View Full Version : PAL-N tuner

09-08-2007, 06:28 AM
Dear all,
For a long time, I trying to learn how to convert my Tivo to PAL-N (the Argentinean Standard), The Australian Pal mod is not good for me becouse it's PAL-B.
My Sony SVR-2000 has a factory Tunner TMDH2-A08A (NTSC, ofcourse) and in my search for conversion, I came acrosss a PAL tunner TMDH2-A38A (PAL-N/Nc, the Argentinean standard):)

Uppond external examination they both look identically.

I could not find a datasheet for the A38A, but the CURRENT CIRCUIT reports the following pinout:

1 +5v (but this pin does not exist, meaning that looks as if it was cut inside)
2 A IN
4 +5V
6 V IN
7 +30V (but this pin does not exist, meaning that looks as if it was cut inside)
8 AGC (but this pin does not exist, meaning that looks as if it was cut inside)
10 AS
11 SCL
12 SDA
13 (pin exists, but it's not connected)
14 +5V
15 (pin exists, but it's not connected)
16 +30V
17 (but this pin does not exist, meaning that looks as if it was cut inside)
18 IF OUT (but this pin does not exist, meaning that looks as if it was cut inside)
19 SW1 (but this pin does not exist, meaning that looks as if it was cut inside)
20 SW2 (but this pin does not exist, meaning that looks as if it was cut inside)
21 A OUT
22 NC
23 AFT
24 V OUT

Looks to me like a extremly close match to the original one.

The only "diferences" I can find with the A08A (http://minnie.tuhs.org/TiVo/files/hardware/us/tuner/B0206C.pdf) are:

Pin A08A A38A
4 MB +5V
5 Control SCL

If i'm not mistaken (based on the notes on TunerModALPSHowTo (http://minnie.tuhs.org/twiki/bin/view/Hardware/TunerModALPSHowTo)) this pins are exactly the same function in both of this modules.

So, if i'm not mistaken, I've found a drop-in replacement for my original tunner. :D

Question 1: Do you agree ??? or is there something I'm missing ???

Further more, since this Sony unit had the ALPS tunner from factory, and it's the same tunner family (TMDH2), I hope that this 2 units will have the same command codes and will need no Palmod.
Or in the worst case scenario it would just be the frecuency adjustment for the local (PAL-Nc) channels.

Question 2: Do you think I'm hopping for too much ???:o

Please let me know, what you think ... before I spend the money to get someone do the switch :eek:

Thanks a lot to all in Advance !!!!

PS: In case some one is interested, I found the module in my own STB, after it stop working and I opened to find out why (the power supply died). The brand is NOGAnet and it's made in china.

Darren King
09-08-2007, 07:25 AM
The best part about TiVo modifying it actually trying something and seeing if it works or not. With that in mind your post has good merit and appears you are onto something which *may* work however like all other modifications you will not know for sure until you actually try it and be hopeful it does work and not to be too disappointed (or prepared to find out why it does not work) if it does not.

To put it another way: The currently installed tuner is useless so you may as well try your intended modification and see what happens.

09-08-2007, 08:42 AM
Anyway, I gave the ALPS modif pdf to the tech, along with the schematics and my notes to see if he can do it (without breaking it) how much will it be.
My plan is to do only a replacement of the tunner without any additional modification ... I'm an optimist and hope that everything, including the sound will work (PLEASE tell me if any of you thinks diferent).

If the sound does not work, then I'll take it back to do the mono or the mark1 sound modification (assuming that the Tivo is still alive :eek:)

Darren: Thanks for replying ... I was hopping that the expert would see my post !!! Reading again the TunerModALPSHowTo (http://minnie.tuhs.org/twiki/bin/viewfile/Hardware/TunerModALPSHowTo?rev=1.1;filename=ALPS_TMDG2_tune r_howto_v4.pdf), you mentioned that you have a PDF datasheet on the ALPS, but I could not find it anyware in OzTivo (or anywhere else, for that matter). Could you post or send me a copy ????? I'm sure it will help me with the diferent steps ahead.

Yes, I know that testing is an important part of the game, the problem is that I'm not a good solder (actually, I'm pretty decent with electric welding, but not the electronic kind), so I have to get someone to do it for me.
This means that I must drop off the parts, wait for the guy to the replacement, pick up the tivo, Pay, and then i can see if it works, if something is not right (or If i realize that I do need Sound modification), I need to do everything again. :-(

Thanks a lot to all ... wish me luck !!! :-)

Darren King
09-08-2007, 08:52 AM
Looks like you face a big task if you are not actually doing things yourself. But I will wish you luck all the same :)

Regarding the ALPS document yes I do have it and I thought it was on the OzTiVo website. Maybe it was lost when there was a server problem a while ago. If you want the document send me an email.

30-08-2007, 09:42 AM
Anyway, I gave the ALPS modif pdf to the tech, along with the schematics and my notes to see if he can do it (without breaking it) how much will it be.

Thanks a lot to all ... wish me luck !!! :-)

So - Did you go through with it?
If so, what was the outcome?

20-09-2007, 11:02 PM
Hi to all,
Sorry for the delayed response but I just came back from a trip.
No, I haven't done it yet, the Tech that it's going to do the job was bussy to do it before my trip and I wanted to be present while he was doing the job, so ti will be next week (probably).
Also, Thanks to Darren, I got hold of a ALPs "G" tunner, that it's also very close to the PAL-N standard, so I now have 2 posible tuners to test with :cool:
Any way, I did use my time trying to understand the PALMOD code, as I will have to write a PAL-N version of it, as the frecuencyes are channel diferent and (if I use the PAL-N tuner that I found) I will also have diferent frquencies ranges (VHF, UHF, etc change in diferent frequencies).
I'll be testing my "argenitinean" palmod this weekend, my previous tests (brute force testing, directly on the tivo) forced me to rebuild my Tivo :o, so I hope to have better luck this time :)

I'll keep you posted !!!

27-09-2007, 08:41 AM
Dear All,
just a follow up, The tech that was going to do the replacement is still unavailable, so I had plenty of time to work on my Argentinean version of PALMOD.
I used the latest source i found (3.2) and started playing arround in preparation for when the tuner get's swap.
The tech mantioned to me a few times that he really did not see the point in swapping the units as PAL-N and NTSC are pretty close to each other (when the transform a TV or VCR from PAL-N to NTSC, they only change the circuity sligtly do the tunner uses a diferent set of crystals).

I was playing arround, trying to get the best configuration, when i found (in the SAA7114 datasheet) that subaddress 0x0e, bits 6 to 4 would allow me to specifiy the TV standard

D[6:4] color standard selection CSTD[2:0]
000 50 Hz/625 lines: PAL BGDHI (4.43 MHz)
60 Hz/525 lines: NTSC M (3.58 MHz)
001 50 Hz/625 lines: NTSC 4.43 (50 Hz)
60 Hz/525 lines: PAL 4.43 (60 Hz)
010 50 Hz/625 lines: combination-PAL N (3.58 MHz)
60 Hz/525 lines: NTSC 4.43 (60 Hz)
011 50 Hz/625 lines: NTSC N (3.58 MHz)
60 Hz/525 lines: PAL M (3.58 MHz)
100 50 Hz/625 lines: reserved
60 Hz/525 lines: NTSC-Japan (3.58 MHz)
101 50 Hz/625 lines: SECAM
60 Hz/525 lines: reserved
110 reserved; do not use
111 reserved; do not use

"This can not work !!!!, o can it ???" I figured that worst case scenario, this would kill the tuner ... and I was planning to change it anyway, so I did the change, compile the version, uploaded to the Tivo and reboot it ... playing that iw was not going to kill it.


Guess what ???? IT WORKS !!!!!!! :D I have a beautifull color image !!!!!

I still have a long way to go ... I can only get 1/3 of my local channels (I need to find the correct frecuency range for VHF-L/H and UHF for this NTSC tuner), I have no audio at all, and the PAL-N composite output from the Tivo Looks bad in some of my TVs).

I will continue to experiment this path befor going the haardware route ...
Still, I'm a happy camper.

Best Regards to all, Marianok.

P.S.: I hope no one minds if i x-post this to the Software area, but I'm sure someone there will be interested

04-10-2007, 06:27 AM
Dear All,
Just a follow up, I have my NTSC Tivo fully working on PAL-N without the need to replace the tuner. :)
The tech was right about the similarities of the 2 tuners, with a few changes that I made to palmod I was able to have a fully functional PAL-N unit.
Thanks a lot for your feedback and support !!!!


P.S.: I guess we can close this ... but I've no idea how :-)

04-10-2007, 12:10 PM
good news that you have solved it without needing to change hardware.

I will close this thread.