[Vincent Deconinck] gave a fresh lease of life to an old set top box by adding a few Euro’s worth of hardware and some software smarts. The device in question is an old VOOcorder – a Cisco set-top box provided by VOO, his cable service provider in Belgium.
The result was bidirectional interactivity from within a browser, allowing him to send commands and receive status information as well as providing a user-friendly search interface. Further, his browser interface was integrated with information from the service providers website letting him do scheduling and recording of programs. The stuff that interested us is how he sniffed out the IR signals, figured out the SPI protocol used by the front panel controller, and implemented SPI-slave mode for the ESP8266. [Vincent] was surprised that such a cheap device could handle three distinct web servers while parsing two message streams without a hitch.
It’s a great hack showing us how to use super cheap electronics to upgrade and modernize old hardware. Check out the two videos after the break – showing a demo of the hack in action, and a walk through of the hardware modifications.
5 thoughts on “Dumb STB Gets Smart”
Imagine using Sigrok and a Salae clone to sniff IR signals crazy
I wonder how hard it would be to use an old palm pda, or similar hardware with IR support to packet-sniff & spoof IR transmissions?
There’s iRDA transceivers that plug into USB.
Well, no logic analyzer nor pda was used, just an Arduino with the IRremote lib example “IRrecvDumpV2” (See https://github.com/z3t0/Arduino-IRremote )… But sure, that’s not the only possible way…
If you had a free set of Steak knifes and oriented them in a fashion and recorded the light with a ccd camera you could figure out the wavelengths for the IR then attempt to replicate it from memory ?
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