Heroes & Icons is DRMed and inaccessible for CableCARD users
Heroes & Icons was added to the lineup of my area's Spectrum service. It is an over-the-air (broadcast) network run as a sub-channel of KCOP on 13.4, a Los Angeles local TV station.
Rather than add it to the line up in the 1200-1299 block of channels, which is where other broadcast channels are (including KCOP's other subchannels - KCOP D3 "Movies!" is located at channel 1261 and KCOP D2 "Buzzr" is channel 1262), Spectrum has put it on channel 151.
That's the not the problem. The problem is Spectrum has also set the Copy Control encryption to 0x02 - Copy Once, which means once it's been recorded using a CableCARD, it can only be viewed on the device it's been recorded to. By law, as it is an over-the-air broadcast channel, it is required to be designated "copy freely", and by setting it as anything other than that, Spectrum is in violation of FCC code.
cable providers are not permitted to apply copy protection to broadcast channels, even if they encrypt those channels and require a CableCARD to receive them ("access control").
47 CFR 76.1904 - Encoding rules for defined business models.
- (a) Commercial audiovisual content delivered as unencrypted broadcast television shall not be encoded so as to prevent or limit copying thereof by covered products or, to constrain the resolution of the image when output from a covered product.
- (s) Unencrypted broadcast television means any service, program, or schedule or group of programs, that is a substantially simultaneous retransmission of a broadcast transmission (i.e., an over-the-air transmission for reception by the general public using radio frequencies allocated for that purpose) that is made by a terrestrial television broadcast station located within the country or territory in which the entity retransmitting such broadcast transmission also is located, where such broadcast transmission is not subject to a commercially-adopted access control method (e.g., is broadcast in the clear to members of the public receiving such broadcasts), regardless of whether such entity subjects such retransmission to an access control method.
Page 30 of the FCC Plug and Play ruling also states that MVPDs must not impose any copy restructions for unencrypted broadcast television.
I called Spectrum on 6th March 2018 and spoke to about 3 people who had no idea what I was talking about. Eventually I spoke to a man who was helpful but didn't know how to help, and that he would speak to his supervisor. But I never heard back from Spectrum. Three months later and the channel is still copy protected.