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  #1  
Old 08-24-2017, 08:15 PM
mlcarson mlcarson is offline
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Comcast - beginning of the end - DRM strikes!

All of the Starz channels along with Retro, Indie, Flix, and Mplex went DRM here on Comcast. The only stations that had DRM prior to this I think were Disney which ironically now looks in the clear. I don't subscribe to any of the other premium channels but kind of assume that they are also DRM now too. Has this already happened in other Comcast markets?
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2017, 02:58 AM
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Starz is a premium channel like HBO, so has always had DRM in most markets.
I'm pretty sure Comcast has had DRM on the other channels you mentioned as well (at least for me), even though you don't pay separately for them - they are part of one of the high-end packages of channels. I think MGM is another channel like this.
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2017, 06:32 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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This doesn't have to be the beginning of the end. Many of us have used the HD-PVR for a decade to capture DRM'ed channels.
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2017, 06:41 AM
mechling-burgh mechling-burgh is offline
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I think they just realized they didn't have them protected. I was getting Starz HD and Encore HD unprotected for years but all the SD channels of these stations where protected. Then last year when they started to roll out the H.264 they switched the protection on. I agree just get an HD PVR to record those stations.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2017, 10:52 AM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Or better yet, evaluate if you really need them, want them, or if you can get that content better elsewhere.

For example netflix doesn't Pan&Scan, overcompress (not as bad as cable at least), or overlay logos.
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2017, 07:06 PM
mlcarson mlcarson is offline
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The cable card has always prevented reception of these channels if you aren't subscribed to them but in my market -- nothing was actually DRM'd except for Disney for some reason. That's just changed. So, that requires a system like the old WMC that supports PlayReady.

So, assuming I wanted any channel that had DRM -- the options aren't that great for Sage TV. I assume I could get a cable box as a tuner and get an IPTV encoder for each tuner. This would be a pretty future proof setup but also an expensive one. In theory, this would also work for satellite and potentially streaming options with the appropriate tuner.

I still have my old Tivo system which could be used fairly easily with an IPTV encoder for DRM recording. I'm picturing a Tivo Mini attached to an IPTV encoder. Or if using Satellite TV, maybe a Joey (Dish) or a Genie Mini (DirecTV).

For now the easiest thing to do is just revert back to Tivo and use my Nvidia Shields for streaming options. I'm not sure if I can cancel Starz because of my contract with Comcast. If I could and really wanted it, I could stream it on the Nvidia Shield but I think Comcast has got it setup so that streaming can't be done if you subscribe to the channel with them. I'm just kind of thinking what to do long-term if they start doing more and more DRM since there isn't any existing supported software solution that can handle it.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2017, 07:22 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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Of course you can do whatever suits you, but ...

Just to reiterate what others have already mentioned, you do have options to purchase some additional equipment and continue to use SageTV, if you wish. There are folks that chose to use hardware like the HD-PVR 1212 for example, to capture the video either from a set-top-box or other methods.

Here is a thread where WMC is used along with other capture methods;

https://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63212

It's unfortunate that your service has made a change, that's for sure, but many folks here in the forum have experienced these same challenges and much more [and overcome it] in this regard for many years prior to the time when you joined the forum.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2017, 07:57 PM
egeller egeller is offline
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Comcast has had DRM on premiums, in my area, for years. I used a HD-PVR with a lot of success, when I had a Windows server.

I now use the WMC solution for premium channels. It has a number of moving parts, and I find it requires some babysitting and monitoring.

However, the good news is that Comcast OnDemand plays nice with Playon and the Playon plugin. When I have a problem with a WMC-generated recording, it's now almost trivial to order Playon to record it for me, directly from SageTV.
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  #9  
Old 08-26-2017, 05:55 AM
mlcarson mlcarson is offline
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I think the IPTV encoders are a better option than the HD-PVR's at this point assuming proper Opendct support. I can picture how I can make something work and touched upon it in my last post. I've used WMC in the past with an HDHomerun Prime. It worked well enough but it doesn't support Windows 10 and Microsoft has been trying to kill it for some time. I also never liked the file format that it was using and it still had to protect DRM files. The big downside in the IPTV encoders appear to be the two-channel stereo audio but I could live with that.

Otherwise, it's cost and complexity that are the problem. The Roamio just got a UI improvement with 20.7.2 and the issues with Rovi seem to have diminished so I'm going to check it out again and keep both systems going for a while and see how they compare again.

It's nice to have options.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2018, 06:05 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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What's the latest on Comcast? The house I am moving to is serviced by them.
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2018, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmiranda View Post
What's the latest on Comcast? The house I am moving to is serviced by them.
They seem to be fairly consistent in their policies across the US.
No analog channels -all digital.
No clear QAM channels - even locals are encrypted.
They expect you to have a cable box or a cable-card device at each TV.
Most channels are marked "copy freely" so Cable cards work with Sage for almost all channels except premiums (HBO, Showtime, etc.) and on-Demand.
I have heard they are rolling out h.264 for some channels in some areas, but I have not seen any (everything is still MPEG2 by me).
First cable card is free. 2nd cable card in same device is $1.50 per month. They offer a $2.50 per month equipment credit for using a cable card with your own equipment.

Their old DVR service was terrible and expensive. Their new X1 equipment is pretty good, but even more expensive. The X1 equipment is not compatible with their "legacy" equipment, so if you want to try X1 on one TV, you have to upgrade everything in the house.
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2018, 11:50 AM
trk2 trk2 is offline
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I have Comcast and all channels except premium are copy freely. I use cable card with HDHR Prime. I reserve two tuners for the copy free channels and the third tuner is for premium channels recorded using WMC and Colossus to avoid any equipment rentals.
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2018, 11:59 AM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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I also have Comcast and 2 HDHomeRun Primes with cable cards. I have had this setup for years and except for and it works fine for everything except the premium channels like HBO.

If you are not using their DVR, there is a trick to not putting a box at every TV. Roku has an Xfinity app that lets you view live and ON-Demand TV. For the one-time cost of a Roku box, you save the cost of the monthly rental of a box for other TV's

If only the Roku box had a SageTV client, it would be perfect.

If you have Android TV, you can use the HDHomeRun app to view live TV, but not ON-Demand.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2018, 12:04 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Is there an Xfinity AndroidTV app? My cable company, Rogers cable, is rolling out the Xfinity IPTV solution in the near future.
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2018, 12:11 PM
KarylFStein KarylFStein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
Is there an Xfinity AndroidTV app? My cable company, Rogers cable, is rolling out the Xfinity IPTV solution in the near future.
Yes
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  #16  
Old 01-23-2018, 12:19 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Good - to be specific it is the Comcast X1 IPTV solution that they are rolling out. Hopefully that is the same thing as what you have.
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  #17  
Old 01-23-2018, 12:23 PM
KarylFStein KarylFStein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
Good - to be specific it is the Comcast X1 IPTV solution that they are rolling out. Hopefully that is the same thing as what you have.
Oh, no, sorry, I didn't read that right. They have an app for the "on demand" stuff. Does X1 IPTV let you stream live?
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  #18  
Old 01-23-2018, 12:26 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Don't know yet as the system is just in beta testing not open to the public. But there current system does let you live stream some stuff to an iOS app - I have done that before.
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  #19  
Old 01-23-2018, 04:56 PM
Sparhawk6 Sparhawk6 is offline
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All of my non-premium channels are Copy Freely, but years ago I had to call some special tech because they were originally set as Copy Once. This guy changed the flag for me (and consequently my entire market). But I am always worried that Comcast will suddenly change it back, and I won't be able to convince anyone to change it back. Always a risk. For that reason I am considering going OTA for local networks (and continuing with Sage use) and subscribing to a streaming service for cable channels.
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  #20  
Old 01-23-2018, 05:46 PM
trk2 trk2 is offline
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If you look at the Comcast support forums where copy once/ copy freely issues come up, Comcast actively apologizes and tries to correct issues where channels are mistakenly set to copy once. I wouldn't worry too much about it, the policy has been consistent for years now.
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