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Topic # 110639 12-Oct-2012 20:48 Send private message

I currently have TCL cable internet, and am considering upgrading to Broadband + Cable TV(Freeview) package.
Is it possible to so this using a 3rd party STB with a DVB-C tuner. If so is there any info available on what the technical requirements / configuration setup necessary.

PS. I don't want to go near a T-Box after seeing all the issues on here.

Thanks

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  Reply # 700448 12-Oct-2012 21:47 Send private message

You have zero-choice.. the signal will need to be provisioned by TCL and using separate modem for delivering the EPG data and other communication.

Honestly... our TBox been doing well, had it since the very very first day, probably the earliest bunch of getting it installed on the weekend it was first announced.




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  Reply # 700458 12-Oct-2012 22:52 Send private message

Unfortunately Colin, if any random piece of hardware that hasn't been farily rigorously evaluated for use in the TelstraClear cable tv system is attached to the cable network, you run the very real likelihood of injecting noise or other unwanted interference into the CATV (Community Antenna Television) leg or node you are fed from.
Likely any 3rd party equipment you can get has come out of the North American, European or Asian market, it's may not be power compatible and it won't have any of the conditional access setup that will make it compatible or useful on the TelstraClear cable network.
So on that basis, it's a far safer bet not to bother spending your pennies on a box that might physically attach ok but will be useless for its intended purpose.




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  Reply # 700462 12-Oct-2012 23:13 Send private message

DoomlordVekk: likelihood of injecting noise or other unwanted interference into the CATV (Community Antenna Television) leg or node you are fed from.


I hate it when I read stuff like this. 

This is the sort of rhetoric I remember hearing from Telecom back in the 80's about why we had to pay thousands to PTC gear (including just blowing stuff up in testing even though the gear already had been tested to recognized international standards).

Back then we demanded published standards and explanation as to why industry testing was not ok.  

Since those times we have also demanded 'Open Access Network' that are built on international standards not 'quozi' 'Telecom' standards (eg the PTC).

In the software space this is a big part of what the whole Open Source/FLOSS/Open Standards stuff has been about for decades now.  We grew though years of browser wars to get every one supporting the same HTML standards.  We've seen geeks just 'hack' protocols like SMB so computers with different OS's can just share files and printers.

Don't get me wrong here...

I do understand about the desire of TCL to protect service quality on their network for all their customers.

I do understand about the desire of the technical guys to not take on ownership of running a network with all manner of unknown gear, with limited resource.

I do understand that someone with 'some' degree of technical skill has looked at the balance between letting customers save a few dollars on cheap STB's (to get a few extra customers) v's the business costs of supporting the network with this equipment in place (even when the gear does follow standard to the letter and does not interfere with the network in any way as DV suggests is possible).







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  Reply # 700469 12-Oct-2012 23:50 Send private message

It is with some regret that I must gently break it to you Don, that sometime the world isn't going to dance to the sound of your particular theme song, rock anthem or marching band.

Yes, the systems and standards for DOCSIS and DVB-C/C2 Cable TV system are published, publically available and regularly revised.
Yes, by and large, equipment designed for CATV networks SHOULD behave itself when attached to any given CATV network, however, until it's tested, you can't know that it's not going to introduce something strange like some sort of 3rd or 4th order harmonic into the leg you attach to.
It might be badly shielded, allowing your baby monitor or next door's CB radio system signal to ingress, putting a dirty great carrier spike right into the middle of your 64QAM upstream channel, rendering it useless and effectively halving or quartering the upstream capacity in that leg or node.

Wanting or wishing something to be different to how it finds itself in the world is probably only setting yourself up for disappointment.




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  Reply # 700472 13-Oct-2012 00:04 Send private message

DoomlordVekk: It is with some regret that I must gently break it to you Don, that sometime the world isn't going to dance to the sound of your particular theme song, rock anthem or marching band.


I think that's a really good way to put it.  This really is about 'taste in music'.

...and no, I'm not being sarcastic here, I actually fully agree with you.

In the past I've known many technical folk who would have responded to comments such as yours above, when made by Telecom, with perfectly valid responses that frankly were just about 'the tune of business'.

In the Telecom space, my observation was that the response would be that TCL should simply provide education about the risk of allowing non TCL gear on the network and then passed costs associated with non compliant gear back to offenders.

The mere fact that someone posts the question of using a cheap STB suggests to me that today we have people who don't understand the lessons some of us learnt from the last 3 decades of deregulation.

The recent RBI towers that have been built to allow for 6 competitors on each, has to be the best current example of why TCL not letting imported STB's on the network is actually a good thing.






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  Reply # 700497 13-Oct-2012 07:33 Send private message

DonGould:
DoomlordVekk: likelihood of injecting noise or other unwanted interference into the CATV (Community Antenna Television) leg or node you are fed from.


I hate it when I read stuff like this. 



I hate it when my HFC service is degraded by noise ingress.

Yes it does happen, and uit's clearly something you know very little about. The weakest link when it comes to any RF based access medium such as wireless or DOCSIS is interference or poor quality connections dragging down network capacity.

There is a thread here on GZ from 3 or 4 years ago discussing problems over a duration of several months where TCL technicians spent huge amounts of time tracking down the source of constant disconnections and speed issues affecting an entire node in Upper Hutt. The problem was tracked to noise ingress from somebody who had made changes to the wiring and had their cable hooked into multiple TV's.

I had major speed issues for around a week a couple of months ago. The cause? Noise ingress on the node.


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  Reply # 700498 13-Oct-2012 07:37 Send private message

ColinS: I currently have TCL cable internet, and am considering upgrading to Broadband + Cable TV(Freeview) package.
Is it possible to so this using a 3rd party STB with a DVB-C tuner.



Yes. But you'll be breaking your terms and conditions of service by hooking up an unauthorised device so need to be aware of the consequences if you do go down this path.



If so is there any info available on what the technical requirements / configuration setup necessary.


Not from TelstraClear but there are plenty of discussions here on GZ that talk about this. Search is your friend.


PS. I don't want to go near a T-Box after seeing all the issues on here.

Thanks


The latest software updates have fixed a lot of the reported issues.

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  Reply # 700531 13-Oct-2012 09:44 Send private message

sbiddle: I hate it when my HFC service is degraded by noise ingress.

Yes it does happen, and uit's clearly something you know very little about.


While this stuff does all comply with some basic standards, it seems that it's very fragile. 

You're right on the mark with the suggestion that I know very little about complex coax systems. 

I've hooked 5 devices in my house together with a splitter off one antenna, I've had 40 TV's in a retail store running off one system (and yes, learnt from the latter that you do have to take a great deal of care to make every single connection well or you can upset the picture on the whole lot).

I have never worked on systems with 2,000 devices hanging off them (the average node size in Wellington on the TCL network aiui).

I was interested to observe the local cable tech spending 30 minutes just doing line testing when he swapped out my DOCSIS2 modem for one of the new Cisco DOCSIS3 modems with the upgrade to WARP.

Personally I'm used to, and like working with really robust technology that just works and you can get away with all sorts of idiocy before anything breaks.

DSL seems a bit like one of those technologies to me these days.  I remember when it first came out in Australia and you were only allowed to use one model of one brand of modem. 


I think it's easy to make the mistake that a transition of thinking in one technology space can and will translate to another.  eg DSL to cable.






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  Reply # 700629 13-Oct-2012 13:14 Send private message

Both DOCSIS and DSL are in the category of "amazing that it works at all."
 
DSL is butting up against the Shannon Hartley limits (which is to say, essentially the 2nd Law of thermodynamics) as to how much signal you can get down a channel. Plus, thermal noise, just to make life even more fun.

And cable? Well, much, MUCH higher bandwidth is possible, but even so, ultimately the same constraints (thermal noise and cross talk not so much). Basically, HFC is like Mt Kaukau (for the Wellington residents) in a box, Only, unlike Mt Kaukau you are also listening to 100,000 TV sets talking BACK at you.

Neither DSL nor HFC like noise. In fact, that is the great enemy. Noise comes from cracks in cables, dodgy pieces of equipment, poor power supplies, poor wiring, etc..

A DVB standard STB isn't actually going to cause a problem, but the splitter you spliced into the coax to connect it? It might be OK, or then again it might be a world of pain to everyone around you.

And finally, conditional access. You only see the channels you subscribe to. They are all encrypted. You'd need your STB authorised otherwise you won't be able to decrypt any content. 

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