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BBC Freeview HD service hacked

May 16th, 2006 · 4 Comments

BBC HD test

The BBC’s Freeview HD trial may well be being carried out under strict Ofcom guidelines, which prevent the corporation from showing the test transmissions (pictured above, complete with HD DOG) to anyone outside of its 550 strong test group, but that hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from hacking the feed.
It’s not that difficult. I have received the broadcast well outside of its London catchment area, using a PC installed with a Hauppauge Nova-t DVB-T tuner card and the TSreader software. With this rig I was able to capture the BBC’s HD transport stream to the PC’s hard drive. To play back the material I used a ‘trialware’ Elecard player, which has an H.264 video decoder ‘plug-in’.Unfortunately, the results weren’t that great. Both vision and sound stuttered, even on a PC running a dual-core 3.2GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor. But what I did see was an eye opener. The full story will appear in an upcoming edition of What Video and high definition TV magazine, so look out for it. By Martin Pipe

Tags: Broadcasting · High definition TV · Trade

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 PAC // May 19, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    What is the UHF channel number of this transmission from Crystal Palace?


  • 2 Administrator // May 19, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    BBC HD 1 is a DVB service that is theoretically free to air but cannot be viewed on existing Freeview decoders. All over the London area, settop boxes and digital TVs have registered it as a new channel, but the best that can be enjoyed is the audio track. There is no video, as the service uses an H.264 codec.

  • 3 Alex // May 20, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    lol, typical. Just get half the population with freeview boxes and then its time to upgrade again ! :)

  • 4 Richard // May 22, 2006 at 6:10 pm

    The BBC HD trial is on 554MHz from Crystal Palace, and the ITV/C4/five is on 522MHz. There is some sensationalisation in this article – claiming it’s “hacked.” The trial is free-to-air, so therefore anyone with suitable equipment can receive it. Hacked would imply that the signal is encrypted – it is not.
    The pictures and sound are viewable if you use suitable software to save the transport stream and then play it back in something like Cyberlink powerDVD 7 Deluxe.

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