Here is what i found out analysing the board :
The processor is inside the 8621 sigma chip without macrovision.
That thing is essentially an twin processor core.They have a standard ARM processor running at 200 MHz that runs the OS , does the user interface and likes.
A dedicated video decoder is running next to the ARM. This is most likely based on a MIPs architecture. The MIPs processor is often used for video crunching and lots of software is avaialble for it. ( about 80 % of the worlds dvd players is running on a MIPS processor. Settop boxes too. MIPS is the brainchild of Silicon graphics ... 'nough said)
There is also a dedicated audio DSP on board the sigma chip that brings out S/Pdif and analog.
An ethernet port and two IDE ports complete the sigma chip. The sigma is actually capable of recording as well. however the SPdif in as the digital video input is not connected ( the sigma has a standard digital video in that can use the Bt8xx digitzer chipset. )
IDE 1 is permanantyle tied into the bootflash.
IDE2 is tied in to a PATA to SATA bridge chip. ( Silicon Image )
A realtek ethernet PHY completes the picture.
There is some small analog stuff on the board as well. AKM semiconductors (which is suspect is an audio DAC ) , some switching regulators.
An PCI bus hooks into the wifi module which is of the minipci type (like found in laptops) and soldered in.
I will throw some PAL video files on it tonight. Make sure you switch the video out to PAL as well !. If you try to play PAL with the video out set to NTSC the box needs to downscale !
PAL is 720x576 while NTSC is 720x480. So vertically they need to resample. Since the numbers don't 'divide' evenly they throw away lines / pixels.
I will switch output to 1080i ( via DVI ) and play a PAL file . I'll post tomorrow what i found.
You cant access the Pata interface since that goes to the bridge chip.
Another thing : the sigma runs hot. I will glue a small heatsink on it and get rid of the mosquito-fan for the harddisk ....
another thing i might do is buy one of those ultra thin harddisk coolers and somehow get that in there.
@monsalbus : if you are on a laptop.: get an expresscard Sata card like this one : http://www.addonics.com/products/hos...adexc34-2e.asp