Posts Tagged starview

Tom, you’re an arsehole

Well happy New Year to you too….

Today I’m just back from a great Christmas break and eager to get moving on bringing 2bscene (and other projects) to another level this year. A short break does wonders for the body and mind. It’s all too easy to get bogged down in work and lie in the trenches when you’re busy, but the break helps rejuvenate your brain and start thinking of how to improve things to give an even better level of service.

After sifting through hundreds of emails though, one email caught my eye from a guy calling himself Daithi Boyce. I tried to make sense of it by adding a bit of grammar….:

tom ur an asshole. not only did you do a great deal. well didnt fuckin help with the starview boxs s with all your shite on the net. now you telling people about netopia routers your a fucking killjoy. i suppose youve loads of fucking money to buy what you want. not like all other people i leave mine unsecured so they can use as they wish but id say your either locked up to the hilt or too greedy to use the net at home. id fucking love it if i knew how to fuck up your site but id say some1 will the way things are going. regards you greedt prick
signed daithi

Well Happy New Year to you too Daithi, I really don’t understand how I’ve annoyed you. Do you think it’s ok to steal services from providers just because you can or that it’s too expensive? Well I personally don’t. But I do agree with you that it’s not fair that these services are not affordable for everyone. But only by getting people to talk with their money will change this.

Since the Starview boxes have stopped working, most people I know that had one have moved on to Sky. It’s a cheaper and better service than the one provided by NTL. I’m sure that once NTL start noticing this trend, they will start to think of providing a better, cheaper service.

In relation to Eircom‘s routers… If you look at the statistics of this site – most people find this site looking for ways to hack eircom’s routers – not to prevent themselves from being hacked. While the NTL situation only affected the corporate company, the Eircom situation is much different. It’s completely wrong for an unsuspecting person to have to pay for someone who logs on to their network uninvited and racks up a bill for that person because they didn’t know they were susceptible to this hack. I don’t have loads of money as you think, so the thought of me being hacked and someone exceeding my bandwidth limit frigthens the hell out of me… it’s not cheap!!!!

In saying all that – you just have to visit any suburban housing estate in Dublin and I’m sure you’ll find there are still hundreds (if not thousands) of open Eircom routers still vulnerable to the attack mentioned on this blog.

So you can continue with your one man crusade in taking down my website, I do however have your ip address, email address and your name if such an unlikely event takes place….

Happy New Year! :)

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UPC / NTL launch new encryption to beat the hackers

NTL Communications (Ireland) Limited
Image via Wikipedia

UPC (Formerly NTL) have finally launched their new encryption to prevent illegal access to their service. Forums are buzzing with discussions on the latest move by UPC to once and for all eradicate the pirates who use their service for free with the so called “Dodgy Boxes”.

Whether they’ve moved to Nagravision 2 or 3 is so far unclear, but most of the people on the afterdawn forum aren’t holding out much hope for a “fix” to compromise this latest encryption.

According to the forums, MUTV and the Adult Channels are the ones that have been hit first. They also suggest that over the next few days, people using Starviews, Eurovox’s or any other dodgy box will slowly see their channels disappear.

If I worked for UPC, I would so far count this as a huge success as users of the forums seem to have given up any hope of there ever being a fix. Well done you!

But I imagine a lot of people will begin to change over to Sky now as it’s a much better offering!

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The Box Super USB Review

I got a chance to have a look at another one of these so called “dodgy boxes” the other day. The latest and greatest offering from the the Starview creators is The Box Super USB.

My instant reaction when I saw it being turned on was the huge improvement in the graphics and interface. It really has come along way from the first Starview box. Additionally, with it came a USB stick, branded with The Box logo which can be inserted into the newly added USB port of The Box for backing up channel data and of course doing firmware updates.

The firmware update is a million times easier than the laborious R232 cable scenario. You simply copy the files from your computer to the USB stick, insert it in the USB port on The Box, hit menu, go to USB and select the file that you’ve just copied. It updates in seconds and no need for wires everywhere!

The Box Super offers the pause live TV and record functions that a lot of other devices are offering now. I unfortunately didn’t see this in action as the external HDD didn’t work with it for some reason. From what I’ve heard, unlike the Eurovox, it has two tuners, so you can view one channel whilst recording another.

Other than that it does all the usual stuff. Is it worth the upgrade? I would have to say yes, for sure!

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Eurovox EX5000 PVR Review

I got my hands on one of the new Eurovox PVR EX5000 to try out and so far I’m pretty impressed.

The Eurovox PVR is miles ahead of other alternative cable boxes such as the Starview. Not only is the EPG far superior, they just seem to have got the simple things right. Transitions between channel changes is smooth, the onscreen graphics are a lot less obtrusive and it has graphical indicators that make more sense than those on the Starview.

The Eurovox PVR EX5000 also has the brilliant feature – pausing live TV. No longer do you have to miss the important bits on your favourite show when you need to use the loo or make yourself a cup of tea. With one click of a button you can pause the show and revert to it when you have finished doing your bits.

The Eurovox PVR EX5000 also has a recording facility. You can use either the EPG or set a timer to record your favourite programs.

As far as I’m aware, the Eurovox PVR EX5000 doesn’t come with a built in hard drive. You have to buy a hard drive as an extra. Prices for the Eurovox PVR EX5000 start at €189 without a hard drive, with a hard drive, prices start from €250.

Oh and if you plan to use one of these illegally with one of our cable providers, beware that the PVR is for normal cable and the Eurovox TX is for MMDS.

If I had one problem with the Eurovox PVR EX5000 it’s that you can’t rewind TV. With the new NTL digibox PVR option, you can rewind the channel you have been currently viewing. I’ve found this to be extremely useful!

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How NTL / UPC can beat the Starview Box

UPC Romania

For quite some time now, NTL/UPC have had a thorn stuck in their foot. That thorn is something commonly known as a “dodgy box” or the official name “starview box” / “The box”.

The dodgy box allows non technical home users hook on to a basic NTL / UPC analog line and receive digitial TV including fully subscription based channels – free of charge.

In fairness to NTL, they’ve tried everything they can to beat these boxes. From sending out sensational rumours (i.e. a rumour that viruses could be sent down the line to these boxes) to constantly disrupting the service by changing the encryption code. Although I’m sure it suceeded in removing the “plug n play” type users, who don’t understand why their TV doesn’t work when it’s unplugged, it certainly hasn’t deterred those who know what they are doing.

So how can they really beat these rogue thieves from stealing their service? Well I think it’s quite simple and they seem to be making a step towards this.

Personally, if I think a service is good enough, I don’t mind paying extra for value. Recently NTL/UPC sent me a letter stating that they were upgrading all digital customers in my area to facilitate the new services they have coming online. In cable forums across the UK and Ireland, the rumour is that they are doing this so that they can start using a new encyption that will make the majority of these dodgy boxes as useful as a doorstop.

In the letter they mentioned that they were offering a new “DVR service”. This is NTL/UPC’s attempt at competing against the might Sky’s – SKy Plus, that allows you to pause and record live TV. Unlike Sky, they were offering this new service at only €5 per month, with no charge for the upgraded device. I thought, why not? €5, it’s well worth it.

So it got me thinking of what else they could offer:

  1. Improved DVR service
    Although the new service is much welcomed, it’s not a patch on Sky Plus. The interface is slow and doesn’t allow certain things like Sky Plus does.
  2. More Channels
    I think they could easily offer more channels to their package. Just by adding free-to-air channels, surely there’s little if any cost for them to do this. They recently removed my beloved Scuzz music channel without any notice – this was a free to air channel, that I’m sure they weren’t paying for.
  3. A True Digital Service
    It’s taken a while for NTL to offer even the basic pause live TV function, but some interactive functions would be really nice, like shopping online etc. Or even just the ability to “click the red button” 😉
  4. Interactive Gaming
    Not something I’d personally use that often, but a drawer none the less.
  5. Cheaper Price
    Obviously I’m going to say this, but the price comparison between NTL/UPC and Sky is just non existent. Sky just offer a greater package, even though they are slightly more expensive. This could be a huge turning point for People to use NTL / UPC over Sky.

The DVR is a step in the right direction, but I know they could offer a lot more.

In fact, a quick review on the DVR system isn’t very impressive. It’s apparently a Thomson 6000 series device. The EPG is slow to load and quite finicky. Other pet hates are the fact that you can’t record from an external device, even though it allows you to channel it through it.

Anyway, I’m just giving out now 😉

All in all – if there was an improved, value for money service on the table, I believe people wouldn’t be bothered trying to hack the network with these dodgy boxes.

Updating a starview box, if you don’t have any friends to do it, can cost anything from €10 – €50. Why would they bother with the constant updates when you have a cheap, better alternative?

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