For some time, I own a Philips DVDR3590H dvd recorder, which has a 250GB harddrive and is capable of recording both on DVD’s and on the harddrive. To see what was inside, I opened it some years ago. Maybe to spot if the harddrive was upgradeable, the dvd drive was exchangeable or which components are inside.
But I wanted to go further, and after obtaining a 3570H (which has a 160GB harddisk instead of a 250gb) I began serious dissasembly of the device.
Luckily, I have obtained the service manual, which guided me through the process of what was inside.
I have found the following:
- Manufactured by Sea Star (http://www.sz-seastar.com/)
- Board type: LecoPlus
- Decoder NXP SAA7136 – PAL/SECAM/NTSC, a sound and video (10 bits) (Courtesy of Progtown.com)
- Chipset NXP PNX7350 – the media processor of series Nexperia, codec MPEG2, MPEG4, MP3, DD, DivX and other (Courtesy of Progtown.com)
But, I discovered there was a service port, which communicated over RS232!
After some tries with a standard Prologic PL2303 USB to TTL converter, I received garbled output on Putty.
But, after much more reading on the web, I have found that it needs a MAX232 to invert the signals as well, in order for proper USB connection.
So I soldered my own cable, which I connected to a socket found in an old LCD display.
How to set up the connection between the dvd recorder and a pc:
- When connecting, the device needs to be off
- Get the cable out of the 1404 socket on the motherboard which is left from the HDD
- Plug in the cable you have manufactured yourself.
- Connect the USB to RS232 converted to your USB port
- Start up Putty, with settings 19200, 8 bit, 1 stop bit, no parity, no flow control
- Put the power cord into the power outlet. The device will boot.
- I entered command 100 to show some device information.
Philips DVDR Service mode initial startup, “DS>” is the prefix which waits for a nucleus, a command.
The available commands are here: from page 42:
So far I have been able to:
-Read out device information
-Open and close the tray
-Put on the lights and enter display data, example shows Hacked. Only uppcase works, no ( ) or other symbols
-Read out harddrive firmware and serial number
-Route video from CVBS input to the CVBS output on the back.
-Test the video signal both with RGB and CVBS, generating test signals (green, yellow,red)
-Spin up and spin down the harddrive manually
I would like some help with:
-Disabling Macrovision goes with command 111, but seems to do nothing??
-Store the disabled Macrovision on the chip, so it works also outside the diagnostic / service mode
-Read out the harddrive via USB / other method, currently it is possible to write RAW data onto a DVD (have not tried it yet).
-Read out the EEPROM. This is possible with a command but I don’t know how to do it.
-Read out the NVRAM. This is possible with a command but I don’t know how to do it.
So that’s where you can help. If you appreciate my work, please leave a comment.