If I have read posts to this thread correctly the Magai TV drive is a SATA one, and the file systems are readable on a computer if the drive is attached to it.
My knowledge of electronics is sketchy (and my experience less), so I was wondering whether someone with better knowledge could comment on the following idea before I purchase - inspired by a mod I read about someone doing to their xbox. It is this:
1. Drill a hole in the back of the MagicTV
2. Cut the drive SATA cable, (except for possibly the ground and power wires), pull all the cut wires out the hole.
3. Run the cut wires out the back to a two way switch (or switches)
4. Connect one set of switch terminals to the wired running back into the Box, the others to a SATA connector.
5. Connect the new SATA connector to a SATA-->ethernet adapter (or if preferred a SATA-->USB adapter)
6. Connect adapter to PC or network
7. Switched one way, the cable is simply rejoined - and should work like a normal Magic TV. Nothing they can do, nor any firmware upgrade can disable what has been done, because the box is just configured as normal.
8. Power down the box, switch the switch to the other setting, and the drive is connected to the network and visible - and all files can be copied/converted etc.
Is this feasible? The parts seem cheap, and it would give all the advantages of a simple to use, high wife acceptance factor, integrated Freeview approved PVR without having to mess round with a HTPC etc. It would also have unconstrained video extraction.
Interested in peoples thoughts. If there are no obvious fishhooks I might pick up a Magic TV (or a cheaper Zinwell 640 which JB HIFI has for under $400 at the moment) and give it a go.