May contain traces of nut
Introduction: Readers must remember that this blog was started while the custom software was in early development - it has now developed to a slick and sophisticated add-on that virtually anybody can benefit from, as long as they have their HD/HDR-FOX T2 attached to their home network (and preferably also the Internet) and are prepared to use a PC (or other computing device) to access the web-based control panel. It is almost a no-brainer, the one remaining decision being "do I accept the very slight risk that I can't restore things to normal if I need to claim on the warranty". For me that means keeping standard for long enough to know the box hasn't suffered early failure and is therefore very likely to have a long and happy life. If you want to know what the custom software can do for you, take a look around the various introductions linked in the NEW READERS START HERE topic pinned at the top of the relevant forum sections (or in the signature panel at the bottom of each of my posts).
What follows is a careful step-by-step approach to "going custom", first exploring the issues and limitations of the standard firmware, what can be done to circumvent them without modification, at each stage limiting the intrusion to the minimum. It is largely irrelevant now the custom software is so user-friendly, but readers will benefit from understanding the reasons behind what the custom software does (and might stop asking basic questions all the time - "might" being the operative word!). BH
OK Folks, in response to AF123's "big up" for the idea of a non-programmer recording the experience as a helping hand for other newbies, here's my blog.
In order to keep the narrative thread reasonably unpolluted, I shall update the blog by editing the first few posts (there is a 10,000 character limit on each - Edit: not any more). Any questions or comments will then appear in other posts below this one and not interrupt the flow (easier to read instead of picking the bones out of a long topic). This has actually been transferred from a previous topic (for administrative reasons) and there are some replies already to be found here: http://hummy.tv/forum/threads/black-holes-trail-guide-to-hdr-fox-t2-hacking.306/#post-3678
Remember: this is the Humax HDR-FOX T2 I am dealing with.
Remember also: I am not aiming to produce an idiot's guide, this is recording what I have done and putting down a trail of bread crumbs for others to follow if they wish.
Stage 1: Non-Hacked Access to HiDef* Recordings
* Due to the confusion between HD (Hard Drive) and HD (High Definition), I intend to stick to HiDef when that's what I mean.
What's the reason for this? Simple: the Humax encrypts the recordings on its hard drive. All of them. However, if you use the SUI (Standard User Interface - ie the remote control and on-screen menus) to copy a recording to a USB device, it obligingly decrypts the files unless they were HiDef. The first stepping-stone on the trail is to provide decrypted access to HiDef recordings as well, without interfering with the Humax in any way. We can do this by fooling it into thinking a HiDef recording is actually StDef, and decrypting it just the same.
Later stages will explore how to use modified software updates on the Humax to do all this within the box.
The steps in this stage of my development plan are thus:
- Use FTP to access the Humax file system*
- Pull the .hmt file (from the file set that comprises an HiDef recording) onto my PC (using FTP)
- Use the Foxy utility to clear the ENC (Encrypted) flag in the .hmt file
- Send the .hmt back to the Humax
- Format a USB stick in Ext3 (the only way it will be able to accommodate a file >4GB**)
- Copy the HiDef recording to the USB stick decrypted (because the ENC flag was cleared)
- Move it to the PC and do something with it
- Find out how much quicker it is writing to an external hard drive.
* You could simplify even more and bypass the need for FTP, but that would involve copying the WHOLE file set (because that's all the Humax interface lets you do) to USB, then clear the ENC flag on the USB stick with Foxy on a PC, then copy the WHOLE file set back to the Humax and finally copy it ALL back to the USB stick again. Each USB copy of a HiDef file takes ages! Therefore I'm going straight for FTP!!
** For estimation, 1 hour of StDef occupies approximately 2GB. 1 hour of HiDef occupies approximately 4-5GB. My 346-minute recording of the Royal Wedding in HiDef is a 21.7GB .ts file!
Stage 1.1 - FTP Access
First of all I needed to network my Humax. You could just run an ethernet wire directly from the back of the Humax to your PC; other people have had success plugging a WiFi dongle into the Humax and accessing it by wireless network. I have mine connected to a HomePlug AV200 ethernet-over-mains adapter, which links to another adapter located near my ADSL router and then connected to an ethernet port on the router by wire. My router is also a WiFi base station so the Humax is accessible via WiFi. This set-up gives me access to iPlayer from the Humax, I didn't have to configure anything.
On the Humax the FTP server needs to be turned on. From the Menu button:
Settings.. System.. Internet Setting.. FTP Server.. ON
Then, back-up with the Left button and visit:
Settings.. System.. Internet Setting.. Configure LAN
Make a note of the IP Address - in my case: 192.168.1.64*
* I had DHCP set, which means the Humax requests an IP address from the router. I am told this means the IP address might be different every time you turn on, but in my experience it isn't - I think my router remembers what IP address it allocated to any particular connected hardware (possibly by MAC address) and allocates the same next time. If it causes you problems, on the Configure LAN screen you can select Manual instead of DHCP, and then choose your own IP address 192.168.x.y where x is typically 0 or 1 (follow your DHCP example) and y is in the range 1-255, but it must not conflict with anything else on the network.
Interestingly, I had to do a complete router reset and re-configure, and now the Humax is at 192.168.1.65! What I have done now is to take the settings allocated by DHCP and "freeze" them by changing "Configure IP" from "DHCP" to "Manual", and then clicking "Apply" at the bottom of the screen.
Update: I have now gone back to DHCP because there are situations with a manual IP address that can lead to network conflicts - the router might allocate that address while the Humax is off, and then when you turn it on... I do have fixed addresses though, because I have set the router to never unallocate it once set.
Now to access the Humax from a PC by FTP. You will need an FTP client program, I used to use "FTP Commander" (it has a nice Danger Mouse desktop icon!). Now I have "Directory Opus 10" installed, which is a (not cheap) Windows Explorer replacement with lots of bells and whistles including FTP, so the remote server looks just like another disc drive in a window with drag-n-drop file management. I recommend you try FTP Commander if you have no other FTP client in use.
FTP Commander v8.0 can be obtained from here: http://download.cnet.com/FTP-Commander/3000-2160_4-10025993.html, and if I remember correctly runs as an exe without installation. When you run it, the left side of the screen is an explorer for your local file system, and the right side is a similar explorer for the remote (FTP) system. To start with you will have an empty server list. Click "New Server", and a box appears to set up the connection properties. Fill in as follows:
Name: Humax (or whatever you like)
FTP Server: 192.168.1.64 (or whatever your IP address is)
FTP Port: 21 (default)
User ID: humaxftp
Password: 0000 (unless you've changed it)
Passive Mode: NO (very important)
Save Password: YES
Mask Password: YES (doesn't matter)
Anonymous Login: NO
Click "Save", and an entry will appear in the server list "Humax". Click it, and you get the top directory in the Humax to explore.
I have had a tip, and have confirmed it, that Microsoft Internet Explorer will act as a rudimentary FTP client. Just put "ftp://192.168.1.64" (or whatever your correct IP address is) in the URL bar, and you will be invited to log on with username and password details as described below. And then you'll try FTP Commander.
Update: I am now informed that Windows Explorer will also do FTP. I don't use Windows Explorer (Directory Opus replaces it), but it probably does the drag-n-drop stuff that Internet Explorer doesn't. Don't ask me how to work it though!
In my FTP client (Directory Opus) I set up the Humax address noted above (192.168.1.64), user name = "humaxftp", password = "0000", and bingo - the Humax drive was available for me to explore.
If you want even more detailed instructions, here is a post in another thread using Filezilla:
One problem: you only get to see the raw file names, so it can be a bit tricky working out which file belongs to which recording, or more particularly if you have a series of programmes with similar file names, which file relates to which programme. Each recording comprises a set of 4 files: .ts .hmt .thm .nts; the .ts is the big one with the actual video/audio in it.