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Role of HDMI in Digital Recording (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Feb 20, 2003
I have a perplexing problem with recording from an HD cable box. Here are the connections: Coax to HD box; from box to HDTV via HDMI; from box to DVR via coax; from DVR to HDTV via Component. DVR is set to Channel 3. With this setup I can record any channel on the HD box as long as I have the TV and cable box turned on and the TV input set to Component. The problem is, if I turn the TV off while recording, I receive an error message (Copy Protection - The DVI/HDMI output is blocked). Consequently, I have to keep the TV on whenever I record (sometimes late at night). To troubleshoot this problem I tried disconnecting the HDMI cable between the box and TV and sure enough I was able to record successfully. Even after shutting the TV off! What’s wrong with this picture? If I am recording via coax how can an HDMI cable make a difference with having the TV on or off? Thanks.

Stephen Tu

Apr 26, 1999
Well, it's arguably bad cable box and TV design. When HDMI is connected it is expecting handshaking from the TV for the HDCP, which apparently it can't do when it is off.

Only solutions are:
- don't use HDMI, use component from cable box instead
- get a proper HD DVR (rent from provider or HD-Tivo) and get rid of the separate cable box/DVR combo, this is best option by far, though greater cost. I hate watching live TV (have to be there when it starts, can't FF over commercials), and I hate non-picture HD quality using DVR, so I abandoned the separate cable box/DVR as soon as I could.

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