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Have Austar Changed Encryption On Their Cards?


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I agree with both DrP and Keepleft

However, if Austar really wanted to be accommodating they could release a 'CAM and card kit'.

Austar could then completely marry the card and CAM before it left Austar and it could be used in after market receivers with a CI slot. This would allows folks with a Mediastar to still use it.

It would still lock out priates because they sold the 'CAM and card' as a married kit and the CAM would not work with any other card. This would be a compromise on Austars behalf and be an act of good faith.

I doubt it will happen but it would be a work around and they would probably get a lot of extra subscriptions out of it. It would also be a PR bonus for them.

tsd

If such a 'kit' worked in ALL relevant 3rd party boxes, this might be a good idea. If they had to customise (&test) a different 'kit' for every single box on the market, why would they? I bet it would cost heaps to implement and the return on their investment would be questionable. After all, the vast Majority do not have their own sat PVR's .. enthusiasts do sure, but sadly enthusiasts probablu comrise point something of one percent of the massess..... and therefore the economics of going down this road would be flawed...

Edited by happychappy
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I doubt that Austar would go down that path anyway. Austar/Foxtel/Optus/the content producers et al don't want you to have the ability to shift 'high quality'* digital copies of the content around.

*applied loosely :lol:

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I doubt that Austar would go down that path anyway. Austar/Foxtel/Optus/the content producers et al don't want you to have the ability to shift 'high quality'* digital copies of the content around.

*applied loosely :lol:

Of course... didn't think of that ... another reason for sure.............

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The problem now is if a pirate card came along that worked again I would be for the first time be tempted to get one, obviously trying to be legit and law abiding seems to only get me punished for applying legal readily available technologies in my home.

I couldn't agree more. Austar have royally p*ssed off a lot of their PAYING customers with their haphazard countermeasure, in an attempt to knock out pirates who wouldn't have subscribed to the service and generated income for Austar anyway!

My loyalty to Austar for being on the highest tier plan for 8 years and willingness to pay Austar one more cent has disappeared overnight with their draconian actions.

I can only hope that karma will ensure Austar goes bankrupt in the future and is bought out by Foxtel or some other company that isn't as tight ass and inflexible as Austar. Now that Austar have removed any favourable options to watch their service (other than to use their bug ridden piles of crap they call set top boxes) everyone outside the metro capitals and WA must now put up with inferior pay TV. Now is as good a time as any to push for this stupid metro/regional Foxtel/Austar market arrangement to be scrapped.

Edited by davmel
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I doubt that Austar would go down that path anyway. Austar/Foxtel/Optus/the content producers et al don't want you to have the ability to shift 'high quality'* digital copies of the content around.

*applied loosely :lol:

Do you or anyone else know what the PQ is like from selectTV?? No argument the PQ went backwards when I had to abandon the Toppy & go back to the Austar STB and that deterioration went far further than any differences between s-video and RGB-> component.

I would imagine that the video quality is set by the provider of the service (meaning Movie one etc) rather than Foxtel, Austar or Select and that the resultant PQ depends upon the next step, the decoder.

The price difference between Austar & select is not all that huge but, unless one is prepared to go down the rocky Mystar path (and I'm not) then the time shift convenience factor using a PVR makes Select look better to me.

John

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Do you or anyone else know what the PQ is like from selectTV?? No argument the PQ went backwards when I had to abandon the Toppy & go back to the Austar STB and that deterioration went far further than any differences between s-video and RGB-> component.

They appear to have more channels per transponder than Austar/Foxtel:

http://www.lyngsat.com/packages/selectv.html

http://www.lyngsat.com/packages/austar.html

So I would expect the quality to be the same or slightly lower than Austar.

I'll be able to confirm in a few weeks when I get setup to watch Selectv anyway.

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The PQ isn't significantly different to Austar. I have been told by some that the audio quality on discovery * is better than Austar, but I haven't attempted to verify it. The quality supplied by Movie * to the operators is excellent. The quality crash comes when the operator takes what is supplied and squeezes to down to 2 or 3 Mbit/sec average for distribution to the viewers STBs. Uncompressed SD is about 280Mbit/sec....

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With SelecTV, I've found some of the channels to be a bit ordinary in PQ, like CNN and BBC news, however the movie, music and national geo channels are very good.

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Thanks for the reply guys.

Yes I found Austar Nat Geo (the latest releases) & Movie channels high PQ (they upscale VERY nicely) so it sounds as if PQ wise there is not much to choose between the two services -> Austar will lose this customer when the contract runs out.

John

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I've heard on the grapevine that Strong are testing a firware upgrade to enable their boxes/cams to work with Austar cards again.

Obviously if they succeed, other manufacturers will follow.

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I've heard on the grapevine that Strong are testing a firware upgrade to enable their boxes/cams to work with Austar cards again.

Obviously if they succeed, other manufacturers will follow.

AFAIK it is nothing any STB or PVR manufacturer can control. It is all about card encryption, something completely controlled by Austar.

So methinks that is a wishful thinking rumour.

And BTW I take back my negative comments re the PQ in the Austar STB. The s-video out can process VERY nicely. I'm now feeding into the Pioneer DVDR -> component out -> iScan VP50 pro upscaler -> Sony VW200 projector on a 96" wide screen and, on good quality material (mainly post 2000) the picture is excellent.

John

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As we all know, grapevines can be unreliable...

As it was explained to me, Austar added an extra set of keys, making 11 sets and that third-party boxes only have the capability (at this stage) to accept 10 sets.

This may, or may not be correct.

It would seem likely however that if other decoder manufacturers did find a way around that, Austar would just make changes again. :mellow:

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I couldn't agree more. Austar have royally p*ssed off a lot of their PAYING customers with their haphazard countermeasure, in an attempt to knock out pirates who wouldn't have subscribed to the service and generated income for Austar anyway!

It's the pirates that you should get stuck into. As usual in this selfish society in which we live it is the actions of a selfish self centred minority that inconvenience the honest majority. Just trawl through some of the related threads here and you will see that there are DTV FORUM members actively searching out pirate cards and are quite open about using them. Other people pay and they bludge. They can justify it anyway they want but it boils down to this . They want to get something for free and they do not give a stuff about other people who have to subsidise their illegal and unethical actions!

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It's the pirates that you should get stuck into. As usual in this selfish society in which we live it is the actions of a selfish self centred minority that inconvenience the honest majority. Just trawl through some of the related threads here and you will see that there are DTV FORUM members actively searching out pirate cards and are quite open about using them. Other people pay and they bludge. They can justify it anyway they want but it boils down to this . They want to get something for free and they do not give a stuff about other people who have to subsidise their illegal and unethical actions!

Agree with that. It IS stealing :ninja: and like all theft those who pay are left to pick up the tabs.

Please guys, stop ranting at Austar. They are only trying to legitimately protect their interests. Just annoying we have been caught in the crossfire, but that is how it often pans out in life when a few people abuse a system.

John

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Agree with that. It IS stealing :ninja: and like all theft those who pay are left to pick up the tabs.

Please guys, stop ranting at Austar. They are only trying to legitimately protect their interests. Just annoying we have been caught in the crossfire, but that is how it often pans out in life when a few people abuse a system.

John

Yes, it is. I am not a huge fan of Austar, but it's like telling a child off for being born, really. Not their fault (Not a good example, but there you go). I do think that the SmartCard in whatever box you want idea has some merit, although I'm not entirely sure how it would work.

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Please guys, stop ranting at Austar. They are only trying to legitimately protect their interests. Just annoying we have been caught in the crossfire, but that is how it often pans out in life when a few people abuse a system.

The problem is that Austar insists on using the Irdeto encryption system, but as we have discovered time and time again it has so many holes in it that it's nothing more than a sinking ship. Rather than fix the holes that make it possible to copy cards (which NDS Videoguard doesn't seem to have as much of a problem with) they've had to resort to customising the entire encryption stream, making current Irdeto compliant devices useless.

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I do think that the SmartCard in whatever box you want idea has some merit, although I'm not entirely sure how it would work.

If you want to see how it can work then look at SelecTV. A large number of Austar customers have migrated to SelecTV as a direct result of Austar's actions. At least SelecTV can provide a service they can use with their expensive 3rd party equipment which would otherwise become paper weights.

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Rang Movie Network to advocate that they get around to broadcasting 5.1 sound, in the same manner as Showtime.

If that happens, I'd expect SelecTV etc to then have same. They admitted they do get requests, so if you ever find time, email them and request same!

http://www.movienetwork.tv/

I note Irdeto advocating a "CI+" Standard, this would allow existing pay providers to permit legitimate sub card holders to use third-party decoders and decoder/PVR's. The new advocated standard by Irdeto would have a much greater security benefit for the provider.

Whether or not Austar ever adopted this is another question. And if ever adopted, its impact on say SelectTV would be overwhelming, which'd be a pity, because the system, I think, has merit.

http://www.irdetoaccess.com/page.php?page_...mp;press_id=151

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If you want to see how it can work then look at SelecTV. A large number of Austar customers have migrated to SelecTV as a direct result of Austar's actions. At least SelecTV can provide a service they can use with their expensive 3rd party equipment which would otherwise become paper weights.

Lol. Currently no pirated cards work on Austar, the white cards that use to work for Austar still work on SelecTV from all accounts.

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Lol. Currently no pirated cards work on Austar, the white cards that use to work for Austar still work on SelecTV from all accounts.

I wasn't referring to the piracy, I was referring to the model by which SelecTV uses in that they don't force you to use a supplied decoder and it works - they have a good deal of customer loyalty as a result.

The fact that pirate cards are available and operate for SelecTV is another issue which is a result of fundamental flaws in the Irdeto specification. Perhaps a move to V5.3 cards and CI+ cams would resolve that issue.

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I wasn't referring to the piracy, I was referring to the model by which SelecTV uses in that they don't force you to use a supplied decoder and it works - they have a good deal of customer loyalty as a result.

The fact that pirate cards are available and operate for SelecTV is another issue which is a result of fundamental flaws in the Irdeto specification. Perhaps a move to V5.3 cards and CI+ cams would resolve that issue.

That's good for the consumer but as a business model third party STB's are far less secure then the closed system. Personally I don't have a problem with a closed system, I use mac computers and an iPod you don't get much more locked down then that. My problem with Austar is they don't have a big enough range of equipment.

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Personally I don't have a problem with a closed system, I use mac computers and an iPod you don't get much more locked down then that. My problem with Austar is they don't have a big enough range of equipment.

Yes, true, at least with a Mac etc they are versatile enough that you can do whatever you want with them. Austar only provide the choice of a featureless STB and a buggy PVR. They are only shooting themselves in the foot by not providing their customers with more flexible options. How many years will Austar customers have to wait to have access to the HD channels operating on the same satellite as Foxtel?? We could have access right now if Austar didn't need to spend years developing their own customised box to watch the channels. 3rd party MPEG-4 decoders are readily available on the market right now, but no we have to wait and wait for yet another buggy product to be released before we have access to the HD channels. It's a ridiculous situation that we don't need to have.

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Lol. Currently no pirated cards work on Austar, the white cards that use to work for Austar still work on SelecTV from all accounts.

Really ?? To quote a redhead, please explain..

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The problem is that Austar insists on using the Irdeto encryption system, but as we have discovered time and time again it has so many holes in it that it's nothing more than a sinking ship. Rather than fix the holes that make it possible to copy cards (which NDS Videoguard doesn't seem to have as much of a problem with) they've had to resort to customising the entire encryption stream, making current Irdeto compliant devices useless.

It is actually the same with NDS - there is no NDS box (not even B Sky) that will work with the foxtel playout simply because the nds encryption in there is setup for foxtels playout only. Austar have just done a simialr thing now.

Oh and there are holes in NDS as well - i have seen a Dream box being used to card share foxtel's playout.

If you want to see how it can work then look at SelecTV. A large number of Austar customers have migrated to SelecTV as a direct result of Austar's actions. At least SelecTV can provide a service they can use with their expensive 3rd party equipment which would otherwise become paper weights.

Yes select have put together a nice utopia haven't they. I suspect there will be problems in the future when select's content providers tell them to upgrade their encryption and it requires an upgrade on the set top box too. Do you think Select will pay every vendor to do a firmware development? I suspect that this is cetered for somewhere in Select's terms and conditions along the lines of "you use your own box you take your own chance"

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It is actually the same with NDS - there is no NDS box (not even B Sky) that will work with the foxtel playout simply because the nds encryption in there is setup for foxtels playout only. Austar have just done a simialr thing now.

Dream and Octogon STB's have been able to work with legit NDS cards for quite some time now, and that's the case for every broadcaster around the world that uses NDS including BSkYB and Foxtel.

Also NDS softcams are available to work with card readers to allow playback with most DVB software on PC's so there are a wide range of options available to watch Foxtel now with your own equipment but there isn't any option now with Austar.

Oh and there are holes in NDS as well - i have seen a Dream box being used to card share foxtel's playout.

Card sharing is an entirely different issue and not a hole in the design. NDS has proven to be far more secure since no one has been able to mass produce cards to allow access to programming in the way that they have with Irdeto cards. That's a far more serious issue since anyone can then sell cards on the street and no further contact is necessary.

Card sharing requires a persistant data link between the master and slave cards and has a finite limit on how many clients can be connected, plus it requires significant technical skills to get it operational and running reliably. Buying a pirated card is far easier and a significantly greater threat to the broadcasters. That's something you can't do with NDS.

Yes select have put together a nice utopia haven't they. I suspect there will be problems in the future when select's content providers tell them to upgrade their encryption and it requires an upgrade on the set top box too. Do you think Select will pay every vendor to do a firmware development? I suspect that this is cetered for somewhere in Select's terms and conditions along the lines of "you use your own box you take your own chance"

Select doesn't pay STB vendors to do firmware upgrades - they license the technology from Irdeto in the same way manufacturer's do. As soon as Irdeto upgrades their specifications they provide those details to all STB manufacturer's to use in developing new firmware. If there is a significant change then there is a migration period (in the same way that Aurora has allowed several years for users to move from Irdeto V1 to V2 before turning off the old V1 encryption and rendering the old cards useless). Every Aurora user has been given lengthy sufficient notice to upgrade the firmware in the STB's with inbuilt Irdeto CA systems or change over to a more recent Irdeto CAM.

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It is actually the same with NDS - there is no NDS box (not even B Sky) that will work with the foxtel playout simply because the nds encryption in there is setup for foxtels playout only. Austar have just done a simialr thing now.

Oh and there are holes in NDS as well - i have seen a Dream box being used to card share foxtel's playout.

Lol one paragraph you say there is no third party NDS boxes that that will work with Foxtel and then the next you said you have seen a third party box not only working with Foxtel but card sharing :)

Edited by Hosko
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. If there is a significant change then there is a migration period (in the same way that Aurora has allowed several years for users to move from Irdeto V1 to V2 before turning off the old V1 encryption and rendering the old cards useless). Every Aurora user has been given lengthy sufficient notice to upgrade the firmware in the STB's with inbuilt Irdeto CA systems or change over to a more recent Irdeto CAM.

Hi,

I know as a hobby satellite person, as well as an Aurora official subscriber, that new cards are issued as compared with the old Irdeto 1 cards, however, there has been zero communication in any official capacity, to any Irdeto 1 cardholders that I know. I have over a dozen subscribers in my black hole area, and none of us has been told to do a thing. Yes, I am aware of the information on the tuning channel and website, but these are hardly a constructive way for Optus to inform the "normal" subscriber. When we receive written communication ( as they have our addresses), then that will be another matter.

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I know as a hobby satellite person, as well as an Aurora official subscriber, that new cards are issued as compared with the old Irdeto 1 cards, however, there has been zero communication in any official capacity, to any Irdeto 1 cardholders that I know.

Aurora plans to send out Irdeto 2 cards to all the remaining registered Irdeto 1 card holders in the next few months. Those that have registered with dodgy addresses will unfortunately miss out.

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Select doesn't pay STB vendors to do firmware upgrades - they license the technology from Irdeto in the same way manufacturer's do. As soon as Irdeto upgrades their specifications they provide those details to all STB manufacturer's to use in developing new firmware. If there is a significant change then there is a migration period (in the same way that Aurora has allowed several years for users to move from Irdeto V1 to V2 before turning off the old V1 encryption and rendering the old cards useless). Every Aurora user has been given lengthy sufficient notice to upgrade the firmware in the STB's with inbuilt Irdeto CA systems or change over to a more recent Irdeto CAM.

To integrate a new softcell library in a box takes up a significant amount of money. It is at the discretion of the manufacturer to do that if they really want to. Whether the numbers being sold for selectTV will justify it will be up to the individual manufacturer but you cannot guarantee that it will happen if Select get told to move to a new encryption service.

Also comparing it to Aurora is incorrect. Aurora uses encryption to get around broadcast restrictions. The content providers dont require that the content is encrypted since it is being broadcasted as free to air anyway.

Select on the other hand purchase their content from the same people that foxtel do and as such they are required to use sufficient encryption. What they are using now is obviously sufficient, but in the future if their content providers tell them they must move to Irdeto 6 (or whatever is the latest and greatest at that point) they will have a real problem on their hands. This is the exact reason why all the big names in PayTV insist on you using their own equipment.

Hey for your's and select's sake I hope this does not happen, but it is a real risk, just like Dr-P's predictions about Austar and third party boxes. Whether you like it or not it is a fact and if this does happen you will be at the mercy of the STB manufacturer and SelectTV.

Lol one paragraph you say there is no third party NDS boxes that that will work with Foxtel and then the next you said you have seen a third party box not only working with Foxtel but card sharing :)

Sorry I should have made myself more clear - There is no third party legitimate box that will descramble the foxtel signal. By legitimate I mean NDS approved. To descramble the Foxtel signal the vendor needs to have a library provided to them from NDS that is specific to Foxtel. This would only be supplied with Foxtel's consent and I am sure they did not authorise NDS to provide this to Dream. This holds true for PC based cards too. You can be sure there are illegitimate boxes out there that will handle Austar's new countermeasures too.

Edited by kozo_san
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Since when has Foxtel authorised their cards to be used in a "non-Foxtel" decoder??

They don't authorise it. Doesn't mean it won't work though

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Sorry I should have made myself more clear - There is no third party legitimate box that will descramble the foxtel signal. By legitimate I mean NDS approved. To descramble the Foxtel signal the vendor needs to have a library provided to them from NDS that is specific to Foxtel. This would only be supplied with Foxtel's consent and I am sure they did not authorise NDS to provide this to Dream. This holds true for PC based cards too. You can be sure there are illegitimate boxes out there that will handle Austar's new countermeasures too.

Thats a bit of a refined way of defining legitimate isn't it? Sure an Octagon box doesn't have a NDS CAM but it has an emulator which does the job.

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They don't authorise it. Doesn't mean it won't work though

Don't be surprised if Foxtel was behind this whole change too. Remember, if a potential Foxtel customer can get a whitey, thats a customer that Foxtel have lost because the signal is encrypted with both NDS and Irdeto. As much as it might hurt Austar customers using 3rd party decoders and many have or are moving to Select, Foxtel don't really care because their market is now more secure, they don't get the blame and can easily point the finger at Austar saying its their system thats causing the compromise - like Kim Williams said "remember, those gamma cards are for Irdeto, and we use NDS".

So this is benefitting Foxtel more than Austar and all those who did have illegal cards and are potential Foxtel customers blame Austar. All I'm saying is I think Foxtel pushed this more than Austar.

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Don't be surprised if Foxtel was behind this whole change too.

It's long been suspected but never proven conclusively that NDS paid hackers to find holes and exploit them in competing encryption technologies like Irdeto. But that's the actions of NDS, not Foxtel.

Whatever the case, both Foxtel and Austar must have been seriously deluded if they thought they would knock out the pirates in the hope they would suddenly sign up for a subscription. All they've managed to do is drive more business towards their competitor - SelecTV.

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It's long been suspected but never proven conclusively that NDS paid hackers to find holes and exploit them in competing encryption technologies like Irdeto. But that's the actions of NDS, not Foxtel.

Whatever the case, both Foxtel and Austar must have been seriously deluded if they thought they would knock out the pirates in the hope they would suddenly sign up for a subscription. All they've managed to do is drive more business towards their competitor - SelecTV.

What makes you think people who pirated Austar/Foxtel and their dodgy cards no longer work will say hmmm I know we have been stealing for a while but lets get on the straight and narrow now and pay SelecTV for less quality channels then we are use. You don't think if they wanted to watch SelecTV they would go to the guy who sold them the pirated Austar card and ask for a pirated SelecTV card?? SelecTV can't do what Austar did to beat the pirates, the white gamma cards still work for them.

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It's long been suspected but never proven conclusively that NDS paid hackers to find holes and exploit them in competing encryption technologies like Irdeto. But that's the actions of NDS, not Foxtel.

Whatever the case, both Foxtel and Austar must have been seriously deluded if they thought they would knock out the pirates in the hope they would suddenly sign up for a subscription. All they've managed to do is drive more business towards their competitor - SelecTV.

Exactly... what makes you think pirates will pay for a legitimate service full stop? There will always be someone who wants to spend countless hours trying to figure it out because its their passion to find out how things work and get money on the side for doing it - everyone wants to get paid what they love doing. Of course, Irdeto is crackable, but so is NDS... and Niagra... and many others. Its just which one has enough provisions in place so its not worth the effort and deter people from trying anymore. So Austar have made it harder. For some that will drive them more, others will give up and others will just move carriers. The point is - every security system has a weakness but how many provisions does one have that makes the difference - there is no killer system... oh except for PowerVu, so I've heard but with that comes inflexibility.

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OK great just got back from holidays and find my mediastar box is basicaly useless now unless i change to select which doesn't have all the channels we want. The box is 6 months old and we payed alot to have it and now it is of no use to me!!!!! great just *#$% brilliant. Anyone interested in buying a dw8022 unit????????

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Well then I supppose those buying octagon's etc will have a spit when Foxtel prevent this from occurring.... geez.. :rolleyes:

As long as you need a legitimate Foxtel card in an Octagon I don't really think its a high priority. Also the Octagon emulates the NDS cam in software so it might be difficult for Foxtel to stop it permanently, if they can't why waste the money trying.

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