Archive for February, 2009
Testifying before a congressional subcommittee on Tuesday, senior executives of DirecTV Group Inc and DISH Network Corp said that proper incentives would make satellite television companies willing to extend local service to underserved and rural areas.
Lawmakers are debating whether to renew a law that gives the two national satellite television companies the right to carry and retransmit broadcast television content.
Some in Congress say any renewed law should require companies to provide local service in all of the nation’s 210 designated market areas.
Rick Boucher, who chairs the House communications and technology subcommittee, said rural residents in about 30 markets cannot currently receive local news and weather programming via satellite subscriptions.
Charles Ergen, CEO of DISH Network, said his company is willing to provide the local programming if it receives assistance in funding the technical fixes needed for retransmission.
Ergen said that local TV stations should be required to allow the retransmission at no cost, or for a fixed royalty rate. And stations without truly local content, a number Ergen estimated at 15 to 20 percent, should be excluded from retransmission requirements, he added.
“We would love to be able to do it with the right incentives,” Ergen said.
However some stations have been increasing their rates, according to DirecTV Senior Vice President Bob Gabrielli.
“Broadcasters now routinely demand fees three times those previously paid. And it does not appear that this additional money is being used to provide more or better local programming,” he told the subcommittee.
“Many broadcasters are producing less and less local news.”
Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) expressed frustration with the firms, saying residents of his hometown of Marquette did not have access to local content such as school closings, despite pledges that the situation would be resolved.
“All these promises that we get from these guys, but you never seem to fulfill it,” said Stupak, who has introduced a bill requiring satellite TV companies to carry local broadcasting in all markets.
Boucher said the law being considered for renewal was established to help satellite television companies compete against cable network operators and to give consumers more programming alternatives.
Popularity: 1% [?]
On 11 February, Nagravision, a Kudelski Group company and provider of value-added content protection solutions and the software company PacketVideo (PV) introduced the first conditional access (CA)-enabled version of the Telly device. Created by PV and combined with Nagravision’s Mobile TV solution, Telly turns iPhones, WiFi-enabled phones, portable media players and PCs into mobile television sets. The new solution will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2009 in Barcelona on 16 to 19 February, at the PacketVideo booth (1C09) and Nagravision hospitality suite, HS02 hall 4, level 4.
Telly is a pocketable device first introduced by PV in February 2008 at Mobile World Congress. The product seamlessly decodes broadcast signals and repurposes them for high quality viewing, automatically recognizing the consumer’s device using patented protocols to ensure optimum rendering of the TV signal. Because Telly optimally processes audio and video signals, consumers have access to secure, premium channels without changing their current handset. Nagravision’s microSD CA card is embedded in the Telly device and the CAS agent is processed inside the unit.
Telly will come in multiple versions, supporting the major mobile broadcast standards, including DVB-H and MediaFLO. The first version will be commercially available next quarter for launch on service operator’s networks.
Popularity: 1% [?]
Here is a brief, layman’s explanation of 8PSK.
We are speaking of digital modulation of signals today, rather than the analog signals of the past, but the concept is equally applied.
There are many means to modulate a signal to transmit data today. Amplitude Modulation and Frequency Modulation are the most familiar to us all (i.e. AM radio and FM radio).
In AM radio (amplitude modulation) you understand that there is a carrier wave that is transmitted with a constant frequency. But, that carrier wave’s amplitude is increased or decreased by an external signal, the data signal. The receiver detects these variations in the carrier’s amplitude.
The receiver does not care about the carrier signal itself, only the changes in its amplitude. So, it basically only identifies the amplitude changes and strips that information away from the carrier wave and tosses the carrier aside. Only the signal that created the variations in the carrier’s amplitude remains and that is the data information. If there is no change in the amplitude of the carrier, we get a digital “zero” if it does change, we detect a digital “one”.
If we strip all this information from the carrier wave, we will end up with a stream of data which can be processed and converted back into the original information (audio or video).
In FM radio, the carrier wave has a fixed amplitude, but the data information readjusts or modulates the frequency of the wave. If the frequency doesn’t change, the receiver reads this as a digital “zero” and if it changes, it reads it as a digital “one”. So the receiver strips the information or data signal from the carrier wave by analyzing the changes in the carrier’s frequency.
Now we can discuss PSK, or Phase Shift Keying. This is a little harder to visualize, but the overall principle (theory) is the same.
In PSK, you have a constant amplitude and constant frequency carrier wave, but the data information modulates the “phase” of the signal. If the phase of the signal is suddenly altered (modulated) by the data signal, the receiver will detect this as a digital “one”. If it does not change, it detects it as a digital “zero”. So you get an idea that the same process is occurring here as with AM and FM modulation.
Here is where the advantage begins to come into play. If you have one carrier, of a set frequency and set amplitude (a sine wave), you can modulate its phase to produce 1′s and 0′s (BPSK or Binary Phase Shift Keying).
If you add a second carrier with the same frequency and same amplitude, but transmit it so many degrees offset from the first carrier (now as a cosine wave), then you can put more data on the same radio frequency band. One wave carries some information and the second wave carries additional information.
Now your receiver can extract “00″, “01″, “10″ or “11″ from the data in the same instant, as opposed to just a “0″ or a “1″. This would be QPSK (Quadrature Phase Shift Keying). Quadrature PSK is also referred to as 4PSK, which seems more logical and makes it easier to compare to the next step up, 8PSK.
Now, if we add a third carrier wave, with the same frequency and amplitude as the first two, but so many degrees out from the first two, we can transmit and receive three bits of data or 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, 111 during the same instant! This would be 8PSK modulation.
I am sure you are seeing the advantage here. The data is being transmitted at the same time, within the same bandwidth, but you are transmitting more data simultaneously. Therefore, there is more data (more information) to work with immediately, which means more accuracy and a better quality picture (and sound).
There is also 16PSK signals! HOTDOG!
Just to add a summary:
BPSK or binary PSK is 1 and 0 (binary = two packets)
QPSK or 4PSK is 00, 01, 10, 11 (quadrature = four packets)
8PSK is 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, 111 (eight packets)
16PSK is 0000, 0001, 0010, 0011, 0100, 0101, 0110, 0111, 1000, 1001, 1010, 1011, 1100, 1101, 1110, 1111 (16 packets)
Many people ask if they can use a Coolsat 5K to view the 8PSK signals. The answer is no, of course. The reason should be obvious. Even though QPSK and 8PSK are similar in theory, they are still just as different as AM and FM radio. The receiver’s tuner (or tuner MODULE) has to be designed specifically to detect, decode and process these signals.
This is why the NFusion Nuvenios have a separate 8PSK module.
Popularity: 2% [?]
Earlier today Echostar’s new satellite CIEL II reached its home at 128.85 Western Longitude. The CIEL II satellite was launched on December 10th from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a proton rocket.
The picture perfect launch took place at 7:45 PM and lit up the nights sky.
Testing of the new satellite took place at the 138 degree orbital location and from everything I have been told the testing went extremely well.
The new satellite will give Dish Network customers a better signal (especially on the West Coast, as the current satellite at the 129 location has been an issue for customers in the West and down South. In addition the CIEL II satellite introduces spotbeam technology to the 129 orbital location. This spotbeam technology will allow Dish Network to roll out HD locals to many cities which currently do not get HD locals from Dish Network. With these new spotbeams it will free up conus satellite transponders which can be used by Dish Network to offer more national programming including new national HD channels.
And while the satellite is at its new home don’t expect Dish Network to flip a switch and light up a bunch of new services all at once, in fact it could be days or weeks before customers see anything new from the new satellite. Before the satellite can be used a few more tests are needed and any final tweaking of the satellite will need to be done. After this is complete then Dish will start transferring programming from the old satellite to the new one. When this happens many customers will notice an increase of signal quality from the 129 orbital location. Once the moves start then you can expect Dish to start adding HD locals markets taking advantage of the satellites spot beam technology.
Welcome home CIEL II, a lot of folks have been waiting for you to come home for a long time now!
Popularity: 1% [?]
There is lot of rumors going on if IKS is secured. Well in short it is – and then it is not. Just to give you a few points on security with IKS:
1) IKS runs on a centralized server that is a share point to servers which relay on this server. Your box is connecting too relays not the IKS Server.
2) IKS servers require UDP connection, not TCP. You can think of UDP as more secure, but the real difference is that UDP packets travel one way (request is sent from the receiver and then fullfilled by the server but there is no guarantee on data delivery of the packet from the server, meaning that the server drops the link with requestor as soon as it gets it – it may deliver it later on however). The relay – is really a relay in UDP sense – (requests can be made to one server but another server may fullfill it). Since there is no constant connection being open it is almost impossible to catch the very small (tidy) request and data travel from boxes to IKS.
3) IKS Servers accept only connections that have a receiver ID attached to the data package. No request from PC or other device can be made – this really gives much trouble in identifying what the content is of the IKS package or intercepting it. I am not sure if the package itself is being encrypted somehow – but it will be easy to do if it isn’t. With encrypted packages, even if someone intercepts it – that interception would become useless.
4) In order for the providers to hunt you down they will need to know what servers that nFusion boxes are connecting too. To find out, they will have to intercept the traffic from the centralized server which is located off-shore (but hard to do explained before). I could not locate the servers by looking at the routers access logs – I can only find the servers it is connecting too — and surprisingly I saw many different connections (rotating relays) — which gives me positive vibes about IKS.
5) All the providers can do is see that your connection is making some request for data that is being transfered from a server and has been identified as suspicious – but before they can even take any action upon it – the new server can be re-set and there you go, another round of finding it again will be needed. This is time consuming and very very tidious and an expensive task (not that the providers cant afford it). Even if the provider proves that the traffic from your internet connection is suspicious – they can not prove that it came from your requests and your receiver (they cant trace back anything beyond your router/modem).
6) “Dave” did go to after the small people on the first occasion of IKS (more then 10 years ago — ohhh yes do not be surprised IKS is nothing new — it has been used back in Dave days when a computer was needed that will serve already descrambled packages to the receiver using waffer boards or card emulators) – but “Dave” had to physically prove that this was happening from people trying this (hardware needed to make this function) – unlike today (no additional hardware is needed – so hard to tell if you are really doing anything wrong).
The final decision is always up to you to make. I do not want to sound encouraging or disapointing – use your own judgment – do lots of reading
IKS doesn’t mean you won’t go down, it just means that you can come back up much faster.
If your hooked up to the net with your nfusion and you come home and turn your box on it will tell you if there is any new updates and gives you the option to update your box with the click of the remote button.
If your watching TV on stand alone (emu ON) and it goes down you simply click menu + user settings + emu off and IKS will kick in when you exit to TV.
99.9% of the time its IKS all the way.
I don’t worry about anyone getting my IP address from the nfusion iks server as it does not collect anything other than an error log saying what failed.
Most have not noticed that IKS and Files are on 2 different servers and are ported to 1 that you are connected to.
That should be enough for people to guess there is more than 1 server at work here. I think last count there were 5 ported thru a chain across the web to 1 point of access. That point of access can be changed with a click of a button. So what if someone gets the main click boom somewhere else we go.
Anyone that wants to can easily run a proxy on your system and your bouncing around the world anyways.
Now to the whole sending keys things. The iks does not at anytime send keys to your box.(Its illegal) It does how ever send data to your box so your box knows what to do to get itself going. Kind of like A.I coding. No not any of the pyro team will explain that part for a good reason. Why give up a trade secret. I hope this helps some of you out with what your wanting to know
Popularity: 13% [?]
There is a big ECM as of 6PM EST.
We have posted new files for every receiver we cover, that was affected by the ECM
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