Usage after demise: Hacking receiver's and DVR's firmware for something else? (6 Viewers)

Tvland1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 3, 2009
379
357
ohio

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Mr. Rainbow

Member
Jul 22, 2015
6
27
Boise, ID
If any of you have a box that hasn't been activated the ethernet port will light up and get a valid ip address since it's never been updated. You can then ssh into the box without any password, and it is a root user. For ones that have been updated they disabled the Ethernet port, and you have to make a script on a usb drive that the box looks for and runs commands from to renable it. I haven't had time to get back into hacking the box for fta use much, but back when the service was active I did have a non updated box I played around with and gained a lot of information on. I have a script lying around on one of my computers, that basically can be put on a flash drive and plugged into the orby dvr or regular stb and it enabled the ethernet port, even on the latest firmware. The best I was able to do in the past was change the transponder config file to point to a new frequency and get it to scan in and add the channels in a weird format. How the original box worked was it basically read from a pre configured transponder config file that just had the frequency, modulation, and symbol rate. Then it took that and scanned it and compared it against a list with names that matched all the service pids in the transponder mux. It had a bunch of other hard coded stuff, but the firmware was definitely based on a generic image for various different companies that kaon made boxes for. I think the best we can expect from these boxes is to use them on something like 103 west with the muzak transponder that also has nhk world on it. I couldn't ever get it to do more than one transponder at a time. What I was actually trying to accomplish in the past was enable dvr on non dvr orby stbs, as the code was nearly the same and it had references to a usb hdd for recording, so that might also be something that can be done for recording ota channels with non dvr models. You can dump the firmware and it's not really encrypted, just hard to read as it has a bunch of java binaries. For example that nice orby guide backdrop and logo are in one of the compiled, but not encrypted java app binaries called alticaptor. This is probably a lot of information that only devs would understand, but I definitely think we can do something with these boxes. Probably our best bet is trying to run regular linux for the same cpu on these. It's a broadcom soc, the same exact chip is used in the dish network wally, and some cable boxes. It's also super similar to a roku cpu or an older raspberry pi.
 

Mr. Rainbow

Member
Jul 22, 2015
6
27
Boise, ID
For anyone that might find this useful here is a link to a zip file with some of the contents of the orby dvr operating system. It has lots of useful info, Interestingly you can get it to run alticaptor aka the main app it starts on boot, off of a flash drive instead and it will write out a log file to the flash drive. Its kinda a mess right now and has some of my experiment stuff in it, so take it with a grain of salt, but I copied everything that wasn't huge off the system. If you look in places you can see the binaries and scripts that do stuff like reset the system. Also of interest is the fact it is based on a broadcom reference image and still appears to have some of that stuff in it. Here is the link to it on a disposable skydrive account. orby.zip Since orby is out of business its not like they'll be suing me anyway though lol.
 

TV Junkie

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Feb 20, 2021
420
357
West Coast
For anyone that might find this useful here is a link to a zip file with some of the contents of the orby dvr operating system. It has lots of useful info, Interestingly you can get it to run alticaptor aka the main app it starts on boot, off of a flash drive instead and it will write out a log file to the flash drive. Its kinda a mess right now and has some of my experiment stuff in it, so take it with a grain of salt, but I copied everything that wasn't huge off the system. If you look in places you can see the binaries and scripts that do stuff like reset the system. Also of interest is the fact it is based on a broadcom reference image and still appears to have some of that stuff in it. Here is the link to it on a disposable skydrive account. orby.zip Since orby is out of business its not like they'll be suing me anyway though lol.
Good stuff my friend!!! :drunk
 
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ob007

New Member
Apr 7, 2021
3
3
us
I did get in to the hard drive to view the contents. And it has a bunch of recordings still on it. I forget the format but it wasn't mp4 or anything.
If I remember correctly, it was set up similar to a dvd, wtih separate audio and video tracks.
My question is, is there any way to make this function as a OTA dvr? When I try to access the dvr, it says "contact orbytv to activate dvr function". I do still get all the tv listings and can watch OTA tv just fine. I disconnected the orby dish as someone suggested but no luck. Also tried it with the sim card installed and not installed. Didn't make difference at all. can watch tv either way. just can't use dvr function. Just trying to avoid having a $150 brick and get an ota dvr in the process. The 500gb hard is toshiba so not too bad, just tiny capacity. Worst case, I'll get an enclosure for the hard drive i guess. Thanks
 

primestar31

SatelliteGuys Master
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Mar 15, 2005
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Since Orby used Nagravision encryption, you'd have to have the sim activated, and the OTA tier bit set. Same as how Dish Network does it. Can't happen now, since they are defunct.
 

primestar31

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Mar 15, 2005
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Maybe Dish could make a few extra dollars activating these! :D
You are dreaming now. Your only hope (IMO) is interested hackers at this point. Though there's likely not enough interest in the small number of Orby receivers in the wild to do that. Give it some time, if it can be done, it WILL be done by somebody.
 

FTA4PA

Satellite Guys Family
Lifetime Supporter
Nov 13, 2013
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Central Pennsylvania
You are dreaming now. Your only hope (IMO) is interested hackers at this point. Though there's likely not enough interest in the small number of Orby receivers in the wild to do that. Give it some time, if it can be done, it WILL be done by somebody.
Obviously, I was just joking but I agree that someone will do it at some point. :)
 

ob007

New Member
Apr 7, 2021
3
3
us
This may be "off topic" but I did get something in the mail yesterday saying that orbytv is filing chapter11 which basically means they will be reorganizing. It also Specifically states they are filing to reject agreements with subscribers. Just an fyi.
 
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Corrado

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 2, 2007
2,380
270
Hudson Valley Region, NY
My Edision Mio 4K is a nice OTA DVR when used with a USB tuner and the TNAP 4 image and records my FTA channels. Not limited to a 500 gb drive I can't move the recordings from easily.

Better than those converter boxes or subscribing to a monthly Tivo or Tablo type service. I record programs OTA all the time with it while I'm asleep or at work.
 

Corrado

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 2, 2007
2,380
270
Hudson Valley Region, NY
Most of those basic ATSC converter boxes can record to a USB device and cost about $30ish. I have one that I used a couple of years ago and it works fine.

The downside is all recordings are done manually, date, time, channel, duration etc. Not sure if any of them support a EPG type selection which is more desirable.

Also with mine, the recording format is .MTS and the files are huge with HD.
 
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Skyscanner

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 20, 2008
445
128
Sportsman's Paradise Northern Mi
"I bought a new OTA recorder for around $30.."
Where did you get an ota recorder for $30 Skyscanner ?!?
Corrado is right, it's not real sophisticated, but it works real good. I don't remember if it will timer record or not, but seems like it does. Trouble is, I didn't really need it, my FTA rx has OTA interface and DVR, so I just tested it and put it away and now can't remember where I put it. Makes me mad, and it happens all the time: I find great places to put stuff, then can't remember where I put it, dang it!
It does use a thumb drive for DVR, but if I ever need it I think I'll use the Orby drive and power it separately to see if that works?
 

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