Rescue and update an old RTD1073 based media player

Content on this page is probably outdated and represents my personal knowledge, feelings and understading of things at that time .

Quite some years ago I purchased a simple chinese Realtek RTD1073 based player. That’s the same as the first generation Xtreamer, Asus O!Play and many others. The chipset was quite popular because it was cheap and offers quite a lot at least on paper. A vibrant community quickly formed around the chipset/players but it was unfortunately quite severly crippled by the GPL violations, lack of documentation and a big binary DvdPlayer application that is responsible for almost everything - from IR recieving to actual GUI display. I used it a bit but the interface was horrible and performance lacking. I shelved it and it was collecting dust for 2 years. But recently I decided to clean it up and update it, ensuing a lot of fun. The documentation about the devices is scattered far and beyond the internet. I tried to collect some of it in a wiki[1].
First I tried to update it to the latest image that the company I bought it from is providing. That didn’t go that well as it seems that they changed the remote and mine was not working anymore. That’s quite easy to fix - simply telnet to your device and force an upgrade with: root # echo “http://my-home-server/install.img” > /tmp/installing_source root # kill -6 1 This forces the system to reflash itself with the new install.img. When that was complete (beware - it can take up to 20min) I decided to update it to a latest PBO GUI2.0[2] that looks quite good.
This FW requires a new bootcode (the lower level parts of the system) which update was believed to be only doable over a serial connection. I found an excellent resource in moServices[3] where they provide an install.img that updates the bootcode to the latest known version 23[4] (use the file for R1/R3). Unfortunately that updates the whole system too with a (seemingly) stock Asus O!Play one that has hardware checks and refuses to work on non Asus O!Play hardware. This renders the device unusable with DvdPlayer restarting itself over and over again. The device also doesen’t request an IP via DHCP and therefore seems stuck. But fortunately it does set an default IP I connected the device directly to my computer, set the computer IP to, telneted to and restored the system as shown before.
But this time I used another moServices goodie caled AMP r8[5] with pohd skin[2] (I replaced the install.img on the server with the downloaded one). That flashed the new FW - with removed hardware checks and a good looking GUI.
Almost done. I just had to get the remote working. Fortunately AMP r8 comes with irfake installed and a great tutorial on how to configure it[6]. And that’s it, now my cheap chinese media player boots with Asus logo and A.C.Ryan branded interface - but hey, it works (albeit a bit shabby on some content - most notably 1080p problems and audio)! :D
Thanks to all the people that made this possible!

[1] - http://w.p2p.si
[2] - http://www.acryan.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=152&t=10077
[3] - http://moservices.org/
[4] - http://moservices.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=98
[5] - http://www.moservices.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1030&sid=6c51ece999c6acc57b922e4c13b305ca
[6] - http://www.moservices.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=179