[kwlug-disc] Future of [Rogers] PVR (wrt HDMI)? Black boxes? MythBuntu?

john at netdirect.ca john at netdirect.ca
Wed Sep 9 09:54:20 EDT 2009

kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org wrote on 09/09/2009 08:35:46 AM:
> From: "L.D. Paniak" <ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com>
> You aren't going to see black-box HDMI-in for DRM reasons.  Even
> HDMI-out for over-the-air digital signals is potentially subject to DRM
> (see: broadcast flag)

In fact if you look closely at HDMI and Blu-ray you find that the 
technology allows for disablement of devices.

HDMI and Blu-ray devices each have a manufacturer key that is used to 
negotiate an encryption key with other devices. Blu-ray media has the 
publisher's media key that must be authenticated before playing. 

Blu-ray media also has an update block that contains updates to the key 
sets. One possible update is key revocation. If a blu-ray disk contains a 
key revocation update for your big expensive HDMI-connected TV, and you 
put that in your player, it may refuse to play on your TV. It may even 
disable your player, although that's not clear.

I don't think HDMI has an update "feature", but it may mean that a new 
receiver or player may refuse a connection to your TV or vice versa.

Key revocation is supposed to be allowed so that if a key is exposed it 
will be revoked. In today's world how long does it take hackers to find a 
key that is embedded in firmware? Less than a day?
> It looks like the only way to capture HD TV in a F/LOSS manner is to use
> the Hauppauge HD-PVR.  It captures HD signals from the composite ports
> on your cable box/digital source and outputs them over USB to H264.
> While the captured signal is not the native digital, I find the results
> are more than satisfactory for TV watching.
> The upcoming mythtv 0.22 has support for this device along with VDPAU to
> accelerate HD playback on newer Nvidia graphics cards.  The upcoming
> mythbuntu 9.10 doesn't look to go this far, but there are deb 
> http://www.avenard.org/media/Ubuntu_Repository/Ubuntu_Repository.html
> http://debian-multimedia.org/
> that will let you build your own deb-PVR fairly easily.

I have an HD-PVR at home. I haven't yet found the time to upgrate the Myth 
on my Mythdora box. I could easily move to Fedora Rawhide and install Myth 
svn pacakges. One bump in that road is that all the clients may need to be 
updated and I don't have an updated package for my AppleTV.

Robin, who presented Myth at the lug twice loves his Popcorn hour. I 
presume he uses it in conjunction with Myth.

Myth is still a tinkerer's PVR. You would have to want to select the 
hardware, choose the placement (a PC is loud), install, tweak and fix. If 
you want analog TV it's easy, just pick a tuner card with TV out and 
you're done (hauppauge 350).

If you want digital cable in Canada, you need to couple it with a Rogers 
or Bell receiver and marry in a IR blaster or something. Digital cable 
tuner/capture cards would be the best option, except that Rogers encrypts 
almost all of the channels.

Until someone builds and markets a quiet unit with Myth it will be a 
tinkerer's solution.

As for formats I don't know if Myth will play an ISO image. It will play a 
DVD I think.

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