[vdr] Re: Cheapest FF card?

Peter Dittmann peter.dittmann at philips.com
Thu Oct 19 11:02:29 CEST 2006

> On Wed, Oct 18, 2006 at 05:43:43PM +0200, Peter Dittmann wrote:
> > Partial nonsense ;-))
> > 
> > CF has nothing to do with CI and smartcards.
> > You need a CI adapter an an CAM adapter card for the smartcard.
> I find no comparison/info on CI and CF on wikipedia. Could you give 
> me some info please? How does the CAM interface with the PC? 

A DVB card (may) have a special connector for a CI interfase.
This is a card or 3 1/2" bay adapter to insert a CAM card into.
The CAM does the actual decryption or authorisation of the provider.
The smartcard is inserted into the CAM to provide the actuall 
keys/subscritions for the decryption

The CAM always interfaces with the DVB card directly as the 
decryption/authorisation is done in hardware.
For safety the authorisation data are never transfered on an open bus like 

> > 
> > Alternatively there are standalone smartcard readers (USB/serial).
> No, I clearly see it is illegal.
> > But these are not working without some legally doubtfull 
> > of VDR.
> > Beside the skipping of CI and CAM (which is patent violaton but not 
> > illegal) these can use illegal software keys, which is illegal in most 
> > the world.
> > Therefore nobody here on the list will give you any added detailes.
> NP, I am not going that route either.
> > 
> > The official method is bying a CI adapter and CAM card for your DVB 
> > Even this is a violation of some provider rules as it's not certified 
> > them.
> Never mind if it is a violation but I have no money to buy an FF card. 
Get it?
There are FF and budget DVB cards available with CI interface adapter 
(e.g. Technotrend / Hauppauge).
You need one of both WITH CI adapter as a minimum.
The CI costs around 50€ for the Technotrend/Hauppauge cards and the CAM 
is another 50..100€
This is costwise in between a plain (cheap) budget and a FF DVB card.

> So for me to view pay channels with a budget card, what do I do?
> Can I get a generic USB CI card?
> So that I place a CAM which houses a smart card to decrypt channels?

No chance here.

CI&CAM always interface directly with the DVB card (FF or budget), no 
external (USB) solution is available.
So it's eigther a DVB+CI+CAM+Smartcard or smardcard reader (USB or serial) 
+ software CAM [illegal !!!]

It's sad that there is no 'gray' softcam option that only does the CAM 
opearations in software but needs the smartcard always. This would be 
legaly a 'gray' area as it only violates patent regulations of the 
decryption owner but would not circumvent the decryption. The 'banned' 
plugin/patch combines this 'gray' CAM simulation with a fully illegal 
'simulation' of the smardcard ;-)).
It's in this respect like the 'banned' CSS library which also contains 
'illegal' CSS keys for DVD or just plainly breaks the encryption.

I belive for DVB there could be a legally acceptable version of a software 
CAM when it does CAM simmulation only.
If the keys are always from the smartcard there would be no 'illegal' 

For DVD this would only being possible if the CSS key of a 'legal' CSS 
library would be legally licenced from the DVD forum. Unfortunely this 
will (likely) never happen.

For DVB the keys are transferable on the smartcard and the smard card keys 
are legally optained by the user when he subscribes at a program provider.
So using a software CAM which uses keys from a smartcard via a card reader 
only violates patents of the decryption owner + program provider 
regulations (which CI+CAM also violates already !), but it would not being 
considered 'illegal' in europe.
The 'illegal' softcam can be stripped down to do just that (makes the use 
ethically acceptable for me as a user), but the whole tool goes beyound 
Unfortunely there may be some legal court fight neccessary to settle this 
legally as the patent owners and providers may put up a fight first agains 
whomever distributes the 'gray' CAM simulation.
So this option is also very likely not going to happen.

kind regards Peter

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