Any STB compatible with Rogers Digital Cable in Toronto?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by AaronG, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. AaronG

    AaronG Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Guys,

    Rogers offers a Scientific Atlantic box for digital cable. I was wondering if any of the new STBs from Toshiba, Samsung, etc. will work with Rogers?

    Thanks,
    Aaron
     
  2. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    Nope.

    Right now at least, you have to use what they offer.
     
  3. AaronG

    AaronG Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks John!

    Incidentally, I had a Rogers Cable tech. here today who thought it would work. When I said that I had heard that different cable companies use different encryptions, he said that was a myth.

    I always trust the info I get here over the info from Rogers.

    Aaron
     
  4. Paul.Mc

    Paul.Mc Agent

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    What differs between cable companies is what's known as the "Conditional Access" systems. These are used by the system to decide what channels you get. The systems are usually either built into the box, like SA's PowerKey, or implemented on a Smart card (usually the choice of box provider leads to the choice of system). The video transmission and encryption is standardized (ANSI/SCTE standards) for Digital Cable (All use DigiCypher version of DES) so technically there is only one version of encryption for all cable companies.
     
  5. AaronG

    AaronG Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the clarification Paul.:b
     
  6. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    But it's really the conditional access system (there's 3 if you count Sony's PASSAGE) that's the important part here. A Motorola set-top will not function on a Scientific Atlanta cable plant.

    Further, even if you buy your very own - and compatible - set-top box, the cable company may refuse to authorise it anyway.
     
  7. Paul.Mc

    Paul.Mc Agent

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    Digital cable boxes are kind of a poor investment anyway, even if you could purchase them. The vendors, like SA, do not sell to individuals, and the cost, in the area of $500 per box, would take too long to "earn back" versus the rental fee. It's very probable you would have to upgrade the box before you completed the "earn back". Many cable companies even haven't purchased the boxes but are leasing them from the vendor as well because of the fluidity of the technology. Also coming down the pike is the "OpenCable" standard where digital tuning is to be built into the TV, and all you're supposed to need from the cable company is the proper conditional access module to recieve digital cable.

    Besides the "CA" system there's also the data transport. Some cable providers use the older DAVIC standard for OOB communications, while others use DOCSIS. Even if you get a box that uses the same access control, if you have a DOCSIS system and the box only speaks DAVIC (DOCSIS boxes usually can do both) you're out of luck.

    As for Conditional Access, my system uses NDS (just like DirecTV) on Sony and SA equipment mixed. They went with a Sony-designed box with no integrated CA (this is way before their unifying "PASSAGE" idea) and is migrating to SA boxes for various reasons, but is keeping, for now, the NDS system, so there's a card sticking out the slot of the SA boxes.

    There's even more than CA to a system. The head end only knows how to send the "Digital" features to Sony and SA boxes, so even if you had another box with the NDS card working, you'd be program guideless, video-on-demand-less, pay-per-view-less, and probably other things might not work.

    Safe to say, for now, the cablecos have you back locked in renting boxes from them.
     

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