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Digital Copy Control of TV Programming

To maintain and comply with programming contractual requirements, Charter conforms to the industry standard copy capabilities of digital services. This policy (known as Copy Control Information, CCI) limits the ability of our Charter Digital customers to copy programming into other formats. The television program is imbedded with digital video content information that describes the duplication rules for Charter Video Services. This policy reduces illegal duplication and distribution of movies, sporting events, and other entertainment content.

Our Charter digital receivers comply with these industry policies.  

Copy Control Information Rules

Different programs carry different copying rules. There are four possibilities:

  • Copy Freely - Any number of copies may be produced.
  • Copy Once - Only one copy of the content is permitted.
  • Copy No More - A copy of the content has already occurred and no more copies are permitted.
  • Copy Never - Copying of the content is never permitted.
  • Digital video content tagged with a CCI value other than Copy Freely is considered “High Value” content. 
  • Generally, digital basic services are tagged as Copy Freely;
  • Premium services are tagged as Copy Once
  • Pay-Per-View (PPV) and Video on Demand (VOD) services are tagged as Copy Never


The CCI values are carried along with digital content streams from our systems and are set on a service-by-service basis.

Impacts to Customers with CableCARD devices and Firewire

With CableCARD devices, the CableCARD decrypts authorized digital services before passing the video content to the television or Host device.  If the content is tagged as “High Value” with a CCI value of Copy Once, Copy No More or Copy Never, the CableCARD must re-encrypt the content before passing the content to the television or Host device. This re-encryption protects the content from illegal duplication.

Some affected digital channels display an on-screen error message when CCI is implemented and a customer using a CableCARD, TiVo, or similar device attempts to view their programming.

CableCARD Error Message

In order for the CableCARD and Host device to encrypt and decrypt the “High Value” content, the CableCARD must have been validated or paired with the Host. If you have received the error message shown above, please contact Charter to have your CableCARD properly registered for your account. This will clear the message.

An additional requirement for digital devices, such as Charter’s HD/DVR leased receivers, is that external digital interfaces such as 1396 ‘Firewire’ ports must also apply the CCI rules. There may be cases you are not able to record content via a 1394 interface if that contact has been tagged with a “High Value” CCI value.  This is due to the copy protection policies.

Rules for Personal Video Recording Devices (TiVo)

Personal Video Recording devices, such as TiVo, are affected by the CCI rules. 

For Example, the TiVo Series3 HD Digital Media Recorder is a digital device that uses CableCARD(s) to receive digital video programming. 

It must also comply with the CCI rules as follows:

    • Copy Freely - Copy NotRestricted – This content is not considered high value and can be recorded freely with norestrictions.
    • Copy Once - One generation copy is permitted – This content can be recorded to a TiVo DVR and can be moved,but cannot be copied or distributed any further.
    • Copy No More - No further copying is permitted – This content can be recorded to a TiVo DVR, but cannot becopied or distributed any further.
    • Copy Never - Copying isprohibited – These programs can be recorded to a TiVo DVR, but only for a 90-minute window,after which they can no longer be accessed or viewed.

For more information regarding copying digital programming, please contact Charter at 1-888-GET-CHARTER (1-888-438-2427)

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