Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More Vista Media Center DRM Issues

VMC LogoMike Garcen at MissingRemote.com is reporting that his Vista Media Center gave him the following message when attempting to record American Gladiators:

Recording Canceled

“American Gladiators” cannot be recorded.  Restrictions set by the broadcaster and/or originator of the content prohibit recording of this program.

Mike was running a CableCard VMC HTPC in San Jose when this happened.  And it’s likely this was a glitch between the broadcaster and VMC somehow.  Still, I worry that this copy protection is there for a reason and will be used intentionally eventually.  Consider the case of the Superbowl game, the NCAA championship, the finale of your favorite Television show is blocked to CableCards to “protect” their content from those thieving HTPC users.

You can call me paranoid if you want, but I think it’s a valid concern.  I’ve leaned towards finding an alternative to CableCard for this very reason and now with SageTV (or BeyondTV) and the HD-PVR, I have that solution.

Andreas says on his blog that he believes this is a Media Center issue and not a broadcast error.  Regardless of the cause, I’m sure it is frustrating for VMC users.

I think MissingRemote puts it best in their conclusion:

There's no excuse for a person to spend $1500 on a cable card system to then be told they cannot record content which is available for FREE without ANY protection with a $5 Over-the-Air antenna. I hope that's not the case, but in the meantime, I'm left watching something NOT called American Gladiators due to this.

Read more on this at MissingRemote.com