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Microsoft Patches “Broadcast Flag”/CGMS-A Issues

Today Microsoft is will a patch to correct the issues seen in last month’s reported “Broadcast Flag” issues.  In reality, the fix is for CGMS-A and the official word is still that Media Center doesn’t support the Broadcast Flag.  Last month’s issue propagated from CGMS-A being on the analog source data that was broadcast by NBC.

The patch changes functionality in Media Center for CGMS-A on antenna and non-STB configurations where CGMS-A CopyNever (1:1) will be recorded as CopyOnce (1:0) effectively ending the “Recording Prohibited” messages seen last month.  This means if CGMS-A finds its way onto an OTA broadcast it will always be recorded, but if CGMS-A is set it will be protected once recorded.  If you are using analog cable (no STB) the same takes places.

For configurations using STBs, this patch doesn’t fix any of the existing CGMS-A issues which include incorrect and otherwise excessive CopyNever flags (Sorry Canadians).  I’ve made sure this issue is still on the table at Microsoft, but currently there is no official fix (other than unplugging your STB).  Personally I’d like to see the issue fixed in the same manor, but that does present issues with content that is supposed to be CopyNever on an STB.  The other option would be to just disable CGMS-A when Media Center is setup using a Canadian postal code.

The patch should be up on Windows Update now (KB950126 - June Cumulative Update) and related download link is posted below.

Related: June 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista (KB950126)

Update: As noted on the CE Installer blog this doesn’t cover CableCARD which comes with CableLabs regulations.  With that said, the majority of the issues with CableCARD could be software conflicts rather than content flags.  If you are having major issues with CableCARD and Restricted Content messages, please leave a comment here and/or post it to this thread on The Green Button.

Published Tue, Jun 10 2008 13:16 by chrisl


# re: Microsoft Patches “Broadcast Flag”/CGMS-A Issues

Since this problem occured on Vista/ATI/CarbleCard/HDTV how does this help?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 2:14 PM by dnr

# re: Microsoft Patches “Broadcast Flag”/CGMS-A Issues

Nothing can help you on protected networks like Cable or Satellite, but OTA and analog should be unaffected. This helps with that.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 3:00 PM by Ben Drawbaugh

# re: Microsoft Patches “Broadcast Flag”/CGMS-A Issues

CopyNever is still a mess on CableCARD, too. Microsoft's workaround is to remove the CableCARD from the OCUR receiver when you want to record (and placeshift) an analog or Clear QAM channel.

Okay, so I'm supposed to remove my CableCARD when I'm 500 miles away from home, so that my TV show will be emailed to me. Right...

As much as I'd prefer Media Center to TiVo HD, I'm so un-confident that they'll be fixed (before Fiji at least), that I just inked a one year contract with TiVo.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 8:14 PM by Christopher Price

# re: Microsoft Patches “Broadcast Flag”/CGMS-A Issues

Ok, So Media Center doesn't "officially" support the broadcast flag, but CGMS-A is just as bad since it has the potential to restrict what can be done with OTA recordings.

Since Microsoft is modifying CGMS-A to ignore the CopyNever setting, why not just ignore the CGMS-A flag completely and avoid any future bugs/problems that might come up with it. Since there is _nothing_ (i.e. laws, etc.) requiring Microsoft to support either CGMS-A or the broadcast flag.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 9:20 AM by CoupleOfPoints

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