I'm in the process of making an "automatic channel checker". This unit will be used as a very simplistic test unit that goes through all channels on a set top box and checks to make sure there is both audio and moving video. I don't know that there would be any way to check for the quality of video, but at least i can tell if the video is frozen or completely black. I based the video sampling off of Dave Chatting's Eye Shield. It's currently still a work in progress, but i'm getting close. One of the hurdles that i've faced is the fact that all Arduino based remote control transmitter examples are based on RC5 which is 38kHz. The Scentific Atlanta set top box that I'm using uses 56kHz signalling, so it's taking some investigation with an oscilloscope and some trial and error with the arduino and a 555 timer. Any input or suggestions would be appreciated.
my only suggestion for the remote would be to physically hack into the buttons of a remote that will drive the box.
on my cable system the box won't stay tune to a dead channel - it just doesn't change the channel if it doesn't like the new one.
I've actually accomplished getting the IR to work beautifully now. I've still got some tweaking (like doing the 56kHz modulation on the ATMega rather than an off-chip 555 timer)
I'm trying to make the IR part into a library that i can publish for others that may need the same. This would be specific to 56kHz modulated IR signals... there already exists libraries out there for 38kHz signalling such as RC-5.
So adding the code to modulate 56k when high was really easy... i just replaced my direct port manipulation high and wait with a direct port manipulation high and wait for milliseconds then tweak it slightly with some assembly code NOPs to get exactly 56k modulation with 50% duty cycle. It was really only adding about 5 lines of code. Now on to the SD card reading and ethernet interface