Calling all samsung HDTV receiver owners. Hacking help requested. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-25-2005, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone. :)

I have a pretty long-winded story going on here, so I'll try to be brief. I'm looking for help from Samsung HDTV receiver owners that have the following models:

TS-160
T-165
TS-360

I'm looking for brave souls who are willing to open up the top of these boxes and take some high resolution photographs, or even better, pull the mainboard and do some high resolution scans.

I'll put up a full synopsis on my site explaining exactly what's going on here, but the short of it is that I believe it is possible to interface the TS* models with a computer using MythTV/Freevo/Your fav software here, a serial port, and firewire to capure HDTV content from both OTA and Satellite.

"But my DirecTV receiver doesn't have [serial|firewire]!"

I know. :)

Keep any eye on

http://www.numbski.net/hacks/mythtv/samsung

as I get my thoughts organized and pulled together, that's where I will be posting it. In the meantime I really need some volunteers to give me a hand. The only other way to go about this is to BUY the T-165 and TS-160. I already own the TS-360. I saw a T-165 on ebay for roughly $130, but I hate to buy it, take pictures and scan, poke and prod, then turn around and sell it again. I'm not made of money. ;)
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-25-2005, 05:18 PM
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You're only a few years late. See the HDTV Recorders Forum for details.

www.169time.com

www.r5000-hd.com

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post #3 of 19 Old 05-25-2005, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm certainly not arguing with you...you've been around this technology far longer than I have, but just off those two links I see neither that ahndles the Samsung models, nor any that have RS232 ports available for serial control. I'm going to look closer though because I have a script here for sony models controlled via the serial port, and HD content on the firewire port would certainly top that off.

Honestly, I'd be glad to be wrong. I did lots of googling before settling on trying to hack it myself. ;)

I also searched this forum high and low with little luck. Thanks for taking the time to take a look at it. Anyone still willing to submit images I'd still like to look to satisfy my own curiousity. Who knows, it may still be worth my time to hack the T-360 rather than by yet another STB.
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-25-2005, 06:07 PM
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Hey, I wish you well.

Moved to the HDTV Recorders Forum.

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post #5 of 19 Old 05-25-2005, 06:36 PM
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I have the Samsung SIR-T165 and it has two firewire ports that I use with D-VHS VCRs but have never tried to use it with a PC. The 160 and 360 are DirecTV/OTA receivers while the 165 is an OTA receiver only.

Chris
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-25-2005, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gerhard
I have the Samsung SIR-T165 and it has two firewire ports that I use with D-VHS VCRs but have never tried to use it with a PC. The 160 and 360 are DirecTV/OTA receivers while the 165 is an OTA receiver only.

Chris
Correct. What we have noted is that the 160 and 165 are nearly identical. The 160 has a DSS receiver but no firewire, the 165 has firewire, but no DSS receiver. We would like to do a side-by-side comparison of these boards. :)
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-25-2005, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H
You're only a few years late. See the HDTV Recorders Forum for details.

169time
This site is not realy doing what we're after. They basicaly sale you a linux box that convert the mpeg2 TS to firewire DVHS stream so that a PC/MAC can understand it.
The TS-165 already output DVHS through firewire so I think that adding a linux box to do what a few component can do on the TS-160 is overkill ... and they don't support the TS360 anyway.. and when you see the price... overkill too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H
r5000-hd
Same.. no support for the TS360, they probably do the same as 169time in a more comptact form factor.

I've been looking for a firewire solution for a while and as of now I haven't been able to find anything for the TS360 (or TS160).
As the TS 160 and 165 are realy close there might be a good hint by comparing them as how to add firewire to the TS series.
The other problem might be that a modified TS will need a new firmware to account for the new firewire port (just a wild guess here).

Rodolphe
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-25-2005, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I can't make any really educated guesses or promises here either.

What I've gathered from reading the work that 169time.com has done this evening that if we got really lucky and all that were missing was the plug in an unpopulated area of the board, then there's a good chance that only OTA stuff would actually come out.

Apparently OTA HD signals get processed on a seperate chip than the DSS HD signals.

To complicate matters, our current equipment is soon going to be obsolecsed. Yay.

If I could get one of 169time guys to talk about why they attacked the problem the way they did, it might clue us in to what's required on these Samsung units too.

Anyone reading this understand: this is all wild speculation and conjecture until we can see some board images. :)
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-25-2005, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpineau
The other problem might be that a modified TS will need a new firmware to account for the new firewire port (just a wild guess here).

Maybe, maybe not. This is where I need to do some reading on the IEEE-1394 spec. Depending upon how complicated it is to start communication with the computer and start passing data, there's no reason you couldn't offboard the firewire logic onto a seperate circuit board (that I'm aware of? Perhaps error correction ability would be lost, or audio/video desync?). I know there are mass-produced firewire logic chips available. Heck, I know they're not for the same purpose, but firewire disk enclosures come dirt cheap, and from what I can they basically take an ata controller chip, take all of the data running from that chip, dump it to the firewire chip that handles the negotiation, and away you go.

Certainly there's something out there to be used for the gruntwork of establishing communication then hand off the data stream...

----------------------
http://www.numbski.net/img/169time.jpg

This is an image (courtesy of Amazon) of the 169time mod board for the Sony receiver. It's not quite a good enough view to see what is being accomplished, other than to point out that they're using the tiny Sony iLink-style 1394 jacks. BTW...if anyone from 169time is reading this - I have no interest in reverse-engineering your work or anything like that. I'm a firm believer that there are multiple solutions to any given problem, and I'm a big fan of open source and open cooperation. Hope you guys are too! :)
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-25-2005, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
This site is not realy doing what we're after. They basicaly sale you a linux box that convert the mpeg2 TS to firewire DVHS stream so that a PC/MAC can understand it.
That's another rub I need to read up on. MythTV supports firewire as a video input source, the question is, what type of data is it looking for? The compressed mpeg-2 ts, or DVHS? Better question...does it really matter? If it IS looking for DVHS, it's open source, and the devs are very approachable guys. It's very likely that if you can get the ts stream to the myth box, then from there you can work with it as needed. I know that doesn't help you with your Mac software (EyeTV has had my interest for a while too...), but the fact that it is one way or the other doesn't preclude things altogether.
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post #11 of 19 Old 05-25-2005, 10:15 PM
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If when you talk about our box becoming obsolete you're thinking about the switch from mpeg2 to mpeg4 .., I'm wondering what is directv plans on that as I bought my stb from them as part of my switch from SD to HD .. and I don't think it will be just a matter for firmware update...
But mpeg2 or mpeg4, it doesn't change the hardware problem.
Regarding the firmware ... you might be right. As long has you can grab the mpeg2 stream somewhere you might be able to produre a board that is going to encapsulate it in a regular firewire dvhs stream.
Rodolphe
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-25-2005, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
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My understanding is that after the first of the year they're going to do a trade-in trade-up type arrangment for the new mpeg-4 units. So then we get to go through this all over again. :rolleyes:

But hey, what's life without a little fun? From what I'm reading the 169time guys will have this same issue when this all hits too.
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post #13 of 19 Old 05-26-2005, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpineau
This site is not realy doing what we're after.
The original issue was to record HD off satellite, which again, has been done for years. If you want to re-invent the wheel because you already own a specific STB, feel free.

Overkill? Not even a little. It works. If you have more time than money, feel free to have at it.

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post #14 of 19 Old 05-26-2005, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpineau
If when you talk about our box becoming obsolete you're thinking about the switch from mpeg2 to mpeg4 .., I'm wondering what is directv plans on that as I bought my stb from them as part of my switch from SD to HD .. and I don't think it will be just a matter for firmware update...
This is correct. It will require a new STB.

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post #15 of 19 Old 09-15-2005, 02:56 PM
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I realize your post is nearly 4-months old, but I checked your site and didn't see any updates. I don't know if this will help, but I took my T160 apart and didn't find any empty solder pads. In fact, I don't believe the T160 and T165 have any similarities at all except for the enclosure.

I did take a picture of it if you're interested.

Shawn
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post #16 of 19 Old 10-04-2005, 07:29 PM
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I just unpacked my Samsung SIR TS-160 from the closet hoping to hook it up to my OTA antenna, and was furious to discover the damn Broadcast flag lockout. I would like to know if there is anyway to hack around this problem, as I am so pissed off with Samsung right now and those people aren't even available via the phone at the current time.

Is there any way to get around this hassle? I would gladly plug it back into the dish and let it auto-update itself or whatever, but I no longer have DirecTV (don't even have the dish mounted anymore) nor do I have a standard landline (everything is VoIP) to allow it to try and snail modem the update.

Any help, links, or references to ways to avoid having to send the thing to Samsung for repair are greatly appreciated.

Furthermore, I did crack open my 160 in an effort to troubleshoot prior to finding the answer online, so in the interest of this thread, will be more than happy to include plenty of photos of the interior in a later posting.

Thanks in advance for any help.

NOTE: I did originally include links to the Samsung corporate reference on their site as well as the AVS forum thread about this lockout (archived topic "SIR-TS160 Won't power up") but as this is my first post, I am unable to publish links yet.
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post #17 of 19 Old 10-05-2005, 09:58 AM
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rvbsandman:

I recently decomissioned my 160 in favor of a Comcast cable box. I might just hook it up and see if mine is locked out, too.

I had anticipated that this might happen, and have arranged for the store I bought it at on clearance to hook it up to their dish overnight. If I'm locked out, that's what I'll do. Maybe you are on friendly terms with a store near you with a dish hooked up for demo purposes.

If I do try to update it, I'll let you know how it goes.

-Tom
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post #18 of 19 Old 03-18-2006, 02:41 PM
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So do this work?
I have the very same problem. I have had my Samsung TS-160 in its original box for over a year, just because I live in a place where I cannot use my DTV dish. I take it out and it does not work, even for OTA. No power. Just slight clicking. Unplug and plug-in several times and I can get LED to blink, but that's it. I have talked to SAMSUNG and I may as well have saved my breath. They had no idea what I was talking about even though I read to them right off their own webpage.
Is DirecTV still sending the broadcast flag? Any other options? This is a perfectly good receiver and I can't imagine it is just junk. Except that it is a SAMSUNG.
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post #19 of 19 Old 03-18-2006, 02:42 PM
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And I have read the other thread on "not powering on."
Help. Anyone?
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