[linux-dvb] Anatomy of the TerraTec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD stick

Markus Rechberger mrechberger at gmail.com
Fri Jul 18 10:15:23 CEST 2008

On Thu, Jul 17, 2008 at 6:43 PM, barry bouwsma
<free_beer_for_all at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hey kids, even *you* can take apart daddy's new toy, so get your
> jewellers screwdrivers ready!
> First off is the grey plastic that covers three of the four sides
> of the stick, by gently prying it up from the ends -- lift it
> slightly straight out from each side and it separates cleanly
> from the white box without that satisfying snap.
> Revealed are four sets of the smallest crosshead screws that
> you will want to see.  Remove *one* from each pair; they simply
> attach to a metal plate which holds the case together, lest you,
> like me, not only lose most of the screws, but the plates as well.
> Now the white box separates without effort into its two halves.
> The meat of the box is still attached with two more screws to
> one of those halves, and it pays to remove those screws, safely
> placing them in a spot where you'll accidentally set them flying
> from your workspace into your heavy shag carpet.
> At this point, you see that the device consists of two circuit
> boards, connected with spacers, that look as if they should be a
> socket and plug pair, but don't seem to want to act that way.
> You know the sound of a snapping circuit board does wonders for
> science, so I'm not sure why I couldn't convince myself of that.
> There is one `empia' chip to be seen within the nether regions
> between the boards.  The outer side labelled `TOP' has little
> of interest -- the IR sensor and LED and other discrete
> components.  It also has the RF connector and tuner attached
> sandwiched between the boards, but there is a metal housing
> that appears to be well attached to the board, hiding its innards
> from discovery.
> The part number of the Empia chip is virtually impossible to make
> out with just eyeballs and a weak light, but I'd almost want to
> claim it's EM2884.  If there's another chip on that side, I'm
> not able to see it.

it is.

> On the side of the package labelled `BOT' are seen two Micronas
> ships, a DRX 3926KA1, and an AVF 4910BA1.  There's also an 8-pin
> ACE24C32, which should be the EEPROM.  The DRX series appears to
> be Analog or DVB or ATSC demod/decoding, while the AVF chip
> should be an analog/composite/S-video decoder.

the micronas chip is as usual very complicated to program.
Anyway I'd say support will very likely be done within the next 3 months.


> Now that I look more closely, it appears that the metal case
> of the tuner actually consists of a top that should pop off and
> is not itself soldered to the circuit board, but that first
> requires separating the sandwich, and I'm too much a wuss to
> have passed that point (this stick isn't cheap in comparison
> with many others).  The connectors holding it together mock me
> and stubbornly refuse to be separated.
> If I can trust my hacking on code which I haven't bothered to
> understand, claiming that the tuner is an XC5000 fails to
> attach a tuner, while claiming it's an XC3028 fails to fail to
> attach, but doesn't say anything more.
> Admittedly, I want it to be an XC5000 as if I've read properly,
> that supports 256QAM for DVB-C, which the XC3028 does not, and
> if that's true, then this stick won't be the DVB-C USB solution
> I hoped for...  But there may be something else there entirely.
> Armed with this knowledge, I could think about posting initial
> hacks to identify this device at plugin.
> Say kids, wasn't that fun?  Now be sure to hide all the little
> pieces where daddy won't find them, including all those SMD
> components you knocked off when your screwdriver slipped, and
> be sure to keep it a secret, okay?  And next week we're gonna
> do something even *more* exciting, so get your powertools ready!
> Yours &c. &c.,
> Uncle Drunkard
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