Newbie hits brick wall


New Member
Hi, sorry about this first post. I waded through the wiki, package Telnet install overcoming getting the comms working but I got stuck on the hmt install and my Linux knowledge is pretty poor.

Stuck at the info line : cd <directory containing video files> and presumably that means the whole path in Linux speak?

With the terminal open I can cd to the media directory and there are 3 subs: My Music My Photo and My Video (+drive1) which I assume is my new virtual drive folder which works fine.

I need to apply the -protect command to 'My Video' but cd only takes me to media and no further.

Could someone enlighten me on getting hmt pointing to my vid directory else I assume nothing will happen (?)

Thanks, I have a lot to learn.
What are you trying to do? Whatever it is it sounds like you are going about it the hard way - very little requires any Linux skills at all.

Why are you using Telnet to install packages when there is a slick installer in the web interface?

You might find the links in my signature panel easier to understand than the Wiki.
I need to apply the -protect command to 'My Video' but cd only takes me to media and no further.

That's what the auto-unprotect package does for you automatically. Just install that package from the web interface and wave the Enc flag goodbye.
Thanks, the packages have gone in via Telnet including auto-unprotect. I also got the page up in my browser and a lot of files whistled through. I know the Virtual drive addon is working well. I had tried everything else finding out how slow USB transfer is even to an external HDD. I left it running all last night and only 50 SD recordings were copied. I guess they have deliberately strangled the USB data transfer rate assuming average USB sticks can just make 8Mb/s on writes. So that is a big win for me to get clear content on and off the Humax drive quicker and i see it copies in the background.

I tried ftp over the ethernet port and only got 11mb/s transfer rate which is still rather slow for 0.5Gb of content I want to archive. I got 80Mb/s HDD to HDD on a direct SATA link and 50Mb/s from a Chinese USB-SATA adapter. I might put a SATA link on the back panel so I can patch to my external SATA port on the PC. Even at 80Mb's 1/2 Gig of content can take nearly 4 hours to move.

As I understand it the Humax TV portal should work but I'm getting their error message up 'an error ocurred launching the application' etc'
Since I can talk to the Humax locally from my pc, I suspect my firewalls and maybe the O2 router. I remember spending ages opening ports to get my CCTV server to work.

Oh well tomorrow is another day!
When copying files to USB the Humax is also decrypting them which takes time, It could also be writing 3 Hi-def streams to the internal hard disk which will take priority. The fastest way to get files off the Humax is via a wired LAN connection using FTP, Note this will not decrypt the files
Why have you used Telnet rather than the web interface?

USB transfer rate is mainly limited by the decryption process. if the files are pre-decrypted the transfer is much faster. You do know about decrypting?

The portal problem you identify is not because of no contact with the other end - if it couldn't get through it would say so. That error message is typical if the unit doesn't have up-to-date system time... do you have an aerial connected?

We can't help if you just steam on without engaging with us. Your original post sounded like a cry for help - but was it actually a blog?
Ah, but my workflow is to first get the box to copy files on to the virtual_drive folder which is much faster than using the USB port (but still not 80Mb/s!). That can be done in the background whilst the box is sitting there overnight. Then I could pull off the decrypted files from the virtual file folder using FTP which is a bit slow, or use a hard wired SATA to SATA link. I already have a 1Tb internal HDD and it looks like a bigger drive may now be needed to support the virtual-drive caching and the recorded media. I was wondering about changing the EXT3 partition sizes as I do not put lots of photos or video on the box.

Does anybody know what happens when a batch of files is selected for background copying to the virtual_drive folder and the HDD gets full? Hopefully we just get a disk full message, the recording stops and there is no box crash or wiped schedules.

Now that I have worked out the Humax can spit out different IP addresses after reboot, I have set that to manual and reserved it in my router. After entering the IP address in my browser I can see the web application and all my packages are installed with some other very nice options too. I still cannot get access to the TV portal but I think that is a router issue. Does the Humax use special Upnp ports because that is where this O2 broadband router and its quirky web front end drives me mad opening up ports to get things to work. Still, I suppose it all helps to keep the bad boys out.

That error message is typical if the unit doesn't have up-to-date system time... do you have an aerial connected?

That could be the answer as the box does not have an aerial since moving it to do thes changes and I was not going to re-wire the house to give it a LAN connection.

Yes I have seen the encryption after comparing short segments of files, but they still keep the MPEG sync bytes in there. Still, without a PAT and scrambled data payload, the stream is going to get nowhere in a decoder.

Thanks for your help, No I am not a blogger, not even sure what that is. I have come into this pretty green and I am grateful for help to get more from my Humax box.

I did time how long it took to copy a large file to the usb port with a sata drive connected and I am much happier with the faster file transfer to virtual_USB.
Blog: write-up of experience

I am trying to help, but need feedback. You are clearly technically competent, but inclined to forge your own path rather than read instructions.

Telnet was unnecessary for installation unless you were installing without a live Internet connection. References:

Copy to virtual (or real) USB is a primitive method of decryption. The normal route these days is to install auto-unprotect and unencrypt (or use the recursive auto-decrypt flag in the WebIF - new feature). References:

Your TV Portal issue is definitely the lack of an aerial. There is a work-around. References: (section 6)

There is much information available to save you some grief (been there, done that, you might as well benefit).
Thanks, I apologise if I have upset anybody, but I was late arriving here and had collected a lot of information from other sources along the way which is not uncommon for new joiners.

Some 'instructions' may have been historic, although I was careful to match my oem flash download to the custom version. I do not think they were all that wrong, but required Linux command syntax which threw me and the 'pick and mix' of custom options to install was just done as terminal input, instead of through a web interface. But I have to admit the web interface is the smartest to use.

One thing I did not find anywhere was information about speeds and transferring files using various methods some dealing with decryption and others not. Content streaming from 1/2 terabyte HDD over any of the 'export' routes in realtime is not a problem. But try transferring that size of content to a portable media store and you hit the bottlenecks. I agree that decryption will reduce transfer speeds, but some options are still a lot slower than others.

I am not particularly interested in recovering an HD stream. Playable as SD would be fine for me since I have medium to small flat panel displays where HD resolution is wasted and gobbles up more disc space. Early on I found unencrypted SD files on my Foxsat hard drive and that should probably have been my box of choice.

I cannot see me using the big hole on the rear panel they reserved for DVBT CA, so I shall probably use that to loop patch the internal HDD SATA cable. This will avoid having to remove the drive in future. I see they put a small fan in the HDD caddy, but over time with the cover off their big ASIC seems to put out a lot of heat so I guess some air is pulled out with the fan.

I am up and running now so thanks for your replies.
Thanks, I apologise if I have upset anybody, but I was late arriving here and had collected a lot of information from other sources along the way which is not uncommon for new joiners.

Not upset as such, just mystified. It seems to me there must be "rip-off" info out there about this custom project, because this forum and wiki is the definitive source and no other. A lot of work has gone in to make the install and use experience as smooth as possible, and it is a pity if external out-of-date information is causing some people to have a poor experience (and possibly be put off by it). Please post the same to any other gossip shops.
As an Engineer I certainly do understand and appreciate the work put in by others willing share. The problem for most is working through the jungle of techno speak and threads to get the answer and method they understand that works. It has always been the same with PC tasks and sometimes the 'evolution' of this work does not always produce the end result of a complete simple packaged solution that does not need a big understanding of the detail. I think the various new flavours of Linux solved this with much of the installation detail occuring in the background. For many a download to USB flash stick that plugs into the box then installs the custom firmware, packages and web interface is easy to do. There must be other Humax owners who do not yet have a network cable connected, but would like to give these mods a try. When they eventually do see the web interface, it will convince them to network! But if they cannot get very far along the way they will give up.

Here is one of the sources I started with (edited for posting) , but I am sure you will know whose it is:
For a first-time CF user, that site is about as unhelpful as it gets. Uninformed, out-of-date and with no acknowledgement whatever of the source.
Mr Potter seems to have copied some very old instructions from the early days of the CF that were out of date when he wrote the article a year ago, e.g. Installing Your First Package using OPKG, no mention of the Web Interface for installing Packages or using USB if you don't have internet access. It looks to me like he needed a vehicle to demonstrate his Web Designing skills in order to advertise his web-site
There must be other Humax owners who do not yet have a network cable connected, but would like to give these mods a try.
The benefits of custom firmware without networking the Humax are rather limited, and doesn't the Telnet command line require networking? There is a method for loading the simple packages automatically by USB, and the ones I would suggest for an unmanaged system are auto-unprotect, disable-ota, disable-dso, and (possibly) flatten.