I think many people would agree that the difference is arbitrary. But that's indeed the law: DMCA specifically prohibits defeating encryption securing digital content, with some very limited exceptions. And the penalties for doing so can be draconian.
And there's the rub - arbitrary distinction in legislation makes it unenforceable except by using 'draconian' measures. (I like that word;-)
Any "good" judge would have thrown it out as too vague, it conflicts with too many precedents and is just downright stoopid. OK, maybe they wouldn't throw it out for being stoopid...
I believe the bigger problem would be that it violates your TOS with Netflix, Roku, Amazon or others. Oddly enough, when you watch through the Roku box, you're alredy making a recording. But, the box doesn't keep a long-term recording. And then again comes the arbitrariness of the DMCA, rearing it's ugly head. How long to keep a recording is too long? 10 seconds? 30 minutes? 5 hours? What if it goes to a PVR with time shifting? That's a recording too.
Good luck OP, I hope it works out to your satisfaction. So much nowadays isn't. Thanks a lot MPAA. I used to go to the cinema 2 or 3 times a month. Now I don't even make it once a year.
And thank goodness for Roku/Netflix and some talented individuals.
Oh, BTW - has anyone noticed that you get a lot of signal degradation if you hook up the box through an older model VCR before it goes to the newer DVD recorders? I wonder if a video amplifier would make the signal any better?
Oh well, didn't mean to hijack the thread.