[mythtv-users] Premium Content

Joe Votour joevph at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 27 18:44:13 UTC 2007

> Hi,
> I am trying to understand the present/future use of Mythtv as it applies
> to content provided by cable/satellite providers.  I understand that a lot
> of DRM is going on (like 5c encryption on cable channels) and wanted to
> understand how mythtv is going to be able to work with/around that.
> Basically, if I use mythtv as my HTPC will I lock myself out of stations
> like ESPNHD, DiscoveryHD, TNTHD, etc?  I am specifically concerned about
> getting HD (why pay for it if you can't watch it?).  I have already read
> (previous mailings on this list) that one can send those stations out via
> s-video, but who really wants to do that?
> And of course, don't forget the plight the cablecard is going to add....
> Given the DRM issues -- is it easier to just use OTA HD via an antenna?
> Just looking for some comments.   :}


Yes, you are better off using OTA HD via an antenna, unless:
1. You don't mind downsampled HD via S-Video, or,
2. Your cable provider's STB has Firewire enabled and they don't apply the
encryption to the Firewire port, or,
3. Your cable provider actually broadcasts it unencrypted on the QAM (in
which case, any QAM card can capture it).

The only hope (which I don't hold high hopes of) is that CableCard 2.0
will be readily adopted, and then there will be a PCI or USB CableCard 2.0
reader that can be made to work with Linux.  (As I recall, ATI has a
USB-based one that caught some headlines a while back).

The key though, is that in order to actually do anything useful with the
stream, MythTV must see it as unencrypted, so that it can parse the
MPEG-2/MPEG-4 data do determine commercial positions, and things like

Outside of that, sadly, you're left to fully DRM'd operating systems and
their approved software to get your content (and not how you want it).

-- Joe

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