[mythtv-users] HDHR Prime out for delivery - Any issues installing?

Ronald Frazier ron at ronfrazier.net
Wed Sep 7 02:18:07 UTC 2011

On Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 8:46 PM, Robert McNamara
<robert.mcnamara at gmail.com> wrote:
> If the card will authenticate in the system, you are supposed to be
> able to get copy freely channels (read: everything useful for Myth)
> without the need for activation.  So the theory goes, anyway-- I had
> planned to test it but my card was activated and paired at the same
> time.  YMMV.

Wrong. You will get unencrypted channels with a cablecard that doesn't
have a complete activation, but you won't get all copy free channels.
If you think about it, it's possible to have Cope Free channels that
are only part of premium packages, so it wouldn't make sense to have
them available on an unauthenticated card (and also, Copy Free
channels are still encrypted, so the cablecard wouldn't be able to
decrypt them without receiving the decryption keys). I can confirm
that it works this way, both based on a number of users I've helped
with getting their Ceton cards working in myth, and based on my own

To give a little more background on the setup process there are a few
steps in configuring a cablecard (I've sort of deduced this based on
all the people I've talked to, including many other users, customer
support at both Ceton and Silicon Dust, and an engineer from my cable
provider's NOC).

The first thing is that the card needs to be configured for the cable
provider. This consists of 2 parts...first, the card has to be
provisioned, meaning it has to be loaded with the cable company's
appropriate software. Second, it has to be paired with the card by the
cable provider's system (knowing that the cablecard with serial number
X is installed in device with Host ID Y). Ideally, the provisioning
should be done before the card makes it into your hands. However, a
large number of people have experienced a less-than-simple process of
getting their cards configured, and from what I can tell, the problem
is often that they've received unprovisioned cards. Luckily the
provisioning can be done remotely. I'm not really sure if that
technically is done before or after the pairing (I don't know if they
pair and then upload/update the software, or do the upload and THEN

Once the card has passed both parts of this first step, it will then
be able to tune clear QAM channels.

The next step is that the card needs to know what channels you are
entitled to receive. This data comes in the EMM (entitlement
management message). The EMM basically tells the cable card all of the
channels that you are authorized to receive. When your card is first
setup, you should receive an EMM update to the card. The EMM is good
for a fixed period of time (30 days on my cable system). The cable
provider will periodically send out an EMM update (they will also send
one out any time you upgrade or downgrade your service). Any time you
receive an updated EMM, it resets the timeout period. Once the timeout
period elapses without you receiving an updated EMM, the card will
revert to only playing clear QAM stations. I can verify that it works
this way because (for an unknown reason) I never received the EMM
updates for the first month I had my card setup, and on day 30
suddenly I was only authorized to tune the clear QAM stations. I got
in touch with my contact at the NOC, he push an EMM out to my card,
and I instantly had all my stations back.

Ron Frazier

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