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Restricted Content Bug Diagnosed

I am almost 100% convinced that I know why I am getting the Restricted Content “bug”. I put bug in quotes because I am no longer convinced that it is a Media Center issue. I think Media Center is doing exactly what it is supposed to do which is why I can still record a show that mere seconds earlier was restricted by the content provider.

The root of my Media Center angst is the cable card itself. I am 100% convinced that the cable card I have is bad. Case in point is The Daily Show from last night.

I have a lot of problems recording the Daily Show. This and the Colbert Report give me the Restricted Content error more than anything I try to record. Not because the shows are restricted but because of the channel they are on. My cable cards sometimes loose permission to the channels that are in the same tier as Comedy Central. In order to fix this all I need to do is try and tune is a few channels in the same tier and then Comedy Central will tune in. Once I do that, like magic, I can record what was once restricted.

Since the cable card is loosing permission to these channels, when I tried to record Media Center sees it as restricted content. As soon as I get it to tune, Media Center can now see the channels as normal and records without fail.

The other issue I was able to resolve was around my Series Settings. For both the Daily Show and The Colbert Report I have the series set to only keep 4 recordings of the show (since it only comes on 4 times a week). When I get the Restricted Content issue and then set it to record after resolving the tuning problem, the recording is seen as outside of my regular series recording. Because of that Media Center will not clean it up and I will end up with more than 4 episodes.

To resolve the issue you can go into the guide and find the show that is recording. You will see that it has 1 red dot instead of the 3 red dots. Press the info button and set the series to record. Media Center will recognize that you already have the series set to record and will ask if you would like to make the one time recording part of the series recording. Select “yes” and now you are back in order.

Time Warner should be here soon to give me a new cable card. We’ll see if it works. In the meantime, the HDHomeRun should also be here today. The new dual tuner box will actually be the primary tuners for about 70% of my HD recordings. After evaluating my series recordings I found out that 70% exist on network HD channels that are broadcast in the clear (QAM). The HDHomeRun will only tune those channels so it will record all my network TV which then frees up my main tuners for watching live TV or more recording. The other bonus is that everything coming through the HDHomeRun’s will be DRM free!!!


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