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robertlaferla at comcast

Nov 30, 2005, 9:21 AM

Post #1 of 23 (15584 views)
Permalink
Dish Network and MythTV

I am thinking about switching from cable to satellite and I have a few
questions. For specific reasons, I am interested in Dish Network only.
Is there a tuner card that will allow me to use MythTV with Dish Network
(preferred) or do I have to use the infrared port? If the latter, is
there a more reliable serial port?


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adeffs at gmail

Nov 30, 2005, 10:19 AM

Post #2 of 23 (12188 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

On Wednesday 30 November 2005 12:21, Robert La Ferla wrote:
> I am thinking about switching from cable to satellite and I have a few
> questions. For specific reasons, I am interested in Dish Network only.
> Is there a tuner card that will allow me to use MythTV with Dish Network
> (preferred) or do I have to use the infrared port? If the latter, is
> there a more reliable serial port?
>

they do make Dish compatible tuner cards. If your plan is to do illegal things
with Dish then don't worry about getting the card reader. If you plan on
using an actual Dish subscription get one with a card reader, but I don't
know if there is support for this in linux, you'd have to look around.

As well, you won't get any HD channels with the PC tuner cards and when they
do the switch to MPEG4 you won't be able to tune those channels either.

--
Steve
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dwilga at mtholyoke

Nov 30, 2005, 10:21 AM

Post #3 of 23 (10813 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

At 12:21 PM -0500 11/30/05, Robert La Ferla wrote:
>I am thinking about switching from cable to satellite and I have a
>few questions. For specific reasons, I am interested in Dish
>Network only. Is there a tuner card that will allow me to use
>MythTV with Dish Network (preferred) or do I have to use the
>infrared port? If the latter, is there a more reliable serial port?

Both major US satellite carriers use encryption to ensure that you
only receive what you pay for, so you're pretty much have to use a
receiver compatible with Dish's encryption.

Most of the lower end receivers don't have any way of changing
channels electronically, so you end up having to use an IR blaster.
I'm not sure about the current state of their PVR boxes, and whether
or not they have direct control.

Another wrinkle in the IR blaster story is that, because Dish uses a
faster-than-normal 56 KHz IR carrier frequency, I and others have had
problems getting LIRC to reliably change channels on their equipment.
For me, it works about 95% of the time. I'm about to test the newest
beta version of LIRC, since it has changes that may help this
problem. Another user bought a MyBlaster device to use instead of
LIRC-based hardware.
--
Dan Wilga dwilga [at] mtholyoke
Web Administrator http://www.mtholyoke.edu
Mount Holyoke College Tel: 413-538-3027
South Hadley, MA 01075 "Who left the cake out in the rain?"


mtdean at thirdcontact

Nov 30, 2005, 11:05 AM

Post #4 of 23 (10492 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

Dan Wilga wrote:

> Another wrinkle in the IR blaster story is that, because Dish uses a
> faster-than-normal 56 KHz IR carrier frequency, I and others have had
> problems getting LIRC to reliably change channels on their equipment.
> For me, it works about 95% of the time. I'm about to test the newest
> beta version of LIRC, since it has changes that may help this problem.
> Another user bought a MyBlaster device to use instead of LIRC-based
> hardware.

For me, in two years with DISH as my only source, I've missed two
recordings because of failed channel changes (and my database tells me
I've had 3105 recordings in that time not including the occasional
"delete and allow re-record"--wow, I watch too much TV). However, the
problem wasn't LIRC or my IR transmitter, it was the DISH receiver.

If the DISH receiver loses its signal (i.e. due to rain or something),
it won't accept direct channel change requests (even though you may have
lost signal to one satellite, but not the other)--you can only change
channels with channel up/down (don't I wish "OpenTV" were as open as it
claims to be). As you might have guessed, I wrote my channel change
script to use the channel numbers directly instead of computing the
appropriate number of channel up/down signals to send, so my receiver
ignored my request, my Myth box started recording a few seconds/minutes
of "No Signal" followed by the channel the receiver was previously set to.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that the
no-signal-at-the-time-of-channel-change problem has actually happened to
me three times in the two years, but once, the receiver just happened to
be on the right channel, so I still got my show. :)

Mike
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llcooljeff at gmail

Nov 30, 2005, 11:41 AM

Post #5 of 23 (10466 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

On 11/30/05, Robert La Ferla <robertlaferla [at] comcast> wrote:
>
> I am thinking about switching from cable to satellite and I have a few
> questions. For specific reasons, I am interested in Dish Network only.
> Is there a tuner card that will allow me to use MythTV with Dish Network
> (preferred) or do I have to use the infrared port? If the latter, is
> there a more reliable serial port?
>

As far as I know, there are no set top boxes available directly from Dish
that
have a serial control for changing channels. I believe that it's possible to
get
a receiver off eBay to do that, but results are a little hazy.

It's not what you're looking to hear, but every other satellite and cable
provider
has better methods for interfacing with myth and/or tivo. I had no problems
at
all interfacing with serial to DirecTV and Comcast boxes.

- Jeff


mrhegstrom at gmail

Nov 30, 2005, 11:43 AM

Post #6 of 23 (10313 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

I too have dishnetwork and using an IRBlaster. I have never had a
channel change problem at all for channels with 1 or 2 digits (2 or 11), but
when I get to the higher 3 and 4 digits, I am getting about 90% on 3 digits
and about 80% on 4 digit channel numbers. But 95% of what I record is on
local (1 or 2 digit) channels anyway. I use the Actisys200L. Go to the
knoppmyth forum and search on it for my and others notes on installing, etc.



On 11/30/05, Robert La Ferla <robertlaferla [at] comcast> wrote:
>
> I am thinking about switching from cable to satellite and I have a few
> questions. For specific reasons, I am interested in Dish Network only.
> Is there a tuner card that will allow me to use MythTV with Dish Network
> (preferred) or do I have to use the infrared port? If the latter, is
> there a more reliable serial port?
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users [at] mythtv
> http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>


wmunson at rochester

Nov 30, 2005, 2:29 PM

Post #7 of 23 (10213 views)
Permalink
RE: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

> I am thinking about switching from cable to satellite and I
> have a few
> questions. For specific reasons, I am interested in Dish
> Network only.
> Is there a tuner card that will allow me to use MythTV with
> Dish Network
> (preferred) or do I have to use the infrared port? If the latter, is
> there a more reliable serial port?

Pretty much the only reliable way to change channels with dish is with a
commercial ir blaster. With 2 of the myblaster devices and 2 receivers I
have have not noticed any instances of it missing a channel change in about
3 years of use. If you want to use the myblaster device you can get the
latest drivers at myblaster.sourceforge.net. I am the author of the linux
drivers so feel free to ask me questions outside the list if you need help.


robertlaferla at comcast

Nov 30, 2005, 3:14 PM

Post #8 of 23 (11802 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

Nothing illegal. I would just like high quality video and definitely
under Linux. How does the card reader work?


Steve Adeff wrote:
> On Wednesday 30 November 2005 12:21, Robert La Ferla wrote:
>
>> I am thinking about switching from cable to satellite and I have a few
>> questions. For specific reasons, I am interested in Dish Network only.
>> Is there a tuner card that will allow me to use MythTV with Dish Network
>> (preferred) or do I have to use the infrared port? If the latter, is
>> there a more reliable serial port?
>>
>>
>
> they do make Dish compatible tuner cards. If your plan is to do illegal things
> with Dish then don't worry about getting the card reader. If you plan on
> using an actual Dish subscription get one with a card reader, but I don't
> know if there is support for this in linux, you'd have to look around.
>
> As well, you won't get any HD channels with the PC tuner cards and when they
> do the switch to MPEG4 you won't be able to tune those channels either.
>
>

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robertlaferla at comcast

Nov 30, 2005, 3:16 PM

Post #9 of 23 (10114 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

Jeff Simpson wrote:
>
> It's not what you're looking to hear, but every other satellite and
> cable provider
> has better methods for interfacing with myth and/or tivo. I had no
> problems at
> all interfacing with serial to DirecTV and Comcast boxes.

But DirecTV doesn't offer TV Japan and the quality of Comcast Digital
cable (last time I used it) was terrible so that's why I need and want
Dish Network.

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ctrown at safe-mail

Nov 30, 2005, 3:55 PM

Post #10 of 23 (9999 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

Robert La Ferla wrote:
> Jeff Simpson wrote:
>
>>
>> It's not what you're looking to hear, but every other satellite and
>> cable provider
>> has better methods for interfacing with myth and/or tivo. I had no
>> problems at
>> all interfacing with serial to DirecTV and Comcast boxes.
>
>
> But DirecTV doesn't offer TV Japan and the quality of Comcast Digital
> cable (last time I used it) was terrible so that's why I need and want
> Dish Network.
>

How big is your TV? I ask because some channels, like BBC
America, have pretty bad compression going on. The bigger the TV screen
the more apparent it is.

For me, the PQ for locals is bad. It's quite apparent if you
watch The Simpsons OTA vs. Dish. The colors are all washed out. For my
parents, in the Bay Area, PQ is much better.

I'm with Dish because to get the channels I want would cost me at
least an extra $20/mo. over Comcast.

If you want foreign language channels, your best bet is Dish
Network. They have the best lineup.

Chris...

--
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little
temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" -- Benjamin
Franklin
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robertlaferla at comcast

Nov 30, 2005, 4:08 PM

Post #11 of 23 (9948 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

Chris Trown wrote:
> How big is your TV? I ask because some channels, like BBC
> America, have pretty bad compression going on. The bigger the TV
> screen the more apparent it is.
>
It's a DLP projector and the screen is approx. 10ft diagonal.

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robertlaferla at comcast

Nov 30, 2005, 4:14 PM

Post #12 of 23 (11478 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

Steve Adeff wrote:
> As well, you won't get any HD channels with the PC tuner cards and when they
> do the switch to MPEG4 you won't be able to tune those channels either.
>
Tell me more about the switch including the timeframe, rationale,
etc... What current tuner cards will work minus HD/mpeg4? I have a
pcHDTV HD3000 card but so far it's just being used for analog cable
w/tvtime. I can't get audio out of it without having to use a cable so
it's pretty crummy.

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chrisribe at gmail

Nov 30, 2005, 5:11 PM

Post #13 of 23 (11161 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

I don't know much about dish and myth, but I think I can answer your MPEG4
questions.

When: Sometime in the next 12 months.

Rationale: Better compression is need to fit hundreds of HD channels in
currently available bandwidth. MPEG4 playback hardware is cheap enough to
satisfy the bean counters.

Etc.: Current hardware can't decode MPEG4 signals, but the vast majority of
current hardware can't decode MPEG2 HD either. The SD -> HD changeover
(which is well under way, despite the caterwauling by some Cassandras on
this list) presents a one time opportunity for the sat. companies to upgrade
their tech simultaneously.


On 11/30/05, Robert La Ferla <robertlaferla [at] comcast> wrote:
>
> Steve Adeff wrote:
> > As well, you won't get any HD channels with the PC tuner cards and when
> they
> > do the switch to MPEG4 you won't be able to tune those channels either.
> >
> Tell me more about the switch including the timeframe, rationale,
> etc... What current tuner cards will work minus HD/mpeg4? I have a
> pcHDTV HD3000 card but so far it's just being used for analog cable
> w/tvtime. I can't get audio out of it without having to use a cable so
> it's pretty crummy.
>
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users [at] mythtv
> http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>


mtdean at thirdcontact

Nov 30, 2005, 5:36 PM

Post #14 of 23 (10012 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

On 11/30/05 17:29, William wrote:

>>I am thinking about switching from cable to satellite and I
>>have a few
>>questions. For specific reasons, I am interested in Dish
>>Network only.
>>Is there a tuner card that will allow me to use MythTV with
>>Dish Network
>>(preferred) or do I have to use the infrared port? If the latter, is
>>there a more reliable serial port?
>>
>>
>Pretty much the only reliable way to change channels with dish is with a
>commercial ir blaster. With 2 of the myblaster devices and 2 receivers I
>have have not noticed any instances of it missing a channel change in about
>3 years of use.
>
My success story (2 years reliable operation) is with a homebrew LIRC
"improved transmitter." ( http://lirc.org/improved_transmitter.html )

Mike
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mtdean at thirdcontact

Nov 30, 2005, 6:12 PM

Post #15 of 23 (10078 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

On 11/30/05 20:11, Chris Ribe wrote:

> I don't know much about dish and myth, but I think I can answer your
> MPEG4 questions.

Note, that the MPEG-4 in question is actually MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video
Coding), a.k.a. H.264. This is the same format that is required by both
HD-DVD and BluRay players* and allows you to easily encode video using
1/2 the bitrate required for MPEG-2 with similar picture quality.

*BluRay is a standard promoted by Sony and it requires, among other
formats, H.264 support. Sony has been pushing the idea of H.264 on
BluRay as the format that allows the most content per disc (more than
any other CODEC on BluRay and more even than H.264 on HD-DVD). Although
in a true "biting the other hand that feeds it" moment, Sony Pictures
just announced they're going to put MPEG-2--the same CODEC used for
standard def DVD's and ATSC--on BluRay disks. :)
http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000293070178/

> When: Sometime in the next 12 months.

> Rationale: Better compression is need to fit hundreds of HD channels
> in currently available bandwidth. MPEG4 playback hardware is cheap
> enough to satisfy the bean counters.

Specifically, dedicated MPEG-4 playback hardware is cheap. However,
using general-purpose processors (i.e. Intel/AMD) for decoding requires
not-so-cheap hardware (you can't buy an x86-based processor that can
decode 1080i H.264, so top-of-the-line will get you closest and
top-of-the-line is around $1000/CPU).

> Etc.: Current hardware can't decode MPEG4 signals, but the vast
> majority of current hardware can't decode MPEG2 HD either. The SD ->
> HD changeover (which is well under way, despite the caterwauling by
> some Cassandras on this list) presents a one time opportunity for the
> sat. companies to upgrade their tech simultaneously.

Specifically, current TV's can't decode MPEG-4 and most current TV's
can't decode MPEG-2 (although all HDTV's--those with ATSC tuners, as
opposed to HD-Ready TV's, which need a separate tuner--can decode
MPEG-2). However, all DISH and DirecTV receivers can decode MPEG-2, as
that's the format the satellite companies are using to transmit the
video (both standard- and high-definition channels).

So, in summary, when DISH/DirecTV go to MPEG-4, you won't be any closer
to getting HDTV over satellite because it will still require a satellite
receiver for decrypting their stream and the satellite receiver will
output decoded video, which we're still a long way from being able to
encode in real-time at HDTV resolutions (even using MPEG-2 format, which
is significantly easier to encode than H.264).

Mike
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chrisribe at gmail

Nov 30, 2005, 6:27 PM

Post #16 of 23 (10028 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

> > Etc.: Current hardware can't decode MPEG4 signals, but the vast
> > majority of current hardware can't decode MPEG2 HD either. The SD ->
> > HD changeover (which is well under way, despite the caterwauling by
> > some Cassandras on this list) presents a one time opportunity for the
> > sat. companies to upgrade their tech simultaneously.
>
> Specifically, current TV's can't decode MPEG-4 and most current TV's
> can't decode MPEG-2


Thank you for attempting to specify what i was talking about, but when I
said "hardware" I was talking about DVB settop boxes.

This could probably have been inferred from the fact that the entire thread
is about Dish Network and Myth.


(although all HDTV's--those with ATSC tuners, as
> opposed to HD-Ready TV's, which need a separate tuner--can decode
> MPEG-2). However, all DISH and DirecTV receivers can decode MPEG-2, as
> that's the format the satellite companies are using to transmit the
> video (both standard- and high-definition channels).



Lest my point be unnecessarily muddled, I should restate my point (an
entirely unimportant one. mind you) - The vast majority of current DVB
recievers cannot decode high definition MPEG2 signals.


adeffs at gmail

Dec 1, 2005, 5:50 AM

Post #17 of 23 (11687 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

On Wednesday 30 November 2005 18:14, Robert La Ferla wrote:
> Nothing illegal. I would just like high quality video and definitely
> under Linux. How does the card reader work?
>
> Steve Adeff wrote:
> > On Wednesday 30 November 2005 12:21, Robert La Ferla wrote:
> >> I am thinking about switching from cable to satellite and I have a few
> >> questions. For specific reasons, I am interested in Dish Network only.
> >> Is there a tuner card that will allow me to use MythTV with Dish Network
> >> (preferred) or do I have to use the infrared port? If the latter, is
> >> there a more reliable serial port?
> >
> > they do make Dish compatible tuner cards. If your plan is to do illegal
> > things with Dish then don't worry about getting the card reader. If you
> > plan on using an actual Dish subscription get one with a card reader, but
> > I don't know if there is support for this in linux, you'd have to look
> > around.
> >
> > As well, you won't get any HD channels with the PC tuner cards and when
> > they do the switch to MPEG4 you won't be able to tune those channels
> > either.

it basically acts like the card reader in the normal Dish IRD. Beyond that I
dunno, never used it =)


--
Steve
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adeffs at gmail

Dec 1, 2005, 5:53 AM

Post #18 of 23 (10750 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

On Wednesday 30 November 2005 19:14, Robert La Ferla wrote:
> Steve Adeff wrote:
> > As well, you won't get any HD channels with the PC tuner cards and when
> > they do the switch to MPEG4 you won't be able to tune those channels
> > either.
>
> Tell me more about the switch including the timeframe, rationale,
> etc... What current tuner cards will work minus HD/mpeg4? I have a
> pcHDTV HD3000 card but so far it's just being used for analog cable
> w/tvtime. I can't get audio out of it without having to use a cable so
> it's pretty crummy.

its for Dish, so ATSC cards won't work, you need a DVB-S card. When, they said
they planned on starting a few months ago testing, so prbly near the end of
2006 they will begin giving out only newer IRDs with a complete switch a year
or two after that (to get the current subscribers new boxes).

check avsforums they're usually on top of these things.

--
Steve
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fairlane at springcom

Dec 4, 2005, 7:05 PM

Post #19 of 23 (9901 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

Robert La Ferla wrote:

>
> But DirecTV doesn't offer TV Japan and the quality of Comcast Digital
> cable (last time I used it) was terrible so that's why I need and want
> Dish Network.

Dish uses Nagra2 encryption now, and nobody anywhere has broken that, so
any thought of using a DVB card is out the door.
You will be using a normal reciever and IR blasting your channel changes
like everyone else. I've got a homebrew IR blaster on a single serial port,
with two IR leds. I have it set up with two receiver box addresses and
it's extremely reliable. Search on the list archive if you want the
write up from
a year ago or so.
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schu at schu

Dec 4, 2005, 7:09 PM

Post #20 of 23 (9835 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

Mark wrote:
> Robert La Ferla wrote:
>
>>
>> But DirecTV doesn't offer TV Japan and the quality of Comcast Digital
>> cable (last time I used it) was terrible so that's why I need and want
>> Dish Network.
>
>
> Dish uses Nagra2 encryption now, and nobody anywhere has broken that, so
> any thought of using a DVB card is out the door. You will be using a
> normal reciever and IR blasting your channel changes like everyone
> else. I've got a homebrew IR blaster on a single serial port,
> with two IR leds. I have it set up with two receiver box addresses and
> it's extremely reliable. Search on the list archive if you want the
> write up from
> a year ago or so.

This is what I do and it works, but the quality is quite lacking even
using a hardware mpeg2 capture card.

schu
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fairlane at springcom

Dec 4, 2005, 7:17 PM

Post #21 of 23 (9823 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

Matthew Schumacher wrote:

>Mark wrote:
>
>
>>Robert La Ferla wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>>But DirecTV doesn't offer TV Japan and the quality of Comcast Digital
>>>cable (last time I used it) was terrible so that's why I need and want
>>>Dish Network.
>>>
>>>
>>Dish uses Nagra2 encryption now, and nobody anywhere has broken that, so
>>any thought of using a DVB card is out the door. You will be using a
>>normal reciever and IR blasting your channel changes like everyone
>>else. I've got a homebrew IR blaster on a single serial port,
>>with two IR leds. I have it set up with two receiver box addresses and
>>it's extremely reliable. Search on the list archive if you want the
>>write up from
>>a year ago or so.
>>
>>
>
>This is what I do and it works, but the quality is quite lacking even
>using a hardware mpeg2 capture card.
>
>schu
>_______________________________________________
>mythtv-users mailing list
>mythtv-users [at] mythtv
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>
>
What, you use a DVB card, or a reciever?
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greg at phaze

Dec 4, 2005, 7:20 PM

Post #22 of 23 (9825 views)
Permalink
Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

> Dish uses Nagra2 encryption now, and nobody anywhere has broken that, so
> any thought of using a DVB card is out the door.

Well just to be accurate, and I do NOT PROMOTE such things, but nagra2 was
broken in August.


fairlane at springcom

Dec 4, 2005, 8:01 PM

Post #23 of 23 (9863 views)
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Re: Dish Network and MythTV [In reply to]

Greg Estabrooks wrote:

>>Dish uses Nagra2 encryption now, and nobody anywhere has broken that, so
>>any thought of using a DVB card is out the door.
>>
>>
>
> Well just to be accurate, and I do NOT PROMOTE such things, but nagra2 was
>broken in August.
>
>
>
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>
Ah, I hadn't heard it was broken.... my bad. Thanks.
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