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I just bought a used roku box off of ebay. It's a box that hooks up to your TV and streams movies from Netflix or Amazon through a wired or wireless connection to your router. I googled around and see that it runs Linux. Now, I'm wondering how much this can be tweaked or hacked. I want to see what's under the hood. I did an nmap from my Ubuntu pc and it said this:
Starting Nmap 5.00 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2009-11-26 19:49 EST
Interesting ports on np-20f8cx007386 (192.168.1.44):
Not shown: 995 closed ports
PORT STATE SERVICE
8080/tcp open http-proxy
8083/tcp open unknown
8084/tcp open unknown
8085/tcp open unknown
8086/tcp open unknown
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 0.32 seconds
So some ports are open. Can I get into it from a networked pc? Maybe ssh or ftp?
I opened it up (just 3 screws and some plastic tabs)-it has 1 GB of synchonous DRAM...it looks like everything is soldered, though, and not easily upgradeable. I want to add more memory so it can cache.
Actually, I read it has a lot less RAM. This is what it gives from a TTL to RS232 serial adapter:
I have been playing around with the idea of reverse engineering the Roku for a while. I have a spare that I ordered a month ago that I will be taking a bat at. For all accounts and purposes, you can load your own Linux on it, but this defeats most of what I'm trying to do: investigate Microsoft's DRM and Roku's framework for its channels.
Firstly, as we might know, we cannot stream Netflix videos to a Linux box without some windows virtualization. Since the Roku uses Linux, there has to be some kind of proprietary DRM that works with MS/Netflix. If this can be extracted, we can make a plugin for Firefox (or what have you) to watch Netflix's streams.
Second, besides the Roku being a nice small embedded device, if I can merely add a channel to it, I would be ecstatic. I would like to develop a channel to stream music, pictures, & videos from my server. All my current tries getting a UPnP/AV client working on the Nintendo Wii has failed, so I'm looking at the Roku to fill the gap.
By the way, what pins did you connect for the console?
I didn't hook it up to a console-just read that somebody put a TTL to RS232 serial adapter on it...I don't have one of these. I'm not sure of the exact link where I read that now but I think I just followed the link above and followed more links off that page.
What I was hoping to do was expand the cached RAM by putting an SD card or some other flash memory device so that I could fast forward and rewind movies faster. I opened it up and couldn't find anything easily upgradeable but did read that there is a USB port in there...you would need to solder things, though.
Last edited by linuxhippy; 12-08-2009 at 06:38 PM.
For all accounts and purposes, you can upgrade the memory by desoldering the ram chip and soldering in a new, higher capacity, pin-identical chip, but it will not help you much as the cache is set by the firmware, which I haven't seen any decompiling of AND which has it's own security to block out non-official updates. Also, merely increasing the cache wouldn't allow for faster fast-forward nor rewind--that is limited by the software. The hurdles right now is reversing the firmware and/or reversing the security mechanisms already in place.
Acer Aspire Revo AR3610-U9022 from new-egg is $329. Comes with an HDMI out, Wifi, gigabit wired ethernet, 2GB of ram, Windows 7, 160GB HDD (upgradable to 500GB) and a wireless keyboard and mouse. (probably able to use the same IR input to accept a universal remote)
While this may be a bit pricey for a network media player, there is a somewhat scaled down model for $200.
The $200 option is much like it's big sis. The differences? The $200 model offers a stingy 1GB of soldered on ram and comes with linux installed.
I'm thinking about putting one on each TV in my house and ripping all of my dvd's to my network storage, as well as streaming my netflix account.