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Sky firmware 'crack'

Discussion in 'Sky Forum' started by penfold77, Nov 28, 2009.

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  1. penfold77

    penfold77 Member

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    Is there anyway to 'crack' the Sky firmware so I can use the box as a freesat receiver with a recorder in it?

    I've just cancelled my Sky HD subs and it seems a waste to have a box just sat in the loft doing nothing.
  2. Maxtoon

    Maxtoon Member

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    you've just answered your own question ..... get freesat !!

    no firmware cracks available for Sky HD so if you still want to watch/record HD with your SkyHD box you'll just have to re-subscribe. They make a great paperweight or doorstop though ..
  3. mwallan

    mwallan Member

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    I thought that with one of the sky boxes you could do this with a hack, had to be a specific model cant remember which one ......
  4. Siamese Cat

    Siamese Cat Member

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    Sell it & put the money towards a Freesat recorder.
  5. Tfish

    Tfish Member

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    can you not record "freesat from sky"?
  6. technowizard

    technowizard Member

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    Not without paying £10 a month recording fee.
  7. logiciel

    logiciel Moderator

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    If there was it would NOT be discussed in the forum. Logiciel
  8. penfold77

    penfold77 Member

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    Is there an issue with flashing the firmware of a piece of kit that's out of warranty and that I own? Similar to flashing a router?

    Not being funny, would just like to know.
  9. penfold77

    penfold77 Member

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    Just so people are clear, I'm not trying to get channels for free. I would just like to use the box as a PVR with the free to air channels.

    Also, so you know I have a Foxsat HDR ready to go when my sky subs run out in 12 days, it's more a question of curiosity.
  10. The SMF

    The SMF Well-Known Member

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    i wouldnt worry about it then, just use your foxsat box in 12 days, then sell your sky box to get some cash back
  11. logiciel

    logiciel Moderator

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    OK - it's maybe on the margin of right and wrong - Sky charge you to use Sky+ and if you find a way to use it without paying then....?
  12. davemurgatroyd2

    davemurgatroyd2 Active Member

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    It is illegal to modify the existing code and reflash the box with that BUT it is totally legal to completely rewrite the firmware using none of the existing code and flash that to the box.
  13. 5to1

    5to1 Member

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    I believe Sky's charges are for access to the EPG without which the box is unable to record.

    Any hacks which allowed you to access that without paying would be as illegal as hacks which allowed you watch sub channels without paying.

    However, since you own the box after the first 12 months, I don't see how reflashing it to use alternative firmware and EPG data could be construed as actionable even by Sky.

    If you altered the existing firmware to use a different set of EPG data there may be a grey line, as Sky may try to argue modification of their firmware is prohibited under the license agreement embedded in the literature that comes with Sky+ equipment (EULA equivelant). But I'm yet to see a single software supplier try to enforce such terms, as I'm sure they are aware they wouldn't stand up well against our fair use rights :rolleyes:

    Instead what they do is scare the doo doo out of sites like these, so that the majority of people can't even discuss alternative uses for the hardware they own :(
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. Funky Diver

    Funky Diver Member

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    As 5to1 has intimated... it's intellectual property rights based.

    IF you had a complete software suite that you installed on the box to work to do what you want it to, there isn't (technically) and issue.

    Using the software in your box currently and then modifying it is hte same as using a cracked copy of Windaz XP, aka illegal under all the piracy laws that exist.

    Part of the charges thast you would be paying to Sky includes an element of licensing fee payable to content producers to allow you to record content on your hard drive.
  15. 5to1

    5to1 Member

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    As per my previous post I disagree with this point. It is prohibited within the licensing terms of most software these days, but that doesn't make it illegal.

    Infact your post just highlights my qualms about the tactics of software vendors in throttling free debate on this subject. I've lost count of the number of websites which will equate modification of software as the same as copying ilegally and the two are simply not comparable.

    There are no instances under which you can legaly crack and use software which you have not paid for and have no other rights to use.

    However, there are instances under which your fair use rights would supercede the "no alterations" clauses in software. IMO this is definately one of those cases. As without altering the software key parts of the hardware you have purchased are useless.

    The following is a facetious example to highlight why fair use rights exist and are important:

    You buy a laptop from company A, who has licened the bios/firnware/other sw in the laptop from company B. The bios/firmware/other sw on seeing internet access checks for an update with a server and stops all other activities until it receives a response. Company A goes bankrupt and Company B cuts all access to the server for its products.

    Without our fair use rights, in those circumstances you would be at the mercy of Company B. Or have to rely on someone to rewrite the bios from scratch. Infact it would be perfectly reasonable for someone to release code to nop that update check, and company B (license terms/IP rights and all) would hold little chance of preventing that.

    However, since you no longer sub to any of Sky's sub channels you wouldn't be able to record those, therefore would not be liable to pay those charges.

    The £10 Sky+ charge is for the EPG data, as if there were any licensing fee's payable to FTA/FTV channels, you'd have to pay a recurring charge for any PVR capable of receiving those channels. Which ofcourse you do not, thankfully :)
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  16. Starburst

    Starburst Active Member

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    The EPG is supplied to every SKY box as it's funded by payments from the likes of the BBC and ITV and regulated by OFCOM, SKY can not differentiate between a SKY box being used to watch the free digital channels or one that has been worked on to allow the PVR functions to work so can not block the EPG which is such a basic cornerstone of the service and of course it's the smartcards that control pretty much everything (which is why people have maintained the SKY+ service by not using the smartcard for around 3 months and missing the kill commands).

    The bottom line is that while you can personally do anything you want to a SKY+ box if you then use it to gain access to services are not paying for there are legal steps any service provider or intellectual property owner can explore if they ever became aware of the fact.
    It was like that guy in Liverpool a few months back selling hacked kit which allowed multiple boxes to decode SKY using a single smartcard, if he did it in his own home no one the wiser but selling it opened him up to discovery and legal action. Same for the chipped cable boxes and all sorts of other ways people try to exploit technological loopholes to get something for nothing or increase the capabilities of the hardware (region free hardware hack for DVD players etc).

    As for AVF themselves they are well within their rights not to allow discussion on the methodology of such experiments be they on ex-sub SKY+ hardware or VM hardware, yes the individual may not be chased down by the big bad corporation but a business like AVF has status and will be dragged through the courts after a certain line is crossed, why risk it when anyone who has used the internet for more that an hour will know the first step in finding information.

    Google is our friend, you just have to phrase the search parameters correctly and if you can not do that then forget about getting the soldering iron out or flashing chips:)
  17. alexs2

    alexs2 Senior Moderator

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    This is getting way beyond the original scope of the post,which in itself would contravene the terms and conditions of use of the box.

    The thread is now closed.
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