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I've never looked into my Dish modulator, but does anyone know if Dish used proprietary chips, etc? There are a lot of really smart designer types on this forum. Can it be done? Does anyone care?



Al Keown

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Disclaimer: I'm not an engineer, but I play one on TV!


Very unlikely, as the 8VSB modulation standard is not common. Even if you could do that, making a unit compatible with the Dish 5000 satellite receiver makes it even more unlikely.


I would think the only possible way would be to copy it, chip for chip, circuit for circuit. I don't have a clue if this is feasible.


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It's more than copying it chip for chip. Like most things today this device uses an PGA (Progarmmable Gate Array). This is the Xilinx chip on the modulator board. This chip is programmed either at the Dish factory or when he unit powers up. In either case you would need that code as well. My guess is that the code is downloaded from the 5000 but who knows. The actual modulator is a Zenith part. They will sell you one to play with for $100 and a non-disclosure agreement.
 

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Why would you want to? Wouldn't it be more productive to hack a DTC-100 or one of the newer boxes to get the ATSC stream after the satellite decoding but before the ATSC decoder? If you could do that, you wouldn't need one of the Panasonic HDTV video recorders, you could just stream HBO-HD to a hard drive.


Now THAT would be something. Sort of along the lines of the evolution of the Tivo hack into a simple utility for increasing the HD space. While 169Time might be constrained from allowing access to DirecTV signals from their modded DTC-100, that wouldn't stop a freely published hack from being performed by individuals.


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I have been dreaming about a possible appication for the Dish modulator. I have no idea if it is technically feasible, since I don't know what's inside it.


What I would like to do is find a way to graft a Dish modulator on to a Unity Motion satellite receiver. I guess I can just keep dreaming....


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