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Cracking open a Motorola DVR

TechRepublic cracks open the Motorola DCT6412 III digital video recorder (DVR).
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By Cara Reynolds on
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1 of 8 Cara Reynolds/ZDNet

by Andrew (aka ashumate)

The Motorola DCT6412 III is offered by many cable companies. On the front panel we can see a USB A/V input and Smart Card ports and local controls. At this time, no cable company has enabled any of these ports.

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2 of 8 Cara Reynolds/ZDNet

Here on the back, we see all of the box's other ports, the RF splitter, and the black tamper seal (the black square above the IEEE 1394 ports). So far, the only ports that are known to be active are the SPDIF, A/V out, HDMI component, IEEE 1394, and the power out. Now be warned: your cable company might not like you opening this up.

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3 of 8 Cara Reynolds/ZDNet

With the security screws removed and the tamper seal broken, we see the guts: a segate 120GB SATA drive, a very basic ATX power supply, the twin tuners, and the cable modem interface (between the tuners).

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4 of 8 Cara Reynolds/ZDNet

Here, with the hard drive removed, you can see the motherboard. There is one fan to keep the hard drive cool, and the CPU is cooled by the heat sink. There is also a battery in the top left corner, just below the smart card reader. You can also see that the memory is built onto the board just above the heat sink.

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5 of 8 Cara Reynolds/ZDNet

This is the main receiver chip, which decodes DOCSIS and is the network interface.

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6 of 8 Cara Reynolds/ZDNet

This is another part of the box's built-in cable modem. It is what streams on-demand video and data to the DVR.

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7 of 8 Cara Reynolds/ZDNet

Here's a closer view of the two receivers and the cable modem interface. The twin receivers allow you to watch one show and record another, or record two shows at the same time.

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8 of 8 Cara Reynolds/ZDNet

Now it's time to put it all back together before my wife gets home and sees our DVR in pieces.

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