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Repurposing HD-DVD players into something useful?

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by larwe, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. larwe

    larwe Guest

    With the industry scuttlebutt saying that Toshiba will likely kill HD-
    DVD very soon, I expect to see a lot of hardware dumped on eBay
    cheaply. The earlier players were basically an embedded Linux PC with
    a 2.5GHz Pentium 4, 1GB RAM, a 256Mb flash drive and various other
    bolted-on subsystems; is this still true?

    I haven't been able to find a community of people turning these idiot
    boxes into something useful; are any c.a.e denizens aware of such an
    effort?
     
    larwe, Feb 15, 2008
    #1
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  2. larwe

    msg Guest

    Holy cow! Was this some sort of early rollout approach using COTS and
    opensource solutions? Sure doesn't sound cost-effective for large
    volume.

    Michael
     
    msg, Feb 15, 2008
    #2
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  3. larwe

    larwe Guest

    Yep. The HD-A1 (first Toshiba player) is basically a PC with some
    stuff glued onto the edges and daughterboards galore. Even the HD-DVD
    drive is a standard bay-mountable PC-compatible (PATA) drive hidden
    behind a cosmetic door, and the RAM is a socketed SODIMM. Rumor has it
    that Toshiba is losing several hundred dollars per unit sold (hoping
    to make it up on patent licensing if the medium took off).

    The earliest DVD players were the same, if you recall (Pentium-75 I
    believe; we've come a long way).
     
    larwe, Feb 15, 2008
    #3
  4. larwe

    msg Guest

    larwe wrote:

    <snip>

    Interesting; photos of the mainboard and cabling with short arch. description:
    http://www.edn.com/contents/images/6372830.pdf

    Web searching yields some lengthy hacking discussions on 'doom9' and other
    sites; seems that the machine can be booted from an external usb disk, but
    Toshiba has ignored demands to comply with GPL release of code and the kernel
    and other files appear to be encrypted based on hardware keys (in the DVD
    drive and elsewhere). This has evidently been a show stopper in attempting
    to discover the drivers for onboard devices and the interest in the forms
    has waned.

    If using the mainboard with only USB, ethernet and ATA/IDE was sufficient for
    a project, it could easily be repurposed.

    Michael
     
    msg, Feb 15, 2008
    #4
  5. larwe

    msg Guest

    s/forms/forums/
     
    msg, Feb 15, 2008
    #5
  6. larwe

    Eric Smith Guest

    I've got the earliest commercial DVD player, a Sony DVP-S7000. It
    contains three microprocessors, none of which is an x86. The "main"
    processor is a Hitachi (now Renesas) SH series RISC processor.

    There might have been some Pentium-based DVD players, but I never saw
    one.
     
    Eric Smith, Feb 16, 2008
    #6
  7. larwe

    larwe Guest

    Oh, they existed. I had one - I believe it was a Toshiba again - back
    in Oz. It was like deja vu reading the first HD-DVD player reviews
    complaining about how the embedded PC takes a minute from powerup to
    ready-to-play, because the "PC-based" standalone DVD players had
    exactly the same shortcoming.
     
    larwe, Feb 16, 2008
    #7
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