Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
Australasia's "New Economy" News And Commentary Site
Headlines | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Archives | Job Centre | MARKETPLACE | For Sale
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Sky TV's UHF Service Cracked 16 May 2002 Edition
Previous Edition | Archives

Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
Click To See
TV tuner cards are an increasingly common component of many home PCs these days.

They cost little more than a regular video card but offer the ability to tune in to the same VHF and UHF free-to-air (FTA) broadcasts that a regular television can receive.

Another attractive feature of these cards is that they allow you to use your camcorder (even the old analog one) as a digital camera -- you just play back the tape and capture whatever frames you want to use as a still image.

However, there are other things you can do with that clever little card -- watch Sky's UHF pay TV channels for instance -- for free.

Coming Up This Week
In response to reader demand, I'll be publishing and archiving an updated version of my guide to website promotion and online marketing. If you've got a website that needs more traffic, or if you're trying to sell products or services online then this is the type of information that you can pay big money for elsewhere. Don't miss it.

Over the past few years I've seen various pieces of software on the web which claimed to decode the VideoCrypt system and I've always wondered whether they'd actually work on a Sky TV signal here in NZ.

Well, according to one Kiwi (who, since this column was published has pulled the relevant webpages from his site -- for obvious reasons), they do.

Yes, if you'd prefer to pay a few dollars extra for a video card with tv tuner capabilities (preferably one that also has a TV-out connector so that you can plug your large-screen TV set in rather than rely on your PC's wimpy little monitor), you can get a lifetime of access to NZ's largest pay TV service at no extra cost.

Now don't get me wrong -- I don't condone this type of theft for one minute -- I'm simply citing this as yet another example of just how difficult it has become to protect intellectual property in the 21st century.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • VideoCrypt... - Ben
  • VideoCrypt decoding... - Pete
  • hvcplus for decoding sky... - Richard

    From Yesterday...

  • The Music Industry... - Nick
  • Kills iMacs... - Matt
  • Norton Antivirus Upgrade... - Graham
  • cds and viruses... - Brett
  • Have Your Say

    I believe that there has been a very small black market in special VideoCrypt decoders which don't require a smart card for some time -- but the number of people who have access to such devices is extremely small and unlikely to threaten Sky's bottom line at all.

    A software-based solution that can be downloaded anonymously from the Net and installed on a regular PC is perhaps a whole different story though.

    Given the choice of handing over a fist-full of $10 notes to Sky each month or downloading a piece of software -- what do you think that many students and young people will do?

    Hey, now little Johnny can watch Sky sports in his bedroom on his PC while mom and dad watch the movie channel, so who (apart from Sky) is going to bitch about that?

    How long, I wonder, before Sky just turns off its UHF service, relying instead on its satellite-based digital broadcast? I guess the existance of this software is extra incentive to do so.

    Have you tried this software? Did it work for you? What do you think about the ethics of using this software to watch another channel in the bedroom if you've already paying for a Sky subscription?

    Note -- I feel it worth reminding readers that downloading software from the Net and installing it on your PC always involves an element of risk. You don't know what "hidden features" may lurk within and there has been a growing trend for some packages to include spyware or adware products. I have no idea whether this is the case with the software referred to here.

    Have Your Say
    As always, your comments are welcomed. Please remember to select "For Publication" if you want them included on this site.

    Have your say.

    Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
    Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or page?

    Just add a couple of lines of JavaScript to your pages and you can get a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated each and every week-day.

    Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using the RSS format. More details can be found here.

    Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and have any problems.

    Linking Policy
    Want to link to this site? Check out Aardvark's Linking Policy.

    Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!

    Latest
    Security Alerts
    Security flaw in Microsoft Office for Mac (CNet - 18/04/2002)

    A trio of MS-Office security vulns (TheReg - 10/04/2002)

    Two new "critical" bugs patched in IE (ZDNet - 01/04/2002)

    Second Java hole poses Windows risk (CNet - 20/03/2002)

    Microsoft offers patch for Java software (CNet - 06/03/2002)

    Latest
    Virus Alerts
    New Klez worm squirms across Internet (CNet - 18/04/2002)

    Aphex E-mail Worm Has A Way With IRC, Instant Messenger (NewsBytes - 11/04/2002)

    'Bill Clinton' Worm Gets Around (NewsBytes - 22/03/2002)

    Bookmark This Page Now!

     

    MORE NEWS
    NZL Sites
    IDG.Net.nz
    NZ Netguide
    NZ Herald Tech
    PC World NZ
    Scoop
    NZOOM Technology WordWorx

    AUS Sites
    ZDNet
    Fairfax IT
    Australian IT
    AUS Netguide
    NineMSN Tech
    APC Magazine

    USA Sites
    Wired.com
    CNet
    CNNfn Tech
    TechWeb
    Yahoo Tech
    ZDNet Tech
    USA Today Tech
    7am.com SciTech

    UK Sites
    The Register
    BBC SciTech

     

    The Day's Top News
    Open in New Window = open in new window
    New Zealand

    Open in New Window UnitedNetworks looks at sending data over power lines
    UnitedNetworks is looking at using power lines to transmit data, says Sean McDonald, general manager of the power utility's communications division...
    IDG

    Open in New Window ISP consolidation continues apace
    The consolidation of the New Zealand ISP market continues unabated with Auckland-based Maxnet's purchase of Web Internet...
    IDG

    Other

    Open in New Window Napster CEO Quits; Report Hints At Bankruptcy
    Napster CEO Konrad Hilbers is stepping down amid reports that the startup peer-to-peer song-swapping service is preparing to file for bankruptcy...
    NewsBytes

    Open in New Window Windows XP Updates: More Trouble Than They're Worth?
    For many users, downloading updates for Microsoft's latest and greatest operating system, Windows XP, means crashed systems, devices that do not work and and sometimes an inability to boot up at all...
    NewsFactor

    Open in New Window Turkey Passes Strict Net Law
    After a 10-hour Turkish parliament session during which a scuffle was averted, a media law severely limiting freedom of expression on the Web passed with no change early Wednesday...
    Wired

    Open in New Window Atari 2600 device heads back to the market
    For video-gaming enthusiasts who don't wish to shell out hundreds of dollars for the latest console, there may be an alternative in the form of an upcoming $20 device for playing classic Atari 2600 games...
    ZDNet

    Open in New Window Judge Orders VeriSign To Stop Marketing Campaign
    Internet domain naming giant VeriSign on Tuesday was ordered to halt a direct-mail campaign one day after BulkRegister filed a lawsuit against its No. 1 rival seeking to stop the mailing....
    NewsBytes

    Australia

    Open in New Window One Nation blames political rivals for virus attack
    Australian political minnow One Nation has blamed its political rivals for a series of virus attacks targeting one of its Web sites...
    ZDNet

    Open in New Window Australian telco crime on the increase
    Criminal use of telco technology is on the increase, according to a report from the Attorney-General's office...
    ZDNet

    Other

    Open in New Window Hoax virus alert could cripple Windows Java
    Antivirus experts are warning of a hoax virus alert which might trick users into deleting an important file on their Windows machines...
    The Register

    Open in New Window A New Marketing Model for IM
    For many marketers, the explosive growth of real-time communication isn't raising questions about whether to advertise on the Web using instant messaging (IM), but how...
    IMPlanet

    Open in New Window Opera expands its Linux language range
    Norway's Opera Software is targeting Eastern European and Asian markets with the final 6.0 release of its browser for Linux, unveiled Wednesday...
    CNet

    Open in New Window Microsoft casts .Net into upcoming Office
    Microsoft is finalizing plans for the next version of its Office business software, which will likely include new Web services, communication and collaboration features, said sources familiar with the company's plans...
    CNet

    Open in New Window Sun's StarOffice Launches Renewed Attack on MS Office
    In a campaign to compete directly with Microsoft Office, Sun Microsystems has released its new StarOffice suite of applications, touting the package as an alternative to proprietary software and noting that StarOffice has fewer licensing restrictions...
    NewsFactor


    Looking For More News or Information?

    Google
    Search WWW Search Aardvark

    Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2002, Bruce Simpson, republication rights available on request

    jet engine page