USB cd/dvd drives?


New Member
Anyone know if external cd/dvd drives are supported by the usb on the HD-Fox? I have a lot of photos and videos on dvd-r discs and it would be useful to be able to view them through the humax box somehow.
Not at the moment, I don't know if it is something that could be added - it might be possible read-only.

I hear there's a DVD drive coming out that pretends to be a hard drive.

DVD capacity is so puny compared with a cheap portable hard drive, your best bet is to spend £30 on a USB drive and transfer your DVDs to it. The files will probably be safer there as well.
I did compile the drivers for file system access to CD/DVD/BD drives sometime ago but never did anything further with them. I think you are the first to ask for this. I doubt whether the Humax UI will mount a drive automatically so it may require some tweaks to the firmware to make it work seamlessly.
Thanks a lot for the replies. I do have a couple of external hard drives already but DVD-Rs worked out a lot cheaper so I've got a lot of old TV recordings and stuff like that stored on those.

How hard is it to compile the drivers? I think I can guess the answer so if you were kind enough to provide them are they something I'd be able to use? I don't mind running a few commands manually every time, it's not something I'd be using often.
There is a bit of experimentation to be done, not only to be able to access an optical drive at all but also to access it across a USB interface (unless that's what xyz has done) and then getting it mounted into the file system having plugged it in (be it automatic or manual). There may also be problems with different drives requiring different drivers.

Unless you feel like having a crack yourself, I think you had better regard this as a work-in-progress and be willing to test run the early versions of any packages that come forth (which is easy enough when you have the custom firmware plus an Internet connection).

I have to say though, once you do access photos on a DVD you might be pretty disappointed with the Humax's facilities to create a slide show and display them. I recommend you have a play with some photos on a hard drive and see if it will be worth the bother. Old TV shows are a different matter, it depends on their file format. The Humax is very unlikely ever to play a standard DVD (VOB format).
I can provide the drivers but the first thing you would have to do (if you haven't done it already) is to install the custom firmware. This being an HD you would also need a USB hub which should be externally powered if the drive itself is not externally powered.

I should add that there is no guarantee this will work, the main area of uncertainty is whether or not it will appear as a device on the system. You can test this by connecting the optical drive (after the system has booted) with a disk inserted and typing the following at a telnet prompt:

hexdump -n 512 /dev/sdb > /dev/null

This should just return a prompt with no error message. However, if the error message "hexdump: /dev/sdb: No such device or address" is returned then it doesn't look very hopeful. BTW This assumes that you have another disk connected at the same time using the hub and containing the mod.

Note that the drives (hard disk or optical) are usually allocated names in the order that they are found by the system. The first drive will be /dev/sda, then /dev/sdb etc. This is why it is important to connect the optical drive after the system is booted for this test.
Thanks again. I do already have the custom firmware running. I should have said I don't have a USB dvd drive yet though, I will try and get hold of one this weekend and see what happens.

This is something I could try. I have a suitable DVD/RW portable drive.
If you want to try it would be great to see what happens