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Answers about pcHDTV HD-3000 QAM (CABLE) support, and more..
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:30 am Reply with quote
manyoso
 
Joined: 20 Oct 2004
Posts: 18




I found this wonderful FAQ over on the mythtv-users mailing list and thought it'd be a good idea to share it here too. Many people are wondering whether the HD-3000 will support digital cable ... well, here is the answer:

**** (curteousy of Brandon Beattie via the MythTV-users mailing list) ****

Here are some answers that questions that many people are going to be
asking/re-asking about the pcHDTV hd-3000 card, and to save confusion...

Q: Why the HD-3000 card?

A: The HD-2000 card used older components that are now obsolete.

Q: Is the HD-3000 card better?

A: You could say slightly, but not much that anyone would notice really.
The new chip has better algorithms to reduce multi-path that can cause
some signal problems, but ATSC will always be plagued with multi-path
problems because of it's design. (And the only way to fix it is to
choose another spec, which isn't going to happen now... Also I've found
that you'll likely never get good reception if you antenna isn't
perfectly still, so say goodbye to palm TV's and car TV's).

Q: Will the HD-3000 let me watch HD cable?

A: Shortly yes, but right now no. pcHDTV has the micro code that is used
for decode cable signals. This is what prevented the HD-2000 from
allowing users to watch HD cable - the HD-2000 card does support QAM,
but pcHDTV was not able to get the micro code, but this still could
happen, but don't hold your breath. -- Someone could /guess/ the micro
code but good luck because you'll need it.

Also, just because you can decode the HD cable does not mean you can
watch it. You can only watch unencrypted cable. If cable providers
decide to encrypt signals and then sell special set top boxes that know
how to decrypt that signal you'll not be able to watch it with the
HD-3000 card. Whether your cable provider sends plan old QAM or
encrypted QAM varries greatly. Call your cable provider to know for
sure (But be aware that the customer service person may just tell you
yes because that's what they would assume...) Also, only some channels
could be encrypted and others may not be.

In some markets you could have 0% encrypted, in others it could be 100%.
Nation wide it's around 70% not 30% is from people I have spoken with.

As for when the HD-3000 card will have QAM support, my personal
guess (And it is a guess) would be 1-2 months.

Q: Does the HD-3000 have anything else new?

A: Yes, it has composite and svga video in. The audio out for the NTSC
tuner also has an external jack and it is stereo, as the HD-2000 was
internal and only mono.

Q: How long until Myth supports the HD-3000 card?

A: How does Now sound? I spent a few hours over at pcHDTV a couple
weeks ago to built a myth box. I was given base fedora box with the
driver for the HD-3000 card compiled and loaded into the kernel. I
grabbed the latest CVS of Myth and went through the setup as I do on the
HD-2000 cards and it worked right off, nothing special.

Q: What about windows drivers?

A: There are plans for windows drivers, but it will probably be a few
months before we see them.

Q: Can I use these cards after July 1st 2005?

A: Yes you can use them, they are "grandfathered" into the new
regulations. It will always be completely legal to use them. The card
ignores the copy right bit and if a show has this bit enabled, the
card doesn't care and will save the stream in full quality anyway.

Q: Can I get a card after July 1st 2005?

A: This becomes a very gray area. From what I have heard, the
regulation prohibits you from SELLING devices cross STATE boundries that
do not follow the new regulations. From what I hear, if you assemble
a HD tuner yourself, it is still legal. I know though that the
HD-3000 card will not be sold after July 1st 2005 if the EFF and other
groups don't win the case to fight the broadcast flag. I am 100% sure
this is not the end of HDTV in Myth or any computer, and I'm not just
refering to using firewire or usb from dish/cable boxes to get the HD
into Myth. For the next little while I can't comment though.

If I missed a common question let me know, or feel free to contact me
off list.

**** (curteousy of Brandon Beattie via the MythTV-users mailing list) ****

You can find the original post, as well as follow-up questions and answers here:

http://mythtv.org/pipermail/mythtv-users/2004-October/057968.html

BTW, I emailed support@pchdtv.com to confirm that QAM support is in the works. They confirmed.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:22 pm Reply with quote
Guest
 




A: Yes, it has composite and svga video in.

Does this mean I can run a computer's VGA out into the card and record it?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2004 3:48 pm Reply with quote
jpoet
 
Joined: 11 Nov 2003
Posts: 55
Location: Albuquerque, NM




Anonymous wrote:
A: Yes, it has composite and svga video in.

Does this mean I can run a computer's VGA out into the card and record it?


Actually, I am pretty sure that is a typo. Should have been svideo, not svga.

John
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Re: Answers about pcHDTV HD-3000 QAM (CABLE) support, and mo
PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 7:45 pm Reply with quote
Guest
 




manyoso wrote:
A: This becomes a very gray area. From what I have heard, the
regulation prohibits you from SELLING devices cross STATE boundries that
do not follow the new regulations. From what I hear, if you assemble
a HD tuner yourself, it is still legal. I know though that the
HD-3000 card will not be sold after July 1st 2005 if the EFF and other
groups don't win the case to fight the broadcast flag. I am 100% sure
this is not the end of HDTV in Myth or any computer, and I'm not just
refering to using firewire or usb from dish/cable boxes to get the HD
into Myth. For the next little while I can't comment though.


How about you just recognize the broadcast flag in the software? That way you're technically 'assembling' it yourself if you compile the program to ignore the broadcast flag.
Re: Answers about pcHDTV HD-3000 QAM (CABLE) support, and mo
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 5:21 pm Reply with quote
Guest
 




Anonymous wrote:
How about you just recognize the broadcast flag in the software? That way you're technically 'assembling' it yourself if you compile the program to ignore the broadcast flag.


It will be illegal to move the data across any user accessable bus. One way it might be done is to have the card encrypt the signal and then pass out a HDCP signal to a DVI output.

Might still have time shift, you could store the encrypted files on the hard disk and then pipe them to the display somehow.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 11:09 am Reply with quote
Scott Larson
 
Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 713
Location: Portland, OR




I'm hoping they'll just go down the same path they went with DVD's: require that the broadcast flag force cards to return some weakly encrypted output. That way a teenager will find an easy way to break the encryption so honest people can still timeshift like they always have, and Hollywood can still claim that evil crooks on the Internet are taking money out of their pockets.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:13 pm Reply with quote
SigTom
 
Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Posts: 26




Yeah, but as I understand the Broadcast Flag, if the encryption is broken, they (hollwood) can substitute a new encryption to replace the broken one. Or am I wrong on this?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:08 pm Reply with quote
Scott Larson
 
Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 713
Location: Portland, OR




I was speculating on possible encryption schemes they might use for "unsafe" devices. Right now the broadcast flag does not involve any encryption at all. I don't know how they expect to control devices like PC cards.

If an encryption scheme failed, they could not change the way existing cards work any more than they can make existing ATSC cards recognize the broadcast flag today.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:54 pm Reply with quote
florin
 
Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 15
Location: Mountain View, CA




SigTom wrote:
Yeah, but as I understand the Broadcast Flag, if the encryption is broken, they (hollwood) can substitute a new encryption to replace the broken one. Or am I wrong on this?


Don't worry, the fast-rising tech industries in other parts of the world Wink will not fail to notice the potential and make cards that don't care about any flag whatsoever.
Of course, crossing the border might be a problem, but probably only a small one... Smile

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:09 am Reply with quote
Guest
 




A wonderfully incorrect FAQ.

For cable encryption - if the regular pay-tv channels are not encrypted (0% as the faq says), don't expect it to last.

"ATSC will always be plagued with multi-path
problems because of it's design. (And the only way to fix it is to
choose another spec, which isn't going to happen now... Also I've found
that you'll likely never get good reception if you antenna isn't
perfectly still, so say goodbye to palm TV's and car TV's). "

1. Obviously this guy hasn't seen the 5th gen receiver chipsets. I got reception by laying my yagi on its side on the roof (before I mounted it). 5th gen makes multipath a thing of the past.
2. That 60Mph chip design.. it must be vapor
3. Cell providers already have and are rolling out video overlay 3/3G+ networks. ATSC will never happen on your palm TV -- there is no need for it to.

The broadcast flag *HAS NO ENCRYPTION*. A vendor that provides a device must *use approved encryption* if the content is flagged. That means encrypted bus, encrypted PVR'ing of data, and down-rezzing of content output on analog connectors. No need to speculate on the mechanisms, here they are:

Vendor protection mechanisms:

Microsoft's Windows Media DRM
RealNetworks's Helix DRM Trusted Recorder
TiVo's TiVoGuard
Sony's Open MagicGate Type R
HP and Philips Electronics's Vidi
Thomson's SmartRight
JVC's D-VHS.

Standards that vendors can 'license':

5C Digital Transmission Content Production (DTCP)
4C Content Protection Recordable Media for Video Content

And you can't break the flag if the tables are parsed in silicon and protected content is dropped before it hits the PCI bus. That is, if PCI cards will even last without a flurry of MPAA/etc. lawsuits.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 10:04 pm Reply with quote
Dranxo
Guest
 




Has anyone tried the HD-3000 with QAM cable? How does it work?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 10:47 am Reply with quote
SigTom
 
Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Posts: 26




Dranxo wrote:
Has anyone tried the HD-3000 with QAM cable? How does it work?


It doesnt yet.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 10:59 am Reply with quote
mj1856
 
Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 38




Is there any effort underway (pcHDTV or otherwise) to support QAM decryption using a CableCard? My local cable company (Cox) just started offering them. I notice that it is a standard PCMCIA type II card, so it would just be a matter of installing a PCMCIA slot adapter to get it in the system. Then of course there needs to be drivers and integration with the tuner drivers, but it all seems very do-able.

Is anyone working on this somewhere?

-Matt
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Answers about pcHDTV HD-3000 QAM (CABLE) support, and more..
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