View Full Version : Sky Box Digital Interface Card
11-04-2006, 06:33 AM
I see that there is now a Digital Interface Card for certain (mainly Amstrad) Sky boxes whch converts the internal transport stream from the Sky box to a USB feed which can be processed on a PC using TSReader or VLC Media Player. The card, which looks as if it plugs into a blanked over interface socket at the back of the Amstrad boxes, is produced by Cielplus; details can be found at cielplus.com.
Their blurb says that the card will also enable the capture of FTA HD BBC channels. I wonder if, with an appropriate Sky HD card inserted ino the standard SD Amstrad box, it would also receive Sky HD channels.
Anyway, the point of this post is - does anyone think that, Sage would recognise the USB2 feed as a source, rather as if a Hauppauge USB card was plugged in, or do you imagine that some sort of plug-in would be required to be written where Sage uses the VLC player or TSReader to convert the TS stream to MPEG first?
11-04-2006, 12:32 PM
If you can construct a graph in graphedit to receive the stream you could use Anders network encoder to get it into sage. Personally I'm going down the DVB-S card route as native support is being added during the beta.
I believe Sage are intending to add DVB-S2 and h.264 for support once DVB-S is stable which would make it possible to receive SkyHD channels via a suitable card and CAM combo. BBCHD should be available with any DVB-S card once h.264 support is added.
11-05-2006, 04:43 AM
When you refer to a suitable CAM, are you referring to the Dragon / T Rex cam or are there other products available?
The problem that I see with these is that it appears that it is necessary to re-insert the Sky cards into their paired Sky box at intervals to allow updates to take place. In my case (I subscribe to multiroom) I wonder whether Sky would cease the service if the card was not always in the appropriate box.
11-05-2006, 05:49 PM
You're right, using a T.Rex you would have to put the card back in the box to receive updates periodically. The new Diablo Light CAM appears to support NDS and someone has reported that they are successfully decrypting HD channels also with this. Not yet heard if it is able to process the key updates, fingers crossed.
01-07-2007, 04:49 PM
Mark SS, Thanks very much for that info. I'm about to get sky and would be keen to get HD material straight into sage. Is there any more news if the Diablo Light CAM can process key updates and can succesfully decrypt HD channels?
01-08-2007, 03:33 AM
Not heard anything more on the key updates but it was noted on AVForums a while ago that it was struggling to decrypt in a timely fashion i.e. there was intermittent stuttering. May be resolved by updates to the software but some were suggesting that as the CAM was clocked at a lower speed than the T.Rex, it might remain a problem.
03-25-2007, 07:32 AM
So, here goes. I purchased one of the cielplus cards and installed it in the back of my Amstrad Skybox. After a false start with corrupt firmware, a replacement card installed sucessfully and I was soon being able to see the output on my PC through a copy of TSReader Lite feeding VLC Media Player. By tuning to channel 988, I am able to receive the trial BBC HD service although, to see the result, I had to feed MPlayer Clasic rather than VLC (which doesn't work with HD). I also had to purchase and load the Cyberlink H264 codec . The picture on my Sky server is very high quality although it is very juddery, hopefully due to the basic video card that is installed.
The next stage is to be able to record the result and distribute it to the client boxes. I hope, long term to use graphedit and Nolberger's Universal Network Encoder to feed Sage. The most immediate obstacle to that is that the only driver supplied by Cielplus is only suitable for TSReader so in the short term I will purchase a full copy of TSReader, which allows recording of the video file, and use the output purely for timeshifting rather than live TV. That way, the resulting file will be readable using Sage at each of the clients.
A few interesting points: The BBC HD signal, being unencrypted, is receivable without a Sky HD subscription. Clearly I will need to upgrade to HD Sky to receive the encrypted HD channels. Does anyone out there know whether a Sky HD viewing card would wok if inserted into an SD Sky box and allow me to watch the encrypted HD channels. I rather suspect that it would, assuming that the form of encryption is the same HD / SD. I suspect that the stage at which I am extracting the data from the Sky box, which appears to be after the tuning and encrypion stage, is prior to any specific HD processing would takes place in the Sky box.
Another interesting point to note is that, the full version of TS reader displays a full matrix of the EPG, rather like Sage, allowing unattended recordings to take place. The software also is capable of writing an XML extract of the EPG data which might be an alternative to the XML download of the RT XML data used currently.
I don't know if I will ever succeed in getting the extracted stream directly into Sage from the card; if nyone can add any suggestions for writing the source driver file it would be interesting.
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