More DRM Crap From TiVo and HBO

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Copy never: DRM ‘glitch’ keeps TiVo Series3, JVC A/V receivers from playing nice – Alpha Blog – So here’s one more reason not to buy a TiVo Series 3. CNET’s John P. Falcone has an article out about a glitch that prevents you from watching HBO with your TiVo Series 3 when using a JVC receiver.

“But when we moved onto another program–Revenge of the Sith, recorded off of HBO-HD–the screen suddenly went gray, with a TiVo warning emblazoned across the bottom: “Viewing is not permitted using the TiVo Digital Media Recorder. Try another TV input.” Several other programs–Empire of the Sun (HDNet Movies), Simone (HBO-HD), and episodes of Battlestar Galactica (Universal HD) all yielded the same result.”

So who is to blame for this? Well of course HBO in part for the way that they code their shows which allow for snafus like this to happen. TiVo of course would like for us to absolve them of all responsibility associated with this as they are merely enforcing the rules established by HBO.

But the point is that TiVo is the one that has agreed to provide the support for the DRM that creates snafus like this and so I blame them most of all. While it may be unrealistic and certainly not pragmatic for TiVo to pursue an adversarial reltionship with content providers (especially when they are trying to get cozier with them from an advertising perspective), I still think that they should take a stronger pro consumer stance.

TiVo of course is not the only one playing ball with the content owners. Microsoft also is and snafus have happened here in the past too.

What do I think TiVo and Microsoft should do? I think that they should use their collective clout to say no to the content providers about DRM. It’s unacceptable that these snafus take place which only hinder both consumer consumption and adoption of this technology.

TiVo. Ad zapping = good. Fast fowarding commercials = good. Time shifting = good. TiVo2Go (which CNET notes is killed in the Series 3) = good.

DRM = bad. Very bad.

Thanks for the heads up Dave and you can digg CNET’s article on this snafu here.

5 Replies to “More DRM Crap From TiVo and HBO”

  1. It’s not DRM that’s the problem, it’s bad implementations of it, and in reality, the vast majority of consumers benefit from well-implemented DRM, since it gives content owners the confidence that their material won’t be stolen [easily].

    Sorry, Thomas. I don’t buy the “DRM is evil” argument, and I’ve heard it made so many times here and elsewhere that I’m just tuning out. Bitterness doesn’t make a compelling, logical argument.

  2. Me either. You wouldn’t want someone stealing your photographs, why would you condone being able to steal movies and such? Why the double standard?

  3. I love how people equate being anti-DRM with being pro-piracy. I prefer to look at it as being pro-Fair Use.

    I have no plan to steal movies or music; however, I would like to watch/listen to content that I pay for on any device that I choose.

    BTW, Thomas, your response cracked me up:

    “tristan, the last time I checked I didn’t have DRM on my photographs.”

  4. The Series3 is a CableCARD device. CableCARD requires DRM support, period. TiVo has no choice in the matter, at all – other than to not support CableCARD and therefore not record digital cable.

    Also, TiVoToGo, which you note as ‘good’, only got the nod from the FCC when TiVo agreed to support Macrovision and transfer restrictions. No DRM, no TiVoToGo approval.

    Clout? What clout? TiVo is a flea compared to the content providers. They aren’t even the largest DVR vendor. If TiVo tries to make a stand, they’ll be steamrolled – just like ReplayTV.

    DRM is a fact of life and in the current legal and business environment it is not viable for any CE vendor to take a stand.

    Any vendor who, say, took MythTV and sold pre-made DVRs based on it, with all the open transfers, etc, would get sued as soon as they got big enough to get on the radar. There are a few small vendors who get away with it only because they’re too small to bother with.

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