[mythtv-users] Encrypted HD channels

Brad Templeton brad+myth at templetons.com
Thu Jan 4 20:27:45 UTC 2007

On Thu, Jan 04, 2007 at 11:25:24AM -0700, Greg Woods wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-01-04 at 11:05 -0700, Brian Wood wrote:
> > Actually it looks like I'm getting TNT and Discovery in HD  
> > unencrypted, and perhaps some more. I need to talk to the cable  
> > company, as I think receiving those channels without paying is called  
> > "stealing" :-)
> What do we call it when we pay for them but still can't receive them
> unencrypted? A "rip-off", I guess :-)  Of course they can point out
> correctly that the channels I paid for can be received just fine,
> provided I use their box, which only outputs those channels in HD via
> HDMI, which is useless to Myth. "We're the cable company. We don't care.
> We don't have to" (yep, a repeated line but one of my all-time favorites
> adapted from the 1960's phone company).
> I'm just wondering what is going to happen when everything goes digital.
> My Myth box may totally disappear at that point as the Comcast-supplied
> box will be necessary for virtually everything. Right now I can get
> almost all of the SD channels in analog via the PVR-500, but when
> everything goes digital, I will only be able to get whatever they put
> through unencrypted, probably just the over-the-air networks. Bah,
> humbug. I'll be driving an old air-cooled Beetle again.

There are many reports of people building inexpensive analog capture
chips and transcoder chips for HD.   Mainly for the camcorder market
I think, though those don't have the A2D.    It's doable today, it
just requires somebody to decide there is enough of a market for such
a card for people with software pvrs.

At least today, where, in order to support older tvs with only component
input, they still provide hi-res component output.   It's not the best
situation -- you are transcoding -- but it will work until they decide
that they no longer wish to support people with old analog HDTVs, and
disable (or downres) the analog outputs, which is definitely in their

After they do that, mythtv users will be stuck with OTA or modded
boxes, if those are still available.  (My understanding is the modded
satellite boxes that get sold are based on older receivers and that
it's harder to mod the more recent boxes.)

A dwindling market it will be harder to get products for.

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