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Serious ReplayTV Hacking/Modding?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
In all of the time that I have had ReplayTVs, I have always wondered whether there was anyone out there trying to make serious hardware modifications to the ReplayTV units, or even making significant software changes. While it is obviously useful to replace the hard drives for more storage, it seems like there would be room for more improvement, none of which is ever going to happen officially.

[Sorry, I accidentally posted this before I was done, so everything after this is an edit]

Probably the most obvious thing would be overclocking. I would love to be able to overclock my Replay, as I believe it would make it more capable of handling slightly more demanding situations, like sending data more quickly on its ethernet port, whether it is to stream a high-quality recording or to dump the recording at a much higher speed to DVarchive, etc. Obviously, it would be advisable to add extra cooling if the overclock was significant.

I am sure there are other possibilities. Possibly modifications to the software to slightly alter the UI, etc.

If anyone has ever attempted to overclock a ReplayTV, I'd love to hear about it. Obviously, it isn't like overclocking most PCs, which you can do in a BIOS, etc. However, I've seen devices in the past where people overclocked them with pencil lead marks on the motherboard, soldered connections, etc. I certainly don't have the knowledge to figure out anything like that, but I would think someone more knowledgeable than I would have looked into it.

The closer I get to switching to HD, the more willing I am to be slightly riskier with at least one of my units, considering that I can't imagine they will both still be in service a couple of years from now.

post #2 of 4
Hi, I looked at overclocking a while ago. According to its datasheet, the main CPU gets its clock speed multiplier from an initialization stream at startup. Theoreticaly then it would be possible to find the stream source and modify it. However, I couldn't find a small serial eeprom on the board that could contain this bootstrap data, other than the large boot rom. Also, the hard drive controller also has a CPU built-in, so it's possible it send this data to the main CPU.

Lastly, unless you transfer videos a lot, it's probably not worth it, considering the risk of increased instability. If you make any progress, be sure to post!
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for raining on my parade...er, thanks for the info. If by some miracle I have any luck, I'll be sure to let folks know.

post #4 of 4
Two comments - It's about 5 years to late to start hardware hacking on ReplayTVs - It's an obsolete hardware platform at this point; no more are being made or sold, so I just want to keep mine alive.
Furthermore, DVArchive demonstrates that the communication protocols are known, and only legal restraint and ethics prevents the creation of a ReplayTV work-alike on a COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) platform. So hardware hacking the ReplayTV platform doesn't seem to be a fun challenge, to me.
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