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Homebrew Solutions to HDR-FOX Replacement

ian_j

Member
Do these Linux STB's allow for decrypting recordings?

Could one of these be a viable alternative to the HDR T2 with custom firmware?
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
The transmitted content is not encrypted, the encryption is carried out on the PVR, i.e. by Humax, before it is recorded to the hard disk
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
In other words, there will be no encryption. On the other hand, the EPG data will have to be either hijacked from the broadcast stream or obtained from elsewhere (an Internet source).
 

renzz

Member
EPG data isn't a problem on these boxes (apparently) - they have the ability to harvest it from the broadcast stream, be it either from DVB-T2 or Sat (if you have a sat tuner), including both Freesat and Sky data. I think you can also import XMLTV files so you could in theory have a 14-day EPG if you have the right source, eg Digiguide. A point of note on the terminology used - they talk of "bouquets" of channels which are just groups of channels depending on type (Sat, terrestrial etc), and the software includes "auto-bouquet" makers for configuring them.

There's a short little video showing how you set a the EPG up for Freeview HD:


One other thing that's not 100% clear is how the boxes handle multi-channel AAC surround sound from Freeview. On the long Toppy thread it seemed they didn't very well, but others with different hardware reported they had the option to transcode 6-channel AAC to Dolby Digital (as proper Freeview boxes do) - or to DTS. It probably depends on how fast the box is, and maybe the cheaper ones can't do it.

I must admit I'm very tempted by one of these boxes, maybe when my HDR bites the dust - but it could still have years left in it yet.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Sounds like the way to go to me. Not being tied in to proprietary hardware/software ought to make servicing a doddle!

I suppose the EPG decoding tables have been ripped and are now available in the wild.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Naively, apparently, I had assumed you extracted it from the epg.db file (or something).
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
Naively, apparently, I had assumed you extracted it from the epg.db file (or something).
I do, but for high definition channels, the information within the epg.db file is still compressed with the custom huffman tables.
 

ian_j

Member
I am tempted to try one of these STB's.

Although without the custom firmware and packages developers here have created I think many of the boxes would feel lacking.
 

renzz

Member
I am tempted to try one of these STB's.
Have you got your eye on any one in particular? The Xtrend ET8000 looks good to me - up to three tuners and reasonably priced, compared to other brands. Mind you, I suppose it depends what you want to do with it - the more expensive ET10000 apparently can do transcoding in hardware, allowing you to stream your recordings over the Internet. For me, an ET8000 with two DVB/T/T2/C and one DVB/S tuners at £195 from World of Satellite looks pretty good. You have to add a hard drive to that, but it takes both 3.5 and 2.5 inch discs so factor in 40 quid for a 1TB from Amazon.

I still think that a lot of the custom firmware facilities and packages we know and love could probably be ported over, if we could spark the interest of some of the developers on here. After all, they would just be going from one flavour of Linux to another, so some of the higher level ones would (I imagine) be reasonably straight forward? Given af123 has squeezed just about everything you can out of the HDR-T2, maybe he is looking for a new challenge now....;)
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Nice - but it's 110 Euros.

The blurb is confusing. It makes a point of talking about an aerial splitter, but there's only an input and no output so I guess they are only talking about the distribution of UHF signal to the internal tuners... I suppose this is a comment on systems where multiple tuner cards require multiple aerial feeds. It also seems to me that there is only access to four stream outputs, regardless of how many tuners are actually required to extract those streams.
 
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