Silver MemberUsername: Runnerguy
Post Number: 814
Gold MemberUsername: Ke5aqn
IF I DONT KNOW THE ANSWER, I WILL FIND...
Post Number: 1021
Silver MemberUsername: Runnerguy
Post Number: 815
Silver MemberUsername: Chicky3884
Post Number: 146
Gold MemberUsername: Rtap
Post Number: 1228
* Testing is a hobby
* Testing requires a lot of reading (Especially when you're beginning)
* Testing requires a fair bit of time
* Testing may cost a lot of money (In some cases, more than what a regular subscription would cost)
* Testing requires patience
* Testing is fun
* What Testing IS NOT Testing is not about free TV
* Testing is not for everyone
* Testing is not about ripping of satellite companies (A large percentage of testers do pay for a subscription)
* Testing is not a source of reliable TV. It could go down at any time. If you are looking for a reliable source of TV, pay your cable or Satellite provider (you should do this anyways)
Now that I've got that out of the way, I'd like to say that I, and many other people spend more time reading information and learning than they do watching TV. I'd now like to talk about what skills are required. Basic computer skills are esential. You should know how to navigate your way around the internet, sign up for discussions, use online chats, download files and other basic tasks. Another skill that is good to have in your "Testing Toolbelt" is half decent soldering skills. Although this is not a must, you may find that at one time or another you may have to do some soldering.
I will not start discussing some terms you may come across when your first starting that you aren't familiar with.
BEV -this simply stands for Bell ExpressVu. ExpressVu is the main provider of Satellite programming in Canada
Dick, Dish Network, Echo Star, E*, Charlie -when people say this, they are referring to one of the 2 main Satellite providers in the U.S., Dish Network. Dish Network is the company that provides the programming and Echo Star is the company that manufactures the receivers. Charlie Ergen is the CEO of Dish Network and people sometimes referr to Dish Network as Charlie.
DTV, Direc, Direc TV, Dave -this is the other main Satellite provider in the U.S., Direc TV. Dish Newbies does not contain information on Direc TV.
AVR, AVR Board, AVR 3, AVR 4, AVR 5, AVR 6 -these are currently the main way that people test BEV and Dish Network. An AVR board is something a little bit bigger than the smart card that comes with your receiver and contains a chip called an Atmel (I think most have the Atmel AT90S8515). The Atmel is then loaded with a program that you can download off this website that will allow you to unlock all of your channels. You load the Atmel chip via your computers parallel port (This is the 25 Pin printer port on your computer). You then put the AVR board in your receiver and if all goes well, you will get all the channels. The only difference between AVR 3, 4, 5 and 6 is the 4, 5 and 6 have a chip called an EEPROM added on to it with certain pins on the Atmel jumpered. AVR 4, 5 and 6 are really just marketing techniques that a dealer used to make it sound like they are the offering the newest and latest technology. AVR boards sell anywhere from $30 to $100 so do your shopping.
IRD -this stands for Integrated Receiver Decoder. This is just a fancy word for your receiver that most people use because IRD is easier to type than Receiver. There are many different models of IRDs which have different features.
CAM -this stands for Conditional Access Module. Again, this is a fancy name for your smart card that comes with your receiver. There are three different versions of smart cards: ROM 2, ROM 3 and ROM 10. ROM 2 CAMs can be read and written to using a smart card reader. ROM 3 CAMs were introduced later on because of added security features. If your ROM 3 hasn't been in the stream for a while (since July 2001 for Dish Network) it may be open and you may be able to read and write it. ROM 10s are the latest and they are closed at the factory so currently you can't read or write to a ROM 10 and the use of an AVR board is required.
EEPROM -this stands for Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory. When you hear the term EEPROM when testing, it's most likely either referring to either a chip inside your IRD that holds personal settings such as favourite lists, passwords, etc.. The EEPROM inside your IRD has been a target by Dish Network and possibly BEV in an attempt to combat piracy. There are methods two lock your EEPROM and opinions vary on if this is a good idea or not. There will be a guide on how to perform this lock on this website. The other reference to EEPROM is the 24LC256 chip on newer AVR boards that allows for autoroll.
TSOP -this stands for Thin Small-Outline Package. This is a chip inside your receiver that holds the firmware for your receiver. Like the EEPROM, this chip has been a target in the past for Dish Network. Also like the EEPROM, this chip can be locked and guides will be provided on this website.
ECM -ECM stands for Electronic Counter Measure. This is when Dish Network and BEV's way of fighting piracy by hitting your EEPROM, TSOP or even your smart card.
Jeepers -This is the most popular program that is used for programming AVR boards with. The program was written by a person who goes by the alias Dave2 and this is an excellent program for programming your AVR board. The latest version can be downloaded from the files section of this website.
Box Key -This is a a 16 character (8 byte) hexadecimal number stored on your receiver's TSOP. The box key is presumed to be different on every IRD. The box key is required on any form of testing that does not require the use of you smart card - A.K.A. Camless. The box key is also written to your CAM when you subscribe. If you have an open CAM you may be able to read the card with a smart card programmer and get your box key that way. Another method of retrieving your IRD's box key is by reading it through a method called JTAG. Some models of IRDs have pads on the bottom that allow you to hook up wires to and read your IRD's box key. Read the JTAG Guide for more information.
Married Sub -You are considered to be running Married Sub if you are currently subscribed to Dish Network or BEV. When you subscribe, your CAM is married to your IRD. If you are Married Sub, you can insert your CAM into an AVR board and allow the CAM to do some of the work required in order to receive all the channels. When your CAM is married to your IRD that cam will work in your IRD only.
Virgin -Virgin is the status of your IRD and CAM when they have never been subscribed to Dish Network or BEV. If you want to hack a virgin IRD you must know your IRD's box key and run camless.
Camless -This is when you hack Dish Network or BEV and your CAM is not used at all. In order for any camless hack to work, your must know your IRD's box key. Dish Network have recently updated the speed of their data stream and camless is not currently working with the Atmel AT90S8515. There is a new AVR board that utilizes a faster chip and it's presently able to keep up with the speed of the data stream. The other camless hack that is working is Winvu or JavaEMU. These are both emulation programs that run on your computer and an AVR board in your IRD passes on the data from the IRD to your Computer so it can process it. For information on setting up Winvu, read the Winvu Guide
One of the first things you might want to consider before you start "testing" is whether or not you want to have a subscription to BEV or Dish Network. Many people do decide to have a subscription because if there preferred method of testing is down, they feel they have their subscription to fall back to (please note that even subscribers IRD's can be hit and your subscription could be useless). Also, please consider that if you do not want to run with a subscription, you must know your IRD's boxkey. It is also important to note that you can't easily get the box key from all IRD's. If you have a 2700, 2800, 3100 (older one), 3700, 3800, 3900, 4700, 4900, DP-301, PVR501, 5100, 6000, DRD420, DRD440, or DRD480, then you can get the box key through a method called JTAG. JTAG is currently the easiest way to get your box key. Using JTAG to get your IRD's box key involves either purchasing a device that is attached to some pads on the bottom of your IRD and connecting it to your computer's printer port and using a special program that will read your box key or making your own JTAG reader. For more information on JTAG, please read the Jtag guide . The box key can be obtained from models that don't have a JTAG port but this for the more advanced user. It is also a good idea to check out the "Status" section for either BEV or Dish Network. The "Status" section will tell you what is working and what's not.