I don't really see the usefulness of this as a ReplayTV clearly isn't limited by the speed of its ethernet port. No one has seen speeds faster than 2.9MB/s, which is well below the max speed of the current port (8.25MB/s).
I don't see much point in it either, but hardware hacks always impress me anyway.
Things That Might Be Useful:
the ethernet adapter is on a separate card, likely a standard PCI slot (it's certainly electrically PCI, but it's possible the slot's not wired in the standard way).
The card that's actually in there is probably using the National DP83815 -- http://www.national.com/pf/DP/DP83815.html . That's what the bootup messages and function names imply, at least -- my notes are that the chip on it was labelled 'VS118ADC4", but I may have guessed wrong about which numbers were meaningful; I haven't been able to find anything interesting with that string. I'll check that again next time I have the 4000 open.
The MAC address's OUI is assigned to Matsushita (Panasonic), so presumably they make the cards, possibly side by side with making the rest of the 4k.
The hardware test expects to find a Winbond W89C940 -- http://www.winbond.com.tw/PDF/sheet/w89c940f.pdf . That's an NE2000-compatible 10megabit PCI adapter. The datasheet is fascinating reading: "W89C940F supports auto-configuration function to free users' depression and confusion on tunning system resources conflict"; "This can increase more niche feature on your LAN card, help you get more and bright your company profile."
During bootup, before finding the dp83815, a "Could not find ne2000 card" message is printed. If I'm reading this right, though, it looks for PCI IDs:
10ec:8029 (RealTEK RTL8029 -- hey, I think I have one of those around here somewhere)
1050:0940 (that winbond part)
IF the slot's standard PCI, the hardware part is as easy as plugging a gigabit card in. The software part's trickier -- you'd either need something completely software compatible with one of the supported cards, or you'd need to supply your own driver; and the driver isn't a separate software module, it's part of one of the two big modules.
Is there an NE2000 compatible gigabit card? What a sickening thought.
Perhaps there isn't but different cards are more or less efficient and use more or less of the CPU. While the improvement may turn out to be marginal it should be possible, even likely, that a better NIC will produce more throughput.
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