[disable-ota / disable-dso] Taking Back Control!

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
disable-ota removes the daily OTA (over-the-air) search from the scheduled events database. This has to be done at boot time, before the Humax software gets going, and just once isn't enough because the Humax software reinstates it periodically. The event cannot be seen in the normal on-screen schedule listing (Guide >> Schedule), but is apparent in the WebIF schedule browser.

The purpose is to prevent firmware you may be perfectly happy with being replaced (automatically) by a new release of firmware that has unknown bugs and unintended consequences. If you are using the Custom Firmware, an OTA update will clear it (rendering any custom software packages you have installed dormant) until a new release of the CF is available to add to the new Humax firmware.

It is possible to make the Humax unavailable so that it cannot perform the OTA search, without installing the CF (or even if you have) - see HERE (click). This method serves a dual purpose of keeping the EPG updated for rescheduled series recordings, and actually may be more reliable than disable-ota (later updates to the package provide a settings option to add this second-line OTA defeat automatically).

UPDATE (April 2017):

It is thought that there will be no further over-the-air updates (and modern set-top boxes etc tend to use Internet methods to acquire updates). Nonetheless, a non-customised HD/HDR-FOX will still go looking for one at 0430 every day, coming out of standby to do so or interrupting what you might be watching (if you are an insomniac).

Admittedly, the second-line "reminder" entry in the recording schedule also wakes the unit up (or causes a channel change) which may also be inconvenient, but the reliability of the basic disable-ota package function is now much improved by turning on Real Time Scheduling in WebIF >> Settings >> Advanced Settings, and the reminder schedule entry is no longer needed.

disable-dso performs a similar function of removing retune events from the schedule. The broadcast network can trigger these, usually when frequencies have changed or new services have been added to the multiplexes. A nag message pops up saying you need a retune and you can let it carry on or dismiss it (and it will pop up again later).

The problem (apart from the irritation when you know the only "benefit" will be another shopping channel) is that: 1. a retune deletes your recording schedule (it can be reinstated from an automatic backup if you are using the custom software, but only by hand if you are not); 2. chances are you need to do a manual scan because the default auto-scan will pick up more than one transmitter (a very bad idea).

The problem reached a whole new magnitude with the 1.02.28 update (ditto the 1.02.27 beta release). The behaviour of the nag message changed so that if you do not dismiss it within a few minutes, it goes ahead and performs an auto-scan anyway. This could be while you are away making tea, or during an EPG update wake-up while you are away on a fortnight's holiday expecting to return to a collection of catch-up viewing.

We have no non-custom fix for this, so we regard it as essential for non-CF users to stick with Humax firmware 1.02.20 and use the trick mentioned above to eliminate OTA searches. CF users can install disable-dso, but won't get a message when the network thinks you need a retune.

UPDATE (April 2017):

The reliability of the disable-dso package function is now much improved by turning on Real Time Scheduling in WebIF >> Settings >> Advanced Settings.

Automatic retunes can be made less of an issue by using the tunefix package to automatically remove unwanted transmitters and/or channels, and auto-schedule-restore to re-populate the recording schedule. Both these packages require a reboot to take effect, so an auto-retune is still an inconvenience.

tunefix-update can make minor alterations to the tuning database to track LCN changes and such like, avoiding retunes in some instances.

Another explanation of all this appears further down the topic, here: https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/disable-ota-disable-dso-taking-back-control.1844/page-3#post-120468

Or, to put it yet another way:
disable-dso is to stop the box deciding that it needs to retune itself based on flags in the broadcast stream (1.02.32 and above). I would keep that.
disable-ota stops the box waking itself up in the early hours to look for an update. With a wake-up reminder makes it wake up normally instead to update EPG etc.
If you remove disable-ota, then after a while the box will start waking up to search for updates again (of course it will not find any). To remove the overnight wake completely, keep the package but disable (and then manually delete) the reminder.

Links to Previous Conversation
Last edited:
As I have mentioned I am trialling the idea of setting the EPG refresh reminder event to 4.20am expecting it to abort the OTA search without resorting to a custom package, and have thus removed disable-ota from my set-up.

I would like to see an OTA search event appear in my schedule, but so far it has not. Am I right? What should I be looking for?

If, when I move the refresh event away from 4.30am, I get an OTA straight away I will accept that as conclusive.
I recently removed disable-ota and it was two or three days before the OTA event reappeared in the schedule.
No, definitely not seeing it ...yet. Been more than a few days since I switched off disable-ota though :(
Under normal circumstances the box checks for OTA every night, regardless of the broadcasts, and to do that it has a special wake-up set in the schedule. When we turn off the check using disable-ota we are in effect deleting the item from the schedule, but something in the Humax firmware keeps reinstating it so disable-ota has to keep checking and keep deleting (schedule alterations have to be made at boot time otherwise they don't work).

What I am concerned about is that I have removed disable-ota from my HDR-FOX for a considerable time (I wish I had made a note when I actually did it) and so far the OTA check has not reinstated. Come to think of it, I think a full cold restart would be in order.
Hasn't the OTA update stopped broadcasting now? According to feed://www.dtg.org.uk/industry/download_schedule.xml
Version after update: 1.02.28 :: Playing Mon 02-07-2012 01:00:00 to Mon 02-07-2012 09:00:00

As BH says, he is interested in when the Humax is looking for OTA rather that when it is transmitted, however the OTA is still being transmitted, since your date above there are these dates and probably more to follow :-

Fri 6th Jul 10am to Sun 8th Jul midnight = Sat 7th Jul 4:30am and Sun 8th Jul 4:30am for Humax auto
Mon 9th Jul 1am to Mon 9th Jul 9am = Mon 9th Jul 4:30am for Humax auto

Here is a better OTA link = http://www.dtg.org.uk/industry/download_schedule.php
I can confirm the OTA event has reappeared after a cold start. There appears to be an OTA transmission overnight tonight (until 9am tomorrow) so if I'm still on 1.02.27 tomorrow I reckon that's pretty good indication the 4.20am reminder works.
Still not OTAed! Further "opportunities" Tuesday and Wednesday morning next week. I shall clear the OTA-defeat Tuesday night and see if I catch one on Wednesday... and then wind back to 1.02.20 (since my HDR never streams from anything, and neither do I use Sky).
AF - are you able to insert a scheduled retune event at will? I want to test whether a retune can occur during a reminder wake-up or only while turned on manually (or timer on/off).
Further to posts #12 & #13, I am "pleased" to report my experiment was a complete success. After a couple of weeks with disable-ota uninstalled and replaced with the 0420-0440 reminder (during which time there have been several opportunities to be OTAed) my HDR remained resolutely on 1.02.27. Yesterday I deleted the reminder, and today I have 1.02.28 (and dead CF).

It would be valuable to get confirmation of these results by somebody else of course, but I say it's good to go.

As noted previously, this daily reminder serves the dual purpose of keeping the EPG refreshed. We have also had a report of boxes updating despite disable-ota being installed, and this can happen if it is not given a chance to run by being rebooted regularly (it is likely the boxes in question were on at the time of the OTA and therefore didn't boot even for that). The reminder should work even in those circumstances.

Update: Have now restored 1.02.20 + CF2.11. Zippyshare doesn't seem to need a login at the moment (just close the other windows that pop up!).
AF - are you able to insert a scheduled retune event at will? I want to test whether a retune can occur during a reminder wake-up or only while turned on manually (or timer on/off).

af123 said:
If you remove disable-dso and run the force-retune diagnostic, then it should force a retune prompt on the next boot. Just make sure you're there to choose Later ;)

To stop it without having to do a retune, re-install disable-dso and boot again.

I have run force-retune (under the safety net of 1.02.20 - which does not default to retuning now) and confirmed that each time I boot the HDR it puts up the retune nag. Now waiting for a reminder wake-up to see whether the retune nag comes with it (I'm expecting it to but hoping it doesn't).

Watched pot...
Sod it. The retune nag screen came up even when it was a reminder wake-up, which means 1.02.27/28 users with an OTA-defeat/EPG-refresh reminder wake-up are vulnerable to enforced retune.

Install disable-dso!
Old thread, but what exactly does 'Hide OTA from Visual View?' mean in the CF General settings?
It's the anti-OTA reminder entry added to the schedule that gets hidden. This is a belt-and-braces defeat in case the Humax firmware re-adds an OTA search when the CF can't remove it again, but now we have RTS it is no longer needed and the reminder entry can be switched off.

(Before RTS, and in systems with RTS switched off, the CF can only modify the schedule at boot time - so an OTA search added to the schedule might not get removed before being acted on.)
And there is no risk of getting an OTA update for these boxes any more anyway.

By hiding the OTA reminder (at 0420) from the visual schedule view, it can use more horizontal space for each hour during which you have scheduled recordings.