tobias_platen's blog

Archive for March, 2017

Compulsory Routers, the EU Radio Lockdown Directive and transition to DVB-T2

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

DVB-T will be switched off on 29/03/2017. I have seen ads for freenet TV,
for which I would need a new DRM-encumbered receiver. Of course I won’t
buy such a thing and use a different technology instead. I have a DVB-C terminal
in one room, but my TV set is in the other one. So I thought I could transmit
the TV signal from the source to a Raspberry Pi connected
to the TV set. On the other side there is a FRITZ!WLAN Repeater DVB‑C which
is compatible to free software Applications such as Kodi and VLC.

From June 2017 the FRITZ!WLAN Repeater DVB‑C is compliant with the directives
2014/53/EU, 2009/125/EC and 2011/65/EU. The first one replaces old directives
and is called the EU Radio Lockdown Directive. This directive harms Freifunk
and many other free software projects. As there is no standard for 5 GHz WLAN
many companies fear that they won’t be allowed to sell those products legally.
The FRITZ!WLAN Repeater DVB‑C also has 5 GHz WLAN, but I only use 2.4 GHz,
because 5GHz WLAN hardware does not work well with GNU/Linux yet. The AR9271
chipset has free firmware and only supports 2.4 GHz. It works well with the
Linux-Libre kernel and it’s firmware can be modified to support new features such as mesh networks.

I recently replaced my compulsory router (an Arcadyan VGV7510KW22) with a FRITZ!Box 7430.
If you have an Enterain or Vodafone TV packet you can also watch TV using VLC.
An IP-TV compatible router (such as a Fritzbox) is needed,
a set-top-box is often included for no additional cost when you switch to NGN.
But I don’t want to use a pay TV product which requires me to use TiVo Hardware.
TiVo (formerly Rovi Corporation and Macrovision Solutions Corporation) is one
of those companies that uses a locked down GNU/Linux operating system on their
digital video recorders (DVR). Macrovision was an analogue copy protection for
video tapes (VHS). Rovi is mentioned in the manual of the Vodafone TV Center.
So if I switch to Vodafone I won’t buy the TV packet, and I may not get the
multicast IP streams which contain the TV program. In any case I will have to
pay for the cable TV terminal, which is part of my apartment. The repeater
only supports unencrypted (DRM-free) TV, so I payed 86 Euros once instead
of 8 Euros per month for an encumbered pay TV product that I won’t use.