My cable-provider-provided DVR went on the fritz this week. Like happened a couple of months ago, the connection between the DVR and TV was being interrupted. Last time, it happened about once every 30 seconds. This time, it happened every couple of seconds. The power wasn’t turning on and off on either the DVR or the TV. I tried various combinations of HDMI ports and cables, but nothing worked. The TiVo and DVD player and Apple TV worked fine. It was only the cable box.
Rather than returning the box again for another refurb unit they’d foist on us, we called for a service visit. Let them measure the signal to make sure it’s strong or do whatever other tests they need to do. Something.
The cable rep diagnosed the problem right away: HDCP over HDMI. For those of you not in the know, that’s the copy protection protocol foisted upon us by Hollywood to keep us from illegally pirating their content. And, like happens with all copy protection schemes, the only people it hurts are those who are just trying to watch the content they’ve honestly and legally paid for.
The cable guy said we probably tripped over one channel that had HDCP enabled and that was enough to send the box into a tizzy.
By moving to component cables instead of HDMI, everything was set right.
Now THAT’S ridiculous.
On the bright side, it means I only have two things using HDMI connections on my two-port HDTV. I can put the HDMI switch box into storage for now. I won’t be using it.
So thanks again, Hollywood. Excuse me while I go Bit Torrent a movie in exchange for this harassment.