On the advice of commenter MrPeach, I unplugged my television, disconnected and re-connected my HDMI cable, and powered back up.
I'm not entirely sure why it worked, but it did, and now I can watch the US Open in HD. All my other channels came back, too, and the offending DRM-esque error message is gone. It seems like a silly thing that I should have thought about right away, but I did all my hard and soft resetting and power cycling on my DirecTV box, and got so frustrated, I didn't even think to do the same thing on my television. It reminds me of the time I spent $80 on a service call for a jacuzzi issue at my old house, and the entire problem could have been solved by pushing the "reset" button on the heater.
Yes, occasionally, I am what my friends call "Cal Tech smart." (Yeah, I wish I was that smart, but if you get the reference, than I think you'll understand what they mean).
This whole experience illustrates to very important points:
- DRM just sucks. It punishes honest consumers, does little to combat actual piracy, and gives broadcasters and the evil *AA cartels way too much control over how we, their fucking customers, can enjoy the content we are paying them for.
- The Internet is awesome. I've never seen MrPeach here before, so I can only assume he is someone who heard about my DirecTV problem and came here to offer some help.Rather than point out what an idiot I am for confusing 1080i with 1080p, insulting me for making a reference he didn't understand, or attacking me for not intimately understanding this technology the same way hardcore A/V Geeks do, he kindly and clearly educated and enlightened us. In fact, if you read his comment, you'll learn a bit about HDCP, HDMI, and why Monster cables are a scam.
Thanks for not being a dick, MrPeach, and thanks for helping me get my television back. I'm going to go hug it now.