[mythtv-users] Digital Cable.
Jay R. Ashworth
jra at baylink.com
Fri Aug 27 18:03:26 EDT 2004
On Fri, Aug 27, 2004 at 01:14:21PM -0400, Joseph A. Caputo wrote:
> > As I understand it, Digital cable is MPEG2 streams over DOCSIS. It
> > seems kind of silly to decode them, convert them to analog tv, and
> > then re-encode them in a capture card. Is it possible to skip the
> > decode/analog/reencode step and suck these in directly?
> Well, it's not quite so simple...
> Theres a new card out (Dvico Fusion HD3000, IIRC) that is capable of
> decoding QAM (that's the transport (??) that digital cable uses). The
> first problem is that there are no Linux drivers for it (yet).
> However, the bigger problem is that any over-the-counter hardware
> capable of decoding regular digital cable (QAM) is only going to be
> able to deal with unencrypted content. A lot of the content from the
> major cable providers is encrypted (not just the premium channels,
> either), requiring vendor-provided hardware (set-top box) to decrypt.
> IIRC, the cable industry has been mandated to provide "keys" (CF cards
> or some similar technology) that would plug in to future devices
> (digital cable-ready TVs, etc) to enable the decryption of encrypted
> QAM programming without a set-top box. Nothing has come to market yet,
> though, and when it does it will be crippled because it will be after
> 7/2005 and must therefore honor the Broadcast Flag.
Nope, it's called a CableCARD, and *it's* availability date is 7.1.2004.
But I am reasonably certain that while someone *could* have
manufactured a SCTE40/CableCARD compatible digital cable tuner card
between 7/1/2004 and 7/1/2005, no one will, since, y'know, why bother.
> The bottom line is that the industry does not want you to have access to
> the high-quality digital stream, because (a) you must be a thief, and
> (b) if you're not a thief, then they want to be able to make money by
> selling you locked-in, closed, proprietary solutions.
You got it, Joe.
> Now, in the satellite arena, there's at least a choice, since the FCC
> has mandated satellite providers to provide an enabled FireWire port on
> their set-top boxes. So, even though everything coming out of that
> port will be on-the-fly transcoded down to 480p (to comply with the
> Broadcast Flag), at least it will be pure digital.
I didn't realize that. That will sell satellite service, now, won't it?
> That's my high-level understanding of things; perhaps someone else can
> explain it better.
Sounded pretty good to me. ;-)
Jay R. Ashworth jra at baylink.com
Designer Baylink RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates The Things I Think '87 e24
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