Is Time Warner Starting to Freeze out non-DVR HD recording on cable?

Time Warner’s networks, including CNN, have instituted the equivalent of the HDCP record blocking token on Verizon FiOS in New York. This means HD recording and screen grabbing of CNN is now blocked. It’s already blocked for most satellite users (DirecTV has a blanket HDCP lock on everything HDMI related). What makes this interesting is the block is occuring on Firewire connections (as I’m unfamilliar with how Verizon FiOS works hardware wise I can’t say for sure if HDMI is even an option here). Apparently this has not happened yet on other cable systems as CNN HD screen grabs are still popping up.

The question is, is this the first step in a nation wide attempt by Time Warner to restrict non DVR recording of its HD TV content? If so it will be one of the first to do so. My source reports that FNC remains unlocked. As MSNBC is still prohibited from being carried by Verizon FiOS in the NYC/NJ area (yeah, that’s still going on) I don’t know what’s going on there. Update: A commenter with Verizion FiOS and MSNBC access reports firewire recording of the network is still unblocked.

Clarification: Before I start a panic, let me be clear. For Verizon FiOS users, this shouldn’t affect your DVR recording ability. But your ability to record the signal (and probably also recording of a program sitting on your DVR) of a TW network by other means is being blocked. I suppose it would be considered an “anti-piracy” measure but it raises all sorts of “fair use” questions.

Another possibility is this is all a mistake. Microsoft once mistakenly set a block recording flag on Media Center for a channel. After word broke, Microsoft fixed the problem and recording capability resumed.

6 Responses to “Is Time Warner Starting to Freeze out non-DVR HD recording on cable?”

  1. lurkerlou Says:

    I’m in Queens NY and my Fios has MSNBC on channel 103, firewire recording works on FNC/FBN, doesn’t work on CNN.

  2. geoffrey1986 Says:

    That’s probably because you’re not in a Cablevision area. Here in Suffolk, still no MSNBC on my FiOS.

  3. gettingpwned Says:

    this is such a giant pi$$ing contest between verizon and cablevision (iO? really? changing the name doesn’t make it any less crappy of a service or price cablevision!).

    not only that, but fios doesn’t have the NY sports stations in HD yet either. oh, guess who owns most of them? yup, cablevision.

    DirecTV > all

  4. Except DirecTV is in a pissing match with Vs. so I’m getting skunked on the NHL and other things right now…

  5. gettingpwned Says:

    ah, forgot about that one too. it’s all about the almighty $.

    Just get the NHL package!

  6. Doesn’t cover games on Vs…

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