[mythtv] TiVo versus MCE versus my cable company
Joseph A. Caputo
jcaputo1 at comcast.net
Fri Mar 4 02:21:05 UTC 2005
Brad Templeton wrote:
>On Thu, Mar 03, 2005 at 05:15:24PM -0500, Joseph A. Caputo wrote:
>>Not true. The 'robustness' clause of the Broadcast Flag mandate
>>specifically prohibits them from releasing something potentially
>>crackable, basically meaning that the protection has to be hard-wired
>>into the silicon. *All* software and firmware can be hacked. The FCC
>I just can't read it that way. Ain't nothin' that's not crackable if
>you put enough effort into it. I mean it's not even that expensive
>to buy a raw HDTV encoder card that takes analog inputs, it's just
>not in the consumer products region.
>However, we are talking about cablecard, not the broadcast flag, so
>I am not sure what the BF mandate has to do with this option. When it
>comes to the BF, since vast numbers of non-compliant cards are already
>out there, one hardly needs strong security there since since the genie
>has already escaped from the barn.
CableCard-enabled devices will be subject to the BF mandate just as much
as any other device.
If the BF mandate is upheld, it really doesn't matter that the 'horse
has already been let out of the bottle' :-)
All that will matter is that devices manufactured after July 1st will
have to pass muster with the FCC;
anything that was grandfathered in is irrelevant.
>It's the cable and satellite companies who will be demanding more
>security -- no that their own systems have been non-crackable.
>>modchips. If I had to guess, I'd say that they will include at least a
>>rudimentary Palladium-like capability to lock down the platform.
>>Anything short of that would be hacked pretty quickly.
>Those among them who know any engineering know it will be hacked.
>Until you have palladium level circuitry built into the memory
>controller and CPU interfaces. And frankly, even then. The
>video stream has to flow over the memory bus unencypted at some point
>or another. A determined hacker could capture it.
>Even worse in audio, where the USB speaker spec is popular. Unless you
>plan to refuse to play on all existing USB speakers, want to tell me
>how you can stop me from getting at the digital audio streams with
>all the TCPA in the world?
>Palladium programs will be able to insist that your video driver is
>one they trust, ditto your audio driver but you can only go so far.
>DRM systems don't prevent data from getting out. They do two things:
> a) They stop ordinary users from conveniently copying the data,
> and slow advanced users down.
> b) They allow creation of industry cartels for media related
> hardware and software, so that nobody can come in with competing
> tools without joining the cartel first.
Right. The robustness clause is all about level of effort required.
Clearly a DRM scheme that simply requires the software/firmware
to provide a key has been proven to be too easily hackable.
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