Silicon Dust attempt at a DVR capable of recording protected content?

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Kartajan

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Feb 26, 2001
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DRM = evil. CCI:CO is evil x2. With that being said, the HDHR Prime works great with my Win7 machine. I figure that should last until they get all the widgets figured out for SD's DVR on DRM content. I do know they have Android figured out for live (good on my Nexus Player, Better on my Shield).
 
Apr 8, 2001
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Anyone use FIOS? Now that cox is moving to require cable box for all TVS (have most connected via extender but a couple just straight cable), thinking about looking into it since i'd need to at minimum get more CC to stay. Just wondering how easy it is to set them up with FIOS.
 
Oct 29, 2007
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Anyone use FIOS? Now that cox is moving to require cable box for all TVS (have most connected via extender but a couple just straight cable), thinking about looking into it since i'd need to at minimum get more CC to stay. Just wondering how easy it is to set them up with FIOS.
Have two homerun primes setup with cable cards from FIOS.

They have an automated system you call into to activate the CC and get the pairing done. Worked perfectly for one of two. I had to call in to support to get the second one paired. This is where it can be hit or miss. It will depend on the technician at the other end of the phone. As long as they enter the information correctly, pairing is painless. If you think you have one of the less knowledgeable people, either ask if there is someone else more familiar, or hang up and try again to see of you get a different tech.

I've only had one instance where the pairing needed to be redone in the last two years. For some reason they stopped billing for one of the cards and deactivated it. I just has to call in and get them to resend a signal and I was good to go.
 
Apr 8, 2001
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Had a follow up question, do you need coax if not running any fios stbs? Can the prime use just a ethernet connection for input and output?
 
Sep 12, 2004
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Had a follow up question, do you need coax if not running any fios stbs? Can the prime use just a ethernet connection for input and output?
Yes, you need coax for the TV signal input into the Prime box.
 
Nov 18, 2005
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Had a follow up question, do you need coax if not running any fios stbs? Can the prime use just a ethernet connection for input and output?
CableCARD devices always require a coax line.
 
Apr 8, 2001
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Was doing a little more reading recently in preparation for ordering. Looks like if you get a 100/100 or above Internet package, they must use ethernet from the ONT. So looks like they do do both ethernet and coax connections simultaneously now so I can plug the cox into the primes and route the patch cable to my router and be good to go.
 
Apr 8, 2001
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Noticed last night when checking my WMC recordings for the week that I have no guide data starting Friday at 8pm. Anyone else have the same issue?
 
Apr 8, 2001
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For those that looking for a new SD solution or that have bailed to Tivo (maybe after the guide fiasco), have a bad news/bad news situation.

SD still has produced something akin to diddly squat as far as an effective WMC replacement and has communicated about as much, and Rovi is looking to buy Tivo. So who knows what that will mean to the future of Tivo with them already eliminating most in house engineering positions.
 
Nov 18, 2005
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It does look like they are beginning to push more updates to the changelog, so perhaps they are starting to make real headway on the different applications.

I see what their intention is: get basic functionality up and running first, before they start attempting to work DRM into the mix. Makes sense, you'd want to have a stable and complete platform before you start trying to pay for DRM certification.

I just hate that their development timeframe has been ages longer than they first promised. I think they've begun to take that fact seriously and seem to be making some good headway, considering they are a small team currently developing multiple clients and recording engines for assorted platforms. That's a lot of concurrent development where quite a bit does not transfer so easily. Perhaps they are working in a framework that does make it a little easier to develop with multiple platforms in mind, in honestly I really hope that they are.

They are quite a while away before they get the product out that I want, which is a complete DRM-compatible solution that works as expected, but at least it appears they are making headway these days.

https://www.silicondust.com/forum/v...sid=a6e1c205b07e3346ec916463257c3d99&start=15
 
May 7, 2002
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What I don't get is, they already had the viewing program, and the ability to record with no extra software directly from the prime, so, what is the main thorn here?

Doing a guide isn't that complex, so, I always thought the delay was DRM, but, this doesn't seem to be the case.

It basically boils down to, have a cron job go off to record, at the times specified in the guide.
So, what am I missing here?
 
Nov 18, 2005
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What I don't get is, they already had the viewing program, and the ability to record with no extra software directly from the prime, so, what is the main thorn here?

Doing a guide isn't that complex, so, I always thought the delay was DRM, but, this doesn't seem to be the case.

It basically boils down to, have a cron job go off to record, at the times specified in the guide.
So, what am I missing here?
Well as you may have noticed, it is a tad bit more complex than that. :p

First they are basically recreating their entire software lineup, making a new version of the HDHR View program. Which is good, because the basic View program was terrible. Horrid. Junk.

And actually no, I don't believe you could record out of the box, you had to use one of any number of programs out there to handle the recording, the HDHR devices just provided the data stream. So simply recording is a brand new venture for SiliconDust.

They are creating a brand new interface for the View application, one that will support an active guide with a lot of information, and one that taps into a recording engine that can be hosted on a few different platforms.

And the recording engine can be ran on the same device that the View is running on, provided it is Windows, Linux, or Mac. And with the Linux support it can be ran on a number of commercial NAS units, and with a little work, also on DIY NAS operating systems like FreeNAS.

The View application is what essentially controls the recording engine. It sends the commands to the engine, sets scheduling, padding, etc.

The View playback program is being created for a number of platforms. Windows, Mac, Android, Kodi, and Plex. And again, it's a completely new program.

The only experience HDHR had previously had been based around pulling live streams from their hardware. So they could lean on that aspect for the basic video stream functionality, but that's the most fundamental, it is everything else they had to start from scratch. They are intending for it to be an acceptable complete user experience. Previously the View app was simply there to say they provided something, I suspect. I haven't heard of one fan of it, in fact, I've heard nothing but loathing remarks.

So, admirably, they took on a very complex task. And it's taking them far far longer than expected, but honestly, I'm okay with that.
 
May 7, 2002
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And actually no, I don't believe you could record out of the box, you had to use one of any number of programs out there to handle the recording, the HDHR devices just provided the data stream. So simply recording is a brand new venture for SiliconDust.
http://<ip addr>:5004/auto/v2?duration=3600
ip addr = whatever your prime is on.
v2 = the (virtual) channel 2 in this case.
duration is in secs, so we are recording 1 hour here.
auto = tuner (where auto is any available)

So, you could easily make your own PVR, via a browser, with nothing more needed.

And yeah, the view program wasn't the best, but, it was far from the worst.

I remain skeptical on the rewrite, they should just open source it, and let everyone have a whack at it.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
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http://<ip addr>:5004/auto/v2?duration=3600
So, you could easily make your own PVR, via a browser, with nothing more needed.
For those on OTA or otherwise dealing with only CCI:CF (copy freely) , I would agree. There are a wide number of solutions already available 3rd party to cover that space. The "Big Deal" is the projected ability to do DRM (CCI:CO- Copy Once), which was only cracked in the DIY space by Microsoft "WMC" products. (Tivo is not DIY- so that doesn't count)
 
Nov 18, 2005
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For those on OTA or otherwise dealing with only CCI:CF (copy freely) , I would agree. There are a wide number of solutions already available 3rd party to cover that space. The "Big Deal" is the projected ability to do DRM (CCI:CO- Copy Once), which was only cracked in the DIY space by Microsoft "WMC" products. (Tivo is not DIY- so that doesn't count)
What he was arguing is that the DVR and other programming aspecta should have been super easy, and all it would come down to is adding DRM content support.

I just don't think it's that easy. It may be relatively easy to program a simple web server for a DVR in comparison, but adding the entire functionality of a quality commercial product requires a little bit more work.

They can't add DRM until they have a solid and stable base with which to work. Not saying it should take this long, but I don't particularly care to see them rush out a buggy product that screws up scheduled recordings and is missing features. They've had issues already, but that is expectable for an alpha product, and comes as a cost of testing pre-release software. If the same issues exist in the final stable release, I'll surely be right there with the complainers.
 
Apr 8, 2001
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The issue is that they could have done relatively minor things to their existing product, add better guide data and DVR functionality, and have had a WMC replacement product out that was just missing the add-on allowing copying of DRM content.

Instead they tried to expand into getting view programs working on phones and tablets and to try and run the software from non pc sources (just a networked drive).

So they've been chasing the wish list portion of the program suite prior to actually delivering the functional portion. And even worse, they are starting the wish list material with the stuff most are only moderately interested in and if voted on would be way after the more pressing items on that list.
 
May 7, 2002
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The issue is that they could have done relatively minor things to their existing product, add better guide data and DVR functionality, and have had a WMC replacement product out that was just missing the add-on allowing copying of DRM content.

Instead they tried to expand into getting view programs working on phones and tablets and to try and run the software from non pc sources (just a networked drive).

So they've been chasing the wish list portion of the program suite prior to actually delivering the functional portion. And even worse, they are starting the wish list material with the stuff most are only moderately interested in and if voted on would be way after the more pressing items on that list.
Pretty much this.
It has feature creep now, and they are missing deadlines.

We know that Silicon Dust hardware CAN record protected content right now, as can be seen via WMC + playready.
They are well aware of the CableLabs requirements, and, already have DLNA as shown here http://www.silicondust.com/dlna/ and it shows : 'Copy protected channels require support for DRM (WMDRM or DTCP-IP)'.
What they don't have is the ability to record that protected stream, which is what everyone is waiting for.

Look at all the PVR type programs out there, you have MythTV (open source, https://github.com/MythTV), SageTV (open source, https://github.com/google/sagetv), then there is NPVR, Kodi, MediaPortal, Tvtime, and a few others.
Most of these can use the silicon dust hardware without issue, they can right now record, playback, and some have guide data as well (like NPVR).
What is missing here is the DRM bits that would allow them to record protected content to be a full replacement for WMC.

They need to have a 'playready' type library, then, all those mentioned above could easily fulfill what was lacking before.

Then, SD could have made their own PVR and take however long they want to get it done.
 
Nov 18, 2005
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Pretty much this.
It has feature creep now, and they are missing deadlines.

We know that Silicon Dust hardware CAN record protected content right now, as can be seen via WMC + playready.
They are well aware of the CableLabs requirements, and, already have DLNA as shown here http://www.silicondust.com/dlna/ and it shows : 'Copy protected channels require support for DRM (WMDRM or DTCP-IP)'.
What they don't have is the ability to record that protected stream, which is what everyone is waiting for.

Look at all the PVR type programs out there, you have MythTV (open source, https://github.com/MythTV), SageTV (open source, https://github.com/google/sagetv), then there is NPVR, Kodi, MediaPortal, Tvtime, and a few others.
Most of these can use the silicon dust hardware without issue, they can right now record, playback, and some have guide data as well (like NPVR).
What is missing here is the DRM bits that would allow them to record protected content to be a full replacement for WMC.

They need to have a 'playready' type library, then, all those mentioned above could easily fulfill what was lacking before.

Then, SD could have made their own PVR and take however long they want to get it done.
Well, it's not for SD to provide a "playready type library" for other software. Same reason Microsoft didn't. From my understanding, that's not at all feasible. It's on the specific software platform to get certified. You can't just take a third-party DRM API or library, reference that in your application, and call it DRM-compatible.

All of those individual applications have to go the same route SD is considering, go get DRM approved on their own. J-River is considering it, but also proposed it through Kickstarter but unlike SD, their campaign failed miserably. You won't see any free DVR applications getting DRM because of the costs associated with it.

When you mentioned DTCP-IP, that's only half of it. Yes, they can transmit in that DRM signal format, and that's just fine, that's enough to pass all flagged content to a DTCP-IP approved playback device. But what is missing is the playback part. Encoding it to pass that content around a network is very simple, anyone should be able to do that. It's the receiving end where it really matters. Playstation 3 is one of a few, if not only, DTCP-IP certified receiver/playback device(s) on the market.

DTCP-IP also does nothing to address recording. A networked media player could get certified for DTCP-IP and receive all of the channels streamed from the HDHR Prime, but all it would be able to do with DTCP-IP is play those streams live.

And your other proposal, to get the DRM backend finished first, is backward. I believe in the certification process for whatever DRM library you choose, you must demonstrate the end to end functionality. Perhaps not, I cannot recall, but regardless, it seems more advisable to get your DVR platform completed and stable, prior to adding on DRM functionality. I think you'd want to know if it was the DRM code you added that caused new bugs, and not have to struggle to work out what needs to be fixed.

And they never had their own DVR software, so they have to start with that. And, frankly, I support their approach to getting their playback/guide software up and running on numerous platforms first. It is MUCH easier to code for multiple projects simultaneously when your goal is to also apply DRM once you have finished. Otherwise, what, they get their recording engines and playback applications finished here and there? And then what, should they wait until all packages are feature-complete before adding DRM? Or should they add DRM as each platform's application becomes complete? Do you know what kind of a headache that would be for a small development team? I say, let them get the common functionality working on the multiple target platforms, then go and add the DRM components. A much smoother launch, as opposed to making it harder for themselves just to appease customers of a particular platform, prioritizing some customers over others.

They're making great progress on all platform fronts right now. They actually look like they are getting somewhere. That makes me very happy.

I don't intend to completely defend SD here, I agree that they have broken promises and I am very fed up with them, but they remain our only hope for the foreseeable future.
 
May 7, 2002
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IIRC, you can license 'Playready', and lots of companies have done that https://www.microsoft.com/playready/licensing/list/
For example, Cyberlink allows you to view PlayReady files.

So, if SD makes a "PlayReady" type library, you just enter in a license just like any other program, and that can be used to record & playback.
I tend to think of it as Steam for the TV :)
 

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