CAMs, Cards, CI's for newbies

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Hi,

I am looking to get SkyHD with the appropriate official dodgybox, however, I want to record to PC also (Vista Ultimate box is connected to the TV via HDMI). I have read lots of threads on these forums which suggest I can get a Skystar HD2 and a cam that will work with the official sky card.

I'm definitly going to get the Skystar for watching the BBCHD etc.. but trying to figure out which CAM/CI to get that would do the job. I get the impression that I could get a Phoenix infinity and that would do the job using progdvb or dvbviewer and poormans cam etc.. (my PC is is a quad 2.4, so should handle soft decoding). But I've been seeing other sites/forums talking about having both Phoenix usb + Dragoncam + diablo, TREX etc..and then programming them with predator files whatever those are!! I'm finding I'm going 'round in circles trying to find out if I would even need loader cards or a programmer if I were going to use an original $ky card.

At the moment, all I want is the $kyHD and freesat channels (I may go for a torroidal later on and explore!)

I'm trying to figure out if I need just a the usb infinity, or whether I would have to go for the full blown CAS3 programmer with the latest TREX or something. There is a fair difference between the cost of each option. I want the best for the job and will pay the ££ for it, but I don't want to get stuff I won't even use.:eek:

Thank you to anyone in advance who can help me with this. I really appreciate it as it's driving me insane.
 

rolfw

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If you have a dish pointing at Astra 28.2, then the Phoenix interface will be all you need (not guaranteed long term), if you have a dish which will move to other satellites, then yes you can look at other CAMs, but then again, there are softcams for the Progdvb software anyway.
 

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To program a Dragon/T-Rex cam you can use an Infinity programmer and a loader card, either Fun 7 or PIC F84a.
To program a Diablo Cam you require a Cas programmer.
The Cas 3 programmer can also program a Dragon/T-Rex cam using a dummy card, an oblong circuit board.
All Dragon/T-Rex cams, even the T-Rex 4.6 supermodule, currently open the same channels, so there is no need to buy the most expensive cam.
You might also want to consider getting a Dreambox receiver, if money is not a problem, as this can also interpret the stay alive signal, which the Dragon or Diablo can't.
A Cas 3 + is a useful piece of equipment as it not only can program cams but also cards.
Predator files are the software for the older Dragon Cams, the latest being predator 368.
Does the Skystar PCI card have a CI (Common Interface) slot, or do you need a Cas type programmer with a CI slot to connect to your computer?
rolfw beat me to it while I was typing.
 
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Hi,

Thanks for your help on this.

The skystar HD2 does have a CI slot you can buy for about £30ish. I figured if I went down this route I would need a dragon/trex or diablo cam with the appropriate programmer+card?

The phoenix usb infinity with progdvb or dvbviewer would be a cheaper route but I don't know whether you can program this with $ky dodgybox serialnumber etc..for the subscription HD stuff.

I was tempted with the Dreambox, but my media center pc is such high spec and already used for dvb-t + movie/music/tv series playback etc..it made sense to keep it all in one box. Plus, the one box that looked the best i.e the dreambox 8000 sems like it's falled foul of licencing from what I've read on the other forums which is why the realease date seems like infinity.

"A Cas 3 + is a useful piece of equipment as it not only can program cams but also cards."

Aah, so you can add extra CAM encryption formats to the CAMS, but you have to have a card/dummy card in there for it to do it? I saw a site that was selling the TREX with the CAS 3 programmer, but without a dummy card which sounds unhelpfull now that I think about it. All this programming with dummy cards and programmers sounds like it could open up so many doors. Do you know of anywhere I can get some newbie guides that would explain the whole cam/loader card concept.

I think if the Infinity can be programmed with a $ky box serial, that would be my best first step, although I assume this would defnitly tie me down to progdvb or dvbview for the viewing/recording interface?

Thanks so much for your advise/info
 

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Mickha said:
Does the Skystar PCI card have a CI (Common Interface) slot, or do you need a Cas type programmer with a CI slot to connect to your computer?
rolfw beat me to it while I was typing.

Sorry to hijack the thread but this is the sort of avenue I was going down, I even got a cheap cas 2+ interface and a cheap Matrix revolutions cam but found you can't use the cas interface like this i.e. to use a with a programmed cam and skystar 2, the duolabs interfaces are just for programming/repairing cams etc (I stand to be corrected). The way to use cams is to get a newer skystar2 card with the cam/ci slot (you can't retro fit a ci slot to an older card :mad: ). Currently I'm using a skystar2 card with a duolabs dynamite programmer, my fta SLY card and NDSCam plugin with ProgDVB. Also using VPlug to clear some german stuff on 19°:)
 
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Lucifer said:
Currently I'm using a skystar2 card with a duolabs dynamite programmer, my fta SLY card and NDSCam plugin with ProgDVB. Also using VPlug to clear some german stuff on 19°:)

Oops. I didn't end up going for the CI slot for the ci slot for the skystar2, I gota usb infinity phoenix. Thougtht I'd be able to use this with the NDScam plugin and dvbviewer or progdvb. Won't be able able to test it though till I move into my new place next week.

My understanding of the concept is that your pci card/PC tunes to the frequency of the channel and decodes the mpeg2/4. the channel has regional and channel encryption. the regional encryption e.g nagravison is decoded by the cam, and the channel specific encryption is decoded by a key on the subscription card. The ci slot just provides and interface for the CAM. A cam programmer is only needed if aren't using a pc based CAM? It does seem to be the CAM programmer/loader card concept that is baffling me. Sorry to be thick but if anyone can point me to a good newbie guide that explains the concept of the loader card and cam programmer i would really appreciate it.
 

jsimo01

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I went down this route a couple of months ago, I purchased a CAS3 Programmer _www.duolabs.com) and Dragon CAM to work with my Technotrend S2-3200 card.

It was easy to load the firmware to the CAM, just insert the CAM into the programmer and the dummy card into the CAM; the software takes care of loading the firmware on the CAM, afterwards it is ready to use in your CI slot.

You can also buy the CAM's preloaded with the predator firmware (Skywise TV) circumventing the need for the CAS programmer altogether.
 
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