Monday, 14 January 2008

The Beginning Stages of....


I have acquired a BT vision box. These freeview / hard drive recorder things are available to customers who have a BT home broadband connection for around £28 - pretty bargainous really! But, and here's the snag, it will only work at the BT registered address so that on-demand services can be paid for by the account holder.

There seem to be lots of these boxes for sale on ebay for >£20, but as far as I've googled, there isn't any info online about hacking them, so whoever has bought one either has the same intention as me, wants the parts, or is a sucker.

My personal circumstances have changed dramatically lately, and my BT vision service was working fine until quite recently when my circumstances changed and it was cancelled. I've got my ~£28 back, and they don't seem to want the box etc back, so I thought I'd open it up and try to hack it.

So, what's my background and motivation? I hear you cry. Well, background wise, I'm a knobby bloke who likes taking stuff apart. I also like dicking around with 'puters and am into Linux and open source software. My motivation is to try and get the info out to others, and maybe have one over on BT who have consistently provided me with poor service. I think they are rubbish.

Some pics follow of me taking the box apart. I guess that the next step is try and connect it to another computer so I can see what's on the hard drive and ultimately try to get it working somehow as a freeview recorder independent of the lame BT vision service.

Pic 1. The back of the box.

The 'screws' holding the casing on are those stupid star shaped ones but it hasn't stopped me - I've used my pliers to unscrew them. I expect that this is some lame attempt to perturb the curious.

Pic 2. The insides.

Sorry about the rubbish picture, I'll work on this for the next few. PSU on the right - I'll leave that alone, hard drive and mainboard with sockets for scart, RF, LAN, USB etc. Next post - I'll be looking on the hard drive.