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Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details

 

 

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ron at ronfrazier

Jul 31, 2011, 9:37 AM

Post #1 of 17 (4157 views)
Permalink
Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details

It's seems there's been a lot of questions from potential cablecard users
wondering whether their local cable provider offers channels in Copy Free
mode, and which channels they do so for. I thought it might be handy to
build a database of this sort of info so that users could look online and
get a more concrete sense of which cable providers are doing what, and if
they're lucky, maybe even find an actual user report from their area.

Yesterday I was building a script for another myth user. His friend had a
ceton card, and he was considering getting one too but wanted to know a full
summary of which channels would be available to him in myth. I offered to
put a script together for him so his friend could run it to gather all of
that info. Then it occurred to me that, since I was already doing all the
work of collecting the data, it would be trivial to have it post all of the
details to a web page which would store it in a database so other users
could see the results. So I did exactly that.

The script collects basic info for each channel: channel number, callsign,
frequency, modulation, mpeg program number, and the CCI status. It also asks
the user to supply the name of their cable provider, city, state, and zip
code. All user provided details are optional, but obviously the results are
more useful if you fill in this info. The info is otherwise anonymous (no
usernames, IP addresses, or anything of the sort collected).

This script only works for Ceton InfiniTV 4 cards, but I tried to make the
online part generic enough that when the HDHomerun Prime is released,
someone could write a script that gathers all of the info from it and submit
the details to the existing script. If someone wants to do that, please
contact me before just going off and submitting your data to me, as I'd like
to work with you to test that you are submitting valid data (and also to
coordinate development...we probably don't need 10 people writing 10
versions of the same script).

Anyone with a Ceton InfiniTV 4 card can get the script from here:
http://www.ronfrazier.net/mythtv/0.24/index.html#CetonCCIScanner

And the online database can be found here:
http://www.ronfrazier.net/mythtv/cci/index.php

The website is very basic. If we get enough user participation, I could
expand it to allow searching/filtering and pretty it up. Other suggestions
are welcome.

Before you run the script, you'll want to change the ceton's ip address if
you aren't running with the default IP. Also, this script just grabs tuner 4
and changes settings at will to gather the data, so please make sure you
won't have anything else trying to use tuner 4 for the next hour or so. The
script takes about 30 minutes for me to run and check 300+ channels (it
needs to check every channel offered by your cable company, even if you
don't subscribe to it, since there's no way to know which channels you
subscribe to other than to test each one).

--
Ron Frazier


support at drdos

Jul 31, 2011, 11:11 AM

Post #2 of 17 (4093 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

Ronald Frazier wrote:
> The website is very basic. If we get enough user participation

Very cool!

Doug


--
Ben Franklin quote:

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

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eric at lisaneric

Jul 31, 2011, 1:14 PM

Post #3 of 17 (4100 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 12:37 PM, Ronald Frazier <ron [at] ronfrazier> wrote:
> This script only works for Ceton InfiniTV 4 cards, but I tried to make the
> online part generic enough that when the HDHomerun Prime is released,
> someone could write a script that gathers all of the info from it and submit
> the details to the existing script.

That's interesting, but of course the HDHomerun Prime already ships
with support for this built in as a feature. It knows when its tuners
are idle, and can perform this scan in the background automatically,
and submit the results of the scan back to Silicon Dust, where they
assemble the results and post them online in an anonymized form.

Eric
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eriksjunk at laurelwoodart

Jul 31, 2011, 8:14 PM

Post #4 of 17 (4082 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 9:37 AM, Ronald Frazier <ron [at] ronfrazier> wrote:
...
> The script collects basic info for each channel: channel number, callsign,
> frequency, modulation, mpeg program number, and the CCI status. It also asks
> the user to supply the name of their cable provider, city, state, and zip
> code. All user provided details are optional, but obviously the results are
> more useful if you fill in this info. The info is otherwise anonymous (no
> usernames, IP addresses, or anything of the sort collected).

I tried this out, and had a couple of oddities in my results.

First, almost all unencrypted channels (tunable via ClearQAM) were
reported as "Unknown / None". The one exception was reported as
Unknown / Copy Generation Management System - Analog: "One Copy"
(0x02). This channel is viewable over ClearQAM and FireWire, but not
the Ceton.
Second, all channel's to which I don't subscribe were reported as Copy
Control Information: "Copy Free" (00)

The fact that the Ceton falls back to CGMS-A for unencrypted channel's
in my case means that the statement "if you can record it over
FireWire, you can record it with CableCard" is not entirely true....

-- Erik Jensen
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ron at ronfrazier

Jul 31, 2011, 8:44 PM

Post #5 of 17 (4073 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 11:14 PM, Erik Jensen
<eriksjunk [at] laurelwoodart>wrote:

> I tried this out, and had a couple of oddities in my results.
>
> First, almost all unencrypted channels (tunable via ClearQAM) were
> reported as "Unknown / None". The one exception was reported as
> Unknown / Copy Generation Management System - Analog: "One Copy"
> (0x02). This channel is viewable over ClearQAM and FireWire, but not
> the Ceton.
> Second, all channel's to which I don't subscribe were reported as Copy
> Control Information: "Copy Free" (00)
>
> The fact that the Ceton falls back to CGMS-A for unencrypted channel's
> in my case means that the statement "if you can record it over
> FireWire, you can record it with CableCard" is not entirely true....
>

That's odd. I've only seen a copy protection other than CCI one time, and it
was only when I didn't have my cablecard install (running in QAM mode). One
of the channels that comes up as Copy Control Information: "Copy Free" (00)
with a cablecard comes up as Redistribution Control: "One Copy" (0x02) in
QAM mode. But I'm fairly certain that doesn't stop you from recording it. I
think it's just reporting what protection is present, but I believe the
Ceton will only enforce the CCI protections. Have you attempted to record
something on it?

Edit: hmmm, maybe that's not true. Here's some info from their support site:

http://www.cetoncorp.com/support/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/2/8/copy-protection-flags

It sounds like you will only see those other flags on unencrypted content.
However it sounds like the card will still enforce the other protections
even though the content is unencrypted. Strange.


The Unknown / None value comes up when the channel didn't seem to tune
right. Using the web interface for tuning, you've sometimes got to give it a
few shots just to make sure it goes through right (I'd hope the DRI
interface is a little more reliable than that, but I haven't got around to
working with that yet). I made a small tweak to the script that retries the
channel change later when it gets that error, but I haven't uploaded it yet.


As a side note, at the moment I'm particularly annoyed (more than usual) by
the whole DRM concept here. Suddenly today, whenever I try tuning any HD
stations, the Ceton tells me I'm not authorized for that station. It only
wants to work on the stations that are unencrypted. The last time I had this
sort of error, the authorization flags on my account weren't set properly
and a tech in the NOC had to fix it for me. I called support today and they
couldn't see anything wrong. I'll have to wait until tomorrow when I can
reach the tech in the support forum and have him investigate my account. So
for the moment, I'm stuck recording only SD content, which sort of annoys
me.


--
Ron Frazier


two.bits.11 at gmail

Jul 31, 2011, 8:45 PM

Post #6 of 17 (4082 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 11:14 PM, Erik Jensen
<eriksjunk [at] laurelwoodart>wrote:

> On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 9:37 AM, Ronald Frazier <ron [at] ronfrazier>
> wrote:
> ...
> > The script collects basic info for each channel: channel number,
> callsign,
> > frequency, modulation, mpeg program number, and the CCI status. It also
> asks
> > the user to supply the name of their cable provider, city, state, and zip
> > code. All user provided details are optional, but obviously the results
> are
> > more useful if you fill in this info. The info is otherwise anonymous (no
> > usernames, IP addresses, or anything of the sort collected).
>
> I tried this out, and had a couple of oddities in my results.
>
> First, almost all unencrypted channels (tunable via ClearQAM) were
> reported as "Unknown / None". The one exception was reported as
> Unknown / Copy Generation Management System - Analog: "One Copy"
> (0x02). This channel is viewable over ClearQAM and FireWire, but not
> the Ceton.
> Second, all channel's to which I don't subscribe were reported as Copy
> Control Information: "Copy Free" (00)
>
> The fact that the Ceton falls back to CGMS-A for unencrypted channel's
> in my case means that the statement "if you can record it over
> FireWire, you can record it with CableCard" is not entirely true....
>
> -- Erik Jensen
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users [at] mythtv
> http://www.mythtv.org/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>

According to this page, there are four flags that can trip you up when
dealing with an unencrypted stream and a Ceton.

http://www.cetoncorp.com/support/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/2/8/copy-protection-flags

That being said, this scenario looks like a mistake that you may be able to
get fixed by complaining to your provider. Why the hell would someone
intentionally only set the CGMS-A flag? It makes no sense.

-Tom


two.bits.11 at gmail

Jul 31, 2011, 8:56 PM

Post #7 of 17 (4084 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 11:44 PM, Ronald Frazier <ron [at] ronfrazier> wrote:

> On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 11:14 PM, Erik Jensen <eriksjunk [at] laurelwoodart
> > wrote:
>
>> I tried this out, and had a couple of oddities in my results.
>>
>> First, almost all unencrypted channels (tunable via ClearQAM) were
>> reported as "Unknown / None". The one exception was reported as
>> Unknown / Copy Generation Management System - Analog: "One Copy"
>> (0x02). This channel is viewable over ClearQAM and FireWire, but not
>> the Ceton.
>> Second, all channel's to which I don't subscribe were reported as Copy
>> Control Information: "Copy Free" (00)
>>
>> The fact that the Ceton falls back to CGMS-A for unencrypted channel's
>> in my case means that the statement "if you can record it over
>> FireWire, you can record it with CableCard" is not entirely true....
>>
>
> That's odd. I've only seen a copy protection other than CCI one time, and
> it was only when I didn't have my cablecard install (running in QAM mode).
> One of the channels that comes up as Copy Control Information: "Copy Free"
> (00) with a cablecard comes up as Redistribution Control: "One Copy" (0x02)
> in QAM mode. But I'm fairly certain that doesn't stop you from recording it.
> I think it's just reporting what protection is present, but I believe the
> Ceton will only enforce the CCI protections. Have you attempted to record
> something on it?
>
> Edit: hmmm, maybe that's not true. Here's some info from their support
> site:
>
> http://www.cetoncorp.com/support/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/2/8/copy-protection-flags
>
> It sounds like you will only see those other flags on unencrypted content.
> However it sounds like the card will still enforce the other protections
> even though the content is unencrypted. Strange.
>
>
> The Unknown / None value comes up when the channel didn't seem to tune
> right. Using the web interface for tuning, you've sometimes got to give it a
> few shots just to make sure it goes through right (I'd hope the DRI
> interface is a little more reliable than that, but I haven't got around to
> working with that yet). I made a small tweak to the script that retries the
> channel change later when it gets that error, but I haven't uploaded it yet.
>
>
> As a side note, at the moment I'm particularly annoyed (more than usual) by
> the whole DRM concept here. Suddenly today, whenever I try tuning any HD
> stations, the Ceton tells me I'm not authorized for that station. It only
> wants to work on the stations that are unencrypted. The last time I had this
> sort of error, the authorization flags on my account weren't set properly
> and a tech in the NOC had to fix it for me. I called support today and they
> couldn't see anything wrong. I'll have to wait until tomorrow when I can
> reach the tech in the support forum and have him investigate my account. So
> for the moment, I'm stuck recording only SD content, which sort of annoys
> me.
>
>
> --
> Ron Frazier
>
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users [at] mythtv
> http://www.mythtv.org/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>
>
Sorry for the cross post. After re-reading it, it looks like whatever the
CCI says is what goes. The CCI is always present on encrypted channels but
never on clear-QAM channels. Worst case, I would just use a clear-QAM tuner
for those channels.

- Copy Control Information (CCI)
- Macrovision
- Analog Protection System (APS)
- Copy Generation Management System - Analog (CGMS-A)
- Redistribution Control (RC)

"If multiple flags are present on the channel at the same time one overrides
the other, with precedence in the order listed. For example, if CGMS-A flags
the content as Copy Never, but CCI is also there and it says Copy Free, then
the content will be Copy Free.

The CCI flags come from the CableCARD. Anything encrypted on the wire (i.e.
non-ClearQAM) has to be decrypted by the CableCARD and therefore CCI is
used, overwriting anything else that might be there.

For channels that are ClearQAM, the CableCARD doesn't decrypt them so the
InfiniTV does not receive any CCI value, therefore any of the other flags
which are present on the channel are respected."

So the saying "If you can record it over FireWire, you can record it with
CableCard" is always true for encrypted channels, but not for unencrypted
channels. I actually feel a little better now.

-Tom


eriksjunk at laurelwoodart

Aug 1, 2011, 2:14 AM

Post #8 of 17 (4057 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 8:44 PM, Ronald Frazier <ron [at] ronfrazier> wrote:
> That's odd. I've only seen a copy protection other than CCI one time, and it
> was only when I didn't have my cablecard install (running in QAM mode). One
> of the channels that comes up as Copy Control Information: "Copy Free" (00)
> with a cablecard comes up as Redistribution Control: "One Copy" (0x02) in
> QAM mode. But I'm fairly certain that doesn't stop you from recording it. I
> think it's just reporting what protection is present, but I believe the
> Ceton will only enforce the CCI protections. Have you attempted to record
> something on it?

I have, I am indeed unable to watch this channel with the Ceton.

> Edit: hmmm, maybe that's not true. Here's some info from their support site:
> http://www.cetoncorp.com/support/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/2/8/copy-protection-flags
>
> It sounds like you will only see those other flags on unencrypted content.
> However it sounds like the card will still enforce the other protections
> even though the content is unencrypted. Strange.
>
>
> The Unknown / None value comes up when the channel didn't seem to tune
> right. Using the web interface for tuning, you've sometimes got to give it a
> few shots just to make sure it goes through right (I'd hope the DRI
> interface is a little more reliable than that, but I haven't got around to
> working with that yet). I made a small tweak to the script that retries the
> channel change later when it gets that error, but I haven't uploaded it yet.

There don't seem to be any errors on these channels. They always come
up as "None" in the web interface, and can still watch them fine. It
seems that your unencrypted channel's have CCI information, while mine
do not. (I wish they did, as it would keep the card from falling back
to CGMS-A).

On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 8:45 PM, Tom Bongiorno <two.bits.11 [at] gmail> wrote:
> That being said, this scenario looks like a mistake that you may be able to
> get fixed by complaining to your provider. Why the hell would someone
> intentionally only set the CGMS-A flag? It makes no sense.

The flag goes away temporarily when my provider inserts local
commercials, so I have a feeling it's probably from up stream. Since
CGMS-A is an analog technology, it seems that it would have to be
encoded into the VBI of the video itself, like closed-captions.

-- Erik Jensen
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two.bits.11 at gmail

Aug 1, 2011, 4:01 AM

Post #9 of 17 (4062 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 5:14 AM, Erik Jensen <eriksjunk [at] laurelwoodart>wrote:

>
> The flag goes away temporarily when my provider inserts local
> commercials, so I have a feeling it's probably from up stream. Since
> CGMS-A is an analog technology, it seems that it would have to be
> encoded into the VBI of the video itself, like closed-captions.
>
> -- Erik Jensen
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users [at] mythtv
> http://www.mythtv.org/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>

That makes much more sense. What channel is it BTW? Also why would the
Ceton have to respect a flag that all ClearQAM ignore? Does CableLabs
require it? I guess the possibility of going to only CableCard tuning
devices will never happen.

The only problem with ClearQAM tuners is when frequencies change. There
needs to be a script that can be run prerecord (or possibly at night for all
channels) that looks at the channel map from the Ceton and updates
the ClearQAM frequency table. It could use xmlid to determine the
corresponding virtual channel to use when querying the Ceton card. This
assumes this info can be queried.

-Tom


eric at lisaneric

Aug 1, 2011, 4:16 AM

Post #10 of 17 (4073 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 11:56 PM, Tom Bongiorno <two.bits.11 [at] gmail> wrote:
>  The CCI is always present on encrypted channels but
> never on clear-QAM channels.

That's not true. CCI flags can be set on clear-QAM channels. I don't
know enough about the Ceton to know if it honors those flags in that
case, though.

> So the saying "If you can record it over FireWire, you can record it with
> CableCard" is always true for encrypted channels, but not for unencrypted
> channels.

I've seen some reports of successful firewire recordings even with CCI
0x2 (Copy Once). It seems to depend on the STB you use. Most of them
block this, but apparently not all.

(Last bullet here:
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/How_to_use_a_Motorola_DVR/Configuration#How_To_Check_If_5C_DTCP_is_Enabled)

So even this statement may not be strictly true.

Eric
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two.bits.11 at gmail

Aug 1, 2011, 6:23 AM

Post #11 of 17 (4062 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 7:16 AM, Eric Sharkey <eric [at] lisaneric> wrote:

> On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 11:56 PM, Tom Bongiorno <two.bits.11 [at] gmail>
> wrote:
> > The CCI is always present on encrypted channels but
> > never on clear-QAM channels.
>
> That's not true. CCI flags can be set on clear-QAM channels. I don't
> know enough about the Ceton to know if it honors those flags in that
> case, though.
>
> > So the saying "If you can record it over FireWire, you can record it with
> > CableCard" is always true for encrypted channels, but not for unencrypted
> > channels.
>
> I've seen some reports of successful firewire recordings even with CCI
> 0x2 (Copy Once). It seems to depend on the STB you use. Most of them
> block this, but apparently not all.
>
> (Last bullet here:
>
> http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/How_to_use_a_Motorola_DVR/Configuration#How_To_Check_If_5C_DTCP_is_Enabled
> )
>
> So even this statement may not be strictly true.
>
> Eric
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users [at] mythtv
> http://www.mythtv.org/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>

What a mess.

That entire excerpt was from the Ceton support site. If they handle the
flags as I posted from their site, then they ignore CCI if unencrypted and
only look at the other four flags. If encrypted, they only look at the CCI
flag. The Firewire recording example with CCI 0x02 will not work on the
Ceton if encrypted, but would work if unencrypted.

Is it possible for some of these flags to not be "present"? Are these
optional flags in the packet headers or do they have bits allocated for each
one? If there are bits allocated, then what would those bits be set to
indicate not "present" as apposed to copy-freely?

-Tom


octoberblu3 at gmail

Aug 1, 2011, 6:52 AM

Post #12 of 17 (4055 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 11:44 PM, Ronald Frazier <ron [at] ronfrazier> wrote:
> That's odd. I've only seen a copy protection other than CCI one time, and it
> was only when I didn't have my cablecard install (running in QAM mode). One
> of the channels that comes up as Copy Control Information: "Copy Free" (00)
> with a cablecard comes up as Redistribution Control: "One Copy" (0x02) in
> QAM mode. But I'm fairly certain that doesn't stop you from recording it. I
> think it's just reporting what protection is present, but I believe the
> Ceton will only enforce the CCI protections. Have you attempted to record
> something on it?

I added my lineup last night. All of my ClearQAM channels came up
Unknown / None, but not all of the reported Unknown / None channels
are available in ClearQAM.

I have CCI info for almost every other channel, but I certainly do not
subscribe to all of them. If I am reading this right, then having a
CCI of 0x00 on the HD versions of basic cable channels (USA, TNT, etc)
means if I upgrade to there "HD" service, then these channels *should*
work properly with MythTV.

- Patrick
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two.bits.11 at gmail

Aug 1, 2011, 7:28 AM

Post #13 of 17 (4044 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 9:52 AM, Patrick Oglesby <octoberblu3 [at] gmail>wrote:

> On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 11:44 PM, Ronald Frazier <ron [at] ronfrazier>
> wrote:
> > That's odd. I've only seen a copy protection other than CCI one time, and
> it
> > was only when I didn't have my cablecard install (running in QAM mode).
> One
> > of the channels that comes up as Copy Control Information: "Copy Free"
> (00)
> > with a cablecard comes up as Redistribution Control: "One Copy" (0x02) in
> > QAM mode. But I'm fairly certain that doesn't stop you from recording it.
> I
> > think it's just reporting what protection is present, but I believe the
> > Ceton will only enforce the CCI protections. Have you attempted to record
> > something on it?
>
> I added my lineup last night. All of my ClearQAM channels came up
> Unknown / None, but not all of the reported Unknown / None channels
> are available in ClearQAM.
>
> I have CCI info for almost every other channel, but I certainly do not
> subscribe to all of them. If I am reading this right, then having a
> CCI of 0x00 on the HD versions of basic cable channels (USA, TNT, etc)
> means if I upgrade to there "HD" service, then these channels *should*
> work properly with MythTV.
>
> - Patrick
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users [at] mythtv
> http://www.mythtv.org/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>

In theory you are correct. Is there another field in the channel info to
indicate that you do not subscribe to the channel? This is probably an
undefined situation. You might just be seeing initialized values that do
not get populated because you do not subscribe to the channel. The Ceton
might not even get to code to populate these values internally in this
situation. If you subscribed, then you would most likely see some copy
protection in place. I could be wrong.

-Tom


octoberblu3 at gmail

Aug 1, 2011, 7:39 AM

Post #14 of 17 (4048 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 10:28 AM, Tom Bongiorno <two.bits.11 [at] gmail> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 9:52 AM, Patrick Oglesby <octoberblu3 [at] gmail>
> wrote:
>>
>> On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 11:44 PM, Ronald Frazier <ron [at] ronfrazier>
>> wrote:
>> > That's odd. I've only seen a copy protection other than CCI one time,
>> > and it
>> > was only when I didn't have my cablecard install (running in QAM mode).
>> > One
>> > of the channels that comes up as Copy Control Information: "Copy Free"
>> > (00)
>> > with a cablecard comes up as Redistribution Control: "One Copy" (0x02)
>> > in
>> > QAM mode. But I'm fairly certain that doesn't stop you from recording
>> > it. I
>> > think it's just reporting what protection is present, but I believe the
>> > Ceton will only enforce the CCI protections. Have you attempted to
>> > record
>> > something on it?
>>
>> I added my lineup last night.  All of my ClearQAM channels came up
>> Unknown / None, but not all of the reported Unknown / None channels
>> are available in ClearQAM.
>>
>> I have CCI info for almost every other channel, but I certainly do not
>> subscribe to all of them.  If I am reading this right, then having a
>> CCI of 0x00 on the HD versions of basic cable channels (USA, TNT, etc)
>> means if I upgrade to there "HD" service, then these channels *should*
>> work properly with MythTV.
>>
>> - Patrick
>
> In theory you are correct.  Is there another field in the channel info to
> indicate that you do not subscribe to the channel?  This is probably an
> undefined situation.  You might just be seeing initialized values that do
> not get populated because you do not subscribe to the channel.  The Ceton
> might not even get to code to populate these values internally in this
> situation.  If you subscribed, then you would most likely see some copy
> protection in place.  I could be wrong.
>
> -Tom
>

While almost all of the channels have 0x00, the premium channels (HBO,
Showtime) do show 0x02, and I do not subscribe to them. This is what
gives me a bit of faith about the others truly being copy free.

- Patrick
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ron at ronfrazier

Aug 1, 2011, 8:04 AM

Post #15 of 17 (4052 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 10:39 AM, Patrick Oglesby <octoberblu3 [at] gmail> wrote:
>
> While almost all of the channels have 0x00, the premium channels (HBO,
> Showtime) do show 0x02, and I do not subscribe to them.  This is what
> gives me a bit of faith about the others truly being copy free.

You get CCI info for channels you don't subscribe to? That's odd. For
me, Copy Protection comes up as None, and Descrambling Status comes up
as "Not possible (No entitlement)" (which is the flag I look for
before generating the "You do no subscribe to this channel"
message...which you apparently may not have even seen when you ran my
script.

--
Ron Frazier
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eriksjunk at laurelwoodart

Aug 1, 2011, 12:29 PM

Post #16 of 17 (4022 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 4:01 AM, Tom Bongiorno <two.bits.11 [at] gmail> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 5:14 AM, Erik Jensen <eriksjunk [at] laurelwoodart>
> wrote:
>>
>> The flag goes away temporarily when my provider inserts local
>> commercials, so I have a feeling it's probably from up stream. Since
>> CGMS-A is an analog technology, it seems that it would have to be
>> encoded into the VBI of the video itself, like closed-captions.
>>
>> -- Erik Jensen
>
> That makes much more sense. What channel is it BTW? Also why would the
> Ceton have to respect a flag that all ClearQAM ignore? Does CableLabs
> require it? I guess the possibility of going to only CableCard tuning
> devices will never happen.

TruTV, which I don't think I ever watch anyway. Considering that
reading CGMS-A presumably requires some decoding of the video, I can't
imagine that they'd go to the effort if it wasn't required. It may be
something like Cinavia and Blu-Ray, where honoring the Cinavia flag on
unencrypted content is required to get a license for playing encrypted
Blu-Rays. On the other hand, I suppose they could be being extra
vigilant to avoid any future legal complications.

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 4:16 AM, Eric Sharkey <eric [at] lisaneric> wrote:
> On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 11:56 PM, Tom Bongiorno <two.bits.11 [at] gmail> wrote:
>> The CCI is always present on encrypted channels but
>> never on clear-QAM channels.
>
> That's not true. CCI flags can be set on clear-QAM channels. I don't
> know enough about the Ceton to know if it honors those flags in that
> case, though.

>From reading this thread, it sounds like the Ceton will honor the CCI
flag when it is present (or at least read it, since some people see
CCI information reported for ClearQAM channels), but that some
providers don't have CCI information for unencrypted channels.

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 8:04 AM, Ronald Frazier <ron [at] ronfrazier> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 10:39 AM, Patrick Oglesby <octoberblu3 [at] gmail> wrote:
> You get CCI info for channels you don't subscribe to? That's odd. For
> me, Copy Protection comes up as None, and Descrambling Status comes up
> as "Not possible (No entitlement)" (which is the flag I look for
> before generating the "You do no subscribe to this channel"
> message...which you apparently may not have even seen when you ran my
> script.

I have noticed something similar on mine, where I get CCI information
for channels I don't subscribe to. In my case, though, Descrambling
Status comes up as "Unknown" for every channel, and the only way to
determine if I am entitled to a specific channel or not is to try to
watch it. To make automating this even more complicated, unauthorized
channels still give me a TS container, just with no video or audio
stream (in contrast to copy-once channels, which give me no data at
all).
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two.bits.11 at gmail

Aug 1, 2011, 12:47 PM

Post #17 of 17 (4021 views)
Permalink
Re: Building a database of cablecard encryption (CCI) details [In reply to]

I just received a response from Ceton about the unencrypted channels and
copy protection flags:

My question:
"Why would the InfiniTV 4 have to respect copy protection flags for
unencrypted content that an ordinary ClearQAM tuner would ignore?"

Ceton response:
"Unfortunately the way the Cablelabs specifications are written we are
required to respect those flags that other non-cablelabs certified devices
don't have to. We have been trying to get that rather silly situation fixed,
but Cablelabs has not budged yet."

-Tom

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