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

scram69 scram69 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 13 03:06:15 UTC 2011

On Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 5:40 PM, Robert McNamara
<robert.mcnamara at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.
> Robert
> 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:
> http://www.etherguidesystems.com/Help/SDOs/ATSC/Semantics/Descriptors/RedistributionControl.aspx
> 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
> inadvertantly.
> 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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> mythtv-users at mythtv.org
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Hi Robert,
Please keep the list posted, if you wouldn't mind, on your progress
with the broadcast flag issue.  I have an acquaintance who does IT at
KQED and who might be able to assist if your request goes nowhere.

However, I have a question.  Please don't read anything into this, as
I honestly don't know the answer: if setting the flag is in violation
as your link suggests, why would CableCard devices be "obliged" to
obey it?


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