to say it but the whole age of "voting with your wallet" is dead and gone. To any major corporation you aren't even a drop in a bucket, so unless you're going to organize a massive action against them of at least 50,000 people or more, it is basically meaningless. Sure you stuck to your guns and you can sleep at night, but it isn't going to change their behaviour at all.

In Canada you need to start a facebook group get a couple thousand people to join it, mention it to the media and then you'll get results.

Re:I am Canadian, (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006589)

You'd be amazed at how quickly you stop worrying about what's on the TV anyway.

I second that. How many people here just turn on the TV, as a habit? And just sort of watch TV, out of habit? I know I did, and would flip through channels complaining how there was nothing worthy on TV. (And yet I'd watch all the unworthy programs.) I don't remember what the trigger was (it wasn't a broken TV, it functioned fine) but I eventually stopped watching TV all together. Then I started getting mad that this ugly, ugly "tube" was destroying the overall aesthetics of my living room. I gave away the TV.

I still have a projector now, but no tuner. Don't need one, just a DVD player for movies. You'd be amazed at how much you DON'T miss with the TV. You can tend to get more unbiased news from the internet (or biased to an extreme, depending on your taste!), and, surprise surprise! You end up with a lot more time to do other things.

Anyhow, for those that have issues with the cable companies and/or TV programming in general, I strongly suggest you try kicking the habit all together. It's not as hard as it sounds, and has much fewer consequences than you may think. "Hey, did you see the episode of XXX last night?" "Nope, I don't have a TV. Don't want one either!" "Wha... wow! You mean, so you watch the shows on the internet? YouTube?" "No, I just don't watch. Most shows waste too much time anyhow." "Wow... Hmm, you have a point. I just turn on the TV out of habit... What did you do with your old TV?" The conversations are actually pretty amusing. And have a tendency to drift off towards more interesting topics than what an actor said on some show the night before.

Re:I am Canadian, (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006833)

However there are -some- really interesting shows on TV, such as the History and Discovery shows, along with the occasional Sci-Fi shows/movies (the genre, not the channel). And really, buying the shows on DVD is kind of a waste of money. Assuming I watch about 2 hour long shows a day (about less than average for most people, but about average for me), that would be about 60 episodes a month, I pay about $30 for cable every month, a DVD costs about $30 for 15 episodes. So I would be paying twice as much, even if I cut my TV usage in half, so I don't see the savings. Add that with a very low entry to me seeing new shows (even if I pirate them, I won't torrent a random show I have no clue what they are) by just flipping to a channel and seeing it for 5-10 seconds, but if it is interesting I will watch it.

Re:I am Canadian, (4, Insightful)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007135)

Really? History Channel and Discovery "interesting"? There was a time when they were 90% documentary/educational and 10% infotainment but these days, the reverse is true. Ghost hunters? Axe men? Deadliest Catch? UFO HUNTERS??? WTF is this shit?

I came back to the US this past December after several years in Africa. For a brief month, I had cable. In fact, it was the first thing I set up. Then I saw what was on and realized that not only had I not missed much, but I actually got a lot more out of not watching TV then I ever could watching it.

Re:I am Canadian, (4, Informative)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007001)

I don't remember what the trigger was

I know what the trigger was for me - it happened when I realized that instead of watching TV series at the TV schedule (didn't have a VCR at the time), with commercials and being behind by a few years I could just download the TV shows I want (or was it when I found out that Stargate SG-1 had 6 or 7 seasons and the TV station stopped showing it at season 4?).

Re:I am Canadian, (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007511)

Some cynics might say that stopping showing SG1 at season 4 was saving you a lot of wasted time.

Re:I am Canadian, (1)

Mad Leper (670146) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007487)

When I realized I was paying $85 a month for a service that had little if anything I was interested in watching for months at a time, I cancelled it.

That was a year ago, with a Blu-ray player and CBC-HD on the antenna I get all the HD content I need and at a much better quality than anything Bell or Rogers offers. And with a Usenet subscription I watch whatever TV shows interest me whenever I want.

To date, I don't miss subscription TV at all. I actually watch less TV than before and read & listen to music more often. I still get little "we miss you" cards from Rogers tucked under my door every now and then, no thanks.

Re:I am Canadian, (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006731)

In the UK, the local cable TV company Virgin Media got into a bit of a tiff with Sky with the consequence that various channels (Sky One) with popular programs like Stargate, Battlestar Galactica became unavailable to cable TV viewers. Around 50,000 people canceled their premium rate subscriptions until this dispute was resolved, which took just under a year for both companies to feel the financial cost of their actions. For anyone who did reduce their TV selection to freeviw, they saved around 500 pounds.

They still don't have sky 1 HD what a joke even wo (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006873)

They still don't have sky 1 HD what a joke even wow cable in the us has more HD and they suck next to comcast in HD line up. Virgin Media 4HD channels in 2009. Direct tv has 130 soon to be 200.

Re:I am Canadian, (2, Interesting)

yanos (633109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007053)

You'd be amazed at how quickly you stop worrying about what's on the TV anyway.

That's the most liberating decision you'll ever made. I stop watching tv a while ago and, while I still enjoy some shows, I find my tv free life saner. Every once in a while when I go see my dad, I am amazed on how lethargic people can became in from of the tube, especially when the commercials rolls in. A life without the constant bombarding of those is a much better life, simply put. When I watch them now, they don't work on me as much as before since I now find them deceitful and just plain stupid. You're gonna tell me "I already finds them stupid and borderline fraudulent" but trust me, live 6 months without tv and you'll see what I mean.

You can call me a conspirationist all you want, but I am now of the opinion that publicity and certain tv shows (news and what is now passed as news) are great tools to hardwired individuals into a certain mindset and infuse various ideas and ideals into the populace.

You just won't get what people talk about at work sometimes :P

Re:I am Canadian, (2, Insightful)

soconn (1466967) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007225)

What I'd really like to see is a standardization of the way these signals are encoded so 3rd party suppliers can sell PVRs instead of being locked into a single vendor. I'd love to use my Tivo again or hook the signal up to a Myth box but getting HD here in Canada means a cable company h/w solution.

Can someone explain this? (2, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006211)

Can someone who knows more about the subject maybe explain what the incentive is for Shaw Cable to do this? I don't have enough knowledge of the subject and I suspect I'm not the only reader in that boat.

Re:Can someone explain this? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006251)

Can someone who knows more about the subject maybe explain what the incentive is for Shaw Cable to do this? I don't have enough knowledge of the subject and I suspect I'm not the only reader in that boat.

It's really quite simple (and, not surprisingly, outlined in TFA). By blocking digital output over the firewire port, Shaw is finding another way to lock consumers into using their own proprietary DVR/PVRs.

Re:Can someone explain this? (1)

Talchas (954795) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006295)

I suspect they sell/rent their own ones, or maybe rebranded tivos or something.

Re:Can someone explain this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006443)

The incentive is they can make $15/mo from the rental of the HD PVR or sell it for $500 to someone: http://www.shaw.ca/en-ca/ProductsServices/Television/HDTV/Hardware-HDPVR.htm The other two major cable companies - Cogeco and Rogers - do similar things. The actual "TiVO" brand isn't really used at all here, since everyone has the cable box PVR.

Re:Can someone explain this? (5, Informative)

soconn (1466967) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006777)

In Canada there is no cable card system, we are stuck with the providers boxes and they all suck. I'm with Rogers and their PVR forgets shows and refuses to play at times, I had a Tivo but when you move to HD you are SOL. The providers want you to stay with their system so you keep buying / renting their box... Firewire lets people break that link - thus they shut it down. Similar behavior can be seen on Rogers where they enable to do not record flag so that Windows Media center refuses to record some prime-time TV (even though the broadcast flag should not really exist in Canada).

This will get cracked in approximately... (2, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006217)

Oh wait, someone probably already has. That aside, it won't stand government scrutiny this time, either.

Always true in US (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006289)

I'm jealous that this is a story. Every cable box I've used in the U.S. encrypts data over firewire with the flag.

Re:Always true in US (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006461)

The article quotes an FCC ruling that they can't do that...

Re:Always true in US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006463)

Really? Because other articles (http://westcoastsuccess.wordpress.com/2009/08/08/shaw-cable-blocks-ieee1394-firewire-on-set-top-cable-boxes-again/) indicate that the US mandates Firewire remain unencrypted.

Which is true?

Re:Always true in US (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006871)

Really? Because other articles (http://westcoastsuccess.wordpress.com/2009/08/08/shaw-cable-blocks-ieee1394-firewire-on-set-top-cable-boxes-again/) indicate that the US mandates Firewire remain unencrypted.

True enough. But Shaw Cable is a Canadian company providing service in Canada. And despite what some people might think, north of the Line, they really don't care much about what Washington thinks about things, they're much too busy keeping an eye on Ottawa.

Re:Always true in US (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007005)

If you read the post that the reply was to, then maybe you wouldn't make an idiot of yourself as often?

Does Novus Encrpyt? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006317)

Anyone know if Novus uses encryption? My building is wired for their fibre optic offering and I'd switch from Shaw for sure if I knew Novus isn't encrypting.

Comcast in Mass played the same games (4, Interesting)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006327)

About a year ago, they started flagging broadcast channels on the box, even though they also transmitted unencrypted on a channel you can get with a regular QAM tuner. Then about six months ago, they unblocked almost everything on the Digital Starter plan. Someone with pull complained to the FCC, but as I understand, it was under the radar. I would personally like to see someone start making some noise about this, just to keep the cablecos honest, and discourage them from reflagging stuff. I mean, I understand encrypting the signal to the box, but if I legally have a box, I ought to be able to get at the data I pay for. This look-but-don't touch nonsense really ticks me off.

Re:Comcast in Mass played the same games (3, Interesting)

intx13 (808988) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007037)

but if I legally have a box, I ought to be able to get at the data I pay for.

And if you legally have a song you ought to be able to listen to it as many times as you please. And if you legally have a movie you ought to be able to watch it in every room in the house. And if you legally have a video game you ought to be able to use it on as many computers as you wish.

Media companies feel that since media has no inherent usage limitations (transportation, duplication, accessibility, etc.) they've got to limit it purposefully. It's scary (and I'm not saying that facetiously) for someone who grew up when a product had a serial number, an owner, a size, a weight, to suddenly be in charge of selling an ephemeral product with nothing but a production cost that must be somehow recouped.

Wait until the kids that grew up with broadband are old enough to approach venture capitalists, to lobby congress, to go to court. Then we'll see some change.

Re:Comcast in Mass played the same games (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007081)

Wait until the kids that grew up with broadband are old enough to approach venture capitalists, to lobby congress, to go to court. Then we'll see some change.

Probably not (although I hope I'm wrong.) We're being trained to accept this bullshit as the price we have to pay to receive our entertainment. Personally, I like to keep things in an open format so I can transcode them to, say, my G1 and watch them when I want to, wherever I want to. I guess I'm one of those people that hasn't been adequately monetized yet.

Re:Comcast in Mass played the same games (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007189)

I'm just curiuos; why would they bother with it? It implies some sort of financial gain for blocking the recording. Frankly, I can't believe a cable company cares very much about it one way or the other.

Re:Comcast in Mass played the same games (1)

mpaulsen (240157) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007507)

First they make you accept their DVR box, then they change what the DVR box will allow you to do. Maybe they won't allow you to skip advertisements. They deliver more eyeballs to the advertisers and they make more money.

why isnt this story tagged (5, Funny)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006357)

evilbit?

People still watch TV? (0, Redundant)

thefringthing (1502177) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006403)

When is it going to go away?

Re:People still watch TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006547)

How else would we know what to buy?

Re:People still watch TV? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007637)

As soon as we get a decent IPTV offering but in the Westerner (Europe or USA) world we still don't have ANY providers that can give us select channels nor bundled channels over IP even if you're willing to pay double or triple for it. Sure they'll give you a set top box connecting to an encrypted or proprietary solution in select areas but nobody wants to provide to a single Internet-only subscriber with a third-party IPTV receiver. In areas like Asia and even more in the Middle East and Africa you can get an offer comparable to cable (~100 International channels - including ABC/CNN/NBC- for $30) but they don't offer in the US and apparently some have even made a deal with the content providers not to broadcast to the US while others quote issues with latency and bandwidth costs.

The only offering you can get over IPv4 is a distribution license (~100k/month) but even if you're willing to pay for that (eg. a large company like a hospital or a hotel chain) you can't get until you can prove several thousands of subscribers.

Will US cable co's do the same crap with tru2way s (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006409)

Will US cable co's do the same crap with tru2way systems as under the rules now they will have full control and can lock stuff out on your own box.

Comcast will find a way to get there $15-$20 /m per box on a HD dvr. Some comcast systems right now make you pay HD cable card fees + cable card rent and some times a outlet fee as well.

also why can't you buy your own cable box hear and not have to deal with the cable card mess.

at lest direct tv gets it right 1 HD fee per house and 1 drv fee per house. Box rent just 5/m for any box box 1 free.

Re:Will US cable co's do the same crap with tru2wa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006789)

Will US cable co's do the same crap with tru2way systems as under the rules now they will have full control and can lock stuff out on your own box.

Comcast will find a way to get there $15-$20 /m per box on a HD dvr. Some comcast systems right now make you pay HD cable card fees + cable card rent and some times a outlet fee as well.

also why can't you buy your own cable box hear and not have to deal with the cable card mess.

at lest direct tv gets it right 1 HD fee per house and 1 drv fee per house. Box rent just 5/m for any box box 1 free.

Barely-literate idiots do not get to complain about their cable service.

Re:Will US cable co's do the same crap with tru2wa (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006861)

Barely-literate idiots do not get to complain about their cable service.

Why not? They get to vote.

they don't complain they get direct tv and dump ca (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006905)

they don't complain they get direct tv and dump cable and save and get better hardware as well.

The CRTC is useful somehow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006417)

Wow, the CRTC is doing something besides blocking foreign content?

Obsolete? (1)

hemp (36945) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006455)

I thought firewire was obsolete anyhow?

Re:Obsolete? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006615)

What the heck replaced it?

Re:Obsolete? (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006807)

Universal Silly Bus AKA "USB".

Re:Obsolete? (2, Insightful)

dotgain (630123) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007305)

Unusably Slow Bus more like it. That's why Firewire is still around.

Redundant (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006521)

TV has been basically made redundant by the internet. I can watch all the shows I want via streaming video on the web or buy episodes. I don't really know why I still keep Dish Network other than that I am still in the promotional period. Once this period expires, I will strongly consider dropping them altogether.

Two Words. (2, Insightful)

zonky (1153039) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006619)

Live Sport. That's really the only thing that keeps me subscribed to our local pay tv provider.

Re:Redundant (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006765)

I can't watch live NFL and Hockey via the net, nor can I watch a lot of re-runs of the older shows I like.

Sports are the most important, as I'm a sports nut.

Re:Redundant (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006903)

I can't watch live NFL and Hockey via the net, nor can I watch a lot of re-runs of the older shows I like.

Sports are the most important, as I'm a sports nut.

So you're a jock-sniffer. Tell me, Mr. Jock-Sniffer, how does your idolatry of overpaid athletes differ in any way whatsoever from the more blatant celebrity worship you see on a show like Entertainment Tonight, which places high value on knowing the personal lives of people you have never met merely because they are entertainers? Oh right, because your demographic is somewhat younger males while their demographic is postmenopausal women with empty-nest syndrome. Otherwise you're both just fanboys. I bet when your team wins you say "yay WE won" as though you had anything to do with it.

Odd timing... they've finally got competition (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006613)

I'm surprised that Shaw would be doing this. For the first time ever, they've actually got competition for TV in their key markets. Telus, the incumbent phone company in BC and Alberta (the bulk of the Shaw areas) is now offering TV over ADSL in the major urban areas, and unlike satellite, Telus can offer PPV and all the other TV goodies.

Maybe there is a licensing issue with their channel providers? Otherwise, I don't see the point in antagonizing users - especially since the people who have even heard of FireWire are probably on the higher-end packages.

Re:Odd timing... they've finally got competition (1)

PFAK (524350) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006681)

How is TELUS competition to Shaw? They have a very small footprint for deployment and inferior technology:

You can get a maximum of 2 TV's streaming at the same time with TTV assuming you're right next to a DSLAM/CO and you can only get 3.0Mbps Internet if you have TTV.

Re:Odd timing... they've finally got competition (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006721)

I know one person on TTV. He's happy enough - it also worked out to be quite a lot cheaper, they threw in the PVR, I think.

I'm not sure that the 2 TV stream thing is that big a deal for a lot of people. Do a lot of households really expect to watch 3 TV's at once? Would many households admit to it?

And the Internet speed... yep, it's limited, I think it actually goes higher if the TV feeds aren't being used.

HD PVR (5, Informative)

supun (613105) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006641)

I battled with my cable company to get them to enable the firewire on my cable box. After a long battle, they did. However only the over-the-air channels were not encrypted. The rest, including the HD channels, were 5C encrypted.

Instead of playing their little game, I purchased a HD PVR from Hauppauge. It's a component (Y,Pb,Pr) input recorder. Now there is no way to block me, except by disabling the component output on the cable box.

http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Hauppauge_HD-PVR [mythtv.org]

Re:HD PVR (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007015)

I'm confused. It seems like they're sending video through a firewire port but they're encrypting it to make it useless. What exactly is encrypted firewire data for? Is there some box that decrypts it? If there is, why not get one of those? If there isn't, why don't they just turn the port off completely instead of sending data through it that nobody can use?

Re:HD PVR (2, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007097)

If there isn't, why don't they just turn the port off completely instead of sending data through it that nobody can use?

PR, I would assume. They can claim that they're making data available without actually making it available. "The port is active, but if people don't know how to use it it's not our fault."

Re:HD PVR (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29007185)

The encryption on Firewire is like HDMI encryption. Licensed devices still work with it, like D-VHS decks. So yes, even if your Firewire is 5C encrypted, the cable company can say you can use it because it works with third-party consumer electronics.

The problem people have is they assume because Linux can't understand it, it's useless. The lawmakers and the lobbies would beg to differ, unfortunately.

Re:HD PVR (3, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007067)

Sure, they can. If your cable box supports it, they could enable analog output degradation and scale the analog outputs down to fractional resolution. There's only one way to record HDTV content that is guaranteed to be unstoppable: an HDCP stripper with an HDMI capture card....

Re:HD PVR (4, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007403)

Sure, they can. If your cable box supports it, they could enable analog output degradation and scale the analog outputs down to fractional resolution. There's only one way to record HDTV content that is guaranteed to be unstoppable: an HDCP stripper with an HDMI capture card....

Already solved. Hauppage HD-PVR, with a HD Fury 2 [hdfury.com] . The HD Fury 2 converts HDMI (up to 1080p, but the HD-PVR only does 1080i), WITH HDCP, to component video. It's designed for older TVs that have component video (or VGA) inputs to accept HDMI, but it works with an HD-PVR.

HDCP ensures that you can't get a degraded image unless the HD Fury's keys are revoked.

Might want to stock up on a few while they're still legal.

Re:HD PVR (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007519)

That device almost certainly violates the HDCP spec, and if and when the cable company decides that it does, they can trivially add its key to the list of keys their cable box should reject, at which point the HD Fury 2 becomes a useless brick that outputs a black screen. I'd give it six months. A year, tops. Like I said, the only way to guarantee that you can record the content involves some seriously legally dubious activities.

Re:HD PVR (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007635)

I dont think device vendors can revoke keys, only the BR consortium.

Firewire-an interface wasted (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006669)

The problem, at least in the US, is that the FCC mandated a Firewire interface, but they didn't mandate TVs to have a Firewire input. A few older Mitsubishi and Sony HDTVs had Firewire inputs, but those are the only ones. HDMI is by far the preferred interface now. I know a few people use the Firewire output from their cable boxes to record, but I'd guess it's almost nobody.

Re:Firewire-an interface wasted (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007359)

The problem, at least in the US, is that the FCC mandated a Firewire interface, but they didn't mandate TVs to have a Firewire input. A few older Mitsubishi and Sony HDTVs had Firewire inputs, but those are the only ones. HDMI is by far the preferred interface now. I know a few people use the Firewire output from their cable boxes to record, but I'd guess it's almost nobody.

Actually, Sharp TVs did, too. I suspect most Japanese TVs had Firewire inputs, and even support Firewire control of the source. (Interestingly, the TV mentioned it for Blu-Ray players, even though at the time, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD was just released...).

I guess the Japanese really invested in the whole Firewire thing, probably as a way of connecting their camcorders to their TVs, and being able to remotely control the camcorder through Firewire control. One bus to rule them all - it even describes how to chain devices together so you can control multiple players from the TV's Firewire input.

They own this signal. They can do what they want. (-1, Troll)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006677)

So shut the fuck up. Shaw is not obligated to you to provide a certain type of signal at a particular time. You will take it, or not.

I dropped cable TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29006755)

I don't know about the US and Canada but I have to subscribe to 40 analog channels just to get the 2 analog channels I am willing to pay that is not available for free over the air for and the extra digital package with some discovery channels. No I cant have the small subsciptions and then the extra package I want.
I know that the technical reason for this is that the filter the 3 basic subscription packages by frequencies so I need the full frequency band to get the digital channels.

So i have to get the full analog package to get the 4 channels in one of the digital packages + rent for the decoder box + another fee if i want the 4 channels they deliver in HD. And I will need a box for each TV in the house instead of the antenna cable in the wall in each room. zzzzz

I hoped when I was able to get fiber network with IP TV, I could finally pick and choose from the channels I want, but their clever schemes is about the same even though there is no technical reason for doing it this way. The only upside would be that I can get more than 4 megabit internet connection but I am fine with 4 megabit today.

In the end I decided to drop cable TV and installed a big antenna in the attic and after a cold turkey period I am doing fine with just the 6 channels that I get now. And I am saving 76$ that the full analog package costed each month or 114$ it would have cost to get the same channels digitally (+4 extra channels)..

It seems that the selling point for TV still is the number of channels. I don't care about 60 channels(or want to pay for), just give me the 10 channels I want of want of which 4 of them are free public service

IANACL (2, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006831)

I am not a Canadian lawyer, but I'm wondering: How was Shaw Cable originally persuaded to drop the flag? Was it by a court order? In Canada, when someone refuses to comply with a court order, can the judge issue an arrest warrant for them? If it was dropped in an agreement with the CRTC, does Canadian law allow their federal officials to file felony charges for violating such an agreement?
 

Re:IANACL (2, Informative)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#29006983)

The CRTC imposes monetary penalties in the form of fines for non-compliance with its rules. So if a complain is made, and the CRTC decides there are issues, fines are imposed for the duration of the violation, for example. I dont know the details of this particular case, but thats generally how it works. So its not a court order or criminal action or whatever... they just have corporations by the balls (well, wallet)

Re:IANACL (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007111)

The CRTC is a reglatory body, so if they're found in violation of their broadcaster/provider license they can be fined for breeching those terms and be hit with a stiff fine. Reglatory bodies are outside the normal 'criminal' channels in the way fines and such work in Canada. Chances are one of two things here, either they've renegotiated their license since then and are allowed to do it now, or someone is trying to be sneaky and pull the same shit again. In which case they'll try to pull a "Oops, honest mistake." And they'll try to avoid getting slapped with antoher fine.

Ignormant americans you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29007077)

Get big balls and switch cable company to new better compnany. Easy to do as to say. GET WITH IT ON !!

Just drop your cable. (4, Insightful)

Garbad Ropedink (1542973) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007155)

It's probably already been said before but just drop your cable all together. Anything you could want to watch is available online.

Just over a month and a half ago my tv broke. So I decided to just get rid of it rather than buy a new one. So I canceled my cable all together, and I just use my computer to watch whatever I want and it's bloody fantastic. You don't realize it till you don't have cable precisely how useless and overpriced it is. Most people have a set number of shows they want to watch and that's about it. Maybe some extra news, which you can just get off whatever news site you want. New episodes show up on bittorrent with a lot of seeders so it only takes an hour or so to get them, and you can watch them at your leisure. It's a lot like having a PVR except you pay a lot less.
It should also be noted that I watch a LOT less now. Since I don't have the outright waste of channel surfing just watching crap because there's nothing *good* on.

I also hooked up my 360 to my monitor and it works just as well as my tv. Maybe a little smaller but the quality is still there. Computer monitors and projectors are getting cheaper and cheaper, despite most ISP's efforts high speed internet is abundant, and cable's fast becoming an anachronism.

Re:Just drop your cable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29007387)

There are quite a few posts along the line of "Everything is available online."

Unfortunately that really isn't the case. Discovery Channel has their episodes, as well as the Comedy Network and some of the "prime time" shows are available on Global's website.

Nothing we have up here is as complete and well done as something like Hulu. Sure, we can download everything but sometimes you just want to watch stuff on a TV without going through your computer.

Shaw+corruption=monopoly+excess profit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29007161)

Why should any company have a state made monopoly in a free market?

The law is so bent, it's broken and the real criminals are running the show.

how ironic! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29007263)

so the same fucks who think that music theft is a for of protest against the riaa are the same fucks bending over and taking it up the ass when it comes to the cable company.

i guess you bitches can't live without your spoon fed entertainment.

idealists my ass.

One word: TORRENTS (nt) (1)

fluffernutter (1411889) | more than 5 years ago | (#29007401)

Really, there IS NO TEXT
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?