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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just read through this thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum11/HTML/014519.html


So far as I know, this is the first official confirmation of what most of us think anyway - the content providers/MPAA are actively trying to prevent recording of HDTV.


Considering, however, the enormous progress that the Tivo underground has made in moding Tivo boxes, I wonder what a concerted effort from members of this and other forums could produce as far as extracting the ATSC bitstream from DTC-100s and/or other HDTV sat boxes.


A solution was apparently just around the corner with 169time, but it appears that either the individual has had serious business/technical problems or has been pressured by the aforementioned powers that be.


Has anyone actually taken a DTC-100 or other DirecTV box apart to see if the un-encrypted ATSC bitstream is "gettable"? If it is, it should be reasonably possible to construct a digital input board and a software play-back decoder for use on a computer.


I suspect that this is rather clearly NOT what the MPAA wants (direct porting of ATSC bitstreams into computers), but the continued stalling and foot-dragging on the part of CE manufacturers to bring an HD VCR to the market is certainly creating a strong desire on my part - anyone else?


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I am definitely interested, however, I do not possess the technical know how to contribute much to actually figuring this out. I too suspect that the MMPA will fight tooth and nail against any recording of HD material.


Why these people can't see that every innovation they fight ends up making them more money that they ever thought they could (heck, now the video $ is accounted for in the budget of a movie) baffles me. If they were interested in a copy protection scheme, they should have gotten it included in the ATSC standard, now all they are doing is screwing the people who pay their bills.


This really all boils down to the fact that if the FCC had any backbone instead of trying to pander to every special interest group except the one that matters (US - the taxpayers) this would not be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"Of course we all know that computer cards are available for doing all these things for off-the-air signals-- just not for satellite. The Telemann HiPix and Hauppauge WinTV-D (and soon WinTV-HD) record the raw ATSC bitstream to disk. (Another card, accessDTV, encrypts the stream.) Search the Home Theater Computers fourm for details."


Yes, I've been following these threads with interest since they started. It's on this basis that I surmise that playback of the ATSC bitstream is fairly easy, possibly by co-opting the playback software from one of the three OTA HDTV computer recording solutions.


Re: Satellite safeguards. Certainly, breaking satellite encryption is dicey at best, and is bound to be retailiated against by the satellite providers (it already is, if you follow the hacker community).


That's not what I'm suggesting, however. As I understand it (and my understanding is limited!), the bitstream from the satellite is de-modulated, de-crypted, then de-coded (I'm talking ATSC here, "regular" satellite is a bit different). If the ATSC bitstream can be physically intercepted after decryption by the sat access card, but before decoding and A/D conversion, the satellite providers would have know way of knowing whether or not a box had this modification.


Since "retaliation" is unlikely, the first thing we'd need to know is whether there's a seperate ATSC decoder (nxtwave?) on the board, and whether the pin-outs could be accessed, and the appropriate voltage/clock frequency extracted.




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Tom is correct! There are organizations fighting for our rights as consumers, and we all need to support as many of these groups as possible RIGHT NOW!! The withholding of perfectly legal products from the marketplace through devious agreements made by corporate fatcats in smokey back rooms must stop.


Kent


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Call out the ACLU! It's unconstitutional to impede our right to record copyrighted material.
 

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Quote:
Considering, however, the enormous progress that the Tivo underground has made in moding Tivo boxes, I wonder what a concerted effort from members of this and other forums could produce as far as extracting the ATSC bitstream from DTC-100s and/or other HDTV sat boxes.
Of course we all know that computer cards are available for doing all these things for off-the-air signals-- just not for satellite. The Telemann HiPix and Hauppauge WinTV-D (and soon WinTV-HD) record the raw ATSC bitstream to disk. (Another card, accessDTV, encrypts the stream.) Search the Home Theater Computers fourm for details.


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The focal point for consumer protection on issues like this used to be the Home Recording Rights Coalition though I don't know if they have been as active recently.


More recently, our side of the issues have been best championed by The Electronic Frontier Foundation . I've been donating $ to help them. They are probably the best bet today.


I wouldn't hold out much hope for a long term hacker solution to the satellite providers. They can change their security and encryption and have shown they are willing to knock off legitimate users in order to do so.


But unscrambled OTA recording is still available for anyone with a PC and a HiPix, WinTV-HD, or even a WinTV-d card.


- Tom


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