[mythtv-users] DVB-S2 PCI-express cards

Emmanuel eallaud at gmail.com
Fri Sep 30 19:19:43 UTC 2011

On 30/09/2011 11:18, Simon Hobson wrote:
> Emmanuel wrote:
>> But I thought they would release the source code for the frontend blob,
>> but this has yet to happen.
> And is very unlikely to happen.
> It's a standard problem that somewhere up the line someone won't
> release information in an open manner - typically it will be some
> level of hardware manufacturer. The normal situation is that to get
> the info you need to write good drivers (or even any drivers) you
> have to agree to non-disclosure restrictions. In other words, the (I
> believe in this case, chip) manufacturer will tell you the
> information but you aren't allowed to tell anyone else.
> Thus it's not possible for TBS to release open drivers - hence the
> binary blobs. Or rather, they could - but then they'd get sued by the
> chip manufacturer, and well screw themselves by not being given
> access to such information in the future.
> I have mixed views on this.
> The idealist in me says this is a bad thing - the chip manufacturer
> shouldn't keep such information private, and the card vendor should
> make their drivers open.
> The pragmatist in me says that it's better to have such binary
> drivers (provided it's done in a sensible way) than have no drivers
> at all.
> I've less sympathy for the chip manufacturers since you can be fairly
> certain their competitors will get the programming information one
> way or another. But for TBS, there is also the issue that they don't
> want to do all the work in making an open driver - only for another
> manufacturer to come along, stick the same chips on a card, and
> profit from selling cards which use the open drivers but without the
> overheads (costs) of having written the drivers.
I agree with you, they just need to make it easy for us, the buyers and 
the ones who pay their bills ;-), to use their card, that means being 
able to upgrade my full software stack when I see fit and not be screwed 
up in the process because their driver cannot be made to work with newer 
TBH I am still on Ubuntu 10.10, but I would not like to be forced to 
stay behind because of a driver.

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