Any way to verify if the Portal function actually works at all?

tahrey

Member
OK, looked through the usual help guides, done a forum search, not turned up anything helpful here.

Using the Portal on my Humax is not top priority, but it would be nice to grab the occasional iPlayer programme or something (given that my PC apps for such stopped working a long time ago), look up Youtube videos to show to people instead of hunting them out on the computer, using Flickr/Picasa as electronic wallpaper and the like.

However, I have never yet seen it working / been able to make it work. EVER.

Before installing the custom firmware, pushing the Portal button was the kiss of death - it cancelled whatever else the box was doing at that point (other than showing the picture for the current channel and carrying out programmed recordings), it just showed a line of Fastext-like colour bars along the bottom of the screen, dimmed the video, and then became completely unresponsive to the remote. The only way I was able to exit from it was by power cycling, either by the front panel standby button, or in extreme cases pulling the AC plug.

Since installing it, things are a little better - I can, by mashing various Exit / Back / Menu / etc buttons eventually convince it to go away and return me to what I was previously doing (usually a file rename op, which is my main reason for battering away at the numpad with gay abandon), which usually then falls on its arse and has to be restarted. It also tends to do a number on the timeshift buffer, but at least I don't have to power cycle and lose the current recordings too. Also when I press the colour buttons, each one pops up a numbered submenu with various options. However, thus far, none of them have responded or appeared selectable in any way, not even the "utilities", either by number or by cursor, and I'm yet to work out what button the "Menu" block is meant to be accessed with (it's denoted with a = sign, which doesn't match any of the remote buttons).

Is this like the decrypter / DNLA issue, and there's something head-slappingly simple that needs to be enabled (or un-disabled) in order to bring it to life? Again, I've looked it up best I can myself and can't work it out. The machine is physically networked to a reliable router and has definitely got a high-speed connection to the outside world, as it finds and downloads packages and updates from the internet servers plenty fast.

I have seen from others' comments that it maybe needs some kind of connection to the Humax company servers themselves in order to work, and they operate on a tart's drawers basis... is there a particular time of day when they're more likely to be working than not? Is there a mini site anywhere or URL I can access to check if they're live? Or just someone who uses the portal a lot who I can ping and ask if it's working before attempting it myself? Do I need to register with them somehow (the serial number of the box itself not being enough?), or can it be possible that the previous owner of this second-hand PVR did something to get themselves banned / never went through that registration step?

FWIW the last time I tried this - accidentally! - was a couple days ago. Went for "7" whilst retitling a file, got the portal button instead. Still dead.

Similarly, something that may be related - I can't get any of the "streaming" freeview channels to work (Motors, Community, so on and so forth... all those out in the 180 ~ 600-and-some wilderness beyond the Adult zone)... I'm not even 100% sure what they are or how they're meant to operate, but I presume the main data stream is sent over the internet, and the freeview channel itself just delivers a URL and a decryption code or the like? In any case, I tune in, and just get the digital teletext holding screen with no useful information on how to actually access that station. Their programmes sometimes crop up in the EPG, though. Any clues?

Thanks :)
 

MontysEvilTwin

Well-Known Member
Re. the streaming channels, they do not work on the HDR-FOX. The hardware pre-dates them and they can't be loaded.
Re. the portal, if you get pop-up menus from the coloured buttons, the box must have an old, now non-compatible custom portal installed: this is not part of the standard functionality. From Web-If>diagnostics, or telnet, run the 'remove_portals' diagnostic and reboot. You should then get the standard portal. You need 1.03.xx firmware running for iPlayer etc. to work.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I grabbed some content from YouTube this morning, but iPlayer is not playing ball for me the last few days (on two machines). It has on other occasions though. Registration is not necessary.

Somebody recently reported restored YouTube functionality after running a system flush.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
tahrey : There have been 3 versions of the Custom Firmware TV Portal package, only the third ( New Portal) works with the latest Humax Firmware, if your portal screen does not look like the one in the link, you may be running one of the previous portal version, as stated above, these version must be removed and the 'new portal' installed
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
From the point of view of getting anything working, it would be better to remove any custom portals completely and start with the standard Humax portal (as per post 2).
 
OP
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tahrey

Member
Thanks guys ... :)

Monty: Well, that's a bummer. Just how up to date does your hardware need to be (talking of freeview receivers in general) in order to receive those? The Humax is the most modern thing I own, pretty much. I thought it was pretty swish given that it can handle DVB-T2. Heck, my grandmother's just had a new TV bought for her and even THAT doesn't have the capability... Everything else I or anyone else I know can only get the SD channels. Psht.

Anyway, at least I know I may as well ignore those and pretend they're scrambled or something. No big loss. It would have been nice to get access to Community again as it had some relevant programmes, but the world won't end without it.

Ezra: Huh... odd. Definitely mine looks like the one in your second link, not like either of the other two options. And it only really started working like that reliably since installing the CF and relevant packages. I thought basically everything on my system was up-to-date, though? It's got fairly recent core OF, and I only installed the CF about three months ago, including (I thought?) the new portal (...but I'll have to check that once I get home). Is there a chance that it would still come back the same way even if I Shut Down Everything, uninstalled every trace of CF from it, and started from scratch? Is there something in the OF that might need changing first?

BH: Suppose it wouldn't hurt to uninstall all the portal-related stuff and retry, given that it's not working right now anyway.
 

MontysEvilTwin

Well-Known Member
The newer HDR-1800T and HDR-2000T can access the streaming channels.
Re. your portal issue, run the 'remove_portals' diagnostic and reboot, it will take less than five minutes to do. It is probable that the custom portals use flash memory storage. Wiping the hard drive will not remove all traces of these packages and the diagnostic is the only reliable way of restoring the default condition.
 
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tahrey

Member
Ah... well, I just deleted and reinstalled before seeing that suggestion. It *seems* to have worked, though I'm not sure if absolutely 100%. The main interface comes up OK, iPlayer seems to work, as do a couple of the other services, although Youtube is now dead (and I guess, given the message on screen, I should probably plug in my old "Smart" Panasonic Blu-Ray and see if it's also been locked out). Exiting from each app is a bit janky, but it's serviceable. Haven't yet investigated whether the last thing played is properly cached, though.

In any case, that counts as a qualified success in my book, so many thanks ;)

If I have any further problems I'll try removing everything again then running the diagnostic before reinstallation...
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
What do you mean YouTube is dead? I just checked - it's not. I've been having trouble with iPlayer for the last week or so though:

"Something went wrong displaying the programmes. This is usually a temporary problem. Please try a different action."
 
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tahrey

Member
All I got on the results list, no matter what option I picked from the menu, was a single video, with no actual AV data, and a description that says Youtube has upgraded to a new version that does not support the device. Obvs whatever version of the YT app I'm getting (through this freshly-installed portal) is too out-of-date to actually access the YT service any more.

Maybe it's updated since then and now supports it again. I haven't had opportunity to test it in the interim...
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Only firmware based on Humax firmware versions 1.03.xx are now iPlayer/YouTube capable. The current roll out of CF versions include the base firmware, so all you have to do is choose which one you want - but it's a compromise: 1.02.xx is incompatible with iPlayer/YouTube, but no EPG problems. 1.03.xx has what we call the "slow EPG" problem.
 
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