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Piping my Foxtel signal to another TV makes me a Pirate


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#1 pcook

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 03:21 AM

When I had my Foxtel originally installed, the Foxtel installer cabled up a second connection to the TV in the family room, charging me an additional $100.00 to do so. Subsequently, when I transferred to Digital, Foxtel came out to my house and swapped out the old unit for the new digital unit without mentioning the cabling setup to the other room, the installer even left me a second remote control. Then in August last year I had IQ installed and the installer told my wife that it was not technically possible to use the cable setup with the IQ box and that the only way we could watch Foxtel on another TV was to buy a second unit and pay rental etc. Sure enough whenI tried it the second TV wouldn't tune in the Foxtel signal.

About 3 weeks ago I returned home and there was a cabler accross the road who was advertising Pay TV cabling so I asked him about the IQ inability to be cabled into the second outlet. He told me that was incorect as the IQ definitely works using a cable taken out from the RF output. I asked him to check my system and he discovered that the FOxtel installer had actually cut my cables and removed them from the roof.

When I rang Foxtel (By Telstra) to complain about this I was informed that I was breaking the law that they would not accept my complaint. I requested a manager ring me back so I could discuss this further. The Manager reiterated the original position that I was Breaking the Law and even went on to say that I was a pirate and that the installer was within his rights to put the side cutters through my cabling and remove it and that if I were to do this again that they would send Foxtel out to my house to check the cabling. I stated that I was not under any obligation to allow Foxtel into my house and his response was that they would do a signal strength test on my cabling to see if I was stealing Foxtel, when I responded that it would be very difficult to do so considering the air gap problem between to satellite and my one way dish he went all quiet on me......

Regardless, I cannot see how by simply cabling the Foxtel into another room I am breaking any laws as I am not getting any more than I have paid for, I am not using any decryption devices and I cannot watch anything on the second TV that is different to the original TV. Can anyone enlighten me as to what Law I have broken here? And in my opinion, if any laws were broken I think that the removal of my cabling would have to be illegal, not to mention the misleading information provided to my wife about the IQ's supposed inability to be cabled in....

#2 cyril

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:32 AM

What a load of cr%p, why would they provide multiple outlets on the box otherwise, I would wager that 70% of all installs have a RF feed to another room. I cannot find anywhere on Foxtels site saying it is illegal, nor can I find any reference to using the RF out.

In the following link from Foxtels sibling SkyNZ is a FAQ page, check out "Can I view SKY Digital on more than one TV in my house?" and "What is an additional outlet", in typical dumb down talk they mention splitting the digital signal to another TV, what they mean is using the RF out feed. It is standard practice to send feeds to other rooms from the RF out.

http://www.sky.co.nz...ntent=0&pid=445


I see no difference in that you have a IQ/MySky, over a normal digital box.

I would be concerned that an installer was illegally cutting wires in my house, if he was concerned he could have just reported you, rather than illegally tamper with your house wiring.

Cyril

Edited by cyril, 17 January 2006 - 04:35 AM.


#3 DrP

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 05:12 AM

Check the T&C on the piece of paper that you signed when you got Foxtel. Both Foxtel and Austar do not permit you to connect your STB to more than one display at a time.

#4 cyril

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 05:37 AM

Amazing, bskyb, Skynz, SkyItalia, DirectTV and Echostar/DishNetwork all allow other displays to be connect, even offer to do it for you for a small fee.

Would like to see that one tried in court, doubt it would go to far. Exactly what are you stealing?, Foxtels copyright/content protection has been implemented by the CA system, to see multiple views of the same material is not outside that. In court a beak would be asking why did the provide a box with multiple outlets if they did not intend them to be used, if they dont want them used then disable them quicktime.


Cyril

Edited by cyril, 17 January 2006 - 05:47 AM.


#5 Ted

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 06:23 AM

it is a retransmission as is the use of an av sender and that is or will be breaking the law.

#6 Luke Smith

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 07:25 AM

Here at work we have about 10 tvs attached to 3 Foxtel 'digital' boxes, and as i'm aware we don't pay anything over the standard rate for three boxes. They installed it like that. Tear the bastards appart.

IANAL.

Luke

#7 Caracarn

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 08:03 AM

Sounds like a load of crap, but I wouldnt be surprised, since you are denying them the revenue they would get if you had a 2nd stb.

I have 3 TVs in total connected to my IQ, I must therefore be a L33t pirate! I've got the main TV connected via scart and 2 other TVs connected via the composite connections.

Edited by Caracarn, 17 January 2006 - 08:06 AM.


#8 zorg

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 08:34 AM

what about hotels running foxtel???

#9 Guest_pdoc_*

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 08:43 AM

FOXTEL is about to release a range of accessories that will allow this to happen and will be prmoting the TV Link device www.tvlink.co.uk this is a great device that allow you to controll your iq from a second room or even multiple rooms if you use a power passing splitter as it requires the 9v on the second RF output to be turned on to power the TV Link..

#10 cyril

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 08:50 AM

So based on pdocs comments, there is no reason techically or legally why you cannot view on other TVs in your home simulateously. I seriously think that they cannot stop you, you are not "retransmitting" it, although an AVsender might consitute that, you are simply viewing the programming that you paid for.

Sounds like its all just a bunch of trumped up Foxtel employies who need to learn what customer service is all about.


Cyril

#11 g0g0

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 09:11 AM

Be it that they think its illegal or not, they should NOT be cuting or removing cablingfrom your roof. It is your property, you have paid the fee, and hence its now YOUR property. Its like taking a car to a mechanic, and him saying you had a illegal turbo, so i took it out, and you can't have it back. The STB remains the property of foxtel, however the RF cable is not. Personally I'd be making a call to the telecommunications ombusman.

#12 Ted

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 10:15 AM

apparently the 'retransmission laws' are to go thru on next parliament. unless they went in last year. And of course they will pass with current government that you wanted. Whatever Rupert says.

Possibly to circumnavigate multiple re-transmissions over properties and of course to get you to get 2nd and 3rd boxes on.

ASTRA will have the details.

#13 Duff Man

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 10:18 AM

Be it that they think its illegal or not, they should NOT be cuting or removing cablingfrom your roof. It is your property, you have paid the fee, and hence its now YOUR property. Its like taking a car to a mechanic, and him saying you had a illegal turbo, so i took it out, and you can't have it back. The STB remains the property of foxtel, however the RF cable is not. Personally I'd be making a call to the telecommunications ombusman.


Damn right on that one brother....... I really would be taking further action on this issue.

I too have my OPtus IQ setup through the RF out to two other tv's in the house. I originaly rang Optus on this issue and they said No it can't be done but as posted earlier they said they would be soon introducing the required gear to do this.

The arrogance of Foxtel and Optus really pisses me off when it comes to issues like these.

It's not like we're getting any extra programming ( as in watching two different shows at the same time. )

I'm paying for the foxtel feed so where I decide to watch it should ultimately be up to me........ and the missus :blink:

#14 zorg

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 10:24 AM

I'm getting mutiple pay tv outlets for new house with active splitter box - does this make me a crimininal? Our current house has two Foxtel Outlets - one in rumpus and study

#15 cyril

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 11:11 AM

Ive just had a look at the lattest residential subscribers terms and conditions

http://www.foxtel.co...l_TCs_nov04.pdf

And others may find it, but I cannot find anything that says I cannot view the output of the box on any display I wish to in my home.

Maybe someone else can spot a catch that I missed.

Cyril

#16 aussyspeed

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 11:19 AM

To make the problem more universal and should not have been cut, is the cable that was cut would have been a standard connection point from 1 room to another using standard RF wall plates, which could have been used for either a VCR player RF output or from the Foxtel RF output.

If Foxtel wanted to enforce this, then they should not have supplied a product that is fully capable of do it with no changes to the box. Also why does the IQ have 2 RF outputs if you are only allowed to use 1 of them and that the RF2 has the option for using a TVLink remote control especially designed for multiple TVs to be connected to it and to be controlled from another room.

Definately seek compensation to have the cable reinstalled as it was previously.

#17 balki

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 11:46 AM

Firstly, I want to make absolutely clear that I do NOT condone the installers actions.

I'd say you have a good case against both the installer and Foxtel (who are vicariously liable for their employees' actions - it's a little more complicated if the installer was a contractor) in tort.

HOWEVER, a couple of points:

1. The terms and conditions do state that you are not allowed to 'make any connections to the Equipment we own without our consent' - technically, this includes connections to the STB. (top of p3, right column, second bullet point).

(The fact that a Foxtel installer orginally wired up the cabling suggests implied consent...)

2. Just because something is POSSIBLE, does NOT make it legal (eg. You can download songs on the Internet using P2P software... that doesn't make it legal).

#18 aussyspeed

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 11:53 AM

Ive just had a look at the lattest residential subscribers terms and conditions

http://www.foxtel.co...l_TCs_nov04.pdf

And others may find it, but I cannot find anything that says I cannot view the output of the box on any display I wish to in my home.

Maybe someone else can spot a catch that I missed.

Cyril


On page 3 top of second column it says:

You are not allowed to and you are not allowed to authorise anyone else to:
* connect, use or authorise the use of any equipment or device or Broadcasting Decoding Device to or with the Equipment or Infrastructure which may split, record, re-encode or affect the Service or which is intended to override any Technological Protection Measure;

This actually means that you are not even allowed to record on to a VCR or DVD recorder and if the VCR or DVD recorder is connected, then the TV must not be connected to the VCR or DVD recorder, all TVs must be connected directly to the Foxtel Box. By the fact of just going directly from the Foxtel Box to multiple TVs directly, then you are not in breach of this clause, as you require extra equipment that actually splits the signal to be in breach, eg RF Splitter to multiple TVs off a single RF output, this also includes wireless AV senders.

Thus if you have a standard Pace box, you can put it on 3 TVs without breach, TV Scart, VCR Scart and RF. On the IQ you can put it on 6 TVs without breach, TV Scart, VCR Scart, S-Video, Composite and 2 RFs.

Thus the configuration of the first poster does comply to this clause.

#19 balki

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:01 PM

On page 3 top of second column it says:

You are not allowed to and you are not allowed to authorise anyone else to:
* connect, use or authorise the use of any equipment or device or Broadcasting Decoding Device to or with the Equipment or Infrastructure which may split, record, re-encode or affect the Service or which is intended to override any Technological Protection Measure;

This actually means that you are not even allowed to record on to a VCR or DVD recorder and if the VCR or DVD recorder is connected, then the TV must not be connected to the VCR or DVD recorder, all TVs must be connected directly to the Foxtel Box. By the fact of just going directly from the Foxtel Box to multiple TVs directly, then you are not in breach of this clause, as you require extra equipment that actually splits the signal to be in breach, eg RF Splitter to multiple TVs off a single RF output, this also includes wireless AV senders.

Thus if you have a standard Pace box, you can put it on 3 TVs without breach, TV Scart, VCR Scart and RF. On the IQ you can put it on 6 TVs without breach, TV Scart, VCR Scart, S-Video, Composite and 2 RFs.

Thus the configuration of the first poster does comply to this clause.


Yes, but the prohibition in the second bullet is broader:

You are not allowed to and you are not allowed to authorise anyone else to:
* affix the Equipment to any property at your Address or move, take (or attempt to
take) the Equipment or Infrastructure we own or repair, maintain or interfere
with or make any connections to the Equipment or Infrastructure we own
without our consent

So, you can't actually make ANY connections to the STB without prior permission - this would include VCRs, 2nd TVs, etc.

#20 Clifford

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:14 PM

I reckon that 'Affix' might refer to attaching the Foxtel box to an immovable object in yourm house, thereby making the removal of the box hard or impossible for Foxtel to do. I'm only saying this due to the context of the para.

Anyway, all seems BS to me!

#21 cyril

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:16 PM

And this is where it all gets silly, because the Foxtel world would fall apart if we all did just as they say.

As I said earlier, 70% of Foxtel subs would most likely have a 2nd or 3rd TV connected via the RF feed, and in some cases it was done by the intaller, in other cases by the owner, its up to them to prove who. If it does not damage their STB then what is it to them. Copyright and legal right to access programming has not been compromised, that is the point of the CA. If the RF feed ran off to the neighbours then they might have an issue, but for you to view the same programming in you own home on multiple displays?

As for Pcook, just get your cable repaired and carry on as you were, over zealous installers protecting Foxtels legal status need not return to your place. If you feel further agreeved take the installer/foxtel to the cleaners for damaging your house wiring without your consent.

Cyril

#22 balki

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:26 PM

I reckon that 'Affix' might refer to attaching the Foxtel box to an immovable object in yourm house, thereby making the removal of the box hard or impossible for Foxtel to do. I'm only saying this due to the context of the para.

Anyway, all seems BS to me!


Yes, 'affix' does refer to attempting to attach the STB to a 'fixture' within your property. Legally, this has the affect of converting the chattel into a fixture.... which then effectively overrides the previous ownership and gives the owner of the property ownership over the new fixture.

And this is where it all gets silly, because the Foxtel world would fall apart if we all did just as they say.


I agree.

It's just like recording a TV show with a DVR/VCR/PVR...
Or using an iPod/MP3 player,

Technically, this is illegal (unlike the US, Aus does not have any 'fair use' provisions in our Copyright laws [apart from educational purposes])... but that doesn't stop people from buying iPods/VCRs etc....

#23 DansDans

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:51 PM

Alot of people here crack the shits over nothing... whoopee if you cant send it to another TV! IS that going to destroy your world? Are you going to die becuase you cant do it? Are people badly effect due to this? Is the world going to end? The answer is no.

The T&C's clearly state you cant do it! Dont like it, whinge to someone else who cares. FOXTEL dont care if you cant read the language in the T&C's - its there and they have covered their ass and if you have an issue get a lawyer or solicitor to read it out to you. Same example if you chip your PS2 and take it into SONY to get it fixed, they will remove the chip, because it breaks the User Agreement that you agreed to when you bought the machine.

And to the person who said 70% of people have that kind of set up... wow where do you pull this bullshit from? Just because the 5* people you know do it doesnt mean 700,000 out of the 1,000,000 subscribers do it. Wake up and smell reality mate, atleast 700,000 people couldnt give a **** about doing that

* rough estimate - actual number not known

#24 aussyspeed

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 01:01 PM

Same example if you chip your PS2 and take it into SONY to get it fixed, they will remove the chip, because it breaks the User Agreement that you agreed to when you bought the machine.

With the PS2 it is fine in this example, as the chip is ONLY used for 1 thing. However with a cable that can be used for more than just piping Foxtel, it is not acceptable, as it could also have been used to pipe a VCR/DVD/PVR or other devices to the other TV that is not using Foxtel at all.

#25 DansDans

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 01:11 PM

With the PS2 it is fine in this example, as the chip is ONLY used for 1 thing. However with a cable that can be used for more than just piping Foxtel, it is not acceptable, as it could also have been used to pipe a VCR/DVD/PVR or other devices to the other TV that is not using Foxtel at all.


Its used for only 1 thing?