Mailing List Archive

Shaw Cable Begins Blocking IEEE 1394 (Firewire) Output from STBs
Shaw cable here in Canada (specifically Vancouver) on Friday began
implementing the Copy Control Information (CCI) flag on several digital
channels, notably a number of HD channels, rendering my IEEE 1394
(firewire) connection useless on these channels. Below is some
correspondence I've had with Shaw (note the CRTC is the Canadian
equivalent to the FCC).

Any Myth users in Canada successfully convince their providers to drop
the CCI flag? Has anyone else had this issue recently? If so, has the
CRTC been approached? Were they helpful in any way?

Will keep the list posted of any developments.

Cheers,

Martin

-----Original Message-----
*From:* *omitted*
*Sent:* Sunday, December 23, 2007 11:23 AM
*To:* Eservice Vancouver
*Subject:* Cable/Digital CableAs of Fri, Dec. 21, it appears the output
of several channels via the IEEE 1394 ports on my Motorola DCT-6200
either scramble or fail to output several channels (which I subscribe to
and pay to receive). Specifically: -All time shifted channels -60 (Movie
Central) -61 (Movie Central) -117 (NHLTV) -139 (DejaVu) -200 (ABC-HD)
-201 (CBS-HD) -202 (NBC_HD) -203 (FOX-HD) -204 (PBS-HD) -209 (CBC-HD)
There are several others, and may further be others I don't subscribe to
but which may be causing problems for your other customers. This is a
very significant issue, as most 3rd party hard-disk based recorders,
used for personal use, time shifting and other 'fair use' purposes,
communicate with the set top box via the IEEE 1394 ports. In my case, I
use an open-source system called Myth TV. Preventing customers from the
fair use of channels they've paid to receive absent a cable company's
proprietary recording/time shifting systems constitutes a restraint of
trade. Can you please advise what's changed and how I can continue to
receive the channels I pay for via the IEEE 1394 output? Are there
settings on my end I can change to re-enable these channels? If this is
the result of a firmware update, please roll back the firmware to a
previous version compatible with receiving all the channels I subscribe
to via the IEEE 1394 output. I've included a copy of this request to the
CRTC for further clarification of the regulatory propriety of blocking
subscribed channels on particular output ports and would appreciate all
correspondence in writing. Thank you. Martin Lynch


>> -----Original Message-----
>> *From:* *omitted*
>> *Sent:* Sunday, December 23, 2007 11:23 AM
>> *To:* Eservice Vancouver
>> *Subject:* Cable/Digital Cable
>> As of Fri, Dec. 21, it appears the output of several channels via the
>> IEEE 1394 ports on my Motorola DCT-6200 either scramble or fail to
>> output several channels (which I subscribe to and pay to receive).
>> Specifically: -All time shifted channels -60 (Movie Central) -61
>> (Movie Central) -117 (NHLTV) -139 (DejaVu) -200 (ABC-HD) -201
>> (CBS-HD) -202 (NBC_HD) -203 (FOX-HD) -204 (PBS-HD) -209 (CBC-HD)
>> There are several others, and may further be others I don't subscribe
>> to but which may be causing problems for your other customers. This
>> is a very significant issue, as most 3rd party hard-disk based
>> recorders, used for personal use, time shifting and other 'fair use'
>> purposes, communicate with the set top box via the IEEE 1394 ports.
>> In my case, I use an open-source system called Myth TV. Preventing
>> customers from the fair use of channels they've paid to receive
>> absent a cable company's proprietary recording/time shifting systems
>> constitutes a restraint of trade. Can you please advise what's
>> changed and how I can continue to receive the channels I pay for via
>> the IEEE 1394 output? Are there settings on my end I can change to
>> re-enable these channels? If this is the result of a firmware update,
>> please roll back the firmware to a previous version compatible with
>> receiving all the channels I subscribe to via the IEEE 1394 output.
>> I've included a copy of this request to the CRTC for further
>> clarification of the regulatory propriety of blocking subscribed
>> channels on particular output ports and would appreciate all
>> correspondence in writing. Thank you. Martin Lynch
>>
Shaw Internet Vancouver Help wrote:
>
> Hi Martin,
>
>
>
> Thank you for choosing Shaw Technical Support.
>
>
>
> Presently the 1394 ports you are referring to are actually not active
on our Shaw Digital Terminals and are unsupported. At present we are
examining several options for increasing the number of features and unit
capacity of our units in the future. One option we are looking at in
particular right now is CableCARD 2.0 in addition to enabling use of the
USB ports on the units. Unfortunately we have many considerations to
make including security concerns as well as impact on our current
business model. We are unsure when future changes will be made.
>
>
> We hope this information has been useful to you. Please feel free to
contact us by phone 604-629-4000 or by email response. If you need
further assistance you may also visit our website at http://www.shaw.ca/.
>
____________________________________________________________________________________________

David Rep #7466, Technical Support, Telephone: (604) 629-4000, Shaw
Communications Inc.


*From:* Martin Lynch
*Sent:* Monday, December 24, 2007 5:46 PM
*To:* Shaw Internet Vancouver Help
*Subject:* Re: Cable/Digital Cable

Thank you, David - I appreciate the prompt response, however both IEEE
1394 ports on my Motorola 6200 have been active for at least 9 months,
as I've been using them continuously throughout that entire time to
output the signal to my MythTV setup on my computer in order to time
shift the programs I like to watch, which in turn passes the signal via
DVI cable to my TV. In fact, it's worked remarkably well during that time.

I should point out that the so-called "US Superstations" never worked,
and when the additional HD channels were recently introduced, channels
205 - 208 didn't work from the get-go.

Just to clarify, Shaw has not altered or encrypted any additional
channels within the past week? Can you perhaps clarify at which point
encryption or other techniques to disrupt the channels I subscribe to
are introduced, ie at source, at some redistribution point, at Shaw's
distribution point or at the cable box? The reason I ask is that if it's
at source, I find it odd that disparate, unrelated (by corporate
ownership) channels should simultaneously stop working.

Thanks again for the response and your ongoing assistance - I hope you
can appreciate that, having spent considerable funds (and even more
time) building my system it is quite disappointing to suddenly find
certain channels no longer viewable. Unfortunately no commercially
available system combines all the features I want, which to my knowledge
only MythTv provides.

Martin

Shaw Internet Vancouver Help wrote:
> Hi Martin,
>
> We have not made any significant changes to how we encrypt our
channels recently. If you connect your Shaw digital cable box to your
TV, with the cables provided, and having reception issues, we can do our
best to troubleshoot with you.
> If you are using IEEE 1394 or a Myth TV setup, we can not provide
technical support.
>
> We hope this information has been useful to you. Please feel free to
contact us by phone 604-629-4000 or by email response. If you need
further assistance you may also visit our website at http://www.shaw.ca/.
> Thank you for choosing Shaw Eservices.
>
>


Thanks for the reply.

I took the liberty of accessing the diagnostics mode of the the DCT-6200
and, unfortunately, it appears you are not providing me with accurate
information (or perhaps your choice of the term "significant" is well
chosen). Specifically, I checked the status of the Copy Control
Information (CCI) flag at menu point 6 for the channels I've suddenly
begun having problems with and they all now show the 0x02 code, which
indicates CCI is now enabled on these channels. This in turn blocks
output via the IEEE 1394 ports. It further applies to channel 209 -
CBC-HD, a public broadcaster, for which I pay twice (once via my taxes
and again in subscribing to this channel). It's difficult for me to
fathom how blocking a public channel is in the public interest.

Keep in mind, these are channels I've paid (in advance, as your billing
cycle dictates) to receive, and the particular connection through which
I choose to receive these signals ought to be a completely neutral
issue, left to my discretion. There is a significant restraint of trade
issue here, since these channels will now presumably only work with a
PVR solution provided by Shaw, and not with the myriad other options
available (including the MythTV system I use). There is a rapidly
growing segment of your subscriber base which now routes all their
entertainment through a computer - implementing obstacles to this
convergence of entertainment with the home computer is most certainly
not in the interests of your customers. We are discussing, after all,
"fair use" issues here.

I've further taken the liberty of copying in the Reporters' Desk at the
Vancouver Province, as well as the CRTC who, I hope, can provide further
insight on whether you are permitted to do this (in the US, the FCC
mandates cable operators must enable the IEEE 1394 output ports at the
request of a customer; should that be the case here in Canada, I
formally request the ports be enabled for all channels to which I
subscribe) and also to make them aware this fact is being obfuscated by
Shaw representatives. The Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of Canadian
Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages (and responsible for
the CRTC) has been copied in as a courtesy.

Regards,

Martin Lynch
Re: Shaw Cable Begins Blocking IEEE 1394 (Firewire) Output from STBs [ In reply to ]
Martin Lynch wrote:
> Shaw cable here in Canada (specifically Vancouver) on Friday began
> implementing the Copy Control Information (CCI) flag on several
> digital channels, notably a number of HD channels, rendering my IEEE
> 1394 (firewire) connection useless on these channels. Below is some
> correspondence I've had with Shaw (note the CRTC is the Canadian
> equivalent to the FCC).
>
> Any Myth users in Canada successfully convince their providers to drop
> the CCI flag? Has anyone else had this issue recently? If so, has the
> CRTC been approached? Were they helpful in any way?
>
> Will keep the list posted of any developments.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Martin
>
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* *omitted*
> *Sent:* Sunday, December 23, 2007 11:23 AM
> *To:* Eservice Vancouver
> *Subject:* Cable/Digital CableAs of Fri, Dec. 21, it appears the
> output of several channels via the IEEE 1394 ports on my Motorola
> DCT-6200 either scramble or fail to output several channels (which I
> subscribe to and pay to receive). Specifically: -All time shifted
> channels -60 (Movie Central) -61 (Movie Central) -117 (NHLTV) -139
> (DejaVu) -200 (ABC-HD) -201 (CBS-HD) -202 (NBC_HD) -203 (FOX-HD) -204
> (PBS-HD) -209 (CBC-HD) There are several others, and may further be
> others I don't subscribe to but which may be causing problems for your
> other customers. This is a very significant issue, as most 3rd party
> hard-disk based recorders, used for personal use, time shifting and
> other 'fair use' purposes, communicate with the set top box via the
> IEEE 1394 ports. In my case, I use an open-source system called Myth
> TV. Preventing customers from the fair use of channels they've paid to
> receive absent a cable company's proprietary recording/time shifting
> systems constitutes a restraint of trade. Can you please advise what's
> changed and how I can continue to receive the channels I pay for via
> the IEEE 1394 output? Are there settings on my end I can change to
> re-enable these channels? If this is the result of a firmware update,
> please roll back the firmware to a previous version compatible with
> receiving all the channels I subscribe to via the IEEE 1394 output.
> I've included a copy of this request to the CRTC for further
> clarification of the regulatory propriety of blocking subscribed
> channels on particular output ports and would appreciate all
> correspondence in writing. Thank you. Martin Lynch
>
>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> *From:* *omitted*
>>> *Sent:* Sunday, December 23, 2007 11:23 AM
>>> *To:* Eservice Vancouver
>>> *Subject:* Cable/Digital Cable
>>> As of Fri, Dec. 21, it appears the output of several channels via
>>> the IEEE 1394 ports on my Motorola DCT-6200 either scramble or fail
>>> to output several channels (which I subscribe to and pay to
>>> receive). Specifically: -All time shifted channels -60 (Movie
>>> Central) -61 (Movie Central) -117 (NHLTV) -139 (DejaVu) -200
>>> (ABC-HD) -201 (CBS-HD) -202 (NBC_HD) -203 (FOX-HD) -204 (PBS-HD)
>>> -209 (CBC-HD) There are several others, and may further be others I
>>> don't subscribe to but which may be causing problems for your other
>>> customers. This is a very significant issue, as most 3rd party
>>> hard-disk based recorders, used for personal use, time shifting and
>>> other 'fair use' purposes, communicate with the set top box via the
>>> IEEE 1394 ports. In my case, I use an open-source system called Myth
>>> TV. Preventing customers from the fair use of channels they've paid
>>> to receive absent a cable company's proprietary recording/time
>>> shifting systems constitutes a restraint of trade. Can you please
>>> advise what's changed and how I can continue to receive the channels
>>> I pay for via the IEEE 1394 output? Are there settings on my end I
>>> can change to re-enable these channels? If this is the result of a
>>> firmware update, please roll back the firmware to a previous version
>>> compatible with receiving all the channels I subscribe to via the
>>> IEEE 1394 output. I've included a copy of this request to the CRTC
>>> for further clarification of the regulatory propriety of blocking
>>> subscribed channels on particular output ports and would appreciate
>>> all correspondence in writing. Thank you. Martin Lynch
>>>
> Shaw Internet Vancouver Help wrote:
> >
> > Hi Martin,
> >
> >
> >
> > Thank you for choosing Shaw Technical Support.
> >
> >
> >
> > Presently the 1394 ports you are referring to are actually not
> active on our Shaw Digital Terminals and are unsupported. At present
> we are examining several options for increasing the number of features
> and unit capacity of our units in the future. One option we are
> looking at in particular right now is CableCARD 2.0 in addition to
> enabling use of the USB ports on the units. Unfortunately we have many
> considerations to make including security concerns as well as impact
> on our current business model. We are unsure when future changes will
> be made.
> >
> >
> > We hope this information has been useful to you. Please feel free
> to contact us by phone 604-629-4000 or by email response. If you need
> further assistance you may also visit our website at http://www.shaw.ca/.
> >
> ____________________________________________________________________________________________
>
> David Rep #7466, Technical Support, Telephone: (604) 629-4000, Shaw
> Communications Inc.
>
>
> *From:* Martin Lynch
> *Sent:* Monday, December 24, 2007 5:46 PM
> *To:* Shaw Internet Vancouver Help
> *Subject:* Re: Cable/Digital Cable
>
> Thank you, David - I appreciate the prompt response, however both IEEE
> 1394 ports on my Motorola 6200 have been active for at least 9 months,
> as I've been using them continuously throughout that entire time to
> output the signal to my MythTV setup on my computer in order to time
> shift the programs I like to watch, which in turn passes the signal
> via DVI cable to my TV. In fact, it's worked remarkably well during
> that time.
>
> I should point out that the so-called "US Superstations" never worked,
> and when the additional HD channels were recently introduced, channels
> 205 - 208 didn't work from the get-go.
>
> Just to clarify, Shaw has not altered or encrypted any additional
> channels within the past week? Can you perhaps clarify at which point
> encryption or other techniques to disrupt the channels I subscribe to
> are introduced, ie at source, at some redistribution point, at Shaw's
> distribution point or at the cable box? The reason I ask is that if
> it's at source, I find it odd that disparate, unrelated (by corporate
> ownership) channels should simultaneously stop working.
>
> Thanks again for the response and your ongoing assistance - I hope you
> can appreciate that, having spent considerable funds (and even more
> time) building my system it is quite disappointing to suddenly find
> certain channels no longer viewable. Unfortunately no commercially
> available system combines all the features I want, which to my
> knowledge only MythTv provides.
>
> Martin
>
> Shaw Internet Vancouver Help wrote:
> > Hi Martin,
> >
> > We have not made any significant changes to how we encrypt our
> channels recently. If you connect your Shaw digital cable box to your
> TV, with the cables provided, and having reception issues, we can do
> our best to troubleshoot with you.
> > If you are using IEEE 1394 or a Myth TV setup, we can not provide
> technical support.
> >
> > We hope this information has been useful to you. Please feel free
> to contact us by phone 604-629-4000 or by email response. If you need
> further assistance you may also visit our website at http://www.shaw.ca/.
> > Thank you for choosing Shaw Eservices.
> >
> >
>
>
> Thanks for the reply.
>
> I took the liberty of accessing the diagnostics mode of the the
> DCT-6200 and, unfortunately, it appears you are not providing me with
> accurate information (or perhaps your choice of the term "significant"
> is well chosen). Specifically, I checked the status of the Copy
> Control Information (CCI) flag at menu point 6 for the channels I've
> suddenly begun having problems with and they all now show the 0x02
> code, which indicates CCI is now enabled on these channels. This in
> turn blocks output via the IEEE 1394 ports. It further applies to
> channel 209 - CBC-HD, a public broadcaster, for which I pay twice
> (once via my taxes and again in subscribing to this channel). It's
> difficult for me to fathom how blocking a public channel is in the
> public interest.
>
> Keep in mind, these are channels I've paid (in advance, as your
> billing cycle dictates) to receive, and the particular connection
> through which I choose to receive these signals ought to be a
> completely neutral issue, left to my discretion. There is a
> significant restraint of trade issue here, since these channels will
> now presumably only work with a PVR solution provided by Shaw, and not
> with the myriad other options available (including the MythTV system I
> use). There is a rapidly growing segment of your subscriber base which
> now routes all their entertainment through a computer - implementing
> obstacles to this convergence of entertainment with the home computer
> is most certainly not in the interests of your customers. We are
> discussing, after all, "fair use" issues here.
>
> I've further taken the liberty of copying in the Reporters' Desk at
> the Vancouver Province, as well as the CRTC who, I hope, can provide
> further insight on whether you are permitted to do this (in the US,
> the FCC mandates cable operators must enable the IEEE 1394 output
> ports at the request of a customer; should that be the case here in
> Canada, I formally request the ports be enabled for all channels to
> which I subscribe) and also to make them aware this fact is being
> obfuscated by Shaw representatives. The Honourable Josee Verner,
> Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages
> (and responsible for the CRTC) has been copied in as a courtesy.
>
> Regards,
>
> Martin Lynch
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users@mythtv.org
> http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>
Well done, Martin! Please update everyone, if the issue gets resolved
one way or the other.
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mythtv-users mailing list
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http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
Re: Shaw Cable Begins Blocking IEEE 1394 (Firewire) Output from STBs [ In reply to ]
Martin Lynch wrote:
>
> I've further taken the liberty of copying in the Reporters' Desk at the
> Vancouver Province, as well as the CRTC who, I hope, can provide further
> insight on whether you are permitted to do this (in the US, the FCC
> mandates cable operators must enable the IEEE 1394 output ports at the
> request of a customer; should that be the case here in Canada, I
> formally request the ports be enabled for all channels to which I
> subscribe) and also to make them aware this fact is being obfuscated by
> Shaw representatives. The Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of Canadian
> Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages (and responsible for
> the CRTC) has been copied in as a courtesy.

According to what Michael Geist has been writing lately, Prentice
(minster of industry and trade) seems to be in the drivers seat on IP
issues, and Verner is just a sock puppet. You might want to CC him as well.

- Marc
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