Videocrypt revival

fsphil

fsphil

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Yeah they're extremely hard to find - @Captain Jack found this one, a while ago now. It was almost as hard to find someone with a VHS recording of BBC Select, for us to extract a sample of the VBI data. That finally happened last week.

The one thing we're still missing is a viewing card. There was also mention of an Installer Card used to program the device - but I really don't expect any of those to have survived.
 
Captain Jack

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And I am looking for a second Selector - there must be one somewhere gathering dust in someone's loft?
 
Channel Hopper

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Can you take a picture of the one you have ?

Im sure I didn't throw out what I had (a 1u box in grey plastic, about 17 inches wide by 10 deep). It must be in the shed somewhere
 
fsphil

fsphil

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They're big beasties:
Dq8mt_0XcAAvlXz.jpg
 
fsphil

fsphil

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This one probably went bang when the original owner last plugged it in, one of the filtering capacitors in the PSU had exploded. Thankfully it's not an essential part, and can run fine without it.
 
2cvbloke

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Wouldn't happen to be a Rifa capacitor by any chance, would it?? They always go bang... :-wow
 
fsphil

fsphil

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Wouldn't happen to be a Rifa capacitor by any chance, would it?? They always go bang... :-wow
There wasn't enough left to identify, but it sure does look like it.

EPo-Wb3XkAA0exw.jpg
 
2cvbloke

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Yep, that looks to be a Rifa, that yellowy-brown colour and exploded state pretty much proves it to be one of theirs, they're absolutely nasty when they do pop, the smell is just horrible, I had one being used as a noise-suppressor in a Hoover Junior go pop and the stink stayed with the thing for as long as I had it despite cleaning it... :blink:
 
jeallen01

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This one probably went bang when the original owner last plugged it in, one of the filtering capacitors in the PSU had exploded. Thankfully it's not an essential part, and can run fine without it.
An amp (Rotel IIRC) belonging to a mate of mine did something like that whilst I was over at his place many years ago - did the same thing and cut it out, and the amp was fine thereafer (and without any real signs of interfering with any other kit).

OTOH, nowadays, with switched-mode PSUs in almost everything, they do rely on the suppression caps to reduce the conducted EMI effects of the high switching frequencies - so, whilst the unit itself will probably function OK, there is a higher liklihood of it inteferring with kit around it and plugged into the same set of mains-supply sockets.
 
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davemurgtroyd

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I've no idea what issue number they were on but what were the Freeview from Sky cards like?
It is not "Freeview from Sky" - it is Freesat From Sky. Apart from financial dealings and channels the only thing Sky ever had to do with terrestrial TV was the "not released" Picnic set top box - I actually have one with card slot (don't know what encryption method - perhaps Videocrypt) and I believe DVB T2

 
PaulR

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D'oh, I did, of course, know that but it's been such a long time since I posted about it that my mind wandered as I was putting fingers to the keyboard.

Anyway, we still don't know if the pukka Freesat from Sky cards have any identifying features.
 
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steeviebops

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I had one of those Picnic boxes myself, they were sold off cheap in Currys when the service was cancelled. They supported MPEG-4 SD so were useful in the early days of Saorview. I think they were also NDS VideoGuard but it was never used of course.
 
2cvbloke

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That Picnic thing sounds like they were a sandwich short... :lol:
 
S

steeviebops

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Here's a question, out of curiosity...

When a VideoCrypt picture is decoded, it leaves vertical bars on the far left and far right of the screen which seems to contain part of the scrambled picture. I never noticed it on the real transmissions but that was only because it's in the overscan area. Is there a reason why it's there?
 
fsphil

fsphil

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I believe the encoder rendered the lines a little wider than the decoder needed to allow for some error in the decoders timing.
 
Captain Jack

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It was there in real transmissions as well and was in fact very visible on our old Panasonic set. Was easy to tell when the transmission was scrambled without having to take the card out!


Some interesting info here as well.

 
Captain Jack

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A small demo showing Videocrypt 1 and 2 being broadcast at the same time. It's how Sky and Multichoice Central Europe simulcrypted some channels.

Videocrypt 1 (on the right) is handled by a refurbished Amstrad SRD510 and Videocrypt 2 is handled by Multichoice badged Thomson TSR710 (badged as Ferguson SRD6 in UK for Sky).

 
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