"Pirated Set Top Boxes"

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Gavin Scott
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Fri 06 Jan, 2006 01.31

This is maybe a thread for the other place, but meh.

There is an advert on TV at the moment which tells of the worries of buying a "pirated set top box".

"They are often unreliable" the voice-over man chimes.

Couple of things spring to mind:

Who cares if the box is "often unreliable" when you bought it for 30 notes. Its hardly going to come with a warranty, is it? Buy another.

and more importantly:

I didn't have the first clue that such things existed. Now I bloody do, as does half the country.

I don't know if the advert referred to satellite or cable, but a less scrupulous character might be inclined to find out. I was blissfully ignorant that there was a way round paying for it, but the interest (hypothetically speaking) of me and no doubt millions of others has been piqued.

Isn't this advert an astonishing own goal?
James Martin
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Fri 06 Jan, 2006 01.47

Only for anoraks really, or people who like getting knock-off stuff... but everyone's secretly at it.

I imagine 80% of the regular posters here have, and in cases are running, non-kosher versions of Windows 2000 or XP!

Pirated cards I can understand. But pirated BOXES I can't get my head around.
Chris
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Fri 06 Jan, 2006 01.55

Pirated boxes are probably referring to cable television boxes - whilst the box itself isn't pirated per se, there are modifications made to the innards of the box, and the chip on the smartcard that enable it to bypass the return path checking or use copied encryption keys in order to be able to get free TV. Hence the loose terming of 'piracy' - OK, it's a man in the street friendly term, and technically it is piracy and theft as you are obtaining something which you aren't paying for and also hacking the encryption too.

For the record, I have to point out that I have never used or nor own a hacked cable TV box. I would assume that it would be fairly easy to find such pirated cable modems and set top boxes on the CATV network and cut off their tap in the street. And obtaining such a thing would be made harder if the companies came and collected the damn boxes in the first place once the user had ended their sub - just search for cable boxes on eBay and you'll see what I mean. I would also suspect a number of bent techies pinching boxes for their own gain would also be another problem.
James H
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Fri 06 Jan, 2006 01.59

James Martin wrote:Only for anoraks really, or people who like getting knock-off stuff... but everyone's secretly at it.

I imagine 80% of the regular posters here have, and in cases are running, non-kosher versions of Windows 2000 or XP!

Pirated cards I can understand. But pirated BOXES I can't get my head around.
Is this like people who sell their old set top boxes as they don't need them anymore, and they find their way onto the electronics market?
Cheese Head
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Fri 06 Jan, 2006 07.45

Chris wrote:Pirated boxes are probably referring to cable television boxes - whilst the box itself isn't pirated per se, there are modifications made to the innards of the box, and the chip on the smartcard that enable it to bypass the return path checking or use copied encryption keys in order to be able to get free TV. Hence the loose terming of 'piracy' - OK, it's a man in the street friendly term, and technically it is piracy and theft as you are obtaining something which you aren't paying for and also hacking the encryption too.

For the record, I have to point out that I have never used or nor own a hacked cable TV box. I would assume that it would be fairly easy to find such pirated cable modems and set top boxes on the CATV network and cut off their tap in the street. And obtaining such a thing would be made harder if the companies came and collected the damn boxes in the first place once the user had ended their sub - just search for cable boxes on eBay and you'll see what I mean. I would also suspect a number of bent techies pinching boxes for their own gain would also be another problem.
Yeah I read about all that jazz on some nerdy website.

Its as simple as (apparantly) opening the box, and finding the circuit that talks back to the company and making sure, it, erm, doesnt talk.

Its simple enough that bit - but its a bit iffy doing the cards. I never got how to do the cards...

at all...

ever...

Meh, instead of hacking the box your better off buying one of them cheapo dishes and fta boxes - "for the free music videos" (ahem, copious amount of free german porno.)
» James »
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Dr Lobster*
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Fri 06 Jan, 2006 10.39

does anybody know if the pirated cards for sky boxes actually work? and if so how long for? i couple of people have offered me them and i've turned them down because i don't think they work at all or for very long.


i know for certain the 9v battery trick works with free box office movies
SteveL
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Fri 06 Jan, 2006 10.54

Gavin Scott wrote:There is an advert on TV at the moment which tells of the worries of buying a "pirated set top box".

"They are often unreliable" the voice-over man chimes.
I've not seen the ad, but the one I got from a friend's friend a few weeks ago worked perfectly at his house (I'm waiting for the weather to get a bit warmer before I put up the minidish at mine, though). It's a decent Humax digibox, and not likely to break any time soon. As you say, so what if it does, it only needs to last a couple of months before it's paid off the stupidly high £42.50/mo subscription (plus films).
James Martin wrote:Pirated cards I can understand. But pirated BOXES I can't get my head around.
With chipped boxes, you can get all channels including the Movie channels without the problem of the box wanting to 'phone home' to check you've got a valid card.

Morals, you ask? It's not like Murdoch has any :roll: he and News Corporation have dodged many billions of tax over the past few years alone.
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nidave
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Wed 11 Jan, 2006 15.04

SteveL wrote: With chipped boxes, you can get all channels including the Movie channels without the problem of the box wanting to 'phone home' to check you've got a valid card.

.
You only have a £70 credit limit on the boxes for Sky box office and PPV events then the box has to "call home" to pass that informaiton to sky.
cable boxes have a limit they will reach before needing to use the return path (you can see this in the engineers menu but cant change this).

I beleve ntl are introducing measures that require the box to have a return path (ie they have to call in at least once a week or whatever) if they cant do itafter a period of time they shut down. I also have heard they are issuing new cards and upgrading the encryption system.
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marksi
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Wed 11 Jan, 2006 16.51

In ye olde dayes of ON Digital and the days of an "encryption system" that was hackable using the remote control and a programmable card (and that's not a lie - I did it myself - for test purposes, naturally) people were selling "pirate" boxes which appeared to work with no card at all.

In fact they had simply cut a programmable card in half so there was no card sticking out of the box. It would have ceased to work within a month as that was the frequency of the encryption algorithm change.

Still, with an internet connection and the remote control you'd be happy enough if you knew what you were doing...
shaun
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Wed 11 Jan, 2006 19.30

SteveL wrote:
Gavin Scott wrote:There is an advert on TV at the moment which tells of the worries of buying a "pirated set top box".

"They are often unreliable" the voice-over man chimes.
I've not seen the ad, but the one I got from a friend's friend a few weeks ago worked perfectly at his house (I'm waiting for the weather to get a bit warmer before I put up the minidish at mine, though). It's a decent Humax digibox, and not likely to break any time soon. As you say, so what if it does, it only needs to last a couple of months before it's paid off the stupidly high £42.50/mo subscription (plus films).
James Martin wrote:Pirated cards I can understand. But pirated BOXES I can't get my head around.
With chipped boxes, you can get all channels including the Movie channels without the problem of the box wanting to 'phone home' to check you've got a valid card.

Morals, you ask? It's not like Murdoch has any :roll: he and News Corporation have dodged many billions of tax over the past few years alone.
You do need a SKY digibox to receive sky unless murdoch has decided to make a CAM (which is unlikely).

Or, someone's finally hacked Videoguard and created a CAM to go with it.
cwathen
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Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Wed 11 Jan, 2006 21.35

For the record, I have to point out that I have never used or nor own a hacked cable TV box.
Why do people feel the need to write statements like that 'for the record'. Who keeps this record? It's not like anything would happen to you if you didn't say it.
does anybody know if the pirated cards for sky boxes actually work? and if so how long for? i couple of people have offered me them and i've turned them down because i don't think they work at all or for very long.
AFAIK, Sky Digital (box office excepted) is still 100% secure. There are no pirated cards, no CAMs, no way of accessing it without a Sky Digibox and a subscription. Those who claim to have succesfully hacked it have never published how they've done it. I wouldn't recommend buying them.

Pirate cable TV cards however are quite a different story.
In ye olde dayes of ON Digital and the days of an "encryption system" that was hackable using the remote control and a programmable card (and that's not a lie - I did it myself - for test purposes, naturally) people were selling "pirate" boxes which appeared to work with no card at all.
Now *those* were the days. Once a month you had to get the unlock codes which went with your particular card (Secannix/Kevlar being the most popular) and enter them in through changing the parental lock code several times.

Has to win the 'feeblest attempt at attempting to enrypt pay TV ever' award (well, apart from the PC software that could decode VideoCrypt, that is)
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