[mythtv-users] MythTV and the Shaw digital box

Harondel J. Sibble help at pdscc.com
Thu Feb 19 16:03:52 UTC 2009

Bit of an update on this thread.  Having recently setup my new myth box with 
one of the 4 tuner cards dedicated to a digital cable box (non-hd). I decided 
to call Shaw and see about getting the serial port working since I wasn't 
having much luck with the irblaster. I've since gotten it working reliably 
with the PVR-150 IR Blaster, but still wanted another option in the interim.  

I spoke with a supervisor at Shaw several weeks ago and he comitted to 
finding out why after all this time Shaw was still not willing to enable 
serial port access particularly since they allow channel changing and other 
control though the firewire port on the HD boxes.  

He called back today and said....

Feb 18/09 
2030 - SHAW - Doug called back and said that after speaking with the guys at 
the warehouse and pushing them for the reasons on this was that enabling the 
serial port allows access to diagnostics and firmware changes and is how they 
upload firmware at their warehouse. Giving serial port access would allow 
"hacking" (didn't say this directly but implied it) and is a security risk 
they don't want to deal with. I brought up the fact that the same issues 
apply to the firewire port on the HD boxes and he said that what you can do 
with the firewire port is much more restricted and is not the same kind of 
2035 - completed   

So being that I've seen several people on this list and elsewhere mention 
getting access to diagnostics on the HD boxes and such, can anyone with more 
HD box experience confirm whether the firewire port on an HD box allows the 
same kind of contol as the serial port on a NON-HD digital cable box? Besides 
diagnostics info, can you change/flash the firmware using the firewire port? 
Also what else can you do with the firewire port that might be considered a 
security risk (from Shaw's perspective).  I know you can control the channels 
and get the video stream via the firewire port and access diagnostic info, 
anything else???   

Given how much time I've put into this over the years, I am not quite 
inclined to drop it just yet....   

On 24 Dec 2006 at 17:18, Harondel J. Sibble wrote:

> On 21 Dec 2006 at 18:31, Ben Holt wrote:
> > IIRC Harondel had it going once on his box, but it was only a
> momentary > thing as he managed to find a Shaw tech who enabled it for
> him to do > some testing (and then subsequently shut it back off). 
> Yeah, I had it working for like 1 hour before the tech called back and
> said they had to turn it off for internal policy reasons. 
> > I can sort of understand their paranoia about firewire ports, but
> its > odd that they don't enable the serial ports. 
> You know since they do enable the firewire port, it might be time for
> me/us to call them back about enabling the serial port again. 
> I am awaiting a call back from them, so if you have gotten the
> firewire port on an HD box enabled, please let me know, so I can then
> point out how innane them not unlocking the serial port on the older
> boxes is. 
> Here are the notes I posted on the Tivo Forums

Harondel J. Sibble 
Sibble Computer Consulting
Creating Solutions for the small and medium business computer user.
help at pdscc.com (use pgp keyid 0x3AD5C11D) http://www.pdscc.com
(604) 739-3709 (voice)

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