hp digitial entertainment center de100c/de200c
hi, welcome to robert rose's dec
hacking page. here i'll be storing information of interest to current or
potential dec hackers.
disclaimer: what you do with your dec is your business. keep in
mind that doing most anything with your dec outside of pushing the buttons
on the front will most likely void your warranty. you are responisble for
your own actions.
hacking the radio station tunerdb
Using a combination of tcpdump and roxy
proxy I managed to reverse engineer the tuner database format the dec
pulls down from Real. I set up a server running PHP and MySQL to serve up
my own radio station database so that the dec community can contribute new
radio stations and purge ones that no longer work.
Lee Devlin was kind enough to write up instructions on how to mod your dec
to use my database, available here.
The complete database is available here.
- If your want to modify the database, contact me.
upgrading the dec
the dec comes with a single 64mb pc100 stick of ram. by
experimentation various folks on the dec-list mailing list have
discovered that the de100c is capable of being upgraded to 512mb ram by
installing two sticks of 256mb pc100. the de200c is capable of only
256mb, as it has only one slot for ram.
the dec comes with a 566MHz celeron. both dec models are
capable of running up to a 1.4GHz socket 370 pentium 3
cpu. the dec is only capable of running it's processor at 100mhz fsb, so
any cpu you attempt to install must have a 100mhz fsb. 1.4GHz 100mhz fsb
pentium 3's are extremely rare-- Intel made very few. you'll probably
have an easier time locating a 1.0GHz pentium 3.
the de100c comes with a 40gb hard drive, the de200c comes with a 20gb.
both can easily be upgraded. to perform an upgrade, you first need to
"unlock" your dec. once it's unlocked, replace the hard drive with
your new one and run the "fsInstall" cd. this cd is available off of
ftp.hp.com. this procedure is described in further detail on lee devlin's
dec hacking photos
for your viewing enjoyment: link
for whatever reason, you may want to install windows on your dec. for me,
it was because i wanted to be able to play stepmania on my television and view divx movies.
i've sucessfully installed windows me and windows 2000 on my dec. others
have installed windows xp with sucess. no one has been able to install
windows 98 or 98se as these require a ps/2 keyboard to complete
configuration. installing windows is simple-- replace the hard
drive and boot off of the install disc.
once your dec is running windows, you may notice that you're missing a few
nice features: you've rendered the remote and front panel buttons useless,
the front panel display (vfd) no longer does anything useful, and you're
missing your mp3 management software. never fear! people in the dec
community have figured out how to get most of this functionality
configuring the remote and front panel buttons
note: i was not able to get the remote or front panel buttons working on
windows me. only windows 2000 and xp will work.
fortunantly the remote and front panel buttons use an onboard ps/2 port to
communicate with the motherboard. when you push buttons on the remote or
the front panel it's mapped to a keyboard command that's sent to the os.
using a keyboard/remote automation tool you can configure windows to do
something when you push a button.
one very simple to use windows automation tool that i got working with
the dec is hot keyboard. hot keyboard has a few
drawbacks however; the basic functionality is free, but the really neat
stuff you can do with it you have to pay for, and you can't script a
series of actions with it. i did get most of what i wanted working with
hot keyboard, like running winamp and ejecting the cd.
the best tool for windows automation is girder. girder is difficult to use, has
bugs, but it's very powerful and free. using girder i've managed to
script all of winamp to the remote, basic play/pause/stop/fullscreen in
windows media player, and a few other things. girder is the way to
go. my girder configuration file is available here.
configuring the vfd
the vfd in the dec is a Noritake GU160x32-800, a "Noritake 800 series"
display. the vfd is plugged into an onboard parallel port in the
"standard" way a vfd should be.
to use the vfd with winamp, you'll need to use markus zehnder's
winamp lcd plugin. unfortunantly, as of this writing the 0.5 preview
5 available from his website will not work. i have however managed to
download the source code and modify it so that it will! here's what you
- download my version of lcdplugin here. copy these files into your
- download the DriverLINX nt parallel port driver kit from here
please note that lcdplugin has bugs, and many of those bugs are carried
over into my version. don't report bugs to me please.
once you have the lcd functioning you can configure the display to your
heart's content. if you're lazy tho i have a sample configuration here. copy this file into your winamp\plugins