Foxtel (& Optus) Unencrypted Cable User-guide
Foxtel (& Optus) Unencrypted Cable User-guide
Thunder from down under go najdov ova na internet pisuvano bese od nekoj fox_cable za kablovska televizija vo Avstralia ,bi trebalo da e isto vo cel svet primer ako imas kablovska televizija doma Foxtel ili bilo koja, a sakas da gledas i na kompjuter , objasnuva kako ,posto kablovskite kompanii gi encryptuvaat kanalite , i slikata ili mrdat mnogu ili boite ponekogas se gledaat kako "negativ" Foxtel (& Optus) Unencrypted Cable User-guide If you need help www.austech.info has a Cable Television forum, but be sure to stick to the forum rules. I reserve the right to ignore all emails, please respect that I donate my own spare time to the upkeep and administration of this documentation. 0.0 Explanation / Legal Every thing in this guide is all the info and questions that I wish I had access to when I was first looking into this subject.. and as such, I hope I can help out others in getting this setup. As for the legal side of things, this is purely an informational document. Consider it a condensed guide of what is already on the Internet and freely available (google groups, hNC www, etc). This is purely an informational publication... Use at your own risk... *IMPORTANT* I do not and will not take any interest in questions regarding any SATELLITE setups for Pay TV. -=-=--=-=-=--=-=--=-=-=- TOC 1.0 What is this about? 1.0.1 What should I refer to this as? 1.0.2 Your site has lots of banners 2.0 Do I need to have a Foxtel/Optus subscription / decoder box? 2.0.1 I once had Foxtel/Optus.... 3.0 What equipment do I need? 4.0 How do I hook this up? 4.0.1 I am more of a pictures person.. 5.0 What software and OS do I need? 5.0.1 hNCPlus Pinnacle PCTV Settings (old model) 5.0.2 I have a tuner, but no Direct BT Capture option.. 5.0.3 What about other tuner cards? 6.0 What Performance can I expect? 7.0 How do I make it look and perform better? 8.0 Does it work on my X Brand tuner? 8.0.1 What drivers do I need? 8.0.2 My PCTV wont change channels 9.0 How many channels? 10.0 Will I get caught doing this? 11.0 Will this be charged to my 3Gb monthly BPA/Optus account? 12.0 Does this work with Optus cable TV? 12.0.1 Other Optus Info 13.0 Where can I get more information? 14.0 Recording hNCplus 15.0 How do I get my iR remote working with program x? 16.0 Will this work with satellite PayTV? 17.0 Misc -=-=--=-=-=--=-=--=-=-=- 1.0 What is this about? If you have a Foxtel/Optus plug in your wall, using it or not, chances are that it is active. This means that you are able to hook up some items (see below) and 'read' the channels from the wire and enjoy the service they are providing to your house. FREE CABLE!? No, everything has a cost. In this case it is quality of the visual reception, continue reading for more information. 1.0.1 What should I refer to this as? Some people are dropping words like "Free Cable", and "Pay Hacking", but I like to refer to it simply as 'cable tuning'. Its not a perfect replacement for the legit service, and you will have to compromise a few pleasures to enjoy this. Read that last sentence as "its not plug and play and perfect". 1.0.2 Your site has lots of banners Yes I know, but its a free host and that's the price we have to pay. If it really gets up your nose, install PopUpCop and you will not get them again. BTW, PopUpCop is a great program to use at work if you are looking for cracks etc, and you don't want to have pr0n on your screen ;) ------------------------ 2.0 Do I need to have a Foxtel/Optus subscription / decoder box? No. All you require is the service installed (or previously installed) on your premises . You do not need a Foxtel/Optus decoder, nor a subscription to their service. Just an active line to plug into. 2.0.1 I once had Foxtel/Optus.... But when you hook this all up there is no signal? When you have previously had the service installed, and have had it cut off, most of the time they will cut your line to make sure you don't fiddle with things like this. I have heard of cases where they will spilt your connection behind the wall plate, or outside by installing a grey box to conceal their tricks. If you are in this boat, then get your tools out and rejoin that cable! Most of the time they have connectors on the split cable, so its a very simple task. ------------------------ 3.0 What equipment do I need? Ok, if you don't understand from here onwards, get a friend to help out. Equipment you need depends on your current setup. If you have a cable modem hooked directly into the wall socket, you will need a splitter and two cables. If you are looking at an empty wall socket, then a cable from the wall to your tuner will do the trick.. read on for types... Example cable config.. if you have anything different, its easy to work out from this.. |Foxtel/Optus wall plug| ---(F connector patch)--- |2Way Splitter| | |-- (F connector patch)----> |Cable Modem| | |--( <- F Connector, Male TV Plug ->)--> |TV Tuner| Not the greatest diagram, but it will make sense to those who are familiar with this cabling in their homes. Below are the parts listed with the DSE codes.. (F connector patch) = 1.5m TV Lead W/AdaptorPlug (L 4269) |2Way Splitter| = TV Splitter 2Way F Connector (L 4221) (F connector patch) = Existing cable used, same as (L 4269) ( <- F Connector, Male TV Plug ->) = The most important one, custom made cable with F connector one end, and male TV plug the other using 75 Ohm RG-6 cable. F plug (P 2090), TV Plug (P 2020), Coax cable (W 2084). All the above cables and plugs cost $49.43... because I had to get a 14m run of decent quality (RG-6) coax @$2.02/m... (prices as of May 2002) |TV Tuner| = Anything running a BT Chipset... others are compatible, but I've only used the Pinnacle PCTV. Beware that all PCTV cards now ship with a different tuner, so for the moment, stay away from these cards :( WinFast 2000XP cards are also known to work great and offer more bang for your buck.. FYI here are some pics of an F Connector.. http://www.marine-electronics.net/techarticle/coax/f-con.htm To get the audio working, you need to connect an audio cable from your tuner into the line-in of your sound card. Make sure your line-in has the correct volume and is also an activated sound source in your volume program. Those are the exact parts I have used and have proven to work. If you know more about this technology, then feel free to use whatever does the job :) ------------------------ 4.0 How do I hook this up? Still confused after reading above?.. Its just like lego, as long as you have the right parts, it will fit. I can't really help anymore than this... time to call your friend who knows about cabling :) 4.0.1 I am more of a pictures person.. For those who like to read books for the pictures, and not the articles, here is a link to all cables/connectors that you need to see to get setup. Please excuse the quality, the camera was the best I could get my hands on. <Link to the pics> ------------------------ 5.0 What software and OS do I need? Its commonly understood that the driver model of Win9x is faster for anything video than 2k/XP, however, if you are still using those OS then you most likely lack the raw CPU speed needed in decoding the signal. My system is WinXP, and its working fine. Foxtel cable uses Newscrypt encoding which can be decoded with a program called hNCPlus. Download it at.. http://hvcplus.cjb.net/hNCPlus/ Be sure to get the Australian version, the latest version upon writing this is beta build 0.5.4. Huge thanks goes out to the authors of this program, who have the real skill an expertise when it comes to this entire concept. Optus only uses colour inversion and therefore requires little processing power to 'tune' the signial.. as the Optus info is only new to this guide check section 12.0 for more info there. (I will clean up the guide one day so its all mixed in and easy to read) If the link to hNCPlus is down, and ONLY WHEN THAT LINK IS DOWN you can use this link to get it from here. This is only in place as people have been emailing saying the official site is unavailable. Please note that using this download you may be getting an out of date version of hNCPlus, this version is current as of April 16th, 2003. Be sure to get the channel update too, there is a link in section 9.0 of this guide if you require an alternative download. 5.0.1 hNCPlus Pinnacle PCTV Settings (old model) For the Pinnacle PCTV card, select the Video tab then set these optimal settings... Note: These are my personal settings from my 6 month old PCTV card without the solid state tuner. Video Driver: Direct BT Capture Capture res: 720x288++ (others may also be fine) Format: YUY2 Line Mode: 50fps Interlaced (force 576 worked better on a slower CPU) Tuner Type: Phillips Pal_I TV Card: Pinnacle PCTV Rave Chn. Map: PAL B AUS FoxTel Because the PCTV does not have stereo sound capabilities, then deselect any stereo audio options. Then READ THE hNC MANUAL... there are many settings to fine tune things, but I've found the default to be totally viewable. If you do have a Pinnacle card that doesn't seem to change channels, you have a newer, and as yet, unsupported tuner type on the board. The world doesn't end there, you can use other programs that come with your tuner to change channels with while having nHCPlus open at the same time. A pain, but we'll wait and see if the next few versions of hNCPlus will support these new tuner types. 5.0.2 I have a tuner, but no Direct BT Capture option.. Some people come up with this problem when they are first playing with hNCPlus, or have installed some extra software for their tuner card. After many people pulling their hair out over this, we finally found a fix... Run regedit and delete any references to 'hwiont.sys' and/or 'hwio95.vxd'. Other suggestions to maybe try... - First, check if your tuner is in fact running a BT chip. - Then move the card into another slot. - Be sure you are running the latest BIOS version for your motherboard - Free resources (IRQ/DMAs) by disabling unused ports eg COM, LPT. - Use the reset peripheral option in your system BIOS (it may help in rearranging recourse allocation) - Install the latest software from your tuner manufacturer. 5.0.3 What about other tuner cards? The Pinnacle PCTV is the only card that I have tested. I am more than happy to provide details of other cards if anyone wants to donate these for testing. Or if anyone can provide me with setup details and some screen grabs for quality verification. The Leadtek Winfast TV 2000XP card which runs the BT878A chip, and also has stereo sound (unlike the non-pro version of the PCTV card). To enable this card in hNCPlus, you have to manually add the card, I will chase this up and will add the procedure in here. I am told its as easy as 'Add New' under the Video tab of hNCPlus setup, and then just next, next, next, etc. TV Excel cards, and FlyVideo98 cards are also reported to work.. Anything running a BT878 chipset will work... My personal recommendation at this point in time is the LeadTek WinFast 2000XP. ------------------------ 6.0 What Performance can I expect? First of all, audio is 100% on my mono tuner, and would expect the same for a stereo tuner. Awesome for running [V] in the background in a window while working. If you are expecting full speed full screen perfect reception, call Foxtel and get them to install a hardware decoder. But, if you are willing to fiddle some with the settings and bypass the suits, then you can expect up to 95% screen quality, depending on a few factors. hNCPlus is very CPU intensive, so the more grunt you can throw at it, the better. Below is a list of configurations and expected frame rates. P3 866Mhz = 13-19fps P4 2Ghz @ 2.4ghz = 25-30 Athlon XP 1600+ = 25 Duron [email protected] = 20-25 As stated in the hNCPlus manual, dark scenes and horizontal lines result in distortions, which may turn a few people off... but what's a small flick here and there? Optus will have no issues running full speed on a Celeron 300Mhz. This is because its not encrypted, only colour inverted. ------------------------ 7.0 How do I make it look and perform better? Settings, CPU speed, quality of equipment used. Update to new hNCPlus versions as they are released. Using ^b (Ctrl B) black border mode for some sports channels makes them much clearer. This is only a new feature added to 0.4.0 and with my testing makes all Fox Sports look much better. The best test for Foxtel is CH44 (porn) when its on after about 11pm.. all the shots are usually light colored women, which gives hNC a perfect chance at best decoding. Bad decoding can be influenced by noise from other devices. Move your tuner as far away from all other cards as you can. I am thinking of experimenting with placing some kind of shield around my card, but I am yet to give this a go. In some types of motherboards, there is an also an EMI(?) setting that has something to do with what spectrum your system can/does use, setting this to .50 has been reported to clear up peoples reception. I will update this with correct terms and reasons when I get more info. If having hNCPlus open and running on your PC while doing other tasks, such as helping out others in newsgroups.. Then go into Task Manager and assign a lower priority to the hNCPlus.exe process... 'Below Normal' does the trick for me. ------------------------ 8.0 Does it work on my X Brand tuner? Check the hNCPlus compatibility list. Test things for yourself. Let me know what works and what doesn't. I have stated the two cards that I know work in this guide, so if you deviate from the norm, then let me know if you get it working. As for people with USB tuners, there are a few people saying they have it working, but I can only assume he 11mbit limit on USB would not be able to cope with 100% of the signal.. there is a better explanation of this on a tech forum if you know where to look. In short, test it, if it doesn't work, don't whinge and get known and supported card. As for people with multi-video devices such as AGP cards with tuners, I have not received one report of any of these working. So once again, it pays to use the known and supported hardware if your hardware still isn't working. 8.0.1 What drivers do I need? None, hNCPlus and other similar programs talk directly to the hardware, so any issues you have with your card while using these programs are not driver related. You can install the drivers to keep Windows happy, but versions and the like will have no effect. Installing the bundled software shouldn't have any adverse effect on the operation of hNCplus. 8.0.2 My PCTV wont change channels As mentioned above, below is all the info I have collected about this issue that has popped up with these cards.... The "NEW" pro version has a new Solid state Tuner module that has the same problem "can't change channels" perhaps they have started using these in the standard version too, do the Antenna connectors go straight through to the tuner module or are the soldered on the board?...one way to tell Then you have the "new" solid state tuner, I have had a lot of experience with HNCplus and have had no luck configuring to control channel changing . Tune the software that comes with the card to all the Fox channels then use Pinnacle's Webtext to change the channels , it will run at the same time as hNCPlus. New PCTVs now contain a Microtune MT2032 tuner chip which is unsupported at the moment by hNCPlus.. ------------------------ 9.0 How many channels? All of them. yes, even that one, and that other one too! As of Dec 1st, 2002, Optus and Foxel have cross pollinated, so you now get more content on each service. Cheers go out to Gesus, Dvdman, and no_operation for these new details. Optus users have reported the Adult channel is unviewable, it uses some form of encryption. I was emailed the details, but in short you are out of luck. Next stop, use the Internet for pr0n :) ----------------------- 10.0 Will I get caught doing this? Calling Foxtel for tech support when cable is out, yes. But as for hooking it up and watching it, no. The signal is there in your house as it is, all you are doing is reading it. As a precautionary measure, be smart about anything you do, if you have a tech coming around to look at why your legit setup isn't working, remove all traces of your handy work first. ------------------------ 11.0 Will this be charged to my 3Gb monthly BPA/Optus account? No. Cable television, while operating on the same cable as these services, it has no effect on your IP connectivity to the Internet. ------------------------ 12.0 Does this work with Optus cable TV? Yes, I have witnessed my card in a system and hooked into an Optus line and had it running. Using Dscaler we had to obtain another DLL to fix the colour inversion, but other than that it was fantastic. Link to colour DLL (not tested so please let me know how this goes) and also an ini(?) file with channel info in it from Leigh (cheers for that) Version 0.5.1 of hNCPlus comes with its own 'hNCPlus.optus.ini' file, and has some form of automatic colour inversion, so go get it and let me know how it goes! New in 0.5.1 is a bug fix for white pixels showing up black, something I'm sure people have been waiting to be resolved. (Great work hNC people!) For hNCPlus 0.4.0, press I and Shift+I to inverse and un-inverse the colours. I am not sure how to tune in the channels, but this does work.. Optus doesn't use Newscrypt so requires less CPU cycles to display a picture. It was on a solid 25fps on a P3 866Mhz with very good quality reception without tweaking with many settings.. Dscaler can be found at http://deinterlace.sourceforge.net/ Any comments, reports, and guide additions are more than welcome for Optus ... 12.0.1 Other Optus info After getting loads of email from Optus people, I will include the helpful info that ppl have provided.. I'll structure it better once I am happy with the info, and its been tested by a few others... Murray couldn't get hNCPlus to work, so he found this nice program http://mikecrash.wz.cz/atv2000/atv2000.htm and he got it working with WDM drivers... below is how to get inversion working.. "It's actually a good program even without the inversion filter. To enable the filter, just right click on the TV screen and choose Filters -> Video -> Configure and double click the Special Effects filter (you also have the option of adding the Dscaler filter if it's installed). Now that it's added it can be enabled by choosing Filters -> Video -> Special Effects and choose the Negative option. Done! Tuning in the channels was relatively simple (the auto mode skipped a lot of channels, I recommend trying every frequency manually) but required fine tuning on most channels." - end quote :) ------------------------ 13.0 Where can I get more information? Where else? Google Or if you are a code junkie, grab the source code and help these guys out with making enhancements. ------------------------ 14.0 Recording hNCplus hNC doesn't have a record option, but thanks to the work of the man himself, Gesus, there is a guide of how to capture the output and save it to hard disk. Note that the link below is provided 'as is', and I was able to easily replicate the task as specified with desirable results. Do note that because hNC is a CPU hog, and capturing to HD is also an I/O intensive process, results will vary greatly depending on hardware and settings chosen. Gesus' Recording Guide ------------------------ 15.0 How do I get my iR remote working with program x? Way beyond the scope of this guide. hNCPlus has built-in support for some types of remotes, but use IR Assistant (www.irassistant.com) and download the correct driver and software for your brand remote. There is even a WinAMP plug-in :) ------------------------ 16.0 Will this work with satellite PayTV? No. This is CABLE ONLY. I will not respond to any emails asking why this does not work with cable, or where people can locate an 'unlocked card' for their satellite service. I have no interest or knowledge in this area. ------------------------ 17.0 Misc. I'm happy to test hardware people want to donate :) Any suppliers who want a mention? It'll only cost you a WinFast 2000XL and I will put your company info in here for people to get their hardware from... I am hoping to continually develop this further as a decent user guide... so shoot me your ideas! Who am I? Someone who has spent their time creating and maintaining this guide for you to read and learn. The rest is irrelevant. ------------------------