Videocrypt revival

Captain Jack

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What we (or rather @fsphil) are *attempting* to do is recreate a Videocrypt encoder based on the data we have from some of old VHS recordings from around August/September 1998. He has already extracted the relevant VBI data (which contains VC data) and injected it into a test signal, which has been fed into the Videocrypt decoder. The decoder is recognising this data and tries to 'decrypt' it (in turn encrypting it!) along with asking for the card for Sci Fi channel (where the VBI data was captured from).


The idea is to encrypt the video at source and feed it to the Videocrypt decoder...to actually decode it :) Similar to my Nagravision/Syster encoder that creates a scrambled imaged, which can then be captured and decrypted but with Videocrypt and decrypting it at hardware level.

The card is required to a) get rid of the "please insert card" message and b) try to capture and analyse the cut points for the 'encrypted' video with the card in place. It's a big challenge but hey... if we can put a man on the Moon, then anything is possible.

Regarding entitlements, this is certainly true for DVB CAS systems but I am not sure whether that's the case with Videocrypt. Reason for saying this is because I had an old yellow card (one that I am asking for) that was active when I cancelled the subscription and went to uni. After coming back a year later, the card still worked, because it never received a kill signal from Sky, since the card wasn't in use. So I *believe* (but might be wrong) that any active yellow card should fit our needs.
 
Captain Jack

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Thanks to @rolfw for the cards! One of them is alive for the data that we have (blue series 11 one) but still looking for more.

The dead ones are giving "PLEASE CALL" messages, which means they are dead. Wonder if Sky can reactivate them? ;) The latest series 12 one (yellow) is giving "PLEASE WAIT" message but the receiver isn't holding on to Videocrypt long enough to see what happens after that.

The active card is giving no messages, which means it's alive.

 
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davemurgtroyd

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IIRC the "{lease Call" message was because a replacement card had been issued more than a month previous at card change time OR immediately if a card had been reported faulty or stolen and turned off.
 
Hixxy1

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Got a yellow card somewhere. Will dig it out :)


Sent from my Nokia 3310 using Tapatalk
 
Captain Jack

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IIRC the "{lease Call" message was because a replacement card had been issued more than a month previous at card change time OR immediately if a card had been reported faulty or stolen and turned off.
Yep, that sounds about right. There was also a transitional period where two card versions would work at the same time but I don't have exact dates of card changes.
 
Captain Jack

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davemurgtroyd

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The dead ones are giving "PLEASE CALL" messages, which means they are dead. Wonder if Sky can reactivate them? ;)
The "Phoenix Hack" with a PC and card programmer should be able to reactivate them and/or turn on packages that are not live.

I have over a dozen cards (from issue 2 on) but am fairly certain they would all give the please call message as they all had replacement cards issued (except the last issue 12 yellow cards) and used afterwards by a friend until that issue of encryption was turned off.
 
Captain Jack

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It's one thing cards giving the 'please call' message but another if it's a result of old Videocrypt data being switched off in the VBI data stream but another if that card's issue encryption is still active.

Like I said, one of the blue cards that Rolf sent is still active with the data that we have. I have a couple of recordings that we still need to get data from... One is from MTV from late 90s (not sure of the year) and another from one of Sky Movies channels. The latter probably used series 7 or 9 card, which were, like you say, widely hacked/modified.

Would appreciate if you could send me those for appropriate amount of beer tokens - we may get lucky.
 
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davemurgtroyd

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Have you tried reading the dates of the recordings with the Teletext data - a trick I found to date recordings?
 
Captain Jack

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So, the data we have that semi-works with the series 11 card is from around 28th August 1998. This is not from teletext data (nothing is displayed) but from the fact that the news bulletin that follows on the Sci-Fi channel mentions a failed Galaxy satellite launch which was on 27th August 1998.

The MTV one seems to be from Sunday 20th April 1997 (6:18pm!) and the Sky Movies one from Thursday 29th December 1994. I believe that the 1997 recording will be good with a series 10 card, which can be reactivated with a Phoenix program/programmer.

The December 1994 recording is good for a series 09 card and, looking at history of VC hacks, there should even be a PIC program floating around somewhere which will allow us to use a 'pirate card' for this... A pirated Sats UK channel? Unlikely.

Edit: found another recording from December 1993 from Sky Movies Gold (Some Like It Hot, if you're interested)... blimey, a blast from the past. I believe those used series 7 cards, which were smashed to pieces by hackers. Basically, I would need all cards :D
 
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Captain Jack

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Spent some time grabbing VBI data from various recordings. They are not yet perfect as Videocrypt decoder loses 'lock' by clearing the picture (remember, the decoder encrypts the clear image sent to it from hackrf).

Here's the VBI data:


And the results:

 
Captain Jack

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A message from @fsphil :)

 
fsphil

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There's also been progress on the scrambled video itself. At the top is the transmitted signal, and the bottom is the output of my Pace integrated decoder:


Some obscure early 90s Japanese animation for you there, but it's nice and colourful so is a useful test. On the close-up you can see the colour is fairly distorted - haven't quite got the timing right.
 
Captain Jack

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And now with hard encryption - thanks to everyone for their old Sky cards (@nelson_b, @rolfw). They are still useful 16 years down the line :) And, of course, @fsphil on this seemingly impossible task.


@Analoguesat - I think it's only appropriate that you become the programme director for the Sats UK channel ;)
 
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"P O T O". I wonder what's going on with that card.
 
Captain Jack

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"P O T O". I wonder what's going on with that card.
Short for POtaTO? It's actually P zero T zero, which also came up when you pressed "authorise" button for PPV events. I guess you could load the card with credits and spend them...

It was also a characteristic of 07 Sky card to show this message every time a card was inserted...

 
PaulR

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That would be wall-to-wall Asia then...
 
Analoguesat

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Sounds good to me - although I think there is room for some classic tv series in there as well :D
 
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