[mythtv-users] A not so High Definition fan, takes a 180 turn.

sschaefer1 at woh.rr.com sschaefer1 at woh.rr.com
Fri Dec 10 18:47:33 UTC 2004

I'm not sure what I'm asking or getting at, but I hope you can comment/fill in my knowledge gap.
Yes, this does pertain to MythTV.

Learning about the new copy protection flag/law starting mid/late 2005, here in the United
States, I've been "inspired" to get my HD devices pre-ban. The pcHDTV.com offerings don't
offer hardware decode, so that is not an option for me, unless I want a second
(dedicated) computer. Looking for alternatives...

I should mention I'm planning on receiving HD through my roof antenna (OTA).
The set top box (STB) HD tuner/scalers that I found, namely

Samsung SIR-T165



have an IEEE1394 port, and I think there maybe more offerings.
Note if you are receiving HD from cable or satelite there are other STBs to be found.

I'm confused about the IEEE1394 stuff when it applies to HDTV... here goes:

Particularly the 3 STBs listed above say they work with/control D-VHS devices,
a sort of digital VCR (through the 1394 port). None of these STB support 5C,
which is some sort of copyright protection protocol, as much as I can figure out...
and I've even seen forum (AVSforum.com) postings mention 2C, and 4C, presumably
the for runners to 5C.

I emailed an owner of an MVS-500 and he said it worked great delivering broadcast
HD data to his D-VHS, where he plays back directly to his television from the D-VHS.
He has not, and wasn't going to, attempt to play the stream back to the MVS-500 to
have it decode enroute to the television. However, he said that he had tried
to play a DTheatre tape (some sort of HD movie rental) from his D-VHS device to the
MVS-500, but that it wouldn't take because of the 5C info/protocol the D-VHS was
feeding it.

I got a similar response from a MDR-200 owner. Amazon product reviews of the SIR-T165
are mixed at best, but do say it's 1394 port is operational.

There are programs available on Windows for D-VHS emulation, but they appear to all
cooperate with the copy protection/downgrading that is supposed to occur mid 2005.

Next in line, is/was determining if there is D-VHS emulation available on Linux, which
there is, sort of, the project DDR1394. The original developer seems to have met his
personal demands, then moved on. Another enthusiast worked on it until Japan implemented
their copyright protection stuff mid 2004. I've got an email response to him for
clarification as to why he would suggest further development would be a waste of time.
Also, asked if playback with DDR1394 to the tuner device was possible, he said he
hadn't tried it, but that is how it is supposed to work.


This leads me to where I am now in this thought. Isn't part of the media industry's fear
reside in the fact that in open source software, the copy protection (cooperation) can be
cut out by knowledgeable programmers? If this is correct, why wouldn't something like
DDR1394 project still capture non-downgraded streams from a pre-ban HDTV tuner with a
1394 port?

In either case, I realize I can buy a more modern HD tuner that has no 1394 port and
use my Hauppauge WinTV PVR 350 to record as SD. I've thought about, and imagine I can
set up MythTV (haven't investigated yet) to control my VCR with the infrared... So
when it comes to D-VHS, the way I understand it, the tuner device controls the D-VHS
and tells it to record. MythTV would have to control the HD tuner device externally,
in order to start the recording, and the DDR1394 be a service waiting for the command
to record from the HD tuner.

If you know anything about the various ways 1394 transfers HD content, please volunteer
some info :) I've been to various sites about 1394, and some as it pertains to Linux,
and I'm still in the dark. Maybe explain what 5C is exactly, layman's terms.


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