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Installing/using customised firmware if not online?.

Discussion in 'HD/HDR-FOX T2 Customised Firmware' started by ukayjohn, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. ukayjohn

    ukayjohn Member

    Hi all. Newb question, is there anything to be gained by doing this?. Could I use Redring/HD decyrption functions without internet access?.

    Many Thanks,

  2. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    I would say Yes, there are many packages including the ones you mention that don't need internet access, have a look at the list HERE, although it is possible to install the CF via USB it is a lot easyer if you can temporarily connect to the internet while setting it up
  3. YuppieScum

    YuppieScum New Member

    I can't say if there's anything to be gained, but you do *lose* much convenience. I have no choice but to run in this configuration, and I can't say that I've *gained* anything.

    However, the two functions you mention work entirely successfully off-line, as do pretty much all the others. The only issues I currently have are the "installed packages" pages of the web-interface time out badly, and the "extract MP3" function returns silence-filled files when used against Radio4 recordings (but this might be something I'm doing wrong).

    Hope this helps,
  4. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    Could I ask why you have been forced to install the Custom Firmware that you are gaining no advantage from?
  5. YuppieScum

    YuppieScum New Member

    I think you mis-understood my post...

    1. Was not forced into the installation - I chose to do it and I'm very happy with it.
    2. The gain/loss comment related to internet connection/disconnection advantages...
    3. The "forced" is related to the box *having* to be disconnected from the internet.

  6. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    I think you mis-understood the original post
    ukayjonn was asking if there is any gain from installing the Custom Firmware, not is there any gain from disconnecting from the internet
  7. YuppieScum

    YuppieScum New Member

    Actually, I don't think that's the case - my reading of the original post was questioning the gain/loss of functionality while using the customised firmware and packages with/without being internet connected.

    On the other hand, I had beer at lunchtime so such interpretation is potentially suspect...
    4291 likes this.
  8. ukayjohn

    ukayjohn Member

    Many thanks Mr Pound!.
  9. DelftBlue

    DelftBlue Member

    This is a question I pondered quite a while before I 'jumped' - so I'll put my experience here in case it helps anyone who is also wondering whether its possible, or worth it, to 'mod' an Humax box that isn't online, and isn't connected to a computer.

    For the first 8 months, my HDR-FOX T2 (aka 'the box') did not have internet access, Wi-Fi or any cabling connecting it to a PC, as the modem/router and computers are upstairs and at the opposite end of the house from the box, and I did not have the time or money (or knowledge) to achieve a solution.
    I used the box un-modded for the first 4 months, then finally, driven primarily by the need to use an NTFS external disk, I downloaded the official Humax update, the custom firmware and selected software on my PC and transferred to the box via USB memory stick.

    It was definitely worth it - and the installation was easy to do. I just followed the instructions in the Wiki.
    The pitch of the Wiki is angled towards internet connection and the Web-interface as that is the optimum option - but if you dig a little the instructions are there for installing via USB, and it works well.

    I was very pleased with the added functionality - it made a big difference to be able to edit recordings, put files and folders as I wanted, and to read and copy to a new WDElements external hard drive straight out the box, as the modded HDR accepted the NTFS filestructure, and the same hard drive could be disconnected and taken to any PC and the recordings played using VLC with no problem.

    Specifically, I used the .20 version of the official Humax firmware with the matching .20 version of the Hummy custom firmware, and also installed:
    auto-unprotect (to take encryption flags off HD recordings so could I still watch them when transfered off the box)
    disable-dso (to stop automatic retunes - which would wipe my recordings schedule)
    disable-ota (to stop automatic firmware updates - which would deactivate the custom software)
    nice-splice-magic-folders (to crop, join and copy recordings on the box/TV screen using the remote control. Apparently the cropping process, also 'shrinks' files by removing the unneeded EPG data, so even if you don't want to edit the length of a big file, by putting one bookmark at the very start of a recording, and moving it to the 'cut' folder, you can perform an on-box 'shrink' function and reduce memory usage)
    ntfs-3g (to be able to copy to an external NTFS hard disk, without having to reformat it to EXT3 or partition it)
    seriesfiler (so that when series folders are moved from the top level to a sub-folder, any new recordings follow them)
    virtual-disk (can still be useful even if you aren't connecting on a network, as its a quicker way to de-encrypt a file than copying off to USB, and then de-encrypted files later copy to USB quicker. Also a good place to store files, separate to the main media list :)

    I haven't installed 'undelete' but I see it could be useful - though at the moment it apparently conflicts with seriesfiler - so recommendation is to install one or the other but not both at the same time.

    If you haven't got internet access at the box, can't or don't know how to connect it to a computer or router - or find it scary to consider 'modding' an expensive piece of kit - I'd say don't worry, try it. Installation of the custom firmware and software via USB, and interaction purely via remote control/TV screen works well and is worth it. (And possible to undo if you want to revert to standard later)

    Postscript: I've finally invested in some HomePlugs so now have network connection and internet access on the box. On box the Humax Portal is useful. On PC and smart phone, the Web-IF is very well designed and adds lots more functionality. Very impressive.
    4291 likes this.
  10. ukayjohn

    ukayjohn Member

    Hi Delftblue. I loaded the CF via USB ok, also tried installing some packages, the one that is working is the auto-unprotect, I can see that the ENC marker has gone from HD recordings and I can view/edit files off-box. My question is, how can I tell if other packages have taken effect?. Is there some kind of menu/interface to be loaded other than WebIF that allows package management?. Redring would be useful, but only seems useable through this. Sorry if these questions seem a little dumb, but I'm new to all this malarkey!.
  11. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    I presume you haven'n installed the Full Web-If package so do not have access to Package Management screen, You can get info via Telnet using the OPKG commands

    opkg <info command>
            list                    List available packages
            list-installed          List installed packages
            list-upgradable        List installed and upgradable packages
            list-changed-conffiles  List user modified configuration files
            files <pkg>            List files belonging to <pkg>
            search <file|regexp>    List package providing <file>
            info [pkg|regexp]      Display all info for <pkg>
            status [pkg|regexp]    Display all status for <pkg>
            download <pkg>          Download <pkg> to current directory
            compare-versions <v1> <op> <v2>
                                compare versions using <= < > >= = << >>
            print-architecture      List installable package architectures
    humax# opkg list-installed
    anacron - 2.3-1
    auto-unprotect - 1.0.7
    betaftpd - 0.0.8pre17-3
    binutils - 2.21-1
    busybox - 1.19.3-3
    bzip2 - 1.0.4
    coreutils - 8.11
    cron-daemon - 1.18.3-1
    e2fsprogs - 1.41.14-2
  12. ukayjohn

    ukayjohn Member

    Thanks Ezra, have downloaded webif package from hummypkg site, and will install, and see what happens!.
  13. DelftBlue

    DelftBlue Member

    Hi ukayjohn - no worries - I'm relatively new to this malarkey myself and your questions aren't dumb, they are entirely logical - when you load via USB, you don't have the Web-interface to rely on so its more a matter of trust that it's happened correctly.

    As far as I know, there is no TV screen interface for package management/settings controls. And obviously, without internet connection, later updates will only occur if you do them yourself via the USB method. (Edited to say: As Ezra has explained, even if you don't have internet connection to the HDR box, if you can connect it to a PC, you can 'see' into the box, use Telnet etc. If you install the custom software via USB onto the box and you have a local network connection from box to computer, then you should be able to use 90% of the Web-IF functionality via your computer screen.)

    However if you have no connection of any kind from the box to a computer, and are installing by USB and interacting purely via remote control/TV screen, then you only know the packages have taken effect by the visible signs of them in various places.
    e.g. Redring should now usefully show a red ring when its recording but the box is in standby - which is different to the standard behaviour. As far as I know, you don't have access to the multiplicity of further Redring settings which you would have via Web-IF.
    I had Redring installed, but it wasn't vital to me and I recently removed it due to the thread on here, which suggested it could interfere with recording schedules if a box were put into standby during a recording - I didn't need Redring enough to warrant even a mild risk of upsetting recordings.

    Other signs of changes if installing via USB:
    The version of the official Humax firmware is visible via the MENU options

    The version of the Hummy custom firmware should roll across the orange screen on the front at start-up.

    auto-unprotect: the ENC marker disappears as you've seen. HD files now play when copied off the box.

    disable-dso: no visible sign (other than unexpected retunes don't occur)
    disable-ota: no visible sign (other than over-the-air updates don't happen - in theory, though strangely my box updated to the .28 version, despite having this installed, so I re-installed .20 as that works nicely for me)

    nice-splice-magic-folders: a folder called *edit appears at the top of the media list, with folders inside called cut, join and copy, which have further subfolders inside.
    (My initial mistake was to move files into the top subfolder inside 'cut' which did nothing - you have to move your bookmarked files onto the cut folder itself, not any of its sub folders, then it works lovely! Conversely for join, you do have to move the two parts you want to merge into the subfolders of the 'join' folder.)

    ntfs-3g & virtual-disk: When in the media list, pressing the blue button shows other available storage places.
    With 'virtual-disk', if you click on USB storage, you will now have an option named 'virtual' that you can copy files to and from. (Just like copying to USB memory stick decrypts files, copying to 'virtual' will decrypt files so they'll play on other devices. Useful if you want to decrypt a lot of files at once, as its a lot quicker than slowly copying bit by bit to USB stick and decrypting as you go)
    If you have USB connected an NTFS format external hard drive without ntfs-3g installed, it will show up as 'External' and you can read from it only (though an advantage is that 'External' will show memory used and space available at top right)
    With ntfs-3g installed, the drive will show up as 'usb1' (or 'usb2' if two are connected at the same time) and you will be able to copy to it, as well as read from it. Very useful if you run out of memory on the box, or if you want to take recordings away to watch elsewhere on a PC. (However unfortunately 'usb1' doesn't show a pie chart of memory used or a count of space left)

    seriesfiler: no visible sign at first, just visible if used.
    (When you first get a new box it's not clear why you'd want seriesfiler, but after a month or so when you have media list full of folders, and are fed up of scrolling through them, then series filer suddenly seems much needed!)
    (For anyone still puzzled: If you move a series folder from the top level to a subfolder, it will stay there and all new recordings will appear there, and not revert to the top level. So you can set up a folder called 'KIDS' or one called 'SOAPS' and move folders of Bob, Sam, Pat, Thomas et al or Corrie, 'Enders etc into them, where they will stay. Tidies things up nicely!)

    (I very much appreciate all the hard work that's gone into developing the custom software and all the guides and instructions and notes - but I have to admit that, not being a techy, I didn't fully understand how it all worked - and everyone's knowledge level and home/gadget set-up is different - so I've written some stuff here as if I was explaining it to my 8-months-ago self. :confused: Hope this helps someone else too :)
  14. DelftBlue

    DelftBlue Member

    I'm puzzled, if the HDR box doesn't have an internet connection, how does this work?
  15. jack616

    jack616 Member

    Presumably he does what I do with PC's
    Have one for the internet that does file transfers -then put the file on an isolated machine - scan and check it and run it on a different machine to the net one. Never
    download and run anything any other way. Certianly never ever allow anything to "auto update"

    I've relaxed this for my humax box but if you're not sure you can isolate your humax from the rest of your home network this
    approach would be the sensible way to do it.
    People are far too trusting of the net. (and of the cullinders commercial companies call "firewalls")
  16. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    To use Telnet on your HDR you would need to connect to it using the LAN connector, It's just a question of what the LAN cable connects to, If the HDR had internet connected, it would have a LAN cable (or USB WiFi dongle) connected to a router which in turn would be connected to the internet, Via say a phone line or cable TV. If the HDR is not connected to the internet the LAN cable would be connected directly to a P.C. or may-be a router / switch / hub that has no internet connection
    DelftBlue likes this.
  17. DelftBlue

    DelftBlue Member

    Yes, of course - now I understand. Thank you Ezra and Jack for explaining.

    As you will have surmised, I was conflating internet connection and throughout house network connection and simple LAN cable connection into being one and the same thing which of course they are not ... Light dawns ... with a cable connected directly or indirectly from PC into the HDR box, you can 'see' into it, Telnet etc without needing any internet connection.

    (I just tested that I understood this properly by disconnecting the ADSL broadband cable from my modem, and while I lost connection to the world wide web, 'hummy.tv' etc, I did not lose connection to the HDR box which showed up in the Web-IF as normal with all the non-internet dependent functions working fine :) Am learning ... slowly :rolleyes:

    I will have to edit my previous posts a little to be more precise.
  18. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    You've got it, You have a LAN (Local area Network ) inside your house with local IP address using 10.X.X.X 192.168.X.X or 172.X.X.X that can be auto allocated by your router. Your router also becomes a gateway to the WAN (Wide Area Network) in this case the internet, using 'real' IP address
    DelftBlue likes this.
  19. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    Either of these can fail if the box is not rebooted often enough for the custom software packages to take effect. The custom software can only act during the boot process, and remove the relevant entries from the schedule database (if present) during boot. If entries are added to the schedule by the normal executive, and there is no reboot before they are due to be acted on, they will occur regardless of the custom software defeats.

    It is for that reason I recommend the belt-and-braces approach of disable-ota and a daily 0420 reminder. I have no second string for DSO defeat, other than not to install 1.02.27/28.
    DelftBlue likes this.
  20. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    To add to the advice regarding accessing the Humax by Ethernet, if you do not have a home network or do not wish to connect the Humax to it, a Cat5 cable (with RJ45 connectors on each end) can connect a suitably equipped PC (probably a notebook) directly to the Humax - but you will need to set a manual IP address in the Humax's settings and not rely on DHCP. As there is nothing else on the network you can just plump for something - try, and set the netmask to

    With the PC connected and the CF installed, all you then need to do to gain access to the control panel is start your web browser and put "" in the address bar. Similarly, for Telnet control, start your Telnet console and open a connection to
    DelftBlue likes this.