Just got one of these in "broken" condition...


I got this one off eBay: DISH NETWORK DTVPAL DIGITAL-TO-ANALOG CONVERTER BOX - eBay (item 370195593042 end time May-07-09 19:55:31 PDT)

It says:

Elapsed Time: xxxxxx

"1st BOOT:180S
2nd BOOT:120B
RECID: xxxxxxxxx

"Vital program information needs to be downloaded to your receiver. Please wait and do not disturb or unplug it until this screen disappears.

"Status: Scanning."

If they mentioned the exact error in the eBay listing, it wouldn't have gotten sold. I'll try to get in touch with the local DirectTV branch, maybe I can get it reflashed.

It's been obviously opened, and could be the one mentioned in the competing board, where the owener tried to add features by shorting the 2-pin headerless jumper. Unfortunately, shorting the jumper activates the "Force Firmware Download" function. So this box is looking for a signal to receive the firmware. Why they left this unsoldered jumper in the schematics, I'll never know.

Opening it showed a standard Thomson (RCA) tuner. So at a point after this one, they switched the RCA tuner box out to a shield-boxed Microtune chip to make the DTVPal Plus.

The DirectTV office would fix this, hopefully, by attaching a special box that transmits the signal the box is looking for and then the data to be downloaded as if it was a signal coming from a DirectTV antenna. It hooks up with the DTV Pal's power supply, RF IN and RF OUT - that's how they program these boxes with the software after they're fresh off the assembly line.

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