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Computer Connect To HDTV Question

  1. Jan 11, 2008 #1

    RonL

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    Just set up a new Sansung 50" Plasma TV, to check out the computer setup, i used a XP Pro based unit that has been set aside untill i have time to clean some virus, and trojan infections. With no phone line hookup i felt there was no need for concerne. After the setup, and when things looked good, i powered everything off.

    The thought later came up, is there any chance that any thing bad could be transfered to the TV ?
     
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  3. Jan 11, 2008 #2

    mgb_phys

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    No - the VGA and HDMI cable only send video ( and audio) data
    Your TV probably also has an rs-232 or USB port for firmware uploads but you wont connect to that.
    It's not such a silly question, with more of our home electronics using computers and many of these being based on Windows it's going to start being a problem when your cable TV set-top box can hack your toaster.
     
  4. Jan 11, 2008 #3

    RonL

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    Thanks mgb_phys

    That might explain the image of Hilary C. on my cheese toast this morning, "a new way of mass comunicating". HAHA

    Looked thru the vent holes with a flashlight, and there sure is a lot of stuff in there, makes the inside of my computers look kind of wimpy.
     
  5. Aug 29, 2008 #4
    OMG, do you think it's possible that the computer virus could have infected your body too!?

    Ok sorry I couldn't resist. What I don't understand is why the thought would even cross your mind. Is anything wrong with the computer or TV?
     
  6. Aug 29, 2008 #5

    mgb_phys

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    It's not too far fetched, there is a bidirectional data link between the PC and the TV, the TV contains a CPU and a graphics card (in mine almost the same ATI card that is in my laptop). The PC can over HDMI negotiate witht the TV to ensure that the data isn't being copied and will refuse to show hidef if it doesn't gwt the correct response.
    My guess is that HDMI/HMCP hacks and viruses will appear soon.

    I was working for a company that does virus/secutiry software for SCADA - the industrial control systems that run everything from traffic lights to the sewage system now run on PCs and are often connected to the net ...
     
  7. Aug 29, 2008 #6
    That's where you lost me. I could see someone might ask the question, but I cannot agree with such a prediction. This is just alarmist. There is next to no possibility of a virus being transmitted over HDMI.

    Remember that for a true virus to actually take hold, code must be executed by a microprocessor. Sure, the TVs contain CPUs, but any halfway intelligent design (no pun intended) will not be so idiotic as to allow data coming from the source to be interpreted as machine code and executed by the CPU. It's the same reason why you cannot get a virus from a JPEG or an MP3.

    Now I suppose that a hack could take advantage of the negotiating process and try to confuse the television. But I can't imagine it would be anything that a simple unplug/replug wouldn't fix.

    But anyway, the real question I had was to the OP, which was whether anything actually HAD gone wrong with the set or if this was just speculation?
     
  8. Aug 29, 2008 #7

    mgb_phys

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    There have been buffer overrun attacks on just about every OS/database and webserver, not to mention the XBOX, Playstation and IPhone. There have also been viruses from jpg and mp3 in several editions of windows.
    I suppose it's possible that the coders for the TV chipset are far better at security than those at Microsoft, Sony, Apple etc but I doubt it.
     
  9. Aug 29, 2008 #8

    RonL

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    The computer hard drive had XP-PRO software and a virus "smitfraud" (not sure about the spelling) that I had not been able to clean, I used the computer to set the TV to work as a monitor, and after the set up (no DSL hard line connected) the thought of wireless transmission popped into my mind.

    The TV has a lot of auto detection in it's programing features, and I'm a person that knows very little about the details of what goes on and how information is transmitted and stored, so yes I was a little concerned.


    Ron
     
  10. Aug 29, 2008 #9

    mgb_phys

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    It is very unlikely that anything was transferred to the TV - there have been no published cases of an attack.
    I was just making the point to peter0302 that it wasn't completely ridiculous.
     
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