[mythtv-users] Fwd: RC "Broadcast" flag (KQED, CableCard)

Robert McNamara robert.mcnamara at gmail.com
Tue Sep 13 00:40:34 UTC 2011

Hi guys,

Some of you may have noted in one of the other CableCard threads my
point that my local CBS, PBS, and CW affiliates have the "broadcast
flag" turned on in their stream.  CableCard tuners are obliged to obey
the flag in the stream when no CCI is present (it's CCI = none instead
of copy freely).  Thus, for the moment at least, I can watch Discovery
HD with my HDHomerun Prime, but not Sesame Street.

Since this is going to be a (relatively minor) issue that some
CableCard users face, I wanted to share with you the note that I sent
to the director of Engineering at my PBS affiliate.  With CBS and CW,
the results are less certain, but I believe some kindly and helpfully
worded messages in the case of public access stations may help when
people start to run into this issue-- I know that it happens
elsewhere, and the only solutions are for the station to turn off the
flag, or for the cable company to turn *on* the CCI.  I personally
find the former more likely, so that's the tactic I've chosen.

If there are any questions, let me know-- feel free to copy any
portion of the e-mail for your own purposes.


Dear Mr. Young,

Please pardon the intrusion on your mailbox.  My name is Robert
McNamara.  I am a KQED viewer in the South Bay.  I record and watch my
television using MythTV, a free, open source DVR application, and tune
KQED with Comcast as my provider.  I recently noticed that KQED is
signalling the ATSC redistribution control ("broadcast flag") which
restricts the viewing and playback of your channel with CableCard
devices only to applications which support DRM, instead of allowing
free access to the channel.  As obviously it is counter intuitive for
a public access channel to restrict recording of content, I was hoping
you might be able to assist in the disabling of the flag.

The ATSC Redistribution Control flag is located in the PMT.  This link
may also be of some assistance in tracking it down:


The page notes the FCC prohibition on its use, but my understanding is
that the NetVX encoder (which I understand KQED may use) enables the
flag by default, and therefore suspect it may have been left enabled

I hope that you can assist MythTV (and SageTV, and other free DVR
applications) users in the Bay Area in enjoying KQED programming with
modern tuner devices.  Thank you so much for your time.

Robert McNamara
rmcnamara at mythtv.org
Developer, MythTV

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