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Actually I am looking for STB development platform that I could use to develop software for my Master Thesis. Of course I would like it to be the cheapest one. This platform should be equipped with Ethernet or Wifi network and should have DVB tuner installed. There is no need to have middleware I think. Maybe You know some good dev platform? I will appropriate all hints. I was looking at Sigma Designs Dev Kit, but prices are unknown.
let me tell you that your question is missing many relevant info.
- which kind of "development" are you going to do on this STB, for example?
- are you going to develop new kernel drivers (hope not, as it's quite difficult to find the source code of the drivers for this kind of STB..)
- are you looking for a high def. STB?
if you can cope easily with a Standard Def. decoder, you'll find plenty linux STB based on the Ibm Vulcan SOC quite easily hackable.
for example we grow our [free java based middleware|http://www.avalpa.com/component/content/article/12-newsflash/43-jet-20-is-out] on top of a DgStation Cubecafe STB.
Of course there are many more STB that could also be defined "for developers" for around 100-200