Read Every Bit On A DVD

If you are curious about reading all the bits on a DVD, [tmbinc] has devised a hardware hack that uses a Pioneer DVD drive with leads soldered onto it and a Cypress FX2 microcontroller board to grab the flow of bits and push them over USB2.0. My favorite part of this tutorial is when you slow the spinning DVD down very slightly with your finger with a scope hooked up over what you believe to be the raw data stream from the disk. If the data rate slows when you physically slow down the disk, you probably are grabbing data from the correct pin. [tmbinc] even put together a software tool to process the resulting raw DVD data.

16 thoughts on “Read Every Bit On A DVD

  1. steve.. r/c Resistor and capacitor hacks?! hah
    okok, im not an idiot.. but radio control is boring. theres no brains to it.
    its like…. attaching a hammer to an rc car and calling it a ‘bot. I commend your duct-tape engineering skills, but a robot maker you are not.

  2. unless I’m mistaken, you can already read every bit from a DVD (or any other block device) with dd(1) … I’m using this right now to make bit-for-bit images of all my DVDs, storing the resulting ISOs on my storage array, mounting the ISOs over the network and playing them back with VLC. Voila; instant online DVD library.

    dd if=/dev/rcd0c of=/storage/SomeDVD.iso bs=4096

    (bs=2048 is standard; I’m experimenting to see which block size numbers give the best performance)

    (Also, hackaday needs to toss their non-RFC compliant email address validation code – a plus sign (“+”) in the userpart is perfectly valid, even though there’s a depressing number of code libraries out there that are not compliant with the specs. See RFC768.)

  3. What is this, slashdot? :P

    Anyway, read the article darkuncle. dd will not give you every bit on a DVD, only the decoded bits. tmbinc is after *every* bit, including the sector headers, error correction, and sync signals. This hack is about as low level as you can get. Any lower are you’re working with analog signals.

    take a hint: this can be used to break disk copy protection schemes, which are nothing more than poorly formed disks used to confuse dvd players. dd just doesn’t cut it.

  4. The problem I have with this entry is how it’s presented in a context that gives the impression that we all didn’t know you could tap bus traces. The actual entry is cool though.

    This has already been done with the x360 by the way. There is even instructions for adding a second chip and custom firmware for certain drives. It can be done with any drive, there just isn’t instructions for other models.

    I think we all know this stuff, we just forget we learned it at some time.

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