[mythtv-users] Not your everyday newbie questions

Patrick Watson patrick at patrickwatson.org
Wed Oct 12 12:17:18 UTC 2005

It is true that component capture is a technical limitation and the
component signal is unencrypted. However, the same doesn't apply for
firewire. Firewire sends a mpeg2 stream that doesn't require recompression,
just writing to disk. For many channels this is fine. You'll be able to
record almost any over the air channel. However, pay channels such as the
ESPNs, INHDs, and Discoveries are a no go because they are sent through
firewire with 5c content protection. This is a type of encryption scheme
that is vaguely similar to the broadcast flag (except the broadcast flag
doesn't encrypt). The provider (Comcast) decides which programs are allowed
to be played and recorded any number of times, recorded one time, or only
viewed (not recorded). The unlimited 5c setting is unencrypted and a
computer should be able to access it. However, the other two options are
encrypted and AFAIK no computer based systems can access them.





From: mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org
[mailto:mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org] On Behalf Of Chris Ribe
Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2005 6:08 PM
To: Discussion about mythtv
Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] Not your everyday newbie questions


"Without the firewire connection am I correct in assuming that there
is no way to capture HD encrypted content like HD Espn, HD TNT, HD
Discovery, etc? Is this a blanket problem or are there ways around it?"

The problem isn't encryption, as HD content over component output isn't
encrypted, the problem is simply a technical one.  An uncompressed HD signal
contains far more data than today's PC's can handle in software, and nobody
makes a consumer priced encoder chip.

For a crude idea of what is going on, my 1ghz PIII can barely keep up with
encoding NTSC content.   A 720p stream contains almost 8 times as mush data
as a 480i signal.



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