Pagina 206 - TELE-satellite-1207

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TELE-satellite International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine
— 06-07-08/2012
Isn’t one iPhone enough for Rod? Why does he have
two? A closer look at the display shows that one iPhone is
used with US provider AT&T while the other is used with
the British provider Vodafone UK. Wait a second… how
does that work? “Very simple: I have a VPN connection
(Virtual Private Network) to my family in London and
from there I have access to the British mobile telephone
network.” This lets Rod call anyone in Great Britain at
local British rates - and all this from the other side of the
Those were the best of times for the
computer business. “This company had
as many as 400 employees”, remem-
bers Rod, “and one of their many cus-
tomers was a company in Maryland on
the east coast of the USA.”
As business started to slowly fall off
for the California company, a job offer
came from the company in Maryland.
Should Rod move to the east coast of
the USA? “There was one important
factor in making this decision: back
then the BBC World Service could be
found at 58W and in Maryland it was
easy to receive this signal.”
Rod moved to Annapolis and erected
his first satellite dish: “It was a two-
meter antenna. BBC transmitted the
signal in the clear so that it could be
accessed by Canadian PayTV provid-
ers.” BBC didn’t count on private satel-
lite enthusiasts receiving their channel,
so not long after that, BBC encrypted
the signal.
But by the time that happened,
Rod had already become more in-
volved with satellite reception. He ac-
quired the Nokia D-Box and installed
the DVB98 software and later on the
DVB2000 software: “It allowed you to
do blind scans.” Rod became a regular
feed hunter.
At the same time he developed his
first software application for his em-
ployer; it was a terminal program for
Windows that he offered on his new
“In 1997 I got a little nosy and
opened up my D-Box.” To his surprise
he recognized all of the installed chips
and knew exactly how each of them
functioned. He got in touch with the
developer of DVB98 and DVB2000 and
proposed an improvement. Rod then
wrote the program DVBEdit himself.
In the meantime Rod worked himself
so deep into digital TV that he wrote a
paper on the operation of MPEG2 (still
worth reading today at www.tsreader.
com/legacy). In 1999 coincidence once
again stepped into Rod’s life: an em-
ployee at the non-profit organization
‘Internet Archive’ in Los Angeles con-
tacted Rod. The goal of this organi-
zation, founded in 1996, is to build a
complete Internet archive which would
also include the archiving of TV chan-
nels. They stumbled onto Rod through
is MPEG2 paper: anyone who was so
familiar with modern TV technology
would undoubtedly know how to record
TV channels.
As it turned out, they found the right
person: “I worked up a strategy on how
you would record and archive channels
and made a proposal to ‘Internet Ar-
chive’.” It involved the sum of a quar-
ter million US dollars recalls Rod. “It in-
cluded the complete infrastructure and
technological design.”
Rod won the contract! He constructed
a reception station for 20 TV channels
as well as the technology for recording
these channels. “We record the chan-
nels in their entirety, 24 hours a day,
seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
That was not as easy to do in 2000 as
it is today. “The cost effective method