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Media Toys

DVB-T STB/MPEG2 Player That Can Access SMB Shares 149

feanor writes "Siemens is realeasing beginning of November the Gigaset M740 AV (German text). This is a DVB-T set-top-box that can access SMB shares either via ethernet or WLAN and store its MPEG2 compliant streams. Alternatively it can be used as an MPEG2 streaming client. Other cool features include the ability to hook-up standard USB hard-drives as storage, a dual tuner architecture and a very cool design."
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DVB-T STB/MPEG2 Player That Can Access SMB Shares

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  • Not in the US (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Monday October 18, 2004 @09:48AM (#10555745) Homepage
    DVB you say? Shame that's not going to be compatible with the ATSC standard here in the states.

    Maybe, one day such a device will be available here... after the Induce act fails again and is lost forever... after pigs fly, hell freezes over and the {MP|RI}AA and bit torrent get along as friends.
    • I betcha cant put linux on it!
    • It's really not a question of ATSC in this case. Since the GigaSet is a IP based set top box, it would only be useful for TVoIP applications such as those offered by broadband providers such as the Telco's. Alternately, it could be connected to a cable modem.
      If this becomes popular, somebody will build an ATSC receiver that has and IP output. The issue of course is the CCI (copy protection flag). A decoder would pass this flag to the set top box, but the box would be required by US law to respect the flag a
      • It's not only useful for TVoIP, it has 2 DVD-T tuners built in it, you just need to hook up an antenna. DVD-T is the digital terrestrial TV over here.
    • Re:Not in the US (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Silvrmane ( 773720 ) on Monday October 18, 2004 @10:16AM (#10555954) Homepage
      Enough with the acronyms. Messages like this are unreadable to people who don't know what the heck DVB or ATSC mean.
      • Re:Not in the US (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2004 @10:35AM (#10556082)
        • Re:Not in the US (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheSync ( 5291 )
          Yes, they use different modulation techniques. DVB-T uses COFDM modulation, ASTC uses 8 VSB modulation. DVB-S (satellite) uses QPSK modulation (generally).

          My impression, though, is that these formats all use MPEG-2 transport streams. So if you can demodulate them, and deliver them over coax using ASI (asynchronous interface), they would all mostly work with an MPEG-2 TS demux/decoder.
          • Being as I work for a company that supplies products that multiplex, demultiplex, and transform MPEG-2 Transport Streams from one format to another, I can unequivocally answer YES! to your question. We also make/sell products that analyze Streams and do other equally cool but unmentionable things to them.
        • DVB you say? Shame that's not going to be compatible with the ATSC standard here in the states.

          DVB = Digital Video Broadcast
          ATSC = Advanced Television Systems Committee

          I was sure that was a typo and we were talking about DVD and NTSC. Seriously. I guess I must read too much of mispelled texts and my brain is trying to correct all the typos subconciously without my consent and knowledge. Thanks for the hint.

      • You think that's bad? You should listen to the people where I work, common acronums include (but of course not limited to: PCR, TS, PTS, DTS, PAT, PMT, ADF, and SD, HD and many many more.

        Bonus points if you can identify each of the above.
      • Re:Not in the US (Score:1, Redundant)

        by sokoban ( 142301 )
        If you don't know the acronyms, then this probably doesn't pertain to you. DVB-T is the Euopean Digital terrestrial Television standard. It's pretty neat really and allows for digital pay TV over the air. ATSC refers to the american standard
      • It is called "Google". Learn how to use it. Now, what boggles my mind is how your post got rated as "+5 Insightful".
    • Re:Not in the US (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      hmm, my understanding is that dish network is using DVB devices for its satellite service. so dvb is available in the US. Actually, lots of satellite users are using it.
      • The problem is Encryption of said satellite signals, until this device is authorized by Dish/Echostar it'll receive nothing but FTA(Free To Air) television which is all crap in the USA.
        • Re:Not in the US (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          The DVB standard is designed with modular encryption. A quick trip to GoogleGroups tells me that the Dish Network uses Nagravision encryption, for which there are CAMs (conditional access module). At least theoretically you should be able to watch the Dish Network with a CI (common interface) equipped DVB-S receiver, a Nagravision CA module and of course a subscriber card.
          • I've got $20 for somebody who can get me a parts list that'll do this for under $200. There ought not be any expensive encoders needed - it's MPEG-2 already.

            All I want to do is to be able to use MythTV with the digital signal I've paid for, with my authorized smart card - no shenanigans here. Some kind of USB or PCI hardware that I can slide my smartcard into would be fine.

            I already have the Dish DVR and it's very light on the features and pretty heavy on the bugs.
      • While the modulation for DVB-S is standardized, the encryption setups for DVB-S are not quite so standard. There ARE standard interfaces between most DVB-S receivers and encryption devices, but the encryption scheme used by Echostar (Dish) is not implemented in any of the dongles supported by PCI DVB-S tuners such as those made by Hauppauge for the European market.

        DVB-C and DVB-T (Cable and Terrestrial DVB, they do use different modulation schemes, etc.) are not used in the U.S. at all.

        OTA Broadcast stre
        • Actually, Dish sort-of uses a standard encryption scheme, Nagravision (and now Nagra2).

          However, they will not allow anyone to subscribe with anything other than their receivers, so it really doesn't matter if you have the standardized equipment; you have to use their proprietary boxes.

          (What this allows Dish to do is to continually change the boxes' firmware for "increased" security and bugginess.)

          In Europe, broadcasters are required to work with standardized hardware. In the US, we promote monopolies.

  • This looks pretty cool to me. I was thinking about knocking something together to do something simillar but this seems to make life easier and definately looks better
  • by SpooForBrains ( 771537 ) on Monday October 18, 2004 @09:49AM (#10555760)
    SMB?? We want NFS or nothing!
  • What SMB? (Score:2, Insightful)

    The interesting question is: does it use some sort of windows, or does it use samba to access those shares?

    • SMB is how windows computers share files and printers with each other. The OSS version called Samba is an implementation of this that allows *nix computers to do the same. So you can have a windows network and hook up a computer with linux and run samba and get the same access to the files and printers and be able to share your files and printers.

      A little off topic, but I feel windows smb is easy to set up, but it craps out a lot where as Samba can be a pain to set up when communicating to say windows xp
  • by mwheeler01 ( 625017 ) <matthew@l@wheeler.gmail@com> on Monday October 18, 2004 @09:51AM (#10555775)
    DSB-T STB that plays MPEG2 over SMB and with so much trauam in the LBC it's kinda hard bein snoop D O Double G with my BLT. I'll be hangin over here with my WLAN wearin SPF 30 cause of the UV...

    Am I the only one that had to read the title and description like 4 times to get the gist of this? I know acronyms are a fact of life but I think my brain is starting to overload on them.
  • by aredubya74 ( 266988 ) on Monday October 18, 2004 @09:53AM (#10555795)
    Every cable company is (or has been) rolling out digital cable packages to subscribers, touting the enormous number of extra channels, insta-PPV ordering, "digital quality sound" etc. The big catch is that you're shackled to their box - all the years of cable-ready TV sets go out the window. As such, since I'm not aware of any cable companies that will let you bring your own box, cool set tops are useless to us.
    • I'd have to do a little digging to find it, but the FCC a number of years ago ruled that home consumers can own their own equipment, that is why you are not required to rent or buy anything from the cable company and can instead bring your own.

      That's also why cable descramblers are in the grey area. Yea, they let you have more channels then you are paying for and enter the realm of signal theft (but the signal is trespassing on my property!), they are compatible with the cable network, which is the require
    • Not necessarily. Theres always free to air satellite TV in the US, which is a DVB satellite broadcast. Though can't see any specifics here of whether or not this box is able to receive satellite signals. (also not to mention that free to air channels are free for a reason :D )
      • If this device is indeed DVB-T (as is probable), then no, no satellite receiver included. You'd need a box confirming to the DVB-S standard for that.

        Really. Why didn't they just make one spec to rule them all instead of DVB-T, -C, and -S??

        • Because each transmission medium has different signal requirements; once you demodulate a DVB signal, the original transmission type is irrelevant, as it's all DVB.

          Satellite receivers have a limited noise budget, and the need to control an LNB; they need a mechanism that's robust in the face of low SNR, and LNB control allowed.

          Cable receivers live on a known stretch of wire; they need to be cheap, but capable of exploiting much higher SNRs than satellite ever has. Cable boxes don't need to worry about LNB

    • There's tons of open-source, free, and moderately priced (three different categories) software for this out there. And they all get around the issue you describe by supporting an IR transmitter, letting it control the digital cable / sattelite receiver.

      There's even plans for building your own transmitter homebrew for about $10
    • Having recently been coaxed into digital cable (it's cheaper than the standard tier because I'm in a "competition area"), I was thinking how annoying it was to need a cable box for each TV/DVR. That, and the US HDTV requirements that are going to make all of our older TVs enormous paperweights. Maybe it's time for TV manufacturers to start selling TVs without any tuner at all. If you have cable or satellite you don't need it. If you want HD broadcast, you buy a tuner that suits your needs. If the cable box
      • They do sell TVs like that. :)

        I have a Samsung HLN567W. It has a regular VHF tuner, but no ATSC/QAM tuner. I have a Samsung SIR-TS360 plugged into it to get my HD off DirecTV or OTA. Lots of plasma screens are just monitors without tuners also.

        Anyhow, I'm guessing the regular VHF tuners are so incredibly cheap to manufacture today, they might as well keep including them. 2006 is when the HDTV mandate kicks in - in the meantime, don't buy a non-HDTV! The screens are getting as cheap as their SD counte
        • have a Samsung HLN567W. It has a regular VHF tuner, but no ATSC/QAM tuner.

          It still has a tuner. It still requires the components and the labor, and you can bet that even though they are cheap, it's still figured into the cost of the TV.

          Maybe my circle of family & Friends isn't large enough, but I don't know anyone that doesn't have cable or satellite.

          Tomorrow, all of the auto manufacturers are going to start putting 'free' infant car seats into all the vehicles they manufacture. After all, they are
      • My Panasonic has no tuner, or speakers. Why pay money for stuff I'll never use?
    • Not to mention that you have the pleasure of paying rent for each box. If you're going to do that, you might as well go with satellite.
    • Actually, the FCC recently approved the "cablecard" modular encryption standard, allowing you to use your own cablecard-compatible TV without having to use the cable-company's box. Cable companies are required to support it.

      It's a shame something similar hasn't been done to require satellite broadcasters to support standardized receiver technology.
    • +5 Insightful my ass. The box is not meant for cable. The T in DVB-T stands for "terrestrial". So this is meant for the new TV standard that's replacing the traditional air wave TV.
  • how much does it cost??
  • English translation (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2004 @09:55AM (#10555815)
    English translation [google.com]
  • Half backed... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OlivierB ( 709839 ) on Monday October 18, 2004 @09:57AM (#10555830)
    They could have delivered a killer box if it supported Mpeg4.
    There's no way I am going to re-encode all my DivX to Mpeg-2. And I don't want to run VideoLan on my PC to encode on the fly and stream to this thing.
  • Please, only mpeg2? What about the divx device feartured yesterday.
    • They were aiming for a Dupe story, but misread the timelines slightly and ended up looking at the 1994 headlines.

    • Re:Compliance (Score:3, Informative)

      by julesh ( 229690 )
      MPEG2 is the format that DVB uses for transmitting its videos. I don't see the relevance of DivX here; this device is obviously intended for use as a digital video recorder and MPEG2 is the obvious format for it to use for this.
    • Maybe because the DVB standard is based on MPEG2?
      Using MPEG4 wouldn't make much of a difference for the high datarates that are used for these streams.
      MPEG4 is aimed more for bitrates lower than 2mbit. (Sort of a successor to MPEG1)

      • MPEG4 is aimed more for bitrates lower than 2mbit. (Sort of a successor to MPEG1)
        Since you mention it (and since this sounds like DVB would require much more bandwith):

        At least over here 4 channels share one slot, which has a bandwith of 14 MBit/s. On average you get about 3.5 MBit per channel.

        It's also possible to use less channels per slot or to give one of them more bandwith (while taking it from the others). But I guess that this won't be used too often.

  • Nothing new here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by edwardd ( 127355 ) on Monday October 18, 2004 @10:00AM (#10555855) Journal
    Dreambox is a set top box that has supported DVB for years, and it supports DVB-T (Broadcast), DVB-S (Satalite) as well as DVB-C (Cable).

    http://www.dream-multimedia-tv.de/Bereiche/Produkt e/DM7000_featurelist.php/ [dream-multimedia-tv.de]

    VDR has aslo been available for years to support the same standards under Linux. It is a full featured PVR with a robust plugin interface.

    http://cadsoft.de/vdr/ [cadsoft.de]

    North American viewers on the East Coast can take advantage of DVB-S & pick up a number of satalites that cover the Atlantic region. There is a wide variety of FTA programming available. My dad used to be a ham operator, I guess this is the new `ham` hobby.

    • Despite having a 2.6 kernel (which in theory includes the DVB drivers) and a weekend to spare, I still failed to get anywhere close to getting vdr running. It does *not* support receving and replaying DVB-T with any readily-available DVB-T card. It will fully support DVB-T with such cards *only* if a DVB-S card with MPEG decoder is also present *or* at the cost of some considerable further complication and reduced functionality if you also have an old DXR-3 card or a Hauppauge MediaMVP.

      I suspect the Siemen
  • Awesome! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shplorb ( 24647 ) on Monday October 18, 2004 @10:05AM (#10555887) Homepage Journal
    This looks cool. Hopefully it can view aussie DTV... I understand that our standard is a weird blend of DVB-T and ATSC in that we use DVB for everything but the audio, which is in AC-3.

    Whilst that made STB's initially expensive, I think it'll be a good decision as we move to the future - it's nice to be able to receive a HD signal on my PC with my DVB-T tuner card and pipe the AC-3 out the fibre to my receiver.

    So yeah, umm... this is cool and perhaps if this or something even better comes out down here that'll be another nail in the coffin of my currently-stalled DVR project.

    • This looks cool. Hopefully it can view aussie DTV... I understand that our standard is a weird blend of DVB-T and ATSC in that we use DVB for everything but the audio, which is in AC-3. Whilst that made STB's initially expensive, I think it'll be a good decision as we move to the future - it's nice to be able to receive a HD signal on my PC with my DVB-T tuner card and pipe the AC-3 out the fibre to my receiver.

      And AC-3 is soo much better than MPEG2 multichannel -- why? Many receivers in Europe support M

      • I don't know why/if AC-3 audio is better than MPEG audio. I just remember their being a big stink about our DTV standard being "unique" and it causing high prices because of the small size of the aussie market when it was all introduced back in 2000 or so. On further investigation I found that the uniqueness is that we use AC-3 audio. There could be other different things, but that's as much info as I could find at the time. I just presume it's better because pretty much every DVD has an AC-3 soundtrack and
        • Australia has DVB-T, with MP@HL video (high definition), and AC-3 audio (Dolby Digital). Europe, which is the other big DVB-T market, uses MP@ML (standard definition), and MPEG-2 audio.

          If Australian DVB-T boxes support MPEG-2 audio as well as AC-3 audio, then they'll work unchanged in Europe; European boxes require simpler video streams than Australia offers, but if they have an AC-3 decoder, they'll handle the audio out there.

  • D-Link DSM-320 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Pedrito ( 94783 ) on Monday October 18, 2004 @10:10AM (#10555914)
    I recently bought the D-Link DSM-320, which isn't a tuner, but allows you to play movies and music as well as view images from your computer, onto your TV via ethernet or 802.11b/g.

    It doesn't use SMB shares, however. You run a server app on your Windows machine and tell it the directories you want to share.

    I have to say I'm a bit disappointed with it so far. The biggest problem is that using the wireless, a lot of movies don't have sound. From what I have read, this is a bandwidth issue and should go away if I go with wired ethernet, but I haven't tried that yet.

    It also has a number of small usability issues. It doesn't respond to the remote control very well and you need pretty direct aim and also need to sometimes press a button multiple times. It sometimes hangs and responds late to button presses, so you end up hitting a button over and over again thinking it's not getting it, only to get all the button hits several seconds later.

    On the other hand, the system allows for automatic firmware upgrades (which it did the first time I connected) and it appears to have improved significantly from earlier versions, so I'm hoping it will continue to improve. I considered taking it back, but I'm going to hold onto it and just hope that the firmware upgrades will eventually remedy most of these problems.

    It's nice to see more of these types of devices coming out. My real goal is to build a MythTV box because I think that's going to be more of what I'm looking for. I have a DirectTV receiver with TiVo and the TiVo is great with the exception that I can't store the movies offline and I can't access my substantial collection of TV shows from my computer with it. So I think at this point MythTV is the only way to go.
    • I also have a DSM-320 and I offer this more detailed review...

      In terms of Wi-Fi it supports B and G.

      It supports a variety of video formats, AVI, DIVX, MPEG 1-4. With the latest upgrades it can do video forward and backwards (in FF or Fast reverse). Downloaded video file look good when played via the DSM-320 on my 20 inch TV set.

      It plays MP3 and you can create play lists on your PC. I think this is a great feature as many have some type of high end "home theater system" and this let's you turn that into a
    • It doesn't use SMB, It's probably a uPnP AV Device (Specs [upnp.org]). Intel have a reference implementation of a server and client (can't find the link ATM).
      The server will be listening on a port (it may or may not be a standard port, wither way I'm not sure what that port is) that you can point a web browser to, it should then return an xml file with other details about the content being served.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Three or four years ago, in 2000-2001, firewire was the only choice for external hard disks, USB 1.1 was too slow.

    Even now firewire 1 is faster than high speed USB and firewire 1.5 is way much better. Right now high speed usb and firewire 1 adapters have about the same prices and most external boxes are combos. Why use USB and not firewire?
  • DVB-T (Score:2, Informative)

    by hhawk ( 26580 )
    It's worth noting that DVB-T, T for Terrestrial, is the standard for over the air digital broadcasts everywhere in the world except the US, and possibly South Korea.

    DVB-C, the standard for digital cable, and DVB-S is the standard for Satellite TV.

    The US claims that DVB-T doesn't work well in more rural areas, which maybe true.

    • "The US claims that DVB-T doesn't work well in more rural areas, which maybe true."

      It has to do with the modulation. DVB uses CODFM, which is excellent at avoiding multipath issues but requires at least twice as much power to go the same distance as an 8VSB system (like the US ATSC standard) under clear conditions.

      Translation: If you live in an area where multipath is the primary concern, CODFM is better. Otherwise, 8VSB is better.

      Sinclair, the developers of CODFM, attempted to get the FCC to switch to C
  • Got this via email:

    Gigaset M740 AV: The entertainment box from Cordless Products

    The new Gigaset M740 AV Digital Video Broadcasting Receiver marks Cordless Products&#146; entry into the entertainment market &#150; and has already won its first customer: Carrefour Spain has ordered 50,000 of them.

    The versatile Gigaset M740 AV brings the future of home entertainment to the living room. It&#146;s a set-top box for receiving digital aerial television programs, a television projector and an MP3 pla

  • This sounds like another variant using the IBM STBx25xx chip, as used in the Hauppage Media MVP [hauppauge.com].

    It's probably derived from the same IBM sourced reference design as the MVP (bolting on a DVB tuner is a doddle). If it's anything like the MVP, it'll even be running linux as well....

  • First floppies, then the Internet, then email within the 'net. Now your video player. Why would you want to turn your video device into yet another... erm... channel for spreading Windows viri?
  • With that many acronyms in the summary, this MUST be really cool technology I should rush out and buy!!!

    So, uh... what does it do? ;)

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde