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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Emitor Megalook - Interesting discovery!


I asked HERE for manuals and firmware files for the Emitor Megalook. I meanwhile found what seems to have ever been made available, so thank you all for your help.

Now, why did I search for these files? Because I bought two such devices from a nice chap in Singapore!

I actually bought one at eBay and then got offered a second unit for a unrefusable price, so I ended up with two.

Well, that was two and a half months ago. The seller sent me the package on the next day, it took one week to arrive in Lisbon and then it took our portuguese post office (CTT) a whopping month to pass it on to customs. There it took another month for them to ask me for the purchase documentation! Then another week for them to clear the device from customs and finally one week for the post office to finally ship it to me. Lesson learned: never ever purchase anything outside EU, except:

1) Cheap chinese stuff (is usually not sent to customs)!
2) If purchasing outside EU, use a propper parcel service, never official post office!

So was it worth it? Was it worth the money I spend (was a good deal, but still not exactly little money)?

Yes it was! I received two brand new looking Emitor Megalook in perfect working condition, except for the batteries, which is understandable. Including the original accessories.

Later on, I will probably sell one unit, as it makes no sense keeping both. Interested? Drop me a message (vma at norcam dot pt).

My collection now includes from Emitor:

  • Satlook AB
  • Satlook Mark III
  • Satlook Digital NIT
  • Satlook Digital Color
  • Megalook
  • Digiair Blue

I just opened the Megalook, mainly to see the kind of battery used (it's a NiMH cell) and made an amazing discovery: believe it or not, inside the Megalook there is not one, but two complete satellite receiver boards, with CI-Interface, Composite-Video/Audio connectors, Power Connector and Serial Port!!!


To my knowledge these two bords are not being used by the current firmware. I *THINK* the purpose would have been to implement something similar to the Emitor Satlook MARK IV FTA, but that has not been completed. Both boards look totally identical and they are connected to a PCB which has connectors to Video and Power for each board, providing the RF signal, too. It may be, that one board has a DVB-C tuner, while the other has a DVB-S tuner. The shield on both boards' tuners are the same size, so I am not sure.

Why on hell is this not active? (After some use of the device, the ST processor on both boards was still cool and I tried to connect directly to the video connector, but got no signal).

Why did they spend money in putting these boards there?


If I had MPEG2 demodulation capabilities on this device, it would be a dream device!

Any info is greatly appreciated.

Update - 1:

I figured out what those two boards are...

They are two DVB-C/T receivers based on ST chipset, which is basically a SOC (System On Chip). Emitor must have bought these PCB's as bulk and then they changed the firmware to a custom firmware.

The boards are only connected by the tuner and through RS232! When you enter the digital DVB-C or DVB-T mode, the corresponding board is turned on and receives the instructions from the main Emitor board. In return it prints out the constellation diagram, NIT information, MER/BER and the channels list.

If you connect a the composite video output to a monitor, you will see the EMITOR logo and board version number for a few seconds. Then everything remains black.

It's a shame they didn't implement the remaining receiver software, especially because there is even a CI slot on each board.

Update - 2:

Thinking further about this, it actually does make sense. Emitor had developed their own DVB-S Digital board and NIT board.

Considering how much development goes into such hardware, it is actually quite tempting to just take a standard SoC design for satellite receivers and program the required firmware based on the included SDK and sample firmware implementation.

You can purchase complete DVB-T receivers for distribution at less than 8 Euro (this was what I was told on ANGA 2015). In this case, Emitor only needed the PCB without case, remote, transformer, packaging. Probably they paid like 5 Euro per board. This is certainly much cheaper than any inhouse development.

Still, it bugs me that they could have made use of the MPEG2 decoder of the SoC...


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