HOW THE CABLE COMPANIES CATCH PIRATES

 

Bronze Member
Username: Chevrolet

Post Number: 93
Registered: Sep-10
C/P Info.

HOW THE CABLE COMPANIES CATCH PIRATES

There are several methods; here are some of the more popular. The first method is somewhat costly to the cable company, and is used usually only when they think they have a thief. A device called a Time-Domain Reflectometer(TDR) is used to send a timed signal from the cable line outside you home to your decoder.

The reflected energy of the signal is measured and then compared to previous measurements to find a time difference which would indicate that the box has been tampered with. Pirates were able to get around this by installing an in-line amplifier which would weaken the reflected signal. One problem with TDR is that you need previous readings, which are not usually taken at the time of installation for a reference point.

The second way is to modulate an identification signal onto the cable line at about 108 MHz. This signal sounds something like a "cuckoo", and "leaks" from the converter box where it can be picked up by cable company employees outside of suspected pirates homes using hand held receivers. Unfortunately the signals sent by the cable companies can also cause interference with FM reception within the home.

A third method is to program all cable boxes from the headend to display a message. This message is displayed only by boxes which have had a test chip installed and left in. The message informs the customer that they have won a free t-shirt or something similar. They only have to go to the Cable Company HQ to pick up their prize. And what a prize it is! A FREE trip to jail! Don't fall for this. There is no free lunch.

IS THERE A FIX FOR THE BULLET?

Yes, there are a couple of solutions to the problem. The "Bullet" as sent from headend causes the box to lock-up, and not output a picture. The fix is simple - unplug the power cord. After a few minutes, plug-in the box again and it should reset. At worst, the box may stay dead for up to 24 hours. If this doesn't work - go to the next fix.

The second fix is to install an in-line trap to filter out the actual message or "Bullet" before it can get to the microprocessor. This is accomplished by inserting on the cable going to the box, a small F-M trap. This trap is designed to "filter" out the frequency carrying the "Bullet" information. Unfortunately, there are a few side effects. One is that the box will not be updated with time-of-day, special messages and other "housekeeping" instructions. These small traps are popularly referred to as "Bullet Busters".
 

Platinum Member
Username: Plymouth

Canada

Post Number: 15392
Registered: Jan-08
Those things does not work here with Videotron, the cable box must send a answer to got the keys!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Old_howard

Post Number: 74
Registered: Oct-10
Nalo knows for sure...I am sure she is busy at an important board meeting!
 

New member
Username: Cosmo23

Post Number: 3
Registered: Aug-10
How about the new digital boxes? They are small and just decrypt the extended basic package for Comcast. One model is the Pace dx50.
 

New member
Username: Cosmo23

Post Number: 4
Registered: Aug-10
In an earlier post I asked if the DX50 could be detected at a different address that the one it was subscribed to. I have been using it this way but came home recently to it flashing two short blinks and a message on the screen to call the cable company
 

Silver Member
Username: Pirate_pete_208

Post Number: 360
Registered: Jan-10
cosmo23....on your extended basic package do you have any adult channels?
 

New member
Username: Cosmo23

Post Number: 5
Registered: Aug-10
No adult channels no movie channels, no program guide. Just digital expanded basic one step above the analog basic basic.
 

New member
Username: Cosmo23

Post Number: 6
Registered: Aug-10
Not even channels like syfy.
 

Silver Member
Username: Pirate_pete_208

Post Number: 363
Registered: Jan-10
So call them, and see what they want .
let them do the talking.
if they ask you about your extended basic package Box
just tell them you took it to your girl friend's beach house.

Do not give them anymore info.

didn't see anything wrong, since you are paying for the service
that can only be used one place at a time.

if they can't live with that, tell them to go sh!t in their hat.
 

New member
Username: Cosmo23

Post Number: 7
Registered: Aug-10
or Maybe they will decide to sh!t in my hat. I guess the question is does anyone know about these new boxes?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nydas

Post Number: 19978
Registered: Jun-06
Pirating cable TV would get you very quickly to jail where there is free TV for all inmates.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hardrockstriker

Post Number: 1043
Registered: Apr-06
All bull#$*t.
1. TDR is used for testing a medium for length or breaks. None of which have anything to do with piracy
2. 108 MHz signal is too weak for most receivers to detect. Even if the cable narc was to be sitting outside your house on your front lawn. Plus there are RF regulations that deal with this - which would put the cable companies in the illegal activity category.
3. Haven't heard any reports of head-end messages saying anyone won anything.

Stupid rumors...
 

Silver Member
Username: Harding

Post Number: 325
Registered: Dec-07
Mr Borne: Sir, that was a very well done description of reality.
 

Silver Member
Username: Scatman

Post Number: 133
Registered: Sep-05
Shortly after moving into this shack while repairing my niece's TV, just for the heck of it, I took the Comcast cable from my computer and plugged it into the TV. Switched the TV over to Cable as the source and let it check for available channels. To my amazement, it found 72 channels, some movie channels.

From time to time I would see a test pattern on a channel I was watching and was asked by a message to go to a specific channel to complete a test. Duh...I am not tupid...so I ignored the message and watched something else. After a couple years of this I did flip it to the channel the message said and nothing happened. Well, nothing for a couple days. Then, PoW, BIFF, Ker SMACK! went my free cable TV. The same day I received a special promotion to sign up with Comcast.

They have their ways. I think they used line resistance to check my signal as I believe the channel they sent me to was only visible by those who were receiving the service for free.

Now days I pay Comcast for a sub. EEKS, that sucks!
 

Gold Member
Username: Runnerguy

Pluto

Post Number: 2223
Registered: Sep-06
Cable Theft Info:

http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6195242/description.html
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nydas

Post Number: 19994
Registered: Jun-06
zulu: That is very good information.
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