The forum gets bursts of "why can't I access the WebIF any more" queries every time there is a round of firmware updates on the air waves. It's very simple: if the Humax updated its standard firmware as a result of an Over-The-Air (OTA) broadcast update, the custom firmware has been over-written and therefore disabled until you re-install it. This only affects the custom firmware element that is installed by USB firmware update - once that part is re-installed, all the other elements (which get stored on the disk) start working again.
The other thing is when network-induced retunes occur and people complain their recording schedule has disappeared - don't say you weren't told: see Things Every... (click)
The Custom Firmware provides two packages in particular to prevent mishaps of those natures - they are rare, but because they are rare they tend to be forgotten. Every
CF user should have these packages installed by default (unless you know what you're doing and understand the consequences).
This package removes the OTA search from the HD/HDR-FOX's action queue, but it can only do this at boot time. This prevents the daily 0430 wake-up-to-check-for-an-update event occurring. The Humax standard firmware however occasionally checks whether the event is present in the queue and adds it again if not. Consequently it is an ongoing battle, and sometimes one still slips through if there was no reboot between the addition to the queue and it being actioned - and it would be typical bad luck if the one that got away coincides with an OTA broadcast.
It is also possible to defeat the OTA by ensuring the Humax is busy doing something else at 0430. Non-CF users are able to do this by configuring a daily reminder timer - for details see HERE (click)
. The disable-ota
has been updated to add this action automatically as standard.
The consequence of the 0430 reminder timer is that the next user power-up will default to the service set in the timer schedule, instead of the service that was last viewed. The default service is LCN 200 - BBC Red Button. This is chosen because it carries no video stream that would otherwise get buffered to HDD (so the HDD isn't being unnecessarily stressed) and carries no soundtrack (so there will be no sudden noise in the early hours if you happen to have left your sound system on). This does however perplex some users when they find the TV turns on with the Red Button slide, but if you want to choose some other default service for the 0430 reminder all you have to do is alter the relevant item under Guide >> Schedule (yellow)
. Having said that, it does not strike me as a very difficult thing to choose what service you want to watch when you turn on.
Another consequence is that the Humax comes on from 0420 to 0440, with a whirring of HDD and fan (in the case of the HDR-FOX), and this might be a problem if the unit is located in the bedroom. If you would prefer that it did not perform the 0430 reminder, and are prepared to accept that the occasional OTA event could get through (in which case it is going to wake up anyway), there is a setting on the WebIF >> Settings
page to disable it (and you also have to remove the relevant entry from the schedule). With the reminder disabled, you are relying on disable-ota
removing the event every time the standard firmware reinstates it (and this can only occur during the boot-up process)*. The daily 20-minute wake-up is also useful to ensure the EPG is maintained up-to-date so that series recordings take place correctly while unattended for a period.
The consequences of not having any protection against OTA updates at all are that your Humax will be updated to the latest standard firmware automatically. While this might seem to be a good idea, and updates do cure some problems, they also have a habit of introducing undesirable new features. For details of the update history, see Things Every... (click)
section 1. Worse however, is that if an update takes place it over-writes the custom firmware which ceases to function until reinstated.
Alternative methods of preventing OTA update are to turn the power off at night, unplug the aerial at night, or only tune in the HiDef services (although originally transmitted on the HiDef multiplex, updates are now transmitted on the StDef multiplex).
This package performs a similar function to defeat automatic retune events enforced by the broadcast network. These are a particular problem because a "feature" added to standard firmware subsequent to 1.02.20 can make them take place whether you like it or not - see Things Every... (click)
sections 1 & 2 for more information. The problems with a retune are that it might not work properly (if you have to perform your tuning manually), and that it clears your recording schedule.
The custom firmware WebIF provides a back-stop for this, in that it automatically backs up your recording schedule daily, and is also able to restore it automatically (or manually) if necessary - but as this can only happen during the boot up process, it is possible to get into a Catch 22 situation with the unit not booting up because there is nothing in its action list to boot up for! Therefore one cannot rely on just the schedule restore taking care of things while away for any length of time, and disable-dso
is a practical necessity to avoid having to explain why SWMBO's Corrie didn't get recorded while you were on holiday.
Note that disable-dso
cannot be 100% reliable - just as with disable-ota
there is a chance one will slip through and for the same reasons - but unlike disable-ota
there is no second line defence that can be deployed. However, the chance of one slipping through is pretty small, and if one does you have the schedule backup to fall back on. *
The most convenient way to manage which packages you have installed is via the WebIF >> Package Management
page. The page opens displaying a list of the packages that are installed, and there will be many more listed if you have the "show advanced packages" option selected in the Settings
page. If the disable-ota
packages are not listed as installed, they will be found on the "Available" tab. Installing packages does not always require a reboot before they take effect, but some require one or even more so be prepared that you might not always see a difference straight away.
Note to other authors: these packages are listed regardless of the "show advanced packages" setting.
Other packages you might like to consider installing include undelete
, which creates a recycle bin to which deleted recordings are transferred and can be recovered rather than being instantly destroyed by one foul click of a remote handset button. In general however, if you don't know what it does and whether you need it, don't install it - and if it is already installed but you don't understand what it is - leave it alone!
Brief information about each package is listed on the Wiki HERE (click)
, and usually has a topic in the Custom Firmware section of this forum (use the search box at top right, and restrict the search to titles only).
For anybody finding this complete gobbledigook, check out the Glossary (click)
, and the Quick Guide to Custom Firmware (click)
* Update: further developments in the Custom Firmware have now provided Real Time Scheduling (RTS), which provides the ability to modify the events schedule immediately (no reboot required). This confers a considerable benefit for disable-dso and disable-ota, which should now be completely reliable (even without the belt-and-braces 0430 anti-OTA reminder schedule). To enable RTS: WebIF >> Settings >> Advanced Settings >> Real-time scheduling? = YES