My Tech Fails Me

I want to rant my cable TV provider for embedding a record-blocking signal in their transmissions that made it no longer possible for me to record any more of my favourite shows onto my HDD recorder.

I have always been recording shows off the TV, ever since the old VCR days, so that I can always watch and enjoy them over and over again whenever I’m free. And I had bought a LG RH388H HDD/DVD recorder precisely for this purpose. Apart from recording TV shows onto the harddisk, I could also transfer the shows onto DVDs, this way freeing up harddisk space for more recording.


LG RH388H HDD/DVD recorder

But ever since July last year, I have not been able to record any more shows onto my HDD recorder. This is what I get when I press the ‘record’ button.


Apparently, Starhub had embedded a record-blocking signal on ALL its channels as a “piracy prevention measure”. WTF? I thought I was already paying Starhub for watching cable TV every month which should entitle me to record any of the TV shows for my own personal viewing, provided that I do not make any profit out of it. In my opinion, Starhub should seriously refocus its energies on tackling this so-called “TV piracy” on the Internet where it has always been much more rampant, instead of penalising people like me who still actually watch TV from their television sets.

For a while, I was thinking of a get-around measure, by first using a VCR to record the TV show onto a VHS tape, then transfer the recording onto the HDD recorder. As a test, I pulled out my old dusty VCR, cleaned it up a bit and hooked it onto the system. I was able to record a show onto a VHS tape, but when it came to transferring the show onto the HDD recorder, the record-blocking signal was still detected and it could not record. Apparently, the blocking signal is embedded within the recorded signal on the tape, and it is still detected by the HDD recorder even if it plays from the VCR. It didn’t work.

As a result of my HDD recorder being blocked from recording any further TV shows, I am no longer able to record some of the upcoming shows that I had been looking forward to, which includes:
– All six Star Wars movies which were showing in conjunction with the release of Episode VII.
– All future X-Men movies coming after “X-Men: Days of Future Past”.
– All future Marvel Cinematic Universe movies coming after “Guardians of the Galaxy”.
– All future seasons of “Marvel: Agents of SHIELD” after season two.
– All future seasons of “Agent Carter” after season one, which was only season two.
– All other non-MCU Marvel movies that I have not recorded yet, just the other day they were showing “Daredevil”.
– All future DC movies coming after “Man of Steel”.
– As I could no longer record shows to watch later, I have also totally lost interest in following “The Walking Dead” after season five, as well as “The Librarians” after its first season.
– I was going to do a re-recording of the fourth season of the documentary “Digging for the Truth”, and also some of the season one episodes that were not aired in its recent rerun.

Oh, the humanity…

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