An open video development board in a PCI express form factor that supports overlaying content on encrypted video signals. Let's bring open video to the digital age!

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Sep 18, 2019

Project update 14 of 14

Bugfix and DMCA Lawsuit Progress

by Andrew H

Dear backers,

Things have been progressing quietly behind the scenes on NeTV2. Here’s two major developments that you might find particularly relevant.

First, the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the anti-circumvention provisions of section 1201 of the DMCA with respect to the NeTV2 is finally moving forward again. After a 2.5 year hiatus sitting on the judge’s bench, a ruling was made which is allowing the case to move forward toward a preliminary injunction that could enable much-requested features such as alpha blending and automatic colorspace selection, as well as finally opening the door for image processing and ML applications.

Second, an update was pushed to the master github repository recently. With this update, users can auto-detect and switch between 1080p, 1080i, and 720p modes. Users can also correct the color of the overlay if the video stream is in YCrCb (as evidenced by an overlay appearing primarily in pink and green) by manually running a script; but until we can reform section 1201 and lawfully decode info packets in the HDMI stream, it would be too legally risky to automate the switchover. For users that are doing a lot of customization, please also note that the "debug rect" command is effectively obsoleted. If you run it, the system will still behave as expected, but with this update, by default the overlay area now consumes 100% of the visible pixels with no overscan region. Note: if you don’t know what that last sentence is referring to, you probably aren’t impacted by this change.

To apply the update, first ensure the NeTV2 is connected to the network. Then plug a keyboard and mouse into the USB ports of the NeTV2 and press ‘ctrl-q’. Then, double-click on the "Update FPGA" icon that should appear on the left hand side of the screen. This should pop up a window that runs a script automatically fetching the latest github master repository and burning the respective FPGA bitstream and firmware into the ROM of your NeTV2.

Thank you again for your continued support, and as a reminder you can file bugs at, and you can discuss the project in general at

Finally, if you have any ideas or applications for NeTV2 that rely upon the right to access to plaintext video, please add them to

Thanks to everyone who has logged an issue here — the US government has made an argument that the 1201 exemptions sought around the NeTV2 would only benefit a very limited audience. This public list of ideas helps refute this argument, as well as the argument that non-infringing applications of the NeTV2 hardware are just "hypothetical uses". This list helps to explain to regulators why the features that would be enabled by access to the plaintext video streams rise above the level of a "mere inconvenience."

Happy hacking,


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