HDHomeRun Now Supports Copy-Protected TV on Xbox One
Updated February 2nd 3:15pm ET to correct the problem mentioned for Windows 10 PCs. It’s MPEG-2 video that isn’t supported natively in Windows 10.
Today SiliconDust announced a massive new feature for their Xbox One app, HDHomeRun. The new update is specifically geared towards users who have an HDHomeRun Prime. If you have that CableCARD-based tuner, you can now view live copy-protected content on the Xbox One.
As a quick recap, some cable providers put a layer of copy-protection on some, or all, programs. Prior to this update, if that copy-protection is enabled then you can only view the non-DRM enabled programs. Which channels and programs are protected is entirely up to the cable providers. For some people, only premium channels (like HBO) are copy protected, but other providers protect everything.
If you’ve already got the HDHomeRun app on your Xbox One make sure to update it to the latest version. It should work for live playback without issue. If you’re part of the HDHomeRun DVR program, you can’t record copy-protected content yet. Recording, and the playback, of copy-protected content will come later.
Many of you also realize that Xbox One and Windows 10 both use UWP apps that can be shared across both platforms. Unfortunately, the answer to whether this update will work for Windows 10 PC users is a far more difficult question to answer.
SiliconDust is saying that many PCs which have a built-in screen (like laptops, tablets, and all-in-one PCs) may support copy-protected playback. There’s a huge list of requirements to fully support DRM on PCs. While SiliconDust didn’t fully specify what those requirements are, there’s no reason not to try it. The app is free after all.
Update for further clarification: For PCs that connect to a monitor or television via HDMI, the app may not support copy-protected content currently. This is due to an issue with the way HDCP is handled. SiliconDust is working directly with Microsoft to address this, and an updated app will be released once a solution has been made available.
If you are able to play back copy-protected shows on your PC, you may not get any
audio video. There is a simple, but frustrating, solution. The problem stems from the fact that Windows 10 doesn’t natively include support for Dolby audio MPEG-2 video. To get it working you’ll need to purchase the Windows DVD Player app from the Windows Store. It will set you back $14.99. Nick from SiliconDust says that a future version of Windows 10 (perhaps the Creators Update) won’t require the DVD player app.
We’ve got a few more clarifying questions out to our contacts at SiliconDust. If we receive any more details, we’ll be share to pass them along to you. Let us know how the app is working out for you!