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Verizon FiOS TV finally getting tough on CableCARD users

Ben Drawbaugh
10.21.10
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TiVo and Windows Media Center users that rely on CableCARDs to get 'em HD goodness have had a unique reason to prefer Verizon FiOS TV over the competition, which is apparently at its last stop. You see, ever since FiOS starting deploying CableCARDs, a year after all the other cable providers, it has never enforced the pairing of the cards or used Copy Control Information (CCI) flags more restrictive than Copy Freely. This meant that users were free to swap the CableCARD to another device without so much as a call to Verizon, and more importantly, it meant that all the content was accessible via features like TiVo To Go and Media Center Recorded TV sharing. So far the new restrictions only seem to be applied to HUB HD, which was added within the past few weeks, but many believe this is just the beginning to a full roll out. A Verizon rep shared with us via email, "it's our policy that CCI is a byte defined by the content provider and completely under their control," but we're still waiting to hear back if the current CCI flag on HUB HD is indeed in line with what Discovery Communications expects, which seems odd considering the other Discovery channels delivered via FiOS TV are still marked Copy Freely.

Update: Shortly after this post went live we noticed the issue went away. Still waiting to hear back if it was intentional after all.



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