Digital interface panel on Amstrad Sky digital box

BAD Dave

Novice Member
Looking throught the instruction of my Amstrad Sky Digital box (page 49), the rear of the unit appears to have a "general purpose Digital Interface", protected by a covering plate.
For "future plug in modules", apparantly. Any ideas what this means?

Has anyone peered underneath to see what is hiding? A digital output perhaps? If so, why does it need to be hidden?

If no-one can enlighten me I will take off the plate and have a look this week-end!
 
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TheGreatLordOz

Guest
i asked this question once before on digital spy but no on could help i just got a sarcastic comment, its for a digital interface. anyway, i'v looked nto it, its just alot of metal spikes n the green base there attached to, im not very tecnical with teh insides of tecno.
 

Starburst

Novice Member
It's part of the standard spec for all digiboxes so it's inclusion considering there must be a price knock on would indicate someone was planned.
There has long been rumours that PACE developed an addon for DD5.1 on a standard digibox and recently it's use as a method to contect a digibox to a broadband source has also been mentioned.
 

BAD Dave

Novice Member
Thanks for that guys.
 
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bobgriffiths

Guest
I remember actually seeing a picture of the optical out put adaptor for any sky box made by pace (in i think What hifi years ago before Sky plus). but aparrently its down to Sky to enable the feature just as sony boxes had a optical output this output wasnt enabled .

I think sky are really missing out on a market if they shipped a adaptor to people who wanted DD output (at a resonable charge£50-100?)and charged a sub each month (£1.00-£5.00)i bet quite a few would pay .a lot of people dont want a sky plus box especially a soft picture V2 box but want dolby dig.now if they enabled DTS as well .I would definately but one.

what does anyone else think ?
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
Originally posted by bobgriffiths
but aparrently its down to Sky to enable the feature just as sony boxes had a optical output this output wasnt enabled .
Sky added digital optical out feature to Sony digiboxes's firmware years ago, it's one of the reasons they still fetch high prices on eBay.

StooMonster
 
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bobgriffiths

Guest
cool i didnt know that they updated the firmware .I know of people who bought the boxes when they first came out and then sold them when sky plus first came out just because of the Dolby digital output.
 

Starburst

Novice Member
The optical output works but the digibox does not support DD5.1 audio which wasn't clear at the time and hence the boom in the second hand market for the SONY models:)
 

URL

Member
Chaps

I think the option the original poster was asking about is the CAM slot.

This allows a PCMCIA CAM (conditional Access Module) to be inserted.

A change of CAM would be required if SKY changed thier encryption.

In the big bad (!) world of DVB, there are several CAM's around... letting to receive lots and lots of interesting stuff...

Unfortunately, Sky's box is tied down...

D
 
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bobgriffiths

Guest
So starburst its Not Dolby digital then? i knew you could get a stereo feed out of it .

And djblack the "general purpose digital interface " as mentioned by the original poster was designed to be general. for several things that Might come up . As i said Pace designed a optical out put to fit in this interface . so the spec must be quite general and not just for CAMS
 

Starburst

Novice Member
Originally posted by bobgriffiths
So starburst its Not Dolby digital then? i knew you could get a stereo feed out of it .

And djblack the "general purpose digital interface " as mentioned by the original poster was designed to be general. for several things that Might come up . As i said Pace designed a optical out put to fit in this interface . so the spec must be quite general and not just for CAMS



SONY may or may not have intended the optical output to support DD audio, I do not know but SKY+ for instance has a Dolby licensed chip inside something as far as I know the SONY does not have however I've never had my hands on that model to have a good look around:)

I suspect SONY being at the higher end price wise for consumer electronics included the optical output to justify the higher prices they were charging SKY compared to other manufacturers. The end result of course was that SKY always looking for bargins bought more and cheaper models from PACE etc and SONY stopped making there models.
Some Freeview manufacturers have included an optical output to stand out from the pack of boxes that are built to a price point but can they actually pass on a DD signal to a suitable amp IF a DTT channel ever supplied one?

I would put cold hard cash on the table in regards to the interface being unable to support any sort of third party CAM, SKY rely on the embedded Videoguard CAM not only for fantastic security but to control the subscribers access to further revenue generating services. The lack of a CAM slot in the digibox design also precludes any serious move by any regulator into forcing SKY into any movie that would weaken their business, I would be shocked if that option had been included back in '97 when SKY were looking at digital to remove all piracy problems and be a revenue generator in it's own right.
 

hornydragon

Well-known Member
Wasnt there a court case a whiole ago were sky were told they had to allow a CAM for there encryption??? or has BBC going FTA stopped the need for that?
 

Starburst

Novice Member
Originally posted by hornydragon
Wasnt there a court case a whiole ago were sky were told they had to allow a CAM for there encryption??? or has BBC going FTA stopped the need for that?



There is an oft quoted EU directive that normally gets mentioned whenever SKY and it's encryption are discussed, not by me you understand but there are some on other forums that seem to consider it there calling to bash SKY over the head with a big vlub whenever they get the chance, right or wrong:)

However I do not know the ins and outs or even if there is any directive on encryption and it's control and access but since SKY have done nothing to weaken it's encryption nor weaken it's business model then no doubt if there is such a directive then it's so weak it might as well not exist.
 

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