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Decrypting HD Recordings

Dodgexander

Moderator
I am looking for a way to record in HD and to be able to archive these recordings to view later on my media server.

I understand its in the specification to encrypt HD recordings which is why most STB`s support the transfer of SD recordings via USB/Network only.

I wondered if anyone could suggest the best way to do this. Perhaps someone on here has better knowledge than me.

Possible options:

Humax HD/HDR FOX T2 with custom firmware. The HDR being the easiest to do this with as you can run decryption in the background.

PCTV Nanostick 290e T2 or the Blackgold BGT3620 . Can't for the life of me find out if HD Recordings can be transferred after recording with these. Does anyone know? Is there pc software to decrypt?

Obviously if anyone else has any other suggestions they would be welcome.

Apart from the ability to transfer recordings the other must have for me is the Transcoding of HE-AAC to Dolby Digital. I know the PCTV stick supports this using its own software but not media centre. I also know the humax boxes support this too. Just unsure about the BlackGold.
 

Boostrail

Distinguished Member
AFAIK The transfer of Broadcast HD recordings from one device or media to another is not possible due to HDCP.Notwithstanding this PVR's be they Freeview, or Sky or Cable record the as received actual digital stream. This is totally different from other HD format vidoeo files such as AVCHD.

HDCP also blocks te recording of HD from the likes of i-player etc.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
AFAIK The transfer of Broadcast HD recordings from one device or media to another is not possible due to HDCP.Notwithstanding this PVR's be they Freeview, or Sky or Cable record the as received actual digital stream. This is totally different from other HD format vidoeo files such as AVCHD.

HDCP also blocks te recording of HD from the likes of i-player etc.

The Op wants to transfer recordings from a hdd either by usb or direct to a PC not via a hdmi lead - hdcp only applies to hdmi connections.

Both Freeview-HD and Freesat-HD isn't encrypted at source, the stream is encrypted after decoding in the box and then copied to the hdd. Apart from the encryption the data is AVCHD (H264/AVC). When available without encryption the files are near identical to HD files produced by a AVCHD HD camcorder.

Both htpc DVB-T2 cards and Generic fta HD pvr ready DVB-S2 satellite set top boxes will record the H264 data as transmitted.

In the case of the HDR FOX T2 the op refers to, all recordings are encrypted when copying to disc. Copying SD recordings to usb removes the encryption, the box can be fooled into doing the same for HD recordings using Foxy or the custom firmware.

The Foxsat-hdr can also record HD data without encryption by simply using it as a generic fta pvr.

Apart from confirming that these files can be played using a media server. A PS3 works, I can't really add anything to what the OP already knows about the HDR FOX T2.
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
Looks like im stuck in the same hole as I was beforeand trying to find out which boxes do or don't transcode in to 5.1 Dolby Digital.

Such limited information for advance features, yet if i want to find a box that supports sky or bbc i player that would be easy!
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Looks like im stuck in the same hole as I was beforeand trying to find out which boxes do or don't transcode in to 5.1 Dolby Digital.

Such limited information for advance features, yet if i want to find a box that supports sky or bbc i player that would be easy!

It's not hard to convert aac to ac3 on a PC. It's a much faster process than having to recode the video. Of course that doesn't help with using a AV amp with a live transmission. Bear in mind those that do transcode you still have to cope with aac on the digital recording. (Just in case you think that the ac3 replaces the aac on the recording - it doesn't)
 

Boostrail

Distinguished Member
Quote from Glt:-

Both Freeview-HD and Freesat-HD isn't encrypted at source, the stream is encrypted after decoding in the box and then copied to the hdd. Apart from the encryption the data is AVCHD (H264/AVC). When available without encryption the files are near identical to HD files produced by a AVCHD HD camcorder.

Er are you sure? I remember from a thread years ago which I cannot find by search that all PVR's be they Freeview,Freesat, Sky or Cable all recorded in a demultiplexed DVB or dependant on platform similar format. :confused:

Irrespective of this my understanding of HDCP is that it obstructs any copying of broadcast HD by any means not just HDMI.

I cannot recall anyone successfuly copying recorded broadcast HD to another media/device by any means that is legit on this forum - although I have seen a few "grey" suggestions that might work.:)
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Well its looking like the Humax is the only option thanks to the custom firmware.

I suppose its worth spending the extra dosh on something that can record 2 things at once and is dedicated, compared to a single tuner card that may do the job.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Quote from Glt:-



Er are you sure? I remember from a thread years ago which I cannot find by search that all PVR's be they Freeview,Freesat, Sky or Cable all recorded in a demultiplexed DVB or dependant on platform similar format. :confused:

Irrespective of this my understanding of HDCP is that it obstructs any copying of broadcast HD by any means not just HDMI.

I cannot recall anyone successfuly copying recorded broadcast HD to another media/device by any means that is legit on this forum - although I have seen a few "grey" suggestions that might work.:)

Positive. HDCP is a handshaking protocol for HDMI cables. Any device with hdmi out is required to identify the destination as a display by exchanging data in the handshake procedure.

PVR's normally record standard transport stream files (mpeg2 for SD, H264/AVC for HD). They sometimes contain other data as well (the transport stream format allows this). Topfield .rec files for instance have all the details like channel, recording time, programme synopsis within the .ts. Humax use sidecar files containing this data.

Topfield and the Humax 9200 SD pvrs have the capability to copy these to usb. As does the Foxsat-hdr and HDR FOX T2. Comversion of mpeg2 transport stream files to programme stream .mpg for DVD is completely lossless.

Encryption is switched on by a flag in the broadcast stream. For months after BBC1-HD launched on satellite the flag wasn't present so recordings made during this period aren't encrypted even on Freesat+ pvrs.

I have the two Royal Wedding transmissions archived on blu-ray recorded using a fta mode sat box.


Free To Air kit ignores the flag anyway, only Freesat kit is obliged to encrypt.

Google Raydons Foxy and look at the Custom Firmware threads for the Humax Freeview boxes on Hummy.TV. There is an option to auto decrypt HD content recorded on the HDR FOX T2.

It is of course illegal to reverse engineer a decrypted file, that's not being done here even with the HDR FOX T2 the box does the decrypting. There is no hacking of the encryption alogorithm involved.
 
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grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Ah yes, so the fact it becomes un-flagged to be encrypted in the first place avoids illegal "cracking".

Its a shame it isn't just the same as with SD.

Any idea why the specification brings this encryption in to play compared to SD?

I imagine it's a digital rights issue down to the programme makers. Seems a bit daft on satellite as there are dozens of pvr ready HD fta boxes. DVB-T2 solutions outside Freeview-HD specced boxes are harder to find. I have a single tuner Ross one, came in a portable kit from Aldi. Records to a usb drive.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
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Dodgexander

Moderator
DVB-T2 solutions outside Freeview-HD specced boxes are harder to find

Hard to find or non existent? I haven't seen any unofficial freeview HD solutions.

Now I understand because you have been able to point a dish at different satellites for decades to get different free channels means some boxes aren't always freesat certified, but as freeview is suppose to be "free to air" isn't it a mockery that they add restrictions to HD ? Of course copyright laws remain the same as the days of VHS, but why should it have to change between satellite and freeview or sd and hd?

If you pay your tv license then why can't you record a HD program to view in a different part of the house? Instead of encryption they would be much better employing some kind of protection that limits the playback to 3 devices similar to the protection used with digital music.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
If you pay your tv license then why can't you record a HD program to view in a different part of the house? Instead of encryption they would be much better employing some kind of protection that limits the playback to 3 devices similar to the protection used with digital music.

You can. A HDR FOX T2 will stream HD recordings to another HDR FOX T2 or a HD FOX T2. Note you can't stream from a HD FOX T2.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
But will these let you record in HD and transfer it? Do they support transcoding of 5.1 HE-AAC to dolby digital? Seems theres no way to find out!

If you are recording to a PC transcoding of the audio can be done by software. Why would they encrypt the video they aren't Freeview+ specced devices so would surely record the programme stream as is. Same applies to decrypted recordings from HDR FOX T2, converting the aac audio track to ac3 is easy if you have the file on a PC.

Read the review and the comments

Freeview HD and 5.1 sound
Hi,

Two methods that I know of:

1. Get a soundcard with DTS Connect or Dolby Digital Live, such as Creative's X-Fi or Auzentech's range of cards. These convert the 5.1 stream into a DTS or Dolby Digital stream that an AV receiver can decode.

2. It's also possible to use the HDMI passthrough from an ATI graphics card. HDMI goes into my Yamaha AV amp, and carries 5.1 sound and 1080P images from there.

Of course, I assume it is also possible to just get a 5.1 soundcard to output through bog-standard PC speakers.

It's worth noting that only certain HD progs actually have surround sound, though. Lots of them say 5.1 when the rear channels are doing precisely nothing at all.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Well supposing with the blackgold you want to record a HD program in 5.1 Sound.

The Blackgold cards don't come with any of their own software, meaning windows media center would need to be used.

The windows media foundation codecs as far as i'm aware do not transcode HE-AAC audio in to Dolby Digital. For the audio to work you would need a source filter supporting HE-AAC (which WM7 does not have), a decoder that post processes the stream and then outputs it trans-coded in to 5.1 Dolby.

At the moment media center converts the 5.1 HE-AAC in to a stereo PCM source (the same as some STB's do too).

What I'm saying is, its all well being able to use DD Live or DTS Connect, but if they are only being sent a stereo signal to begin with, or no signal at all (since WM7 doesn't recognize it) then it won't give you true surround.

Windows Experts Community

Seems the only way would be to tweak the audio decoder used in windows media center.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
But the soundcard needs to receive from the stream that the audio is 5.1. It can't do this unless the decoder understands HE-AAC correctly and interprets its 6 channels.

If it just sees 2 channel, then you will be just trans-coding stereo in to 6 channel.

The sound card has aac 5.1 drivers and full mixer capability. They have s/pdif outputs as well. I don't see the problem.

A little searching found this. Assuming the link doesn't get zapped

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=42602

If it does Google

sound cards that support dolby digital live AAC 5.1 to DD 5.1


There's a usb DVB-T2 tuner here.

Hauppauge PCTV Nanostick T2 290e - DVB-T HDTV receiver - Hi-Speed USB - External
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
This seems a way to achieve it on a PC.

HE-AAC may be treated different from normal AAC though, so not sure if it will be hardware decoded.

Transcoding on the fly by software as in post 17. It's a technique often used to stream recordings from a PC to a smart TV and change it's format to make it compatible. The conversion capability of a Humax Freeview box from aac to ac3 didn't require new hardware, just a firmware upgrade.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Well despite the distinct lack of options at least I know definitely where I stand.

I will probably go with the Humax HDR in the living room and the dual tuner blackgold card in the bedroom.

Thanks for all your help Boostrail & grahamlthompson
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Well despite the distinct lack of options at least I know definitely where I stand.

I will probably go with the Humax HDR in the living room and the dual tuner blackgold card in the bedroom.

Thanks for all your help Boostrail & grahamlthompson

A PC might be a bad option for a bedroom they aren't exactly silent. Why not a second Humax and let them talk to each other ? They can stream recordings to each other without decrypting the recorded files.
 

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