Quick Start Guide

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Black Hole

May contain traces of nut



Custom Firmware - What Is It?

Amongst other facilities, the Custom Firmware (CF, or CFW) provides a web browser interface to your Humax HD-FOX T2 or HDR-FOX T2, accessed via your home network and the HD/HDR-FOX Ethernet port (or USB WiFi dongle). The web interface replicates some of the media management functions from the handset (move/copy, create/delete folders etc), but also extends those abilities by offering functions such as decryption (ie remove DRM), conversion to MPG, or extraction of an MP3 soundtrack. Re-tuning the standard HD- or HDR-FOX loses your current recording schedule, but the CF automatically backs it up and allows you to restore it after the re-tune.​
There are diagnostic and repair facilities for when the HDD gets itself in a pickle (recover the file system instead of reformatting and losing all your recordings), if the web browser interface to the CF becomes unreachable, or if you just want to wipe everything back to factory standard. There is even the ability to use GPT-format drives (ie drives in excess of 2TB, with no practical limit although >4TB becomes problematic).​
Some facilities can be automated and triggered on a regular schedule or when a recording has been made: for instance, series recordings that would normally be sent to a series folder can be set to flatten into the top level (if the user wishes), or pushed down to lower folders (send kid's programmes to a "KIDS" folder, for example).​
By linking your HD- or HDR-FOX to an external web service, remote viewing of your EPG and the ability to set up recordings becomes possible from anywhere you can get Internet access.​
These examples are just a few of the extras available by installing the Custom Firmware. For more information, check out "Recommended Packages and Settings" in post 3 below.​
HD-FOX owners should note that the hardware restrictions (compared with the HDR-FOX) limit the options regarding decryption, but it can still be done - for a summary of the restrictions see HERE (click).​
The Custom Firmware does not interfere with the normal day-to-day operation of the HD/HDR-FOX, and you will see no difference to the user interface on the TV screen (other than the custom TV portal, which is an optional install). Except under very specific circumstances, all interaction with the Custom Firmware (where necessary) is by way of the web browser interface and your PC (or other computing device).​
Custom Firmware only applies to HDR-FOX T2 and HD-FOX T2. There is a separate development for FOXSAT-HDR (see https://hummy.tv/forum/forums/foxsat-hdr-customised-firmware.38/).​

How Do I Install It?

To skip the background and proceed with installation, see HERE (click).​
The Custom Firmware is a collection of components. The actual firmware component inserts the necessary "hooks" into the existing Humax firmware in Flash memory so that other non-Humax code can run, and provides a few basic facilities (for example: Telnet access). The firmware component is added to the standard Humax firmware by means of an update using a USB pen drive (UPD), using the normal process for performing a manual firmware update.​
The software component is loaded onto the HDR-FOX internal hard disk drive (directly or indirectly) by Internet download. With the firmware component installed, a minimal web browser interface permits download of the software component, following which a reboot brings up the full web interface. The full web interface then provides package management by which you can select and install the optional facilities you require, by further Internet download.​
Alternatively, it is possible to install the software components of the Custom Firmware via a UPD if necessary (for example, when the target machine is not Internet connected). Although somewhat restricted by the lack of a web interface and Internet connectivity, some of the custom facilities do not depend on them - for example flatten, and OTA update prevention (allowing the unit to update itself from an Over-The-Air firmware update, which it normally looks for at 0430 every day, would disable the custom installation).​
HD-FOX owners must provide external USB storage to host the software components, before initiating download from the minimal web interface. The greatest day-to-day value of the Custom Firmware is its management of recordings, so a typical user will want a USB hard disk drive connected that has been formatted via the HD-FOX settings menus (so that it is recordable) as Ext3. However, a customised HD-FOX also makes an excellent networked companion to a customised HDR-FOX, and a UPD can be used to host the software component. The installation procedure prepares the UPD in a suitable manner (Ext2). NTFS and FAT32 drives/UPDs are not suitable for hosting the custom software until reformatted, and "preparation" assumes FAT32.

Does the Process of Installing Custom Firmware Delete My Recordings or Affect My Recording Schedule?

The only operation which deletes your recordings is if you ask the HDR-FOX to reformat its HDD, either directly or through a Restore Factory Defaults operation.​
The recording schedule gets deleted if you initiate a re-tune, either directly or through a Restore Factory Defaults operation, or if the unit initiates a re-tune itself prompted by the broadcast network.​
These are all factors which affect users regardless of having installed Custom Firmware, and which the Custom Firmware can mitigate.​

How Do I Return To "Standard"?

Performing a manual firmware update with the standard Humax firmware removes the Custom Firmware "hooks". Removing all trace of the Custom Firmware software components from the internal hard disk drive requires deletion of a specific folder, easiest done before the firmware is reverted using tools on the web interface or Telnet menu (there is no such worry with the HD-FOX).​
Specific tools are included in the Custom Firmware for returning to standard, the final stage of which is to perform a firmware update manually (using standard Humax firmware).​

Will I Invalidate My Warranty?

Possibly, if you own up to what you have done. However, in the event of a warranty issue we advise returning to standard first (see above). There is just the slightest risk that a hardware failure prevents returning it to standard, but in that case it is unlikely to be found.​
The cautious approach is to not install the Custom Firmware until you are satisfied the unit is working and does not need to be returned straight away (in which case it will probably have a long and happy life). The ultra-cautious approach is not to install the Custom Firmware until the warranty period has expired.​
Note that HD/HDR-FOXes have not been manufactured for years, and none remain in warranty.​

What's All This Fuss With Decryption?

All recordings made with the HD/HDR-FOX are encrypted with a key unique to that particular unit, and not playable on any other unit if the recording file were transferred as it is. The HD-FOX with standard firmware has no way around this; the standard HDR-FOX will decrypt Standard Definition (StDef) recordings if they are copied to a USB drive, but not High Definition (HiDef) recordings (ie recordings from BBC HD, BBC ONE HD, ITV HD, Channel4 HD).​
If you want to use your recordings for anything other than playback on the same unit (eg transfer to your PC), they need to be decrypted somewhere in the process. The HDR-FOX gains full web browser access to decryption functions, including decrypted downloads to PC, and even automatic decryption in the background. The HD-FOX is more limited, in that decryption has to be performed relatively slowly by software (or booted into a limited "HDR Mode" for hardware decryption support).​
HDR-FOX owners should note that without the Custom Firmware (despite the encryption) it is capable of streaming StDef recordings to PCs and other media players (and it is possible to capture that stream), and HiDef to another Humax (eg HD-FOX) but in a protected stream. It is also possible to decrypt HiDef when copying to USB, having first performed an off-the-box file manipulation (for which you can use FTP). For more information see Things Every... (click) section 5.​

Is Decryption Legal?

Possibly not, any more so than recording the hit parade on a radio-cassette was legal. As long as you do it in the privacy of your own home for your own personal use without profit and without affecting the business of the legitimate copyright holders, the damages and punishments that could be awarded are so minor that it wouldn't be worth anyone's time pursuing the case.​
If you are an ultra-stickler for morality and legality, don't do it (but there's still a lot of life in the Custom Firmware even so). If you have ever copied a CD to cassette (or ripped it to a computer), you're with us. However, if you are still on the fence, note that the actual broadcasts are not encrypted (not even HiDef), and they are only encrypted by Humax as a result of a deal between Humax and the broadcasters for the use of the EPG, so if anything it is only a breach of contract (on the part of Humax) and not an offence in crown law.​
The remaining question is whether the Custom Firmware breaches any of Humax's legal rights, and since it is legitimate in law to reverse-engineer code for certain purposes, we believe not.​

I'm In, What Do I Do Now?

The Wiki is our evolving on-line manual to the Custom Firmware and software packages, see the Index post #2 for short-cut links (and there is a master link to the Wiki at the top of every forum page). It distils information that (usually) originated in discussion on the Forum, and if it's not in the Wiki it has probably been covered in a forum topic (somewhere). Index post #2 also provides hints for searching the Forum and Wiki. Any remaining questions you have, please post in the relevant topic if there is one, or start a new topic in the appropriate forum.​
Alternatively, to proceed with installation, see HERE (click).​
Check out the following forum topics for more information:​

Important - PLEASE READ

Users of the custom firmware and software packages must please note that, although there are a great many satisfied users and the risks are very low, NO WARRANTY IS ACCEPTED OR IMPLIED and anyone installing it must do so AT YOUR OWN RISK. This is not meant to put you off, but it is stated in case you don't realise this. If it does put you off, maybe you don't have the appropriate sense of adventure anyway.

Regrettably, we (on this forum) get frequent requests for help from people who have downloaded the CF for one reason or another but (frankly) refuse to read any of the information about how to use it. One recent example (at the time of writing):
<Some function> didn't work. There's a message on my screen asking to reboot, but I ignored that - I presume that's OK.
Well, I'm sorry, but this enthusiast community has already put in a decade of unpaid, purely voluntary, personal time and effort creating the firmware, software, and user information as per this forum and wiki. We do not welcome spending yet more time fielding questions from people getting all this for free but unwilling to apply any effort themselves. We are helpful people, and ready to help anyone in genuine difficulty, but will have very limited patience with anyone who appears to be free-loading.

For information: in this case a reboot was needed so that details could be altered in a locked database. The message is correct, but often the user doesn't have to act on it because there will be a scheduled reboot anyway, before it matters. Clearly rebooting would be inappropriate if the unit is recording a programme, as the recording would be lost. It's up to the user to decide whether a manual reboot is essential, and if in doubt do it anyway (at an appropriate time). Like it or not, users need to know this stuff.

The HDR-FOX Custom Firmware and Packages (WebIF etc) is the result of 10 years (at present) enthusiast community input. It adds facilities to the HDR-FOX previously undreamed of, but has quirks imposed because of the trickiness of running our own software alongside the Humax software (eg the need to reboot occasionally according to what you want to do). It is not offered as a paid-for product, and carries no warranty of any kind. If you are not able to use the CF in the spirit intended, as an enthusiast willing to get their hands dirty (or at least make use of the extensive information made available at enormous cumulative effort on this forum and wiki), it is not for you.

If the facilities offered are so attractive that you wish to get involved... that's fine, BUT PUT IN SOME BLOODY EFFORT – WE ALREADY HAVE (far more than you can imagine), AND FOR NO FINANCIAL GAIN.

Hopefully, this has persuaded you to actually read a bit about what's involved. There's an initial reading list here (click). If you still insist you won't RTFM, you have two options: trust the CF and respond to all error messages and pop-ups; or don't use it at all.

However, although a great deal of effort has gone in to ensuring a smooth user experience (for our benefit, not yours!), some aspects (particularly of newly-developed software packages, or if there is a new release of Humax firmware which must be accommodated) are in a state of active development. If you find something which does not appear to work properly even though you have read up all about it and are using it correctly, please be so kind as to raise it on the forum stating as precisely as possible the exact circumstances leading up to the problem, what did or didn't happen as a result, and any error messages you may have received. Just posting a complaint that such and such "didn't work" is not sufficient for the experts to work out what is wrong, even better if you can describe exactly how to reproduce the problem.

BE AWARE: Anyone choosing to bypass the security built into a product by the manufacturer (which is there to ensure the unit is not bricked by a corrupt firmware update file, or hacked by malevolent actors) ought to be fully aware of the potential consequences of their actions. Installing the CF is bypassing the security, by definition. You can confirm whether a download is authentic by comparing its hash against the published hash. The wiki page HERE (click) is the ONLY authentic source of downloads.

BE AWARE: Other people are cashing in on the technical success of the HDR-FOX CF by promoting it in their social media channels as click-bait. They get money for having subscribers to their channels, but it is us who put in the effort and we and are not getting a share of that money. It costs us money to run the forum, make the wiki available to the public, host the downloads, provide the Remote Scheduling web server. If you find the CF useful, please consider donating (click).
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Installation Step-by-Step

These instructions are relevant for when the HD/HDR-FOX has a live Internet connection, or can be provided with one temporarily. For situations where this is not convenient or desirable, see Installing and Configuring the Custom Firmware Without an Internet Connection (click).

Before you begin, you will need:
  • A USB pen drive in FAT format, preferably empty (see Things Every... section 12);

  • The HD/HDR-FOX connected to your home network and the Internet (this can be proven working by accessing the TV Portal);

  • A PC (or other computing device) able to access the Internet and download files, and then able to unzip downloaded files and transfer content to the pen drive;

  • A web browser with access to the home network;
[The facilities above are only required while the custom firmware and software is being installed and configured. Depending how you wish to use the custom software it may not be necessary for the HD/HDR-FOX to have access to the home network or the Internet after it has been set up to your liking, although obviously if you want to use the TV Portal (eg BBC iPlayer) permanent Internet access would be convenient.]
  • For HD-FOX only, an external USB drive or pen drive for permanent connection (see Preparation section 3).
If you do not understand this list, please get help from a friend who does!

  1. Note that manual installation of standard firmware or the installation of custom firmware and software packages does not interfere with the operation of the HD/HDR-FOX. Tuning, recording schedule, and recordings remain intact. Installation of firmware may cause the on/off timer settings to be reset.
    • You can inspect or modify the on/off timer settings using the HD/HDR-FOX handset:
      Menu >> Settings >> Preferences >> Time >> Power On Timer / Power Off Timer
  2. The custom firmware download is complete in itself, and completely replaces the existing firmware installed (the standard firmware on which it is based is included in the download). Several versions are available, because there have been several versions of standard firmware and each version has its pros and cons. Be aware of which version you wish to install, or simply choose the latest.
    • You can inspect the installed standard firmware version using the HD/HDR-FOX handset:
      Menu >> Settings >> System >> System Information >> Software Version
    • The pros and cons of the various standard firmwares are summarised in Things Every... (click) section 1.
  3. For HD-FOX only it will be necessary to host the custom software on a permanently-connected USB hard disk drive, formatted to Ext3. Connect the drive and format it with the Humax utilities (if you are already using a hard drive to record, it has been formatted correctly and you can use that without risk to your recordings - do not reformat).
    • Format command:
      Menu >> Settings >> System >> Data Storage >> Format Storage
  4. It is also possible to host the software on a USB pen drive, instructions TBA.
  5. HDR-FOX will host the custom software on the internal hard disk drive, no external drive necessary.
  1. Identify which version of the custom firmware you require. For this you need to know whether you have an HD-FOX or an HDR-FOX, and which version of the standard firmware you prefer. For HDR-FOX, Custom firmware is available for either standard firmware 1.02.20, 1.02.32, or the latest (1.03.12 currently). Versions for HD-FOX go up to 1.03.02 at present.
    • You can inspect the installed standard firmware version using the HD/HDR-FOX handset:
      Menu >> Settings >> System >> System Information >> Software Version
    • The pros and cons of the various standard firmwares are summarised in Things Every... (click) section 1.
    • Custom firmwares are downloadable via the Wiki here:
  2. The name of the custom firmware download file follows a convention, and is structured to identify it:

    "XXX_FOX_T2_Y.YY.YY_mod_Z.ZZ.zip", where:

    XXX = "HD" or "HDR" according to Humax model,
    Y.YY.YY = version of standard firmware which the custom firmware is written for,
    Z.ZZ = version of custom firmware.​

    NOTE: unless specifically instructed, do not use a version of custom firmware with a letter suffix (eg "k" or "d"). These are "specials", rolled out for development or to solve particular problems that occur in rare circumstances.

    Having ensured you have correctly identified the required download, click the link to download the file to the computer you will use to write it to a USB pen drive. Your browser should ask where to store the download - put it on your desktop for convenience.

    Double-click the downloaded .zip to open it in a file explorer window. From there, copy the enclosed .hdf file to your empty FAT-format USB pen drive. Viewing the content of the USB pen drive should show a file named either hd_fox_t2_upgrade.hdf or hdr_fox_t2_upgrade.hdf, according to which model you have. It is desirable you have the correct file at this stage, otherwise subsequent steps will be a waste of your time (the unit will simply refuse to recognise the update).
  3. Perform a manual firmware update to install the custom firmware download onto the HD/HDR-FOX. The procedures are slightly different for HD-FOX or HDR-FOX:
  4. With the custom firmware installed, when the HD/HDR-FOX reboots the custom firmware version will be reported on the front panel display during boot - either "FZZZ" (HD-FOX) or "Cust FW Z.ZZ" (HDR-FOX), where "ZZZ" or "Z.ZZ" represents the three digits of the custom firmware version. This confirms the successful first stage, and is the only difference that is visible - there will be no difference on the TV screen. The process now continues via network connection and web browser.

    NOTE: If your purpose for installing the CF is to cure a problem with the HDD, stop at this point and proceed/continue with Quick Guide to Disk Recovery (click).
  5. With the HD/HDR-FOX connected to the network, access the installation web interface from your preferred web browser. To do this, type the HD/HDR-FOX's IP address into the browser address bar (not the search bar) prefixed by "http://". For example: "" - these numbers are for my network, you need to substitute your own IP address.
    • You can inspect the IP address using the HD/HDR-FOX handset.
      For an Ethernet connection:
      Menu >> Settings >> System >> Internet Setting >> Configure LAN >> IP Address
      For a WiFi connection:
      Menu >> Settings >> System >> Internet Setting >> Configure LAN (Wi-Fi) >> IP Address
  6. Proceed as per instructions on the Wiki to install the full web interface: http://wiki.hummy.tv/wiki/Install_Full_Web_Interface
Installing and Configuring the Custom Firmware Without an Internet Connection

It is possible to install the custom firmware and some software packages without a direct connection to the Internet, some of the facilities being downloadable as a "bundle" and installed or updated via USB. Instructions are available on the Wiki: http://wiki.hummy.tv/wiki/Manually_loading_Features_from_USB. This can be useful to obtain custom facilities when an Internet connection is impractical or not desirable, but is restricted to facilities which do not require interaction via the web interface.

It is, however, a much easier process if an Internet connection can be provided, if only during installation and configuration. This is even possible using a USB WiFi dongle connecting through a smart-phone's hot spot to the 3G/4G mobile data network. Failing that, and even without an Internet connection, temporarily linking some form of web browser to the HD-FOX or HDR-FOX will enable access to the custom firmware web interface for initial configuration, after which the connection can be removed and left to get on with it.

Note that, in the absence of a network connection, a loop-back jack connected to the Ethernet socket is necessary to enable the custom firmware decryption facilities (if required).
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With no further configuration you have the Web Interface (WebIF) available via your web browser, which provides a number of options for managing the HD/HDR-FOX without the use of the remote control. These include:
  • Media Browser - provides a file explorer interface, able to copy, move, or delete recordings and inspect their properties and descriptions, create and delete folders, etc.
  • Events Browser - inspect and modify scheduled events (reminders, recordings, etc), including events normally hidden on the standard user interface (OTA update search, retune events).
  • EPG Browser - view the EPG and set up recordings. Note that changes to the scheduled events require a reboot to take effect, but the reboot can be postponed until convenient. (See also WebIF setting: RTS below)
  • Settings page - configures defaults for the WebIF behaviour and any packages which offer user settings.
  • Package Management page - for installing, updating, and removing packages.
  • Diagnostics page.
These facilities in themselves are sufficient that the HD/HDR-FOX can be "house kept" without disturbing the viewing enjoyment of the more important members of the household.

With an Internet connection, many additional facilities are easily configured via the Package Management screen. However, for the newcomer I advise becoming familiar with the WebIF as it stands before diving into the myriad options available with installable packages (it is fair to say that no custom firmware installation is the same as any other, there are so many choices to make according to individual preference).

Package Management

The WebIF (Web Interface) Package Management page presents three tabs: "Installed", "Available", and "Upgrades". On first installation, the "Installed" tab will not show many entries, and any shown are packages installed by default and necessary for the general operation of the WebIF (which is, itself, listed as a package). The reason for these being here is to manage their updating when upgrades become available, as listed in the "Upgrades" tab (which lists newer versions of the installed set of packages).

While viewing the "Installed" tab, click the "Show" button near the top right of the page. This reveals the internal detail of the software elements used to run the installation by revealing "advanced" packages. Click the "Hide" button to return to the normal view. Casual users of the custom firmware do not need to see this detail, and must not remove any of these advanced packages (or any of the default installation) without risking malfunction.

The "Available" tab lists the plethora of optional package installs that are available, with a brief explanation of each. For more information see the wiki: Package Notes (click), or use the forum search tools to look for the name of the package in question, restricting your search to the custom firmware section and searching thread titles only (the search box is top right on the forum pages, and there are tick boxes for restricting the search). The primary thread (topic) for any particular package usually has the package name in square brackets. There is also (now) a forum topic dedicated to providing an index to the primary thread for each package, where it is also appropriate to post questions about the specific package: Index of Package Primary Topics (click).

Installing a package is as simple as clicking the "Install" button, and any additional packages it depends on will also be installed automatically. Showing advanced packages will reveal any packages which are in development and not yet considered ready for casual users, along with software elements required to support packages. It is wise to reboot the unit at least once after installing or updating packages, possibly twice, to ensure the installation completes properly (for notes on rebooting, see below).

The "Upgrades" tab shows installed packages for which there are newer versions available. Click the "Check for updates" button to refresh this list from the Internet. Packages can be individually upgraded using the relevant button, or the whole population of packages is updated to the latest version using the "Upgrade all packages" button. Note that even with advanced packages hidden, the "Upgrade all packages" includes any advanced packages that require updating.

Recommended Packages and Settings

Many of the first packages developed were to address specific inadequacies or disliked features of the standard Humax firmware. These make a strong showing in the recommended list. For a review of the "standard" HD/HDR-FOX, see Things Every... (click). Note however that the custom firmware packages do not (and cannot) affect the on-screen behaviour except in very limited ways. The packages mainly operate in the background, or provide web browser utilities and network access.

The following provides a summary description of the more popular packages, do not assume it is chapter and verse. Once you have decided you are interested in a specific facility, you will need to read more about it and how to use it - starting with the references linked below.

Needless to say (but I will anyway): don't fiddle with something you don't understand, be that installing or removing a package, or altering a setting.

In the list below, packages marked "*" are strongly recommended, the remainder are recommended but personal preference (read the details and decide whether you want to use them). There are many other packages available, with advanced or esoteric functionality, for you to discover in your own good time.

Package Notes (click) | Index of Package Primary Topics (click)

Below: "*" designates strongly recommended packages / settings


This keeps the installed packages updated to the latest version (within a day of release) without user intervention, provided the system has a live Internet connection. Many of us are cagey about allowing software to update without supervision, but in the case of custom firmware packages any problems found are corrected very quickly, and anything tricky will have been beta-tested before releasing it to the casual users. Installing the auto-update package means a job you don't have to worry about, but if you are of the "it's working, don't mess with it" school don't install this package.​

disable-ota *, disable-dso *

These prevent the disruption that would occur if the HD/HDR-FOX updated its firmware automatically during the daily 0430 search, or reacted to an enforced retune There are however a few side effects (particularly disable-ota) which might or might not be a problem according to circumstances. For details of how to use them see Preventing External Events from Disturbing the CF (click).​

auto-unprotect *

This causes HiDef recordings to behave just like StDef recordings with regard to protection, so they can be copied out to a USB drive etc etc. For details see Decryption Guide (click). See also WebIF Browse Media Files setting: Recursive Decryption (below).​


Adds a recycle bin folder to My Video, then any recording deleted through WebIF or the on-screen menus is moved to the recycle bin instead of being deleted immediately, and can thus be recovered if it was deleted by mistake. The bin self-empties according to a set of rules in Settings, and the emptying becomes more aggressive if disk space is running short. Note that deletions by other mechanisms (command line access, FTP, SMB/NFS) are deletions and will not be protected by undelete.​

fan *

As standard, Humax chose to minimise noise over longevity. The internal temperature is assumed from the reporting built into the HDD, and the fan remains off until the temperature gets critical... then it comes on full blast (very audible) and gradually throttles back as the temperature falls. This results in the system temperature oscillating between extremes, and this isn't very good for the HDD (or the system).​
fan is one of the early packages, created specifically to address the sudden onset of fan noise, but also the better regulation of cooling is good for longevity. The user sets a constant minimum fan speed (eg 30%) so the fan never turns off (but can increase from that if necessary). Low fan speeds are barely audible (the HDD makes a constant noise anyway), and the constant air flow (if set high enough) prevents the 'turbo' ever kicking in.​


Retunes can be complex, particularly if in an area served by multiple transmitters (see Things Every... click, section 2). Even if in a single transmitter area, there are usually a large number of services that you are not interested in to be deleted (if you leave them, they clutter the EPG and services list unnecessarily). tunefix is configurable with a page accessed via Settings, and once set up to your liking will automatically remove transmitters and services following a retune (requires a reboot after the retune).​


Bypasses the need to retune the HD-FOX/HDR-FOX by making appropriate modifications to the tuning data when required (instead of starting from scratch like a retune). This avoids the annoyances of retunes. To be effective, your tuning data needs to be up-to-date so that the package can start from a clean baseline. tunefix-update receives tuning updates in the form of package updates, which it does independently of the auto-update package. Use in combination with disable-dso for best benefit.​

auto-schedule-restore *

A significant problem of retunes is that they leave your recording schedule empty. The WebIF automatically backs up your schedule daily, and manual backups can be taken whenever you like - see the Scheduled Events page, "Backup/Restore" tab. This package automatically restores the schedule from the latest backup, if an empty schedule is detected at startup (effective only after another reboot). tunefix-update removes the need for most retunes.​
Note that if you deliberately have an empty schedule, auto-schedule-restore can only assume there has been a retune and try to restore the previous backup - so leave a dummy item permanently in the schedule (eg a reminder rather than a recording) unless you want some apparently weird behaviour (eg items you thought you removed from the list coming back)!​


As standard, the HD/HDR-FOX can read USB drives formatted NTFS... but not write to them. This is inconvenient because (a) many drives come ready-formatted as NTFS these days (ready for Windows), and (b) the main alternative (for Windows PCs) is FAT32 - which cannot accommodate files larger than 4GiB (which isn't much, for video). There are other alternatives (see Things Every... [click] section 12), but the simple solution is the ntfs-3g package - which confers NTFS-write capability.​

webshell *

Sometimes, things break. Your HDR-FOX is a special-purpose computer, so it's inevitable. Don't worry, you're in a better position to fix it than non-CF users, and you have access to this forum to help you through it (if not covered already by the existing help topics linked through my signature to this post). Routine maintenance includes fixdisk (to eliminate file system inconsistencies before they cause trouble), and making use of fixdisk requires webshell (or alternatively external access using Telnet).​
Install webshell now, before you need it, in case the system won't install it when you do need it.​


Want to control your HD/HDR-FOX using the web browser on your PC/tablet/phone instead of the handset? Install this package and a virtual remote is added to the WebIF main page; bookmark the remote control page to have it handy. ("IR" = infrared, the means the handset uses to send commands.)​


Fed up with series recordings being made to folders so you can't find them? This package sets up a new folder in My Video, which contains a list of recent recordings (configurable in Settings) regardless of what folder they are really in.​


"RS" = Remote Scheduling. Install this package, and register with the http://rs.hummypkg.org.uk/ web site, to enable remote control of your recording schedule from anywhere you have access to the Internet! Obviously the HD/HDR-FOX must also be on-line for this to work. We had this before Sky did! See also WebIF setting: RTS (below).​

wireless-helper *

If you use WiFi to connect your HD/HDR-FOX to your home network (and the Internet), install this package to ensure you can reach the WebIF, and the unit can reach the RS service, even if it is only booted to make a timer recording (the HALF-AWAKE state).​


This package makes the unit accessible on your network by name instead of having to use an IP address. Handy if the IP address keeps changing (but see Configuring IP Address - click). May not work in some network configurations.​


Bored with the standard clock screensaver? Install our alternative set, and select which one to use in Settings - or select a set to use at random.​


Do you have more than one HD/HDR-FOX? Link them to share recordings better than the standard DLNA access by installing this package on both (needs configuration in Settings). Foxlink is only intended for one-way sharing; if you need two-way sharing, see network-shares-automount below.​


Makes the Humax media folders visible on your home network like a NAS, so you can access recordings etc from your PC file manager. Note that recordings will be useless unless decrypted (see below).​
Note: Increasingly there are incompatibility issues between the version of Samba available in the CF (compatible with Samba 1 and Samba 2) and the most recent operating systems (such as Win10) which use Samba 3. Usually these problems can be solved by the appropriate configuration settings (in the PC). NFS networking is available as an alternative, but that is not directly compatible with Windows machines (useful for Linux and Mac).​


Far more versatile (but far more complex) than foxlink, this package can be used to make any NAS on your home network (including shared folders on a PC, or other HDR-FOXes with samba installed) accessible to the HD/HDR-FOX as if they were USB drives. See https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/network-shares-automount-package-released.1126/


Some people think the creativity that goes into a well made 30-second advert is the best thing on commercial TV, but the fact is that programmes on commercial channels are a vehicle for driving a relevant audience to the adverts. One reason for only watching TV recorded (rather than live) is to be able to skip the adverts entirely. The detectads package provides the means to quickly skip an ad break with one button press, or crop the adverts out of the recording completely. It can even be done almost in real time, so that the recording is ready to watch just a few minutes after the end of the recorded programme (watching the recording in chase-play, while it is still being recorded, will unavoidably not have the benefit of ad break detection).​

WebIF setting: RTS

It used to be the case that reboots were required to make modifications to the recording schedule. This was crippling, particularly for the RS service, because it was impossible to set a recording through WebIF or RS without then making sure that the instruction was actually registered in time for the recording to be made - if through RS, presumably you're not at home to do it! RTS (Real Time Scheduling) revolutionises this: turn it on to make schedule alterations without needing a reboot.​
Note: there remain some rare occurrences of "runaway recordings" when RTS is enabled, but these are rare - and the advantage of being able to schedule recordings remotely, without requiring a reboot before the schedule alteration takes effect, is too good to ignore.​

WebIF Browse Media Files setting: Recursive Decryption *

One of the significant benefits of the custom firmware is to free recordings from the restrictions of being encrypted on disk. This applies to both StDef and HiDef recordings. To ensure all recordings are automatically decrypted immediately after recording (or as soon as possible thereafter), install the auto-unprotect package (see above), and set the My Video folder for Recursive Auto-Decrypt ("OPT+" button next to "/media/My Video"). For details see Decryption Guide, method 2.​
Note: the custom firmware decryption methods require an active network connection to the HDR-FOX, or (as a minimum) a loop-back jack fitted in the Ethernet socket. See Decryption Guide note 12 for details.​

Above: "*" designates strongly recommended packages / settings


The WebIF Diagnostics page provides direct access to reboot the unit, and many packages require a reboot before they can become active. The HD-FOX has a tiny button hidden behind the front flap which provides a hardware reset. Rebooting an HDR-FOX using the standby button on the front panel or the handset requires a specific procedure to ensure the reboot occurs properly, the unit must enter the STANDBY or OFF state before being restarted - see Things Every... (click) section 18.
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Frequently Asked Questions (or anything else that needs to be said)

If I install the CF, will I lose my recordings?

For the last time... NO! You are more likely to lose your recordings if you don't install the CF, because without CF you have no means to repair hard drive file system inconsistencies (which can build up and lead to data loss) – the only non-CF intervention being a reformat (which clears all the existing data).​

If I upgrade the CF, will I have to re-install my packages and configuration?

Again, no. The CF is stored in Flash and not on the HDD. The packages are stored on the HDD (mostly). If you replace the HDD you will have to reinstall the packages but not the CF. If you update the CF it has no effect on the existing packages.​

Why all this fuss about the disk drive when it's still working?

It depends on the value you place on the recordings on that HDD (hard disk drive):–​
Option 1: It's only telly, there will be more along in a minute. That's the pragmatic attitude, it's not great loss, but I guess most people have some kind of backlog of unwatched recordings they are looking forward to, and treasured recordings they don't want to get rid of even if they might never get around to watching again. After all, what else is a PVR for?​
Option 2: Preserve my recordings at any expense. How much expense are you willing to stomach? If a HDD fails mechanically, the only way to recover the contents is to employ a professional recovery service, who will use laboratory facilities to extract the platters from the failed drive and read them directly. These services charge by the kilobyte recovered, and video recordings are very large. If your recordings are that vital to you, you can reduce the risk of incurring almost limitless expense by the expedient of making sure you have backups... but that requires diligence. It's only telly!​
Chances are you hover somewhere between these extremes, and if you are subservient to other "higher priority" family members you might feel pressured towards Option 2. As standard (ie without Custom Firmware), Humax does not offer any intermediate position... if there's anything wrong with the HDD (or the file system on it), their only remedy is to reformat it (with total loss of recordings).​
Modern HDDs have built-in performance and defect monitoring, and a degree of self-repair. Using the CF, the current live status can be monitored, and significant defects are actively reported when the user accesses the WebIF. The HDD itself has no knowledge of the files and filing system, it's only looking at its low-level data, but by taking it off-line the consistency of the file system can be verified and corrected before inconsistencies build up to a data loss. With the HDD off-line, deeper self-repair can be performed too.​
Thus, by actively monitoring HDD health and by running fixdisk periodically (eg monthly), you can:​
  • Prevent file system defects forcing the HDD "read only" (which would result in new recordings not being made);
  • Prevent file system defects destroying the whole file system (which would result in total loss of function until reformatted);
  • Allow the HDD to self-repair "hard" faults it could not deal with while in normal use;
  • Predict HDD failure and migrate to a new HDD in a timely manner (note: not all HDD failure modes can be anticipated, your data is always at risk unless adequately backed up).
If performed regularly, fixdisk only takes a few minutes. Leave it until almost too late and it can take days (during which, the HDR-FOX cannot be used for normal purposes)!​

I'm trying to reformat the hard disk, but it says it's too big

This is a side-effect of the custom firmware running in the background. The standard Humax firmware, having been instructed to reformat the HDD through the menus, finds it cannot unmount the hard drive volumes (because of CF activity), but was not programmed to expect such a thing and presents a misleading* error message. (If you want to reformat the HDD because you are having problems with sluggish operation, stutters on playback and/or live viewing, unable to record and/or time-shift, or generally poor function, and somebody has told you reformatting may solve the problem - you will end up deleting your recordings when there are CF facilities which could restore function without deleting recordings. See Quick Guide to Disk Recovery [click].)
* Unless you have used custom facilities to install a HDD larger than 2TB, in which case the drive really is too big and you should not be trying to format it through the Humax menus anyway!
The solution is to disable the custom firmware first. This is done via the Telnet menu or WebIF >> Diagnostics >> Command Line (the latter requires the webshell package installed). For details of Telnet see https://wiki.hummy.tv/wiki/Telnet (click).​
  1. Connect via Telnet or webshell (see above).

  2. If prompted to "enter system PIN", the default is "0000" (four zeros) unless you have changed it.

  3. If not presented with a menu of options, type the command "tmenu" to present the menu.

  4. Type the menu option "safe".

  5. Type the menu option "reboot". When asked for confirmation, type "Y". The system reboots, and displays "safe mode" on the VFD during boot-up (before the normal channel identification is displayed). NB: the system may freeze in the process of rebooting. If so, "turn it off and on again".
The HDR-FOX can now be used normally, as if there were no custom firmware installed. The HDD format menu should not complain the disk is too big.​
To restore CF functionality, access the menu by Telnet and enter the "safe" option again to re-enable CF, and reboot. Because WebIF is disabled, there is no webshell option to do this, but accessing the IP address from a web browser (as if loading WebIF) will present a minimal web page reporting the status and giving a click button to restore operation. If the HDD has been reformatted, you will then be presented with the option to re-install the custom firmware (otherwise the WebIF will just come up as normal).​
Reformatting the HDD will have erased a lot of the custom installation (as well as your recordings), but not the firmware and other elements stored in flash memory. You will not have to repeat the first stages of CF installation, you can jump in at installation step 3 (see post 2 above). You will not have to reinstate the tuning, user preferences, or the recording schedule (all of which are stored in flash, not on the HDD).​

Command line?? Why should I have to use the command line?!

Okay then, don't. Put up with whatever fault you have which you asked for help for and were told to use the command line to fix.​
We don't mind explaining how to use the command line, and you don't even have to understand what you're doing if you can follow instructions precisely, but if the fix you want involves the command line and you refuse to do that... you're on your own.​
For example: you can't run fixdisk (to correct file system inconsistencies, preferably before they build up to data loss!) without taking normal HDR-FOX functionality, and the WebIF, off-line. So you need the command line. This is waaay better than anything Humax (standard firmware) has to offer with regard to HDD problems, where the default (and only) option is to reformat.​
The command line is the direct interface to the operating system using a "command shell", in other words some basic software which interprets text input to perform operating system functions, and presents the results and status as text. When the fancy graphical user interface (GUI) we have all become used to isn't working, or has to be taken off-line so that the hardware or OS can be fiddled with, the command shell is the only way in. Those old enough to remember MS-DOS might not realise there is still a DOS-like command shell available in Windows, ditto the terminal in Linux. The HDR-FOX runs a stripped-down Linux underneath, so the command shell responds to Bash (Linux) commands. In fact, the whole CF was built from first finding a way to access the command shell built into the HDR-FOX's version of Linux. Which came first, the chicken or the egg... in the case of computing, it was definitely the command interpreter before the GUI!​
It's not that difficult, in fact we've made it easy. Facilities are available to install as a package in WebIF which provide direct access to the command line, but even without it should be as simple as finding (or installing) your computer's Telnet client. It's best to install the webshell package straight away, because then you have command line access directly through the WebIF (WebIF >> Diagnostics >> Command Line) even if the WebIF itself is down (the normal WebIF web page is replaced by a command line page). If you don't install webshell while the system is fully functional, you might not be able to do so when there is a problem to fix (because the problem might prevent successful installation).​
Without webshell installed, you will have no choice than to use Telnet from your computer. Telnet is routinely included in Linux, and many versions of Windows (it might need turning on in settings). Google your particular operating system version + "telnet". Alternatively, install a third-party Telnet client such as PuTTY – see https://wiki.hummy.tv/wiki/Telnet (click).​
It's not even as if, when you access Telnet (or webshell), you are immediately presented with a command prompt. Oh no, there is a helpful menu of options from which to choose a pre-defined command, including entering Maintenance Mode for running fixdisk. And the "cli" option gets you a raw command prompt for when you know what you're doing (or have been told what to do). The wiki Telnet link above shows the menu.​
Having connected, you will be asked for your PIN. That's the security PIN you have set up on your HDR-FOX, or the default is "0000". After that you get the menu. If, by some chance, you just get a command prompt, you can get to the menu by typing "tmenu" (this will only happen with Telnet, not webshell, and only if you have configured Telnet to bypass the menu in WebIF >> Settings).​
The command line is your friend. It is essential to HDR-FOX healthcare. It is not hard – get to know and use it.

I would like some Custom Firmware modifications that alter the way the HDR-FOX displays things on the TV

Not possible, no can do. The HDR-FOX (and HD-FOX) hardware (ie the electronics) is a "black box" - ie a mystery to us, hidden inside some very large scale integrated circuits with documentation Humax keep to themselves. We can guess the general architecture of what's inside, but not the detail. To compound the problem, the Humax software (which we can inspect) that operates the mystery hardware is also an undocumented "blob" of binary code and (essentially) also a mystery.​
The consequence is that we have no access to the video and audio streams sent out on the HDMI, SCART, and RCA socket, or the graphics overlays, and cannot affect them except in very limited indirect ways (one rare example being substituting our own set of digit graphics for the screensaver clock). So, do not ask for anything that needs to present output on-screen (eg a better photo album or MP3 player, or the ability to play a currently incompatible media file type).​
What has been achieved with Custom Firmware is to provide a way in to the HDR-FOX's open source operating system so that our own applications can be run alongside the Humax application. These applications have access to everything the operating system has access to - ie networking, file system, and process status. With a very few rare exceptions, everything the CF does is by manipulating the files and file system, with command and control via a web browser or command line interface over the network.​
If you feel you really would like some tweak to the hardware output, please feel free to analyse how the hardware actually works and let us know (in detail) which parts of the Humax code need changing (and to what).​
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