[mythtv-users] Ceton drivers for kernel?

Steve Greene sgreene820 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 23 00:11:12 UTC 2021

Thanks for the insight, Gary. I recognize that cablecard is a rapidly
diminishing market. I'm curious how HDHomeRun (et al) structured their
product licensing to effectively sandbox the CCI/DRM portion of the tuner's
operations. I remember hearing they actually used a linux kernel for basic
os housekeeping within the device. Do developers every use legal
researchers to figure out potential end runs around these IP-cluster-fucks?


Steve Greene
(301) 842-8923
An independent archival professional specializing in still photography,
moving images and recorded sound.

On Thu, Jul 22, 2021 at 7:53 PM Gary Buhrmaster <gary.buhrmaster at gmail.com>

> On Thu, Jul 22, 2021 at 10:42 PM Steve Greene <sgreene820 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > I miss the 4 cablecard tuners available from my Ceton Infinitv 4 PCI-E
> card. The manufacturer insisted over the years they were still in business,
> but it's pretty clear they have crashed and burned.
> Ceton made a pivot that bankrupted themselves.  I believe
> the company still exists in legal limbo for certain parties to
> continue to try to pick at whatever assets remain on the
> carcass.
> > I've tried the github drivers, but they haven't kept pace
> > with the latest 5.x kernels. What is stopping "the kernel"
> > from supporting the tuners.   I realized I'm probably
> > drastically oversimplifying both technical and legal
> > challenges. Can someone enlighten me?
> Some Ceton staff themselves were Linux users (they
> even initially thought the product might have a useful
> niche in LInux), but the company mgmt realized that
> that a protected content path requirement for the core
> target audience basically made it a Windows (mostly)
> product, and as such, never really formally supported
> Linux, and never productized the driver.
> To get something into the kernel, the developer(s) need
> to write to the GPL license, agree to certain T&Cs,
> and also to agree to long term support (since, as you
> experience, the kernel itself changes, and the
> maintainer is responsible for at least some of the
> changes some of the time).
> And, last I knew, ceton had not formally placed the
> drivers under the GPL license (and the one line that
> some companies use to bypass kernel checks for out of
> tree drivers is not a full source license).  As the company
> is no more, trying to get signoff on any license change
> might be complex to achieve (although a few of the
> principals have moved on to better pastures, the
> code itself is presumably still owned by the corporate
> zombie).
> Since the license status is unclear, if you are a
> capable kernel developer, you probably would need
> to write a completely new driver and get it upstreamed.
> Note since the existing driver(s) license is unclear,
> you may need to build a chinese wall between those
> in your team performing the reverse engineering of
> the hardware and your writing of a new driver.  Those
> that have looked at the existing driver may be
> considered tainted depending on your jurisdiction's
> legal frameworks.
> Oh, and last I knew, the latest beta firmware that
> dropped just before the implosion (the beta firmware
> was required for certain MSOs due to an "interesting"
> interpretation of a CableLabs reg) has a memory
> leak under some conditions that may require a
> tuner reboot from time to time otherwise the tuner
> starts to randomly fail to operate.  It would have
> presumably been resolved before the final release
> of the firmware, but it never got that far.
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