External HDD options & functions


New Member
Hello Everyone,

Extremely happy with my Humax recorder so far ( had it since Christmas). I have been dragging some decrypted SD files off it, editing with VideoReDo, and storing them on a NAS. The Humax then plays them back fine.

The wife is struggling with using the NAS (booting it up and shutting it down), so I thought I'd get an external drive and plug it into the Humax. Formatted as NTFS, and although it would happily play back the mpegs, I couldn't skip forward or backward - a fairly fundamental problem. This was never a problem on the NAS. So, next I tried formatting it as Ext3 (using the Humax itself) and the same happened again. Given that this is the same file system used in the internal drive, the mpeg files all were sourced from .ts files from the humax in the first place, and the mpeg files all work fine from the NAS, I was really expecting this to work.

So - is this possible ? Or am I just wasting my time ? Anyone done this ?


The Humax needs the files to be in .TS format and have the .NTS and .HMT files present for this to work.
You may be able to regenerate these from your .MPG file by using AV2HDR-T2

I have to say that I have had a spectacular lack of success with this tool, which is a shame really.
The only thing it has managed to process is a native .TS which I tried for test purposes. Even then it generated an output file which played OK on the Humax, but failed miserably in VLC.
.NTS and .HTM files
I think you mean .HMT (been there, done that).

Given that this is the same file system used in the internal drive, the mpeg files all were sourced from .ts files from the humax in the first place, and the mpeg files all work fine from the NAS, I was really expecting this to work.
Files played from the NAS use a different playback mechanism than files played from local storage. If you copy a recording directly from the internal storage (as a complete file set) to the external storage (ie the USB drive), they will play just the same as if they were still on the internal drive. You can also make your NAS accessible as if it were a local drive by using the custom software to mount it as a virtual USB drive.

Files on your NAS, presuming they are being served by DLNA, are played by the Humax DLNA client by streaming. You could make files stored locally accessible by DLNA (Media >> Storage (blue) >> Network) by using the custom software to install the Mediatomb DLNA server, but I have no experience to confirm the Mediatomb server is "visible" to the local native DLNA client (anybody?).
Thanks Black Hole & prpr. I had not appreciated that it treats files on the NAS differently from those on an attached USB drive. I should have thought of that - it might scupper my simple plans a little !

Black Hole - If I read your last paragraph correctly, it sounds like I may be able to force the Humax to play files on the external USB drive via DLNA rather than treating them as an extension to the internal drive ? Is that what you are saying ? If so, that looks like the way to go and I will experiment with this. I am already running the custom firmware (should have mentioned that before). If this works, is there any reason (given that I would not be writing to the USB drive from the Humax) why I shouldn't just format it as NTFS ? Do I lose the FF/REW features (or anything else) for playback using NTFS ? NTFS would make things a lot more flexible (no Unix here ...)

Thanks for the help guys,

As far as I know, NTFS should be fine for read-only. Installing the ntfs-3g package gives you full read/write (at least one person has had trouble with this, but it works OK for me). There is also a new exFAT package available I have been meaning to try out.

The Mediatomb package provides an alternative DLNA server which is less picky than the Humax server (and for the HD-FOX which does not have a native server). My idea is that with it available to the network, the internal DLNA client will be able to see it and stream from it - but I have not confirmed that.

This is way beyond the remit of this section of the forum though, perhaps it should be moved to the Custom Fimware section.
The Mediatomb package provides an alternative DLNA server which is less picky than the Humax server
I can see an entry for mediatomb in the package notes (says for HD2), but that is all.
I'm not sure what sort of pickiness the humax DLNA server displays - are there examples of this?
Looking at the description of the package thru webif, it only seems to work with decrypted files - so is not as versatile as the humax package (if I could ever get back to that state)
Yes, you will need decrypted recordings, but as it is your intention to copy content from your NAS your recordings are decrypted. As far as I know, Mediatomb is less restricted in the types of media file it will serve. When you install Mediatomb, you get a new configuration page for it in the WebIF.

I just gave it a quick test, and succeeded in streaming from Mediatomb to the local native client. To set it up (in the Mediatomb config page) you need to navigate to the storage area you want to share (the external drive will be under "\mount") and click the add button near top right.

As prpr said, you should be able to return the files back to Humax format using AV2HDR, if that's what you want to do.
Thanks to Black Hole & everyone else for their help. And thanks for moving it to the Custom Firmware section - a much better place for it.

I have installed MediaTomb and have had a play - it all looks promising so far. I have formatted my external HDD as NTFS again, and copied a couple of movies onto it. So, next question is - has anyone written a "user guide" (or even an "idiots guide" !) to MediaTomb ? Given that my experience & knowledge of Unix is next to nil, I'm not really sure what I am supposed to be doing with it. Can't find a "help" file ! Also can't find my ext drive under "\mount" (or "mnt" as it seems to be called in MediaTomb ?). Found it under "media" in the "filesystem" section of MediaTomb. It also appears when I navigate to Mediatomb from the Humax (using "network), but none of the mpg files are in there (or don't seem to be).

Will experiment some more tomorrow, but it's recording stuff now so I can't do to much !

Thanks for all the help.

Thanks Ezra Pound - I will spend tomorrow evening reading and playing. Thanks again everyone for the help.

Hello again everyone. Well, I'm about to display my complete and utter naivety of all things Unix I think, but here goes ...

Installed MediaTomb on the Humax, and I can't seem to make it work. I think I followed the instructions correctly, and I have successfully managed to add the drive and the sub folder I created to the database. I set the autoscan short enough that I should see things appear quickly (10 seconds), yet it does not seem to recognise the mpeg files in there.

I've done the old "turn it off & on again" trick, but no joy there. Any other ideas ? This all sounds so straightforward, it must be something simple I'm doing wrong.



Edit: Added screengrabs of MediaTomb running on the Humax WebIF, if that helps ...


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Spot on Black Hole. .ts files work and .mp4 files too.

Is this a limitation of MediaTomb ? The .mpg files work fine when I navigate to network / USB / etc and play them from there (though they don't have the FF/REW ability I was looking for), and they work fine when played from my NAS. This implies that the Humax can cope with them, as can DNLA, so is this a MediaTomb thing ? Anyone else ran into this before ?

Think it might be getting close to time to give up on this idea ...

I think it is mre likely a limitation of the client, although that is suspect as you were able to stream the files from the NAS. Perhaps there are settings in Mediatomb. For more info re supported file types see HERE (click).