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Discussion Starter #1
I'll start this post by saying I'm slightly annoyed by this, if my assumption is correct. I use Vista Media Center and XBOX360 extenders (rather than pay my provider (Sasktel) $10 a month for PVR service).

The other night, my Media Center recorded an episode of "House". I have a bunch of recordings set up for the TV shows my wife and I enjoy, as we rarely (if ever) catch them "live".

After the kids were in bed, we fired up the extender and hit play on the new House episode. It started to play, the disclaimer about "adult content" displayed, and then the image paused and the sound quit. So, we skipped forward to the end of the show, and at the time where the next show started, the video started again and the audio kicked back in.

Last night we recorded the new episode of "Criminal Minds" and it did the exact same thing. Weirder still, if I mute it, the closed captioning appears on screen as the file "plays" even though there's no video or audio on screen.

So, my question is this: Is there some sort of content protection on the streams coming from my provider that my media center is obeying? I'm also curious to know if anyone who has a Microsoft Mediaroom provider (Sasktel, MTS, Bell Fibe, Telus TV, AT&T U-Verse) that uses their providers PVR service has had anything like this occur with any of their recordings.

I don't believe this is a media center issue specifically (as in my media center is just screwing up the recording). I have a strong suspicion that it's a form of copy protection that media center is obeying. And if so, it's really REALLY ticking me off. I'm a paying subscriber, 100% legit, and it's crap like this that's leading me to cancel that legitimate subscription and go to and "illegitimate" subscription (read: newsgroups).

I have my doubts that my provider is including it in the stream themselves. It's more likely that the content providers are adding it and Sasktel is passing it on. I should also mention that I NEVER had this problem with any other version of my service...it's only since the upgrade (based on Microsoft Mediaroom) that I've noticed it.

Anyone have any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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I've never run into any of the cgms-a type copy protection with sasktel when i was using media center (via hauppauge hd-pvr)

granted, I have NOT fiddled with it much since I got mediaroom, as I'm much happier with the DTVR solution, than the setup I had with my mediacenters (i had pc's at each tv, rather than extenders)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've never run into any of the cgms-a type copy protection with sasktel when i was using media center (via hauppauge hd-pvr)

granted, I have NOT fiddled with it much since I got mediaroom, as I'm much happier with the DTVR solution, than the setup I had with my mediacenters (i had pc's at each tv, rather than extenders)
I'm wondering if perhaps previous versions of Max didn't pass on any copy protection flags set by broadcasters and Mediaroom does, because I *never* had a recording issue prior to the "New Max" and since the upgrade I know of at least three instances where the symptoms above occured exactly, and a few others where other weird things happened.

At the time I wrote them off as issues with my new tuners (They were running fine for a few months prior to the shift to new max though, no issues at all), but I've compiled enough instances of it now to truly believe it's copy protection and not a hardware issue.

I suspect I might actually enjoy Mediaroom's PVR setup, but I'm just not ready to:
1.) Pay Sasktel another $10 a month to enable it
and
2.) Have another set top box at each TV in addition to my extenders

If Sasktel enables the ability to use an XBOX360 as a set top, I would more than likely look into it. Pretty sure it costs more than $10 a month in electricity to keep my media center machine running 24/7 anyhow (it's just the principle of it I guess!).

Now to see if there's a way to get Media Center to NOT obey the flags....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I assume migrating the media center experience to SAGETV would solve this problem?
No, that would be worse. I use XBOX360's as media center extenders. I'd lose that functionality with SageTV.

My understanding of the situation so far is that the flag is set by American broadcasters, and media center obeys it, regardless of my location. And being in Canada, I'm pooched.

They can do location based blocking for stuff like Hulu so I can't view it from Canada, but they can't make this work for us poor Canucks using Media Center. It's backwards thinking, that's for sure.
 

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A couple of things:
1. Sage would probably help, they also sell extenders but it will cost you money.
2. In my experience, call the channel that is giving you problems and ask for the engineering department. When I had the issue in Hamilton, a quick call to CHCH had the lead engineer chasing the issue back up the feed to his HQ in Calgary.

I doubt that this is their intent, it's probably accidental.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A couple of things:
1. Sage would probably help, they also sell extenders but it will cost you money.
I've already spent enough on XBOX360's as extenders. Sage is definitely not an option at this point.

2. In my experience, call the channel that is giving you problems and ask for the engineering department. When I had the issue in Hamilton, a quick call to CHCH had the lead engineer chasing the issue back up the feed to his HQ in Calgary.
It's an American channel. I have my doubts as to them taking a Canadian seriously. I did talk to my provider, and they don't add or remove anything from the streams coming in (At least, that's what they tell me) so if it was in the channel to begin with it would be in the channel when they send it to me.

I doubt that this is their intent, it's probably accidental.
I must be far more jaded than you. ;-)
 

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A couple of things to try:

1. Redo the TV setup to get the Playready (DRM) components reinstalled. I've read in a few areas where the DRM gets corrupted and causes things to not play. The direct download appears to be here if you want to force it. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=BF43A3E0-B54B-4C73-9B11-DC1003A3B369

2. Search for "Remove CGMS-A" on Google. If you're not able to get the cable company to fix whatever they've done, then you can insert a device between your STB and your media center that strips out the CGMS flag.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A couple of things to try:

1. Redo the TV setup to get the Playready (DRM) components reinstalled. I've read in a few areas where the DRM gets corrupted and causes things to not play. The direct download appears to be here if you want to force it. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=BF43A3E0-B54B-4C73-9B11-DC1003A3B369

2. Search for "Remove CGMS-A" on Google. If you're not able to get the cable company to fix whatever they've done, then you can insert a device between your STB and your media center that strips out the CGMS flag.
I've re-done the setup a few times, and hasn't seemed to help. It's not like this occurs on all channels and shows, just a few. I've noticed it three times for sure.

I'll give that direct download a try.

I've done quite a bit of googling on CGMS-A already. I was hoping to find a software solution to "fix" media center, and avoid spending more money on a device like that. If it comes right down to it, I'm not entirely opposed to spending more money, but I really shouldn't have to.

The other alternative is to cancel service completely and find my TV fix in other places.
 
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