tcc wrote:I think the context of the thread is XBMC + Project Connect, not sealed-box players that you are talking about.
First, I do not believe any vanilla flavor of linux will ever work. There are numerous reasons for this ranging from the aforementioned philosophical differences, i.e. lack of interest, aversion, and even defiance; to the practical and financial issues. This means you are unlikely to be able to grab a PC off the shelf install it with the OS of your choice and watch pay TV any time in the near future.
Also, what's wrong with the "sealed-box"? I think we're past the days where these STBs only ran applications supplied by the manufacturer. As long as that box will run XBMC in addition to performing its primary task, what's the issue?
What I pictured when I suggested my solution are the requirements being: small form factor, low power, flexible, and low cost. These key points are my primary rationale for suggesting linux. In fact I believe the original posting I answered never specified linux; only the desire to use an alternative interface.
Basically you need to ask yourself what are your needs? Is running 3rd party software the primary requirement? If so, the proposed Android solution I suggested would allow you to use XBMC, MythTV, or the solution of your choice. To make this easier to understand I'll illustrate with an example.
Note: its not a direct example but I don't feel its necessary to walk through both iOS and Android solutions.
On Apple's iOS platform any developer can make an app that can play DRM. The app creates an instance of the iPod secure media player and simply controls certain parameters such as displayed content size, volume, trick play, start and stop. The developer has no access to the media, nor directly to iPod player itself. The additional catch is you must go through Apple's iTunes pipeline. Basically you're just automating the process of a person playing media through iPod. This works for pay TV as well since the user wants to replay the content, not modify it. In the case of XBMC it would act as a front end.
Also you might also ask why not simply make a DMC for a compatible DLNA device? The answer to that is first-- two units. Second, you would not be able to modify the front end. The solution would end up similar to using a Colossus to grab frames from your cable box. The solution would neither be elegant nor provide tight integration.
tcc wrote:I'm not seeing anything in SoftDMA2 that would allow it to be certified to play copy protected TV.
What does being certified for copy protected TV have to do with it? HDHR is certified for cable card and Project:Connect suggests that it will also be certified for DLNA with DTCP-IP acting as protection during transport. Cablelabs has also partnered with DTLA (DTCP's governing body) to allow DTCP-IP certified DLNA devices access to pay TV content. In effect HDHR should be handing off DRM duties to DTCP-IP as it primary source of content protection. A certified and compatible DLNA agent should then be able to authenticate and receive the content for playback, DVR duties, etc.
The big and unanswered question, since we currently have no examples, is: what devices will be allowed to authenticate? Will they authenticate fully and allow for copy-never access or will they authenticate partially and be restricted to copy-once or lesser access.