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If its linux based give the communinty a chance to look at the code

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by elas123, Jan 10, 2007.

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  1. elas123

    elas123 Legend

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    Earl if the security is in place, cant directv make the source code available for people to look at and maybe give suggestions or correction. This maybe stupid but maybe there are ppl here that could see problems!
     
  2. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    In a perfect world, this would be a great solution. I just don't think there's a NDA strong enough to cover releasing the source code on a developing retail product.
     
  3. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    I don't know the answer to this, but here is my speculation:

    I'm almost positive that the HR20 uses the Broadcom BCM7038 as the CPU. This chip has some decoding capabilities. In addition, the HR20 has the BCM7411 for the primary MPEG4 decoding operations. I also believe that DirecTV uses some "retail" version of Linux that runs on the BCM7038 processor which would mean that they wouldn't have any legal reason to release the source code.
     
  4. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Let's put it this way.

    The Chicago Cubs would have to be playing the Chicago White Sox in the world series... for a game 7 that goes 37 innings... and the Major Leagues call it a tie... before you see the source code for the HR20... ;)
     
  5. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Not quite sure what you're saying, Doug --

    If it's Linux or some other X flavor, then sure we could all get the OS pretty easy, but I think that it's the HR20-specific code that's really the issue, not the core OS. Just because it was built on an open-source OS doesn't mean that the HR20 code is open source or protected by GPL.

    Sure I'd love to get my hands on it and see what's wrong but what's to stop me from customizing it to my heart's delight? With enough time I'd figure out how new firmware gets loaded, write my own and put it on the HR20. I think we've seen D*'s stance on hacking, and [given this forum's rules] I understand.
     
  6. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Let's just say I agree with Earl. Anything that DirecTV has that should be Open is probably from somewhere else (my speculation). Anything that DirecTV has created on their own, no way in .. well, you get the picture. :)
     
  7. Spanky_Partain

    Spanky_Partain Active Member

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    Then we could blame each other instead of the common love/hate relation we currently have with D* if we got our hands on the code! :lol:

    Even though it would be fun to poke around in the code and give suggestions on where things might could use some tweaking, think of it as your 5 year old talking to you at the same time you are trying to get a bid out on a job that will make you or break your business. D* won't give you check-in capabilities and the developers have enough on their plate instead of trying suggestions from individuals who don't have the BIG PICTURE information. Would be fun though!

    Should it be open source? I can tell you right now, there are good reasons why everything is not open source. Somebody comes up with a HD chipset that has FLB buffers, four channel PIP in HD, internet download capabilities, retrieve anything from your server and use it, and it only costs $299. The only thing you need is the code to do all this on your hardware. You got the code and it is open source. Guess who will be building and selling the product? Anybody who wants too!

    Anyway...
    Here is a link to the Broadcom BCM7038 if you want to take a look at it...
    http://www.broadcom.com/collateral/pb/7038-PB01-R.pdf
     
  8. solo1026

    solo1026 Legend

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    Chicago Cubs!!! It will never happen:uglyhamme Does anyone know why? HEHE
     
  9. dewalt

    dewalt Cool Member

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    If it was linux, with a most likely modified kernel, wouldn't they have to publish their changes? I know Tivo does.
     
  10. linuxworks

    linuxworks Legend

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    they should have to. but that is not the value-add, I don't think.

    talking to their custom chips, THAT is value add.

    decrypting all that encrypted mess - THAT is value add. and people would just LOVE to be able to see the logic of how to decode satellite streams! ;)

    you'd need (maybe) an ICE or at least a logic analyzer (it IS am embedded system, afterall) to fix tough problems. you'd need a lot of things to really be effective in hacking and fixing things.

    someday, HD will be 'broken' (figured out) and then we can get around all this HDMI protection nonsense, be able to use a regular old linux pc to do our recording and playback, etc. we can do all that today with SD - but the media companies are trying their best to have the HD generation NOT have the same freedoms that we won for ourselves, before.

    give it time. for me, the commercial products that do dvr are just a stop-gap measure until the encryption from cable cards and so on is broken and we can finally have control restored back to us, the consumers.

    but in the meantime, expect a big fight. heck, I can't even get dvi->hdmi to run my lcd tv at full native res. I have to fallback to vga (sigh) since the vendors and standards bodies built in a layer of politics in the tech standards for HD ;(

    I am only with the set top boxes for as long as I have to. I do dream of the day when we can have the same freedoms on HD that we 'enjoy' on SD.
     
  11. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    It's not an HD vs SD thing

    It is an Analog vs Digital thing.

    Just so happens that HD is broadcasted in the Digital arena.
     
  12. macEarl

    macEarl Godfather

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    Isn't that only for GPL'd content? Just because something runs under GNU/Linux doesn't mean it's open source. If you develop in gcc, I think the only requirement is to not strip the object files - but it's been a long while...
     
  13. Spanky_Partain

    Spanky_Partain Active Member

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    If you feel like reading a long article from the considered "experts" about open source, the comparisons, and where it is heading, then take a look at this link...

    http://catb.org/~esr/writings/world-domination/world-domination-201.html

    Basically, he is promoting closed source on certain things, such as drivers, so new hardware can be introduced to Linux faster without having to provide source to avoid the "tainted kernel".
     
  14. chrisfowler99

    chrisfowler99 Legend

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    So you're saying there's a chance...
     
  15. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    There is always a chance....
     
  16. elas123

    elas123 Legend

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    but if the box updates itself, directv has ultimate control over the software being installed. if they have the right security inplace. the box will know if modified software is on the box and update accordingly. jsut a thought
     
  17. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    And that is exactly what happens on the DTivo R10 model.
     
  18. elas123

    elas123 Legend

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    earl what with having to replace the chip to mod it?
     
  19. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Yep... That is why you have to replace the prom chip in the R10... to stop it from replacing the modified code segments.

    And that is as far as I want to "delv" into that topic... ;)
     
  20. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Another thing to also consider. Unlike some companies where any developer can look at all the code in an application, Directv has IP that must be very carefully protected (namely the DRM) that some people have paid huge $$ to break. I've read stories of people taking their BUD STB from scientific atlanta to labs with electron microscopes to figure out how they work! (Actually some cool articles, :) )

    So I would not be surprised if Directv is more compartmentalized. There very well could be sections of the code that very few people are allowed to see. (Especially anything involving decoding, decrypting, PPV, etc.)

    I think Earl has overestimated the odds in his example. :( The Cubs and Sox might some year actually see each other in the WS.

    Though it was a very good indicator of the ballpark odds...(yeah, shoot me, pun was intended, I need to go back to my cage again.)

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
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