[opendtv] Re: 20060726 Wolfsson's Wednesday Words (Mark'sMonday Memo)

I was given one of these to see how well it worked with my TSReader app.
It's supplied with BDA drivers (so it'll work with MCE) and a playback app
for users that don't have MCE. The standard playback app is VERY poor.

The thing gets incredibly hot - even with vent holes on the side it's too
hot to hold for any length of time. I haven't measured the current it uses
but it's got to be pretty close to the 500mA maximum for USB. In contrast, a
Freecom DVB-T stick receiver hardly generates any heat!

Internally the Artec uses:

a) a Cypress FX2 micro-controller to handle setup, I2C passthrough and data
transfer. 
b) a Microtune MT2060 tuner
c) an LG 5th generation demodulator

I reverse engineered their USB protocol to write my own driver for the thing
since the BDA driver was dropping packets from time-to-time. Saw the same
issue with my code and interestingly the packet loss happens exactly every
55 seconds so I suspect either there's a design issue (perhaps related to
the heat) or there's some RF making its way inside the thing and that's
causing the loss - need some more research.

In theory the thing is also capable of receiving QAM since it's got the LG
demod, but I haven't figured out how to make this work right yet. Anyone
with register level setup experience with the MT2060 and LGDT3303 feel free
to email me!

Nice to see a small 8VSB receiver though - we're now only 18 months behind
the DVB-T guys in this regard!

Rod


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kon Wilms [mailto:kon@xxxxxxxxxxxx]
> Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2006 10:23
> To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [opendtv] Re: 20060726 Wolfsson's Wednesday Words (Mark'sMonday
> Memo)
> 
> This device uses standard directshow drivers with VMR rendering. Any
> extra requirements are due to defective software i.e. MCE. And you
> absolutely do not need MCE for it to work.
> 
> I wonder if it exposes the transport pins? :) Still, the price doesn't
> really make it interesting enough to waste 90 bucks on in order to find
> out.
> 
> Does anyone know how the chipset in this performs?
> 
> Cheers
> Kon
> 
> On Thu, 2006-07-27 at 09:16 -0400, John Shutt wrote:
> > Mark Schubin wrote:
> >
> > - Artec's T14A is a tiny USB ATSC receiver for $89, including antenna:
> > <http://www.artec.com.tw/ehtm/be124.htm>
> >      This story says, "You'll also need an analog TV tuner installed on
> your
> > machine":
> > <http://www.mobilemag.com/content/100/334/C8775/>
> >
> >
> > The article in mobile mag left out a bit when re-writing the original
> > Gizmodo article:
> >
> > "It includes Windows XP Media Center Edition drivers, but keep in mind,
> if
> > you want to use that, you'll also need a separate analog TV tuner
> installed.
> > It's $89 with free shipping. There must be a catch. This we gotta try."
> >
> > So it sounds like you need the analog tuner card for WinMCE to be happy,
> > although one reviewer at PC Alchemy said he got it to work on his laptop
> > with WinMCE but no analog tuner.
> >
> > Reviews of the unit are not encouraging, although the effort is
> definately a
> > step in the right direction.
> 
> 
> 
> 
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