Encryption and ATSC 3.0

Recently there’s been a lot of chatter about ATSC 3.0 broadcasts going encrypted in the not-too-distant future. We’ve actually been hearing murmurs about this for quite a while, however what seems to have set things into a flurry is a notice from Nuvyyo (i.e. Tablo) indicating that their much-anticipated ATSC 3.0 version of Tablo is being delayed – because they need to implement A3SA. A3SA is the security architecture for handling encrypted ATSC 3.0 broadcasts. Apparently Nuvyyo learned a number of broadcasters were going to flip the encryption switch at the end of summer, and (kudos to them) elected not to release a product which wouldn’t handle those encrypted services.

(Now you actually can receive and watch an encrypted service due to the way ATSC 3.0 and common encryption works.  It won’t exactly be what you expect, but the psychedelic melange of greens and fuschias can be quite, well, entertaining in its own right…)

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DVR Storage Revisited: Chia Plotting SSD Drives

Those of you who’ve followed us here at in-koherence know that we’ve taken a skeptical eye to using SSDs in DVRs, although things started to turn around a couple years ago. Still, even with improved endurance and falling prices the good old hard drive reigned supreme. While they eventually suffer mechanical failure (usually degradation of the platters) after a time, they tend not to fail just because you’ve written a certain amount of data to them. In regular use the drive will suffer mechanical failure long before then. This isn’t the case with SSDs. The NAND flash cells can only be written a given number of times, and although most employ sophisticated algorithms to optimize the wear of those flash cells, you need to pay attention to a drive’s endurance rating.

But something interesting has happened in the storage market – high endurance and somewhat affordable SSDs have started to appear – thanks to the chia cryptocurrency of all things. And a reasonably-priced high-endurance SSD is just what’s needed for DVRs.

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A Year of NOVID-19

It’s been a year a year like no other. Social distancing. Paper hoarding.  DPE. Isolating  ourselves to reduce spread and avoid becoming one of the afflicted. But after a year of not having to make excuses about ignoring your aunt’s friend request and finally watching that DVD you bought in 2005, there’s a ray of hope in combating STRM-NOVID-19 and a return to normalcy.

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