I just got off the phone to order a Comcast High Defination Digital Video Recorder to replace the TiVo. Why you may ask? Well, there were a dozen stories today about TiVo locking down shows based on flags set in the broadcast. This feature of the Macrovision copy protection scheme. It’s designed so you can’t record something off of Pay Per View and keep it around for years to come. But, it was not supposed to be able to be applied to normal broadcast shows. Obviously, something changed. Two issues came up. Either the station broadcasting the shows “accidently” turned it on (why would they be able to do that in the first place?) or the TiVo misunderstood noise in the signal as the Macrovision flag.
Okay, now you’re asking yourself “If he is upset about the media flags, why in the world is he going with the Comcast DVR?” Well, I know that I’m going to face DRM with the Comcast DVR. It’s right up front. You expect it from a media giant like Comcast. But TiVo? No. So, why should I pay $12.95 a month for TiVo, which has the same DRM restrictions available to it that will prevent me from keeping a copy of The Family Guy for more than 7 days, when I can get the same right violations on the Comcast box for $9.95 AND get HD recording AND get dual tuners? It’s a no brainer now. So, we’re switching. They’ll be out Tuesday. I’ll be sure to whine about the interface like everyone else. But, I’ll finally get to view HD content on our year-and-a-half old projection television.