HDMI-CEC and Cable Card

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grazman Offline
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Post: #1
First time poster. I just went through a forced digital migration by my cable company, which renders my theatre system (Samsung Anynet+ stuff) pretty worthless. It would remain problemtic even with their cable company digital receiver.

In light of the fact they want to charge my a minimum of 10$ per month for a cable card, I'm thinking it's time to either get a Tivo (which means 15 0r 20 dollars a month for their guide, plus another 10$ per month to the cable company). I find this ridiculous.

I'd prefer to build a system I can put the cable card in (prefer linux or ios over windows, in that order). I expect if I were to use a pcie cable card like this:

http://cetoncorp.com/products/infinitv-4-pcie/

and a hdmi cec adapter like this:

http://www.pulse-eight.com/store/product...apter.aspx

I might be able to get somewhere but only played around with mythtv a few years ago. I am handy enough with Linux but would prefer a quiet system I can hide away. until my cable provider gave me a darn DTA box with an RF receiver, everything was out of sight and I'd like to get back to that place.

I have reviewed the forums and was curious if anyone has done this type of integration before or if it is beyond the scope of where the project is at this time?
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Kirky99 Offline
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Post: #2
Last I heard, WMC is the only "Consumer" Media Center that works well with CableCard tuners. I haven't found anything indicating that it has changed, so the Centon and HD Homerun Primes don't fully work with something like XBMC (well MediaPortal, Myth, TVHeadend, etc).

They CAN be capable, it's a copyright problem that's preventing them. MS has paid the necessary money (both licensing AND performing the necessary steps to keep content protected) to get approval to work.
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teaguecl Offline
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Post: #3
I think you and I are in very similar situations. Unfortunately, I've never seen a Cablecard solution for linux working well. As usual, DRM is the problem. CableCard allows for the cable company to flag content in one of three ways:
1. "Copy Freely". This has no DRM, and is perfectly usable. The FCC demands that all broadcast networks be marked this way
2. "Copy Once". Has DRM, which allows you to store the content onto a DVR for example, but not make multiple copies.
3. "Copy Never" Has DRM, you can't do anything with this except watch it live. Used for premium content like HBO, PPV, etc.
Depending to the DRM flag settings of your cable company - the ceton card might be useless. If they use "Copy Freely" for most basic cable channels then your Ceton card will work well under Linux. Some cable companies mark everything "Copy Once" (except the broadcast channels) - and that is completely unusable under Linux due to the DRM.
Bottom line - you're mileage may vary, but I think the CableCard based HTPC is a junk solution. With Windows it's sort-of do-able (with restrictions), but under Linux it's a joke. If you're stuck with CableCard - just get a Tivo.

Edit:
You inspired me to re-investigate this issue and there is some hope for us homebrew HTPC'ers. Hauppage now makes a product called Colossus which can record up to 1080i from an HDMI input. Of course, this only works for non-DRM'd content. So... you can use a HDCP remover to do that (Mux-FHD, HDFury). We can now run HDMI from our set top boxes through the HDCP remover, and into the Colossus for a very clean and non DRM'd recording. We are then left with the issue of controlling the set-top-box via HTPC, which may be possible via CEC, or could fall back to an IR blaster. It's not ideal, but it is possible - which is better than the situation was the last time I checked.

Habey BIS-6561 silent fanless HTPC + 2GB DDR2 RAM + Intel X25-V 40GB SSD + XBMCbuntu Eden + Tivo Slide qwerty remote | My latest XBMC patch
(This post was last modified: 2012-04-05 23:05 by teaguecl.)
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grazman Offline
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Post: #4
I don't care about copying HBO, PPV and such. I have a Tivo for that if I cared.

Really this is just for unifying all my remotes, getting my pay channels (non HBO, PPV) in HD and staying out of the pocket of the cable company.

I can always use the Ceton card under Linux (I have a colleague who told me after I posted it that's what his wondows media center is doing, same cable company).

So really, the question is really the same...

XMBC with owned cable card and HDMI-CEC converter.

Anybody done that yet?

(2012-04-05 22:29)teaguecl Wrote:  I think you and I are in very similar situations. Unfortunately, I've never seen a Cablecard solution for linux working well. As usual, DRM is the problem. CableCard allows for the cable company to flag content in one of three ways:
1. "Copy Freely". This has no DRM, and is perfectly usable. The FCC demands that all broadcast networks be marked this way
2. "Copy Once". Has DRM, which allows you to store the content onto a DVR for example, but not make multiple copies.
3. "Copy Never" Has DRM, you can't do anything with this except watch it live. Used for premium content like HBO, PPV, etc.
Depending to the DRM flag settings of your cable company - the ceton card might be useless. If they use "Copy Freely" for most basic cable channels then your Ceton card will work well under Linux. Some cable companies mark everything "Copy Once" (except the broadcast channels) - and that is completely unusable under Linux due to the DRM.
Bottom line - you're mileage may vary, but I think the CableCard based HTPC is a junk solution. With Windows it's sort-of do-able (with restrictions), but under Linux it's a joke. If you're stuck with CableCard - just get a Tivo.

Edit:
You inspired me to re-investigate this issue and there is some hope for us homebrew HTPC'ers. Hauppage now makes a product called Colossus which can record up to 1080i from an HDMI input. Of course, this only works for non-DRM'd content. So... you can use a HDCP remover to do that (Mux-FHD, HDFury). We can now run HDMI from our set top boxes through the HDCP remover, and into the Colossus for a very clean and non DRM'd recording. We are then left with the issue of controlling the set-top-box via HTPC, which may be possible via CEC, or could fall back to an IR blaster. It's not ideal, but it is possible - which is better than the situation was the last time I checked.
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teaguecl Offline
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Post: #5
(2012-04-05 23:49)grazman Wrote:  I can always use the Ceton card under Linux (I have a colleague who told me after I posted it that's what his wondows media center is doing, same cable company).
This is not necessarily a correct assumption. As I mentioned above, there are three settings for the content flag. The first one does not use DRM and will work great under Linux. The other two will not work at all under Linux. All three of them will work under Windows (and will obey the DRM rules specified).
In other words, if your cable company puts your basic cable channels in the "Copy Once" category, then Linux will not be able to decode them at all. There are rumors that Cox generally puts these channels in the "Copy Freely" category, and Time Warner puts them in "Copy Once", but I don't know how reliable that is. You'll need to ask your colleague if his software can identify which flag is turned on for which channels.
As to the main point of your question (CableCard and CEC) I unfortunately can't provide any insight.

Habey BIS-6561 silent fanless HTPC + 2GB DDR2 RAM + Intel X25-V 40GB SSD + XBMCbuntu Eden + Tivo Slide qwerty remote | My latest XBMC patch
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grazman Offline
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Post: #6
OK. I can do windows too. I'll look into the hdmi-cec aspect t closer.

I did see that ceton has a remote tuner that will work under a windows or their upcoming htpc. This could also so I can see I have to stay in a windows camp but this also gets me out of their camp for a couple of other TV's too (ultimately).

Am I the only person to ask about any net+ or hdmi-cec?
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Kirky99 Offline
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Post: #7
Don't confuse Windows with Windows Media Center...

CableCard truly only works as its billed under Windows Media Center...

XBMC needs a backend for TV (aka TV Server) something like Mediaportal, TVHeadend, Myth, VDR, etc., that controls the tuners and then exposes the tuner back to the XBMC. None of them, even Mediaportal which is windows based, can do anything with the DRMd content.

Same CableCard tuner with same cable card on the same machine will work almost flawlessly under Windows Media Center, problem is, WMC can't be a backend for XBMC.
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