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Tassie Devil

Have Austar Changed Encryption On Their Cards?

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

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

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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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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.

Hindsight is a marvelous thing. When Select and UBI (remember there are also UBI gammas out there) chose Mindport's Irdeto2 and their "secure smartcard technology" Irdeto2 had not been hacked or even slightly cracked anywhere in the world (disregarding the weakness of card sharing which Mindport made a lot harder with V5.1 and up cards) and the doomsayers were all saying Irdetos was mathmatically impossible to crack with current technology available to the average person. When Gammas first arrived on the scene so much was the belief in most sat enthusist forums that irdeto2 was uncrackable that the people saying gammas are out there and the gamma team can make cards for ANY Irdeto2 provider that it was shouted down for months, until the admin at a large aussie forum openly posted he had seen one, held one, and seen everything happen, PPV, Box Office, Auto updating, everything. poor old Select, they have the model that almost everybody wanted, ie a smartcard only sub if you want it, no contracts, pay per month, using your own equipment, only to be let down by 1. a pretty average channel line up, and 2. an uncrackable encryption that is now well and truely compromised. So where does Select go from here? perhaps their only option is to go the CI+ option and also their own boxes with closed softcams, they already offer their own boxes if you want, so if they are worried about piracy then a CI+ system maybe their only saviour. Ive been watching select for a week now on a mates borrowed card while is is on holiday, and lets say Im slightly disapointed with some of their channels, they could get a couple of better ones for not much more money. Is there anything else on that discovery real time but car shows? WineTV, does anyone actually watch that? What Select needs is History and UKTV and a womens channel for my Mrs and Id dump Austar for Select instantly if i could still use my Topfield, even if it meant forking out for a CI+ cam

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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.

Then it would take so long for anything to be upgraded and new features to be put in because ooh ahh, there might be one customer angry that their decoder doesn't work which will even make the development time and release of Mystar look good!

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Hey, Just wondering can anyone confirm yet if you can hook the mystar up to a DVD Recorder or VCR even through analog and playback your recordings so you can effectively back them up.. or does it have the macrovision or digital protection to not let you record any recorded stuff??

This is the only thing stopping me from getting one as I like to keep some stuff I record esp good docos

Thanks

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Hey, Just wondering can anyone confirm yet if you can hook the mystar up to a DVD Recorder or VCR even through analog and playback your recordings so you can effectively back them up.. or does it have the macrovision or digital protection to not let you record any recorded stuff??

This is the only thing stopping me from getting one as I like to keep some stuff I record esp good docos

Thanks

It can be done with a video stabiliser in line. This strips off the copy protection. http://www.digitalmegahouse.com.au/stabiliser.html

John

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Hey, Just wondering can anyone confirm yet if you can hook the mystar up to a DVD Recorder or VCR even through analog and playback your recordings so you can effectively back them up.. or does it have the macrovision or digital protection to not let you record any recorded stuff??

Yes, Macrovision on the My'ControlledByAu'Star is turned on as soon as you activate the time shift function (pause or rewind button etc) or play back any recording (that includes the FTA channels as well).

So factor in the cost of a video stabiliser product if you want to record anything other than live tv from their crippled product.

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Yes, Macrovision on the My'ControlledByAu'Star is turned on as soon as you activate the time shift function (pause or rewind button etc) or play back any recording (that includes the FTA channels as well).

So factor in the cost of a video stabiliser product if you want to record anything other than live tv from their crippled product.

Actually, if you are certain you will want to back up a program, you can use the unit the same as a STB - just set the timer on Mystar AND the timer on the DVD-R. I used to do this when using the satellite Toppy -> a copy on the Toppy HDD & another on the DVDR HDD - sort of backup in case of bungles - yes they happen to us all. :rolleyes:

Going back to the STB/DVDR combo is a PIA and I've messed up a couple of recordings already. :ninja: But I'll persist as these days there is not a hell of a lot left of interest as most has been seen, meaning the settings and channel changes are minimal. But I must admit that I would be very tempted with Mystar if Austar was a new toy.

John

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Cancelling my Austar tomorrow. This was the last straw. With YouTube & Torrents, who the heck needs Austar anyway? :lol:

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As expect the ACCC's reply has been 'go away and stop annoying us'

Enquiries also failed to identify any inconsistency with previous representations. It is a condition of service of AUSTAR subscription contracts that customers only use the set top box (STB) provided by AUSTAR to receive AUSTAR’s pay TV service. In the absence of any representations by AUSTAR to the contrary (that is, that third party STB’s may be used to receive AUSTAR services) it is unlikely that AUSTAR’s conduct would breach the consumer provisions of the TPA.

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As expect the ACCC's reply has been 'go away and stop annoying us'

No, not quite, each ACCC reply letter posted here appears quite from different from each other, as was mine, which indicated they were monitoring Austar to ensure it did comply with it's legislitive requirements, and would continue to do so, and they suggested that the matter could also be referred to the NSW Minister for Fair Trading as the 3rd party decoder box issue may also be an issue for them. Others in NSW may wish to raise it via that avenue, I chose to spend hundreds of dollars getting somewhere by upgrading my s-video and component cables (short as possible) via two excellent sponsors of this site (Selby for Toslink, SPDIF cables) and CinemaLink for exceptional video cables. Strange, I discovered them both on the net without reference to this forum, but I can attest to the value of these cables in tweaking the best pic and sound out of a flinders box via upscaling through an Onkyo av receiver (which actually does upscale the s-video input) to an LG plasma. The difference in PQ is truly phenonominal. When I have the energy/inclination I will post on this forum (for what it's worth) a detailed inventory of SQ obtained by installing a premium 65cm dish (jonsa quality) in place of the el-cheapo hills dish. And how to tweak the dish and LNBF to obtain the best output. Have installed an identical system in 2 NSW locations....Blue Mountains and in Sydney's "lower north shore". It will include comparative flinders box LVL, CNR, BER and channel for each of the Austar platinum channels (minus sport which I don't subscribe to). This may be of some help to others who actually do want to do all possible to get the best PQ out of their austar flinders boxes.

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No, not quite, each ACCC reply letter posted here appears quite from different from each other, as was mine, which indicated they were monitoring Austar to ensure it did comply with it's legislitive requirements, and would continue to do so, and they suggested that the matter could also be referred to the NSW Minister for Fair Trading as the 3rd party decoder box issue may also be an issue for them. Others in NSW may wish to raise it via that avenue

That's the only part of your post that actually refers to the matter of discussion in the thread. Why you put all the rest of that in is beyond me.

The ACCC respondant was just being generous. There is no breach of the TPA as it stands. Austar is not in the business of selling STBs, it is in the business of providing pay television. For there to be a breach of the TPA Austar would also need to be involved in the sale of STBs. Since Austar does not sell STBs for any action to have any chance of success it would have to be proved that by enforcing the use of their own locked STBs Austar is reducing competition in the pay TV arena. Good luck with that!

Edited by DrP

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Why you put all the rest of that in is beyond me.

drp a lot is beyond you, perhaps it's an age thing! or perhaps u feel the need to be perceived as an expert, i've yet to read anything from you that leaves that impression though, but you do love to rattle on and on and on...a founding member of your own commentariat!

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1. Let me know when legal action is bought against Austar for enforcing the use of their own STBs.

2. Let me know what relevance the rest of the text in your post has to the subject of the thread.

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drp a lot is beyond you, perhaps it's an age thing! or perhaps u feel the need to be perceived as an expert, i've yet to read anything from you that leaves that impression though, but you do love to rattle on and on and on...a founding member of your own commentariat!

DrP is right. Let's say I'm and ISP and I sell modems. If I force people to use my modems, then the ACCC would be able to say "No, naughty, let people use their own modems, or else be punished, etc., etc.". However, if I run an ISP and don't sell modems, and require that my customers use my modem I provide, and only that one (I think Telstra cable fall into this category) and I don't sell Modems (like Austar, except with Pay TV and decoders), then I can say that. This is what happens with Austar.

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drp a lot is beyond you, perhaps it's an age thing! or perhaps u feel the need to be perceived as an expert, i've yet to read anything from you that leaves that impression though, but you do love to rattle on and on and on...a founding member of your own commentariat!

once more for the dummy...as u don't get ever seem to get anyone's point but your own, poor thing..

one, who was talking about legal action? your smartarse post alluded to the ACCC saying "stuff off" and "stop bothering us", well no one got that response from the ACCC and in my case, as I said they suggested the NSW Fair Trading Minister, but as i noted i had moved on wanted an immediate fix for the appalling pic quality that comes from simply plugging in a flinders decoder, so...

second, perhaps u dont own a plasma or require high end performance from austar...but those of us who do and like to get some reasonable value for the $100+ we pay per month, many of us used 3rd party decoders to get a superior AV outcome. This ended when 3rd party decoders were excluded by austar....so those who had these decoders and might like to use their flinders decoders to get the best possible pic might actually be interested in the experinces of like minded subscribers..

anyway drp what's it to you? did u ever use a 3rd party decoder with an austar platinum sub? do u connect to a plasma? do u use a flinders? what are your austar picture quality issues?

or is it simply that you get ya rocks off by appearing to know everything about everything....coz it sure seems to boil down to that...perhaps you might not the all round expert you'd have everyone think....

as always i await your pearls of true wisdom

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once more for the dummy...as u don't get ever seem to get anyone's point but your own, poor thing..

one, who was talking about legal action? your smartarse post alluded to the ACCC saying "stuff off" and "stop bothering us", well no one got that response from the ACCC and in my case, as I said they suggested the NSW Fair Trading Minister, but as i noted i had moved on wanted an immediate fix for the appalling pic quality that comes from simply plugging in a flinders decoder, so...

second, perhaps u dont own a plasma or require high end performance from austar...but those of us who do and like to get some reasonable value for the $100+ we pay per month, many of us used 3rd party decoders to get a superior AV outcome. This ended when 3rd party decoders were excluded by austar....so those who had these decoders and might like to use their flinders decoders to get the best possible pic might actually be interested in the experinces of like minded subscribers..

anyway drp what's it to you? did u ever use a 3rd party decoder with an austar platinum sub? do u connect to a plasma? do u use a flinders? what are your austar picture quality issues?

or is it simply that you get ya rocks off by appearing to know everything about everything....coz it sure seems to boil down to that...perhaps you might not the all round expert you'd have everyone think....

as always i await your pearls of true wisdom

Okay, I know I'm not DrP, and no doubt I'll enter another argument re: this very topic, but here is my understanding of the no 3rd party box rule (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, anyone):

3rd party decoders were commonly used by pirates to provide pirate services. Because Austar, like many companies (i.e. Microsoft, various movie firms, etc.), they didn't like tis piracy, so they did something to attempt to knock it out: by knocking out the 3rd party decoders, they can kiss goodbye a load of pirate subscribers. Microsoft tried (and ultimately failed) with Activation and Windows\Office Genuine Advantage, and the movie people employed macrovision copy protection on DVD's.

Now, put yourself in Austar's shoes. Your losing money (and Austar announced a loss this year). If you get rid of 3rd party decoders, you get rid of a few legit subscribers, but a lot of pirate subscribers, and you can make some money, would you do this? I'd say yes. Would you?

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Oh my. It really is you, isn't it. You know you should change your posting style if you are going to change your name.

Let's begin:

one, who was talking about legal action?

I suggest you read Austech.

your smartarse post alluded to the ACCC saying "stuff off" and "stop bothering us", well no one got that response from the ACCC and in my case, as I said they suggested the NSW Fair Trading Minister

Which in essence told you to stuff off and stop bothering us as they aren't breaching the TPA.

, but as i noted i had moved on wanted an immediate fix for the appalling pic quality that comes from simply plugging in a flinders decoder, so...

second, perhaps u dont own a plasma or require high end performance from austar...but those of us who do and like o get some reasonable value for the $100+ we pay per month, many of us used 3rd party decoders to get a superior AV outcome. This ended when 3rd party decoders were excluded by austar....so those who had these decoders and might like to use their flinders decoders to get the best possible pic might actually be interested in the experinces of like minded subscribers..

Which has nothing at all to do with Austar changing their systems to prevent piracy, but that didn't stop you posting it.

anyway drp what's it to you? did u ever use a 3rd party decoder with an austar platinum sub? do u connect to a plasma? do u use a flinders? what are your austar picture quality issues?

For the record (as I have already stated elsewhere in like threads) I too was a user of 3rd party STBs but when I dared to suggest that Austar might prevent the use of 3rd party boxes - a few people one with a vested interest in the sale of the 3rd party STBs, another who liked to troll and a 3rd who just joined in because he didn't understand what was being said - decided to put the boot in and do what they could to attack me. Just like you are now. As for what sets I have to watch Austar on, you are correct. I don't have a plasma. I have a HD projector.

I've stated the quality issues with Austar time and time again, provided samples, explanation etc and once again copped much derision from idiots like you. Nothing much changes. Now crawl back into your hole.

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3rd party decoders were commonly used by pirates to provide pirate services. Because Austar, like many companies (i.e. Microsoft, various movie firms, etc.), they didn't like tis piracy, so they did something to attempt to knock it out: by knocking out the 3rd party decoders, they can kiss goodbye a load of pirate subscribers.

...

Now, put yourself in Austar's shoes. Your losing money (and Austar announced a loss this year). If you get rid of 3rd party decoders, you get rid of a few legit subscribers, but a lot of pirate subscribers, and you can make some money, would you do this? I'd say yes. Would you?

That sums it up fairly accurately.

Unfortunately due to Austar's aging and vulnerable fleet of STBs with unprotected firmware the pirates (gamma cards) quickly took Austar's firmware apart, found out what was being done and updated their cards firmware so that 3rd party STBs would once again work with them. This is something that I pointed out quite some time ago - not pay TV operator that uses Irdeto 2 version 4.x cards has been able to keep the gamma cards down. Austar will either have to roll out new cards to everyone or retire all their older STBs for more secure types (which was already in progress before the gamma cards made a big splash in Australia).

Edited by DrP

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That sums it up fairly accurately.

you must have accrued a few antagonists then (unsurprisingly) coz my logon has always been and is always the same since i joined years ago....perhaps if you listened to the discussions posted.....rather than your insessant know it all comments on every post, perhaps you may be taken somewhat more seriously...

a) the 3rd party decoder issue is history till somene inevitably cracks the block currently in place...think we all accept now that austar took the lazy way out coz it cost them less...

B) as i said i watch austar late night and i haven't seen any restarts....but you know everything, you think...

c) as i posted, the use of better quality cables can vastly improve what austar subcribers get through a flinders decoder so perhaps this may help those who used 3rd party decoder boxes like the mediastar which upscaled to hdmi to get exceptional picture and sound quality from austar....coz you sure as shite don't get much outta the decoder boxes without improvement...

now idiot, what is your inevitable retort going to be about .....coz sure as, you won't be able to help yourself...

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B) as i said i watch austar late night and i haven't seen any restarts....but you know everything, you think...

The restart does not necessarily happen at night, it may occur during the day. None-the-less your STBs are restarted regularly by Austar even if you won't admit to it. There are plenty of other members of this forum that are happy to state that they have observed this behaviour, but I guess they are making it up too.

c) as i posted, the use of better quality cables can vastly improve what austar subcribers get through a flinders decoder so perhaps this may help those who used 3rd party decoder boxes like the mediastar which upscaled to hdmi to get exceptional picture and sound quality from austar....coz you sure as shite don't get much outta the decoder boxes without improvement...

Which still has nothing at all to do with the topic of this thread and has been covered ad-nauseum in other threads.

Of course you have had this name since you started using it. Just the same as your other names haven't changed either. As I said, if you are going to try to pretend to be another user, its best to change your posting style.

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DrP is right. Let's say I'm and ISP and I sell modems. If I force people to use my modems, then the ACCC would be able to say "No, naughty, let people use their own modems, or else be punished, etc., etc.". However, if I run an ISP and don't sell modems, and require that my customers use my modem I provide, and only that one (I think Telstra cable fall into this category) and I don't sell Modems (like Austar, except with Pay TV and decoders), then I can say that. This is what happens with Austar.

Douglas, I think we can all agree the 3rd party issue is dead for the moment, but for those of us who were platinum austar subscribers who got a great picture outta non-austar decoders and then had to revert to a basically unwatchable product it was damn annoying regardless of austar's understandable wish to stop piracy....

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