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Teardown: DigitNOW "U601" 4K HDMI capture box


I managed to score a DigitNOW 4K HDMI capture box for just under $30. Reviews show why it was discounted so much, with problems ranging from poor reliability in the long term to the RGB LEDs causing interference to the microphone input. I figure that I could mod it to be reliable and end up with a really cheap way to do 4K HDMI captures.

The HDMI input first goes to a mystery "HD202" splitter chip, from there one output goes to the HDMI pass through output and another goes into an IT68051 HDMI decoder. Then there's a rather wide parallel bus sending the data to an IT9325 USB 3.0 video controller. A WM8960 handles the analog audio input and output.
On the reverse side, there's a KH25L6436F holding the firmware for the USB controller and a FCM32F030C8T6 microcontroller.

By far, the biggest flaw is that the main chips are cooled by means of silicone blocks bridging the gap to the top cover, quite too thick for good cooling. The USB-C power input is also lacking the 5.1k resistors to allow it to work on a PD port. Both seem like easy fixes, the LEDs turn out to be WS2812 or similar so my initial idea of filtering the PWM to fix the interference isn't going to work, maybe improving the bypassing as close to the LEDs as possible would fix it.

Do you know if it´s able to digitize 4k with at least 30fps?

I ask because I once got a similar product just to find out - late after possible returning - that it only loops through the 4k60fps signals it was prominently marketed with.
The USB capture path was limited to 1080p - after all with 60fps.

Yes, it can do 4K 30FPS capture over USB. But the 3 main chips get quite hot in the process, therefore I'm modding it to improve the cooling.


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