E3C EC168

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An USB controller, that also contains an embedded DVB-T demodulator, produced by Tai-Hui and marketed under the brand name e3C Technologies.

This IC is used in many cheap DVB-T USB Sticks. Support is currently very experimental under Linux. (Only the combination with MXL5003S will work and only with 7 and 8 MHz channels.)

EC168 Devices

Known USB IDs are 18b4:1689, 18b4:fffa, 18b4:fffb, 18b4:1001 and 18b4:1002 (for devices with a second tuner).

  • DUTV002 Shen Zhen MinTV-DVB-T Stick (USB ID 18b4:1001)
  • DUTV007B USB TNT Basic LIGHT from PC-Basic (Graphics) with MXL5003S tuner and 256 byte EEPROM 24C02N (USB ID 18b4:1001).
  • DUTV009 SinoVideo 3420A-2 with MXL5003S but no eeprom (USB ID 18b4:1689/18b4:fffb)
  • SV3420D-V02 SinoVideo SV3420D-V02 with MXL5003S. (USB ID 18b4:1689)
  • SKU08309 USB DVB-T TV Dongle with Remote from DealExtreme uses this chip. (USB ID 18b4:1689)
  • MM002V2 Sweex MM002V2 Microtune MT2060 silicon tuner (USB ID 18b4:1689)
  • Tvisto USB DVB-T with MXL5003S tuner (USB ID 18b4:fffa)
  • ZAP DVB-T USB stick with MXL5003S tuner and no external eeprom. (USB ID 18b4:1689)
  • WS-DVBTM2 Tevion USB-DVB-T Stick from Hofer/Aldi

DUTV009 SinoVideo 3420A-2


SinoVideo 3420A-2 with MXL5003S (USB ID 18b4:1689/18b4:fffb)

SinoVideo SV3420D-V02


SinoVideo 3420D with MXL5003S (USB ID 18b4:1689). The PCB says SV3420D-V02.

Apparently produced by SinoVideo and sold under lots of different names.

As the windows driver CD is labeled SV3420A and timestamps are rather old, I suspect that the drivers didn't change since SV3420A. Equally the Linux driver should work for all revisions. Remote control part is recognized as HID device by the kernel.

Works with the driver from Antti's mercurial repository as described in [1]

SKU 08309 USB DVB-T Dongle

SKU 08309 USB DVB-T Dongle requires Firmware-File called EC168BDA.bin contained in Windows Driver TVGo_Genius.rar


Cheap offer at Hofer (Aldi) in Austria. Has an EC168 and MXL5003s built in, which refers to the E3C reference design. Reffering to the link, the system only freezes after loading the dvb-usb-ec168.ko module under debian 5.0 unstable. All other modules load fine. Maybe other distros and/or hardware has better success. It's even impossible to load the firmware via dfu-ec168



Same USB descriptors as SinoVideo 3420A-2, but with another PID... IR is detected directly by the hidraw driver (usbhid)

The PC-Basic v4 USB Stick contains following chips :

  • EC168 (USB 2.0 µ-controller, could be also a preprogrammed AVR or PIC)
  • Maxlinear MXL5003S Tuner [2]
  • EEPROM 24C02N I²C 0xA0 (256 Bytes) [3]

The windows driver also upload a 7109-bytes sized firmware (EC168BDA.bin) to get the device working...

Uploading Firmware to the device

  • EC168 Direct Firmware Upload tool based on libusb by Tanguy Pruvot : dfu-ec168

Something interresting with this device : We can patch USB ID and descriptors included in the firmware and/or device memory...

Known USB requests

#define CMD_EC168_RAM       0x00 //RW- Read/Write RAM (Firmware go to addr 0-0x1EFF)
#define CMD_EC168_GETSTATUS 0x01 //R-- ex: dfu_ctrl_get(device,0x01,0,1,buffer,1);
                                 //        to know if firmware is ready
#define CMD_EC168_STREAM    0x03 //R-X ex: dfu_ctrl(device,0x03,0/0x20,0xFF00);
                                 //        disable/enable streaming 
#define CMD_EC168_SET_POWER 0x04 //R-X ex: ex: dfu_ctrl(device,0x04,0/1,index); dfu_ctrl_get(device,0x04,0,index,buffer,1);
                                 //        disable/enable LED : index=8
                                 //        indexes seen in trace: 0x8,0x9,0xA,0xB,0x206,0x208 - Not a Binary Mask !
#define CMD_EC168_UNKNOWN   0x10 //--X ???
#define CMD_EC168_READ_BUF  0x20 //R-- ex: dfu_ctrl_get(device,0x20,0x0000,0x01A0,buffer,0x1A); 
                                 //        read eeprom ?
#define CMD_EC168_WRITE_BUF 0x21 //-W- 
#define CMD_EC168_SET       0x30 //--X ex: dfu_ctrl(device, 0x30, 0x0709, 0x1A);
                                 //        set IR Key ?


USB subsytem ID is: 18b4:1001

output of 'lsusb -vv -d 18b4:1001':

Device Descriptor:
 bLength                18
 bDescriptorType         1
 bcdUSB               2.00
 bDeviceClass            0 (Defined at Interface level)
 bDeviceSubClass         0
 bDeviceProtocol         0
 bMaxPacketSize0        64
 idVendor           0x18b4
 idProduct          0x1001
 bcdDevice            0.02
 iManufacturer           0
 iProduct                0
 iSerial                 0
 bNumConfigurations      1
 Configuration Descriptor:
   bLength                 9
   bDescriptorType         2
   wTotalLength           50
   bNumInterfaces          2
   bConfigurationValue     1
   iConfiguration          0
   bmAttributes         0x80
     (Bus Powered)
   MaxPower              100mA
   Interface Descriptor:
     bLength                 9
     bDescriptorType         4
     bInterfaceNumber        0
     bAlternateSetting       0
     bNumEndpoints           1
     bInterfaceClass         3 Human Interface Device
     bInterfaceSubClass      1 Boot Interface Subclass
     bInterfaceProtocol      1 Keyboard
     iInterface              0
       HID Device Descriptor:
         bLength                 9
         bDescriptorType        33
         bcdHID               1.11
         bCountryCode            0 Not supported
         bNumDescriptors         1
         bDescriptorType        34 Report
         wDescriptorLength      63
        Report Descriptors:
          ** UNAVAILABLE **
     Endpoint Descriptor:
       bLength                 7
       bDescriptorType         5
       bEndpointAddress     0x81  EP 1 IN
       bmAttributes            3
         Transfer Type            Interrupt
         Synch Type               None
         Usage Type               Data
       wMaxPacketSize     0x0008  1x 8 bytes
       bInterval               7
   Interface Descriptor:
     bLength                 9
     bDescriptorType         4
     bInterfaceNumber        1
     bAlternateSetting       0
     bNumEndpoints           1
     bInterfaceClass       255 Vendor Specific Class
     bInterfaceSubClass    255 Vendor Specific Subclass
     bInterfaceProtocol    255 Vendor Specific Protocol
     iInterface              0
     Endpoint Descriptor:
       bLength                 7
       bDescriptorType         5
       bEndpointAddress     0x82  EP 2 IN
       bmAttributes            2
         Transfer Type            Bulk
         Synch Type               None
         Usage Type               Data
       wMaxPacketSize     0x0200  1x 512 bytes
       bInterval               0
Device Qualifier (for other device speed):
 bLength                10
 bDescriptorType         6
 bcdUSB               2.00
 bDeviceClass            0 (Defined at Interface level)
 bDeviceSubClass         0
 bDeviceProtocol         0
 bMaxPacketSize0        64
 bNumConfigurations      1
Device Status:     0x0001
 Self Powered

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