The other day I decided to try out a Miraclebox 7 HD C/T2 Hybrid, using it with the Swedish cable provider comhem. The reason for this was I wanted to see if it was possible to record broadcasts unencrypted and later be able to play it back on any device, such as a computer. Here’s a walkthrough as to what I did…
First of all, in order to be able to do recordings in an unencrypted way with comhem you need to use the built-in card reader with the Miraclebox.
You will not be able to record every HD-channel unencrypted although you are legally paying for a subscription with several HD-channels in the plan. Only Svt1 HD and Svt2 HD and all of the SD-channels will be available for recording. This has to do with the pairing comhem uses for the other HD-channels meaning the card has to be paired with your Set-top-box or CA-module (CI+). Comhem does not allow pairing with this box, but you can of course, with this box, put your card in a supported CA-module (CI+)…
…and then put the paired module (with card) in one of the CA-slots in the miraclebox, but that will make the recordings encrypted and locked for playback to that particular box only. That was not the mission of this project. However, most people does only have the basic-plan with comhem which does only come with two HD-channels (Svt1 HD and Svt2 HD), both of which does not require pairing but decryption, hence can be recorded unencrypted with the miraclebox built-in card-reader provided you have a card and a subscription with comhem. In that case, it makes perfect sense to use the built-in card reader since you will be able to record, in an unencrypted fashion, every channel you subscribe to. Please note that the following channels, as of June 2015, does not require a card, but only a set-top-box in order to be tuned into.
- 1, SVT1
- 2, SVT2
- 4, TV4
- 6, TV6
- 14 FOX
- 15 TV4 Fakta
- 42 Axess TV
- 125 Kunskapskanalen
- 153 SVTB/SVT24
Now when we have the background, let’s start by flashing the box with the latest and greatest firmware. The fw can be downloaded from the miraclebox site here: fw_download_site
Now download and unzip the file m7-v2-11-87-ci-.zip and put the unzipped file FAC.MIRACLEBOX.7hdpvr.CIP.v2.11.87.ird on a usb-stick. Put that usb stick into one of the usb slots in the miraclebox (front- or back-side doesn’t matter which one).
The box will automatically pick up that the new firmware is available.
Just wait until done. When finished and rebooted, choose “cable” and start the channel search…
Now, you should be all set for watching and recording your channels. Please note that you need to plug in your comhem card into the card-reader otherwise you won’t be able to watch any encrypted channels in your subscription-plan. This is what will meet you in that case, see below. The chip-on-card should face downwards when inserted into the box.
The miraclebox 7 does not have any internal hard-drive slot so you have to use either a usb-drive/stick or some sort of network attached storage. The box will read ntfs drives which is a good thing for plug-and-play operability when moving your recordings to a PC or the like for playback or editing.
Borrowing a friends card temporarily just to try out the quality of a HD-recordings shows this:
The recording creates a folder named Recordings with three files in it. The ts-file is the container with the video and sound muxed together. Opening the ts-file in tsMuxeR shows that, besides the video, the recording picks up both the MPEG-Audio track and the AC3 5.1-channel track. And the resolution of the video is 720p at 50 fps, sweet 🙂
Recording a normal SD-channel gives typically these result:
My findings: It works very well to do unencrypted recordings with this box, but one thing to consider is that this box has only one tuner which makes it impossible to record any encrypted channel while watching another. You need a box with at least two tuners in that case. Maybe the VU+ Duo2 or Miraclebox 9 HD C/T2 TWIN is a better option in that case.
Please note that sharing any of your recordings with others can be subject of piracy and is not something I support, that is something you must avoid doing. You are allowed to keep copies of your recordings for your own personal use.
Miraclebox 7 features: