HDCP

Can I get recorded TV programs off my TIVO?

TiVo BOLT VOX

Episode 1470

Michael from Kansas City, MO

Michael wants to know if he can get the programs off his TIVO. Leo says it was possible with the Series 1 TIVO. But now the data is encrypted, so it's almost impossible to decrypt it and copy it off. TiVo does have a feature called TIVO to Go, but the only way he could really do it is to exploit the analog hole. That will lower the quality a bit, but he can use the analog connections that would go to his TV and connect them to a recorder. Then he could play the content back and record it in real time. It can be complicated though, because of HDCP.

Why doesn't my Amazon Fire Stick work with my TV?

Amazon Fire Stick

Episode 1418

Steve from Simi Valley, CA

Steve can't seem to get his Amazon Fire Stick to work on his TV, but it works fine in his other TV. Leo says that the older TV may not have the latest HDMI standard and so the Fire Stick can't "handshake" with the TV. There could be a firmware update to his TV, so he should look into that. He could also try unplugging his TV, let it set for a minute, then plug in his Fire Stick and turn it back on. That way it could handshake from scratch. The other issue may be copy protection. If his TV is old enough that it isn't HDCP compliant, it could be that the Fire Stick won't support it.

Why can't I play Blu-rays?

Blu-ray

Episode 1367

John from Fallbrook, CA

John has a home theater made by Samsung, and he's having issue playing Blu-rays. Leo says it's possible that copy protection is causing it to not be able to play because his player isn't connected to the internet. If it's not connected to the internet, it assumes the Blu-ray's key has been revoked, even when it hasn't been.

John should change out his cable for his Blu-ray player. That could be causing it. A dead or faulty cable can cause the HDCP copy protection issues as well.

Why can't I use my new Apple TV?

Apple TV

Episode 1279

Otto from Oceanside, CA

Otto bought a 4th generation Apple TV, but when he launched Hulu, he doesn't get to watch the content because it blacks out. This also happens on HBO and Netflix. When he plugs in the older Apple TV, it works just fine. Leo says it could be an issue with the HDMI cable or even the port not supporting the new Apple TV. Leo also says it may be a copy protection issue through HDCP with his TV and the premium copy protected content. The TV may be misinterpreting the signal as well since Otto is using multiple HDMI inputs.

Why does my Roku give me copy protection warnings?

Episode 1246

Curtis from Virginia

Curtis has been watching Leo on Roku and lately he's been getting HDCP errors for unauthorized access. Leo says that's just nuts. There's no reason why that's on there. But it's also problematic because everything needs to be HDCP compliant. It's clearly a spurious message because Leo's podcasts aren't copy protected. He can power it off and unplug the Roku, then plug it back in. But it's clear that something is confused.

Why can't I show stuff from my computer on my TV?

Episode 1230

Richard from Orange County, CA

Richard wants to play content on his TV from his computer. But all he can see on his TV is the wallpaper. The TV screen will go black if he tries to play a movie. Leo says that's likely HDCP copy protection. Everything in the chain has to be HDCP compliant including TV, Cable, and the computer. So there's probably something in his chain that isn't.

It could also be a display issue. Richard should go into his settings and make sure that Mirroring is enabled, and make sure his display isn't extended. If he still gets a black screen, then it's a copy protection issue.

How can I get video off my DirecTV DVR?

Composite cables

Episode 1212

Steven from Los Angeles, CA

Steven records Tennis matches on his DirecTV DVR and he would like to copy the video files off. Leo says that's called digital video extraction and television broadcasters are paranoid that people will pirate those recordings. But there is an exception called the analog hole. This is where Steven would put a recorder between the DVR and the TV itself. He can't do it via HDMI, though. That's still got HDCP copy protection. But the red/white/yellow composite or red/green/blue/white component connectors will allow him to do it. He may also need an analog to digital converter.

How can I record HDTV on my laptop?

ViewHD 2 Port 1x2 Powered HDMI Mini Splitter for 1080P & 3D | VHD-1X2MN3D

Episode 1203

Brian from Irvine, CA

Brian wants to capture some of his cable TV signals in HD to his laptop. Leo says that High Definition content is copy protected via HDCP. He could do it via TIVO with a cable card and then use TIVO To Go. Or he can exploit the Analog hole. He can get a digitizing device that takes component or composite out and then use that to convert to bits and save it to his hard drive. The only issue is that he'll need FireWire to do it. USB 3 may do it, though. There could be a Thunderbolt video capture card and that would be a good idea.