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General => Installation issues => Topic started by: kg6ejp on January 10, 2008, 11:25:10 pm

Title: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: kg6ejp on January 10, 2008, 11:25:10 pm
I currently have COX communications digital cable coming into my house.  They give free upgrades to HD cable if you rent their box. Will the standard LinuxMCE need the HD-cable box to get hd programming or is that all handled in the core/md?

I am still drawing up the plan for my house and have not decided to "home brew" or go simple with a fire engine.
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: tkmedia on January 11, 2008, 01:37:29 am
If you want premium channels HBO Show Time etc you will need a cable box (anything encrypted).

A HDHomeRun connected to your lan and the cable from your cable provider will get you HD Clear QAM Channels for free NBC CBS ABC PBS etc. The best part (No CableHD subsription required)

Also the HDHomerun has two ports and one can be connected to an OTA antenna Also Free Stations. All in Glorius HD.
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: Matthew on January 11, 2008, 06:48:24 am
I currently have COX communications digital cable coming into my house.  They give free upgrades to HD cable if you rent their box. Will the standard LinuxMCE need the HD-cable box to get hd programming or is that all handled in the core/md?

I am still drawing up the plan for my house and have not decided to "home brew" or go simple with a fire engine.

AFAICT, LMCE with an HD capture card will use the unencrypted (free) channels on your incoming HD cable service. If you want LMCE to do anything with the encrypted channels, you have to pay for them to be unencrypted by your HD cable box (or get a free package, if that's what they're offering when you rent their box), but (again, AFAICT) LMCE can't input the decrypted channels - it can only control the cablebox, changing channels on its way directly from your cablebox to your TV. That's what HDMI is all about.

But maybe I'm wrong - maybe if your cablebox has a digital (video) out that's not HDMI, like Firewire, maybe LMCE can get the decrypted HD channels direct from the cablebox, and then LMCE can send it to your TV (via MD and a HD video card). Along the way it could record it. But I haven't seen anyone say that can be done in this forum. Anyone?
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: ddamron on January 11, 2008, 08:35:40 am
Iaye Karumba!

Matthew, do you know of ANY well priced HD CAPTURE CARDS? 

Didn't think so.

If you STB has a DIGITAL out (like Firewire, USB2, or Ethernet.. and possibly a HD connection)
then you stand a chance of capturing HD.  If your cablebox does NOT have these ports, you best option AT THIS TIME is capturing using a standard capture card which will give you SD quality, not HD.
Encrypted signals MAY be restricted on digital ports.

HTH

Dan
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: blackoper on January 11, 2008, 03:48:43 pm
well I do.. the intensity pro not hardware based though.. it needs a linux driver, but it could be functional if you had a fast enough processor and some storage for it
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: Matthew on January 11, 2008, 04:05:51 pm
well I do.. the intensity pro not hardware based though.. it needs a linux driver, but it could be functional if you had a fast enough processor and some storage for it
Whoa - that device has an HDMI-in port, which I've never seen on the market before. They also sell a basic version of the Intensity (http://www.avalive.com/Black-Magic-Design-Blackmagic-Design/BINTS/41275/productDetail.php), which doesn't have the analog outs of the Pro, but costs only $233. I don't know what you mean by "not hardware based". And what would the processor have to do, other than transfer the captured video to storage?

What I wonder is whether that device could be used to wrap regular data inside the HDMI encoding, for a 10.2Gbps output stream between PCs (instead of a 10-Gb ethernet). One-way, and perverse, but if the card can turn around HDMI over its host's PCI-e, and the host's CPU is fast enough, it could be an interesting hack (ethernet over HDMI, a hacker's answer to HDMI over ethernet).

Update: I just got email from the retailer: no Linux drivers. Which (probably) limits its hackability. But maybe whoever in this community got I think Via to do something special for LMCE could talk Black Magic into a Linux driver. It does seem to be the only "hdmi capture" (http://google.com/products?q=%22hdmi%20capture%22) card out there. But there is a Mac driver, so a Linux driver might be only a "corporate policy" away. Especially if some of the people talking in this community about modifying the openchrome drivers for UI2 could work on getting this device working. I'd buy them a card if they did.
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: hari on January 11, 2008, 04:19:31 pm
Whoa - that device has an HDMI-in port, which I've never seen on the market before.
there are many HD frame grabbers with HDMI-in ports. Your problem will be the HDCP. Of course there are devices to strip it but they may be illegal to use.
There are also HD-SDI mods for some STB's. You grab the signal before decoding. SDI-HD in cards are available relatively cheap. Better for your cpu, too. You don't have to reencode the signal.
Quote
What I wonder is whether that device could be used to wrap regular data inside the HDMI encoding, for a 10.2Gbps output stream between PCs (instead of a 10-Gb ethernet). One-way, and perverse, ...
that tdms over rj45 crap is of course two way. Examples of usage are CEC and DDC.
You would only have point to point without switching equipment ;)
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: Matthew on January 11, 2008, 04:44:27 pm
Whoa - that device has an HDMI-in port, which I've never seen on the market before.
there are many HD frame grabbers with HDMI-in ports.

Are there any others with Linux drivers?


Your problem will be the HDCP. Of course there are devices to strip it but they may be illegal to use.
There are also HD-SDI mods for some STB's. You grab the signal before decoding. SDI-HD in cards are available relatively cheap. Better for your cpu, too. You don't have to reencode the signal.

If the captured (and stored) data is encrypted with HDCP, does it matter if it's just being retrieved later as a blob and sent to the card's HDMI out? The TV will receive the data properly HDCP encoded, right? If the intermediary step that the card introduces is just storage, and no operations on the data within the stream, then wouldn't that suffice?


Quote
What I wonder is whether that device could be used to wrap regular data inside the HDMI encoding, for a 10.2Gbps output stream between PCs (instead of a 10-Gb ethernet). One-way, and perverse, ...
that tdms over rj45 crap is of course two way. Examples of usage are CEC and DDC.
You would only have point to point without switching equipment ;)

Well, I'm talking about the inverse: 10.2Gbps (minus encapsulation overhead) arbitrary data streamed over the HDMI cable. It's not entirely useless, because ie. the PS3 has HDMI output, which is by far the fastest IO (and #2 in speed SATA has only a single port, so probably unavailable, followed by Gb-e, probably already in use, followed by demultiplexing over multiple 480Mbps USB ports, probably hard to sync...). The HDMI output might be only one way, but it's the only IO that can keep up with the Cell processor's raw speed. Not a video app, but a way to use the PS3 as a Cell data generator, maybe recrunching a large dataset prestored on harddrive against a new, smaller dataset that changes lots of values, sent as a new snapshot to a PC over "HDMI" for further manipulation at slower speeds. Quite a kluge, but a $500 PS3 (plus $225 "HDMI capture" card) would do that specific job at something like 1/10th the cost of a "real" computer, like a $7500 Cell blade workstation. And there are certainly valuable apps that work that way.
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: hari on January 11, 2008, 05:17:01 pm
If the captured (and stored) data is encrypted with HDCP, does it matter if it's just being retrieved later as a blob and sent to the card's HDMI out? The TV will receive the data properly HDCP encoded, right? If the intermediary step that the card introduces is just storage, and no operations on the data within the stream, then wouldn't that suffice?
they key's won't match. HDCP does a handshake every few seconds. If you want to attack HDCP you should collect many device keys ;) But that's another discussion. A consumer will probably get a HDCP "stripper" from some company like Gefen.

Quote
Well, I'm talking about the inverse:
i did get that from your last post. If you take the effort to implement ethernet or ip over tdms you could define proper time slots. But as i said it will not scale without switching equipment so i think it is not worth the effort. And for the ps3: i don't think you will get easy bit level access to the tdms interface over the graphic card.

best regards,
Hari
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: danielk on January 11, 2008, 06:00:35 pm
Hauppauge just announced an HD capture card:

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080110006038&newsLang=en

Price is only about $250. The speculation is that they are using HD camcorder chips with the appropriate silicon glue. Earlier cards for professional video editing were all in the $1,000 to $10,000 range and consequently no one developed the appropriate drivers for them.

Hauppauge's captures the unencrypted analog HD out available all currently shipping set top boxes, blue-ray players, etc.

Supposedly it will be shipped this quarter, a friend of mine at CES said they had a prototype already so a shipment this quarter or the next is not out of the question.
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: PeteK on January 11, 2008, 08:29:42 pm
Now just watch how quickly the providers try to shut the 'analog hole.' ;) 
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: Matthew on January 11, 2008, 10:06:15 pm
Well, I'm talking about the inverse:
i did get that from your last post. If you take the effort to implement ethernet or ip over tdms you could define proper time slots. But as i said it will not scale without switching equipment so i think it is not worth the effort. And for the ps3: i don't think you will get easy bit level access to the tdms interface over the graphic card.

Maybe I'm being too specific (and inaccurate) by saying "ethernet over HDMI", which would indeed call for some switching. Really what's interesting about a PC HDMI-in is the possibility of wrapping any generic data in HDMI to get it out of the PS3 intact at close to 10Gbps. Ethernet is probably wrong because its packet overhead (and other routing features) would be wasted on a P2P synchronous circuit. Maybe something like FireWire, or just something small enough to just keep the blast of data organized as it flies into the receiving end.

I agree that the RSX TDMS interface is probably locked out by the Hypervisor. But anyone crazy enough to try this stunt could implement TDMS in the Cell, too. However, since Toshiba has now hinted that Cell PCs (maybe with x86, too) are probably coming out this year, the PS3 won't have the compellingly unique price:performance offer that could justify such a coding effort.
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: tkmedia on January 11, 2008, 11:45:12 pm
Hauppauge just announced an HD capture card:
 

So I am hearing we will be able to capture encrypted HD from our cable box if we connect our cable box to this device??

Forgive me if this is obvious

I am little slow sometimes ::)
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: Matthew on January 11, 2008, 11:53:57 pm
Hauppauge just announced an HD capture card:

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080110006038&newsLang=en

Price is only about $250. The speculation is that they are using HD camcorder chips with the appropriate silicon glue. Earlier cards for professional video editing were all in the $1,000 to $10,000 range and consequently no one developed the appropriate drivers for them.

Hauppauge's captures the unencrypted analog HD out available all currently shipping set top boxes, blue-ray players, etc.

Supposedly it will be shipped this quarter, a friend of mine at CES said they had a prototype already so a shipment this quarter or the next is not out of the question.

That's Component capture of HD. But is it really HD? This segment made me skeptical:
Quote
In addition to high definition ISO standard H.264 recordings, the Hauppauge HD PVR can also create AVCHD recordings, which is the format used on Blu-ray high definition players. As part of the software applications which will be shipped with Hauppaugeā€™s HD encoder, a DVD burning application will be provided which can take AVCHD formatted recordings and burn them onto a conventional DVD disc. These discs can then be played in Blu-ray DVD players. About 2 hours of Blu-ray HD content can be recorded on a 4.7 GByte DVD disk.
I don't think 2h of Blu-Ray HD will fit on a 4.7GB DVD, or Sony wouldn't bother introducing the BD. Which indicates some downsampling less than 1080p/60. Unless I'm missing something...
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: colinjones on January 12, 2008, 03:39:18 am
Its (AVCHD) a Handycam format - whilst it supports 1080p, when recording to DVD, the standard's bit rate is supposed to be 18Mbps, but apparently most handycams record at considerably lower bit rates. Either way, it can still be 1080p, just that the codec is running at a lower bit rate which means the compression quality is lower. Even at the full 18Mbps, the quality isn't going to be anywhere near a BD which uses a similar codec (both are H264) but at much higher bit rates - I think at least twice that...
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: 1audio on January 12, 2008, 06:58:24 pm
Too many issues. We contacted the Black Magic guys about the HDMI cards last year. They have no interest in a Linux driver. And it doesn't have enough bandwidth (or your PC for that matter) to hadle anything above 1080i/720p (or 1080p24) but that would be enough. However it doesn't support HDCP I'm told so it can't capture output from a BluRay for example. They were NOT interested in supporting an effort to make a driver. Could be done. . . But the new Hauppage card would get there faster.

There is a question about Macrovision on the component HD outputs and whether the card would detect it. Instant market for component Proc Amps. And of course what it will take to create a Linux driver.

HDMI for the three formats above is a data rate of 1.8 GBps or less (pixel clock of 165 MHz or less). You don't need 10.2 GBps. However HDMI is really only good for 10M max unless you are willing to spend big bux on expensive solutions. The interfaces are one way so its not a networking opportunity in any way.

There are several new H.264 encoder chips becoming available. Amberilla, Fujitsu are both very public and others are under wraps. They are driven by the camcorder market. And they are both pretty good. Some will see artifacts but I have seen them both on BluRay and would use either without hesitation.

As for compression, they are not as good as the original compression for BluRay which is not real time. H.264 is used as a variable bit rate compression and I have seen up to 50 Mbps and as little at 1Mbps. Its possible to get very high compression with with modest loss to make a more dense file. But it would need to be transcoded to MPEG2 to make a playable DVD, not a trivial task. If you can capture that 1080p24 you would need to do a lot of stuff to turn it into a 720X480 interlaced MPEG2 file. If they can do that I'll be impressed.
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: Matthew on January 13, 2008, 12:46:15 am
But the new Hauppage card would get there faster.

What do you think the specs on the Happauge card will be? I suppose it will have a Linux driver...
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: 1audio on January 13, 2008, 07:33:06 am
Don't count on Linux support, But don't be surprised if a bounty is offered to the first developer to create one.
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: blackoper on January 13, 2008, 11:42:41 am
well one thing that may be in our favor is that myth is being ported to windows.. if that hd capture card only has a windows driver, myth will probably have a windows backend available in the next year anyway. The development of the frontend is going along pretty briskly right now while I've been keeping track of it
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: Matthew on January 13, 2008, 02:30:45 pm
well one thing that may be in our favor is that myth is being ported to windows.. if that hd capture card only has a windows driver, myth will probably have a windows backend available in the next year anyway. The development of the frontend is going along pretty briskly right now while I've been keeping track of it

Actually, that seems to be against us, if we want a Linux backend and not a Windows one. In general a Windows MythTV seems like competition for developer time to Linux development for it, so repurposeable development like Linux drivers for video cards will sometimes lose to Windows-only development. It's possible that the Windows version will attract Windows developers to MythTV and draw some of their larger community to the Linux version, "biplatform MythTV as OS crossroads", but since Windows developers are both on average less skilled, and overall much more skilled in only "Windows" and not as much in general "development", I think it's a net loss to Linux.

I think that analysis is especially true for HW vendors like Happauge.
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: blackoper on January 13, 2008, 03:17:25 pm
I agree with that to an extent. It's just being ported nothing extra is being added. I don't think the developers will jump ship since most of them are firmly linux guys. However, I don't mind new blood being attracted to the windows development.
Linux drivers for that hd capture card will be created no matter what. The problem is it takes time to reverse engineer them. I view this as a stopgap measure while that is happening
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: danielk on January 13, 2008, 05:07:10 pm
Most movies are 1080p @ 24 frames per second, while sports programming is 720p @ 60 frames per second, so most content is not 1080p @ 60 frames per second. The heaviest broadcast content out there is 1080i @ 60 FIELDs per second, which data wise is only a little bigger than 1080p @ 30 frames per second.

Of course, games can be 1080p @ 60 frames per second, and the LinuxMCE UI is at its best at 1080p @ 60 frames per second. And these might not look their best after being compressed to a 4.7 GB...

Note also that the HDTV on cable and satellite is heavily compressed, so there is little point in trying to use a low compression ratio, it will never look as perfect as a well produced Blue-Ray or HD-DVD disc. Over-the-Air broadcasts are less compressed; but thanks to a lawsuit the EFF won against the FCC, you can record those directly without this type of device.
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: 1audio on January 13, 2008, 06:08:39 pm
Currently the CEA is oposing a standard for 1080p progressive on component (either 60 Hz or 24 Hz) but some vendors are doing it anyway. I'll see if I can test a few boxes for progressive 1080p on component. I don't know how the capture process will handle the progressive content, especially the 24p content. 24p is ideal for film content and a 72 Hz video refresh (with motion interpolation??) would be an ideal playback mode for video.  However video either interpolated or progressive is 60 Hz in the US.

Regardless, if we can get a good capture into LMCE we can make it a much more useful system and not run afoul of a bunch of legal issues.
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: Matthew on January 13, 2008, 06:19:13 pm
Is any of this "HDMI" capture that's currently either available or announced actually capturing digital streams, or is it all Component (analog)?
Title: Re: HD cable / digital cable
Post by: 1audio on January 13, 2008, 07:04:37 pm
Thge Black Magic HDMI capture cards do capture the HDMI stream uncompressed. They are for HD Video editing. The uncompressed stream is a gigantic video file.

The analog HD capture from Hauppauge takes an analog component in and digitized and compresses it to H.264. Since the card is only a press release we don't know any of the details yet. But there will be an enormous interest in it as soon as we can get access.