[mythtv-users] How the BBC's HD DRM plot was kept secret .. and why

Mike Perkins mikep at randomtraveller.org.uk
Thu Nov 17 12:06:52 UTC 2011

On 16/11/11 22:55, Simon Hobson wrote:
> Robert McNamara wrote:
>> No, nothing has changed.  No MythTV developer has ever requested
>> anyone take their question elsewhere when dealing with hardware
>> CAM/CI solutions.
> I was sure such a request had been made. You made me doubt my memory,
> so I went to look - not to prove you wrong, but to see if my memory
> is going (even more than normal !). I don't know who's-who, so the
> people concerned may not be developers in which case your statement
> would be correct - but people have certainly been told that
> discussion of hardware CAMs is off topic. It could just be that
> people being helpful have not appreciated the difference in attitude
> to the different options.
I think the reason for these responses, which I have seen in the past, is that 
the responders were likely from the US, where the idea of a CAM/CI interface (or 
similar) was until recently completely unknown.

These people likely assumed that because it was some kind of 'bolt-on' hardware 
used to decrypt/decode transmissions, which was a no-no there because of the 
DMCA, then it was therefore illegal everywhere.

Of course, in other more enlightened parts of the world, there have long been 
standards which provide for the legal use of CAM/CI hardware. Most if not all 
digital TVs in the UK have a slot for such a device.

A browse through websites offering satellite receiver cards will show many 
examples of cards with CAM/CI interfaces. All you need is the appropriate CAM 
for your provider and a valid subscription card - which is the same as a 
CableCard, I guess, but actually designed to a sane, common standard (and 
doesn't require a circus performance to activate).

I will add that CAM/CI interfaces are /still/ not available for either Sky 
(satellite) or Virgin (cable) in the UK, and I'm wondering why.


Mike Perkins

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