Cable Labs Changes OCUR Specification Expanding Copy-Freely Content – MythTV Users Rejoice
CableCARD is the technology that enables HTPC users to build the ultimate DVR. The kind of multi-tuner DVR backed by insane amounts of storage that makes it easy to “meh” when a company proudly proclaims the capabilities of their – not quite as spec’ful – aspirational kit. It has drawback though, especially if you prefer not to use Microsoft Windows Media Center (WMC), because while it is relatively easy to communicate with a Digital Cable Tuner (DCT) using UPnP and get the streams over RTP in applications like MythTV, NextPVR, or SageTV none of these provide support for the bane of CableCARD – DRM. Depending on your cable provider, this is either a huge problem (i.e. Time Warner/Cox) or not that bad (Comcast), at least until recently when the specification changed to allow the card to not provide a CCI flag (the digital indicator which notes Copy-Feely/Once/Never) on for content which should be marked Copy-Freely causing the DCT to fall back to CGMS-A, APS and RC (noted in Annex A above) which in most cases have random or incorrect values assigned. Requiring DRM on a show where it shouldn’t.
While Ceton wasn’t at CES, I did run into Eric Kotz while at the show and he mentioned that they were trying to get the OCUR specification changed to remove the need to monitor CGMS-A, APS, and RC so only CCI flags will be honored. That change was approved today (OCUR-N-14.1880-1) ; which means that everyone who was enjoying CableCARD content outside of WMC and started having trouble when the CCI flags went away are just a firmware update away from getting back to rocking out with their ultimate HTPC DVR.
With Ceton making the change request to Cable Labs I imagine the wait won’t be too long for their tuners, and I have reached out to SiliconDust for a comment. When I receive a response I will update the post.
As richard1980 pointed out in the comments Ceton has released a pre-beta FW with this change. Eric also let me know that this problem/change also affects ClearQAM channels.
SiliconDust has posted a beta FW update.