Watch recorded HD content from FOXSAT on HDR-FOX T2

MofTot

Member
Dear all

I don't have access to BBC FOUR HD and BBC NEWS HD on Freeview in my area but I have access to Freesat so I can watch it there.

I'm contemplating getting a used FOXSAT and installing custom firmware including the stuff that ensures that HD recordings aren't encrypted.

I have an HDR-FOX T2 with custom firmware.

I was wondering whether it's possible to view HD content that was recorded on the FOXSAT on my HDR-FOX T2 through DLNA (DLNA server on the FOXSAT, DLNA client on the the HDR-FOX T2)? Or would I have to go through the hassle of moving the content onto a USB stick?

Why go through this hassle? Because I don't have the satellite cables in my TV room and I have quite poor experience with Wireless HDMI.

Is there anything I should be aware of, eg audio format on FOXSAT not supported by HDR-FOX T2?

Also, which FOXSAT model is the equivalent of the HDR-FOX T2 and which FOXSAT models does the custom firmware support?

Thanks in advance.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
You will need to get hold of a second hand FoxSat such as THIS ONE as I don't think the newer HDR 1100S can be persuaded to decrypt its recordings (I might be wrong and no doubt someone will correct me PDQ if I am). The Foxsat HDR is the equivalent of the T2. You will need to install the custom software as you have realised and also Nowster's patch to decrypt HD recordings (SD are recorded unencrypted anyway on the Foxsat).
As to to network streaming, I'm not certain, but USB stick will be a pain in the butt. I just copied the *.ts files from the Foxsat to my T" over the network and they play just fine and dandy on my T2 (the missing sidecar files do not affect playing, but do affect presentation on the Media list). The file formats are a bit different between the two, but that does not seem to upset the T2 at all.
Can you not extend the two sat cables to your TV room?
 
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MofTot

Member
Thanks a lot Trev, very helpful.

I live in a rental and extending the cables just isn't feasible. It would be at least 20m and quite an eye sore.

Just out of curiosity, how did you copy the files over the local network? FTP? Directly or using an intermediary computer?
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Pulled them both up in Windows explorer then just copied them as per any other file copy routine. There are other methods, all a lot better than using a USB stick. (External USB HDD for one)
Presumably you have been HERE for info?
 
OP
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MofTot

Member
OK, thanks.

Yes I've looked in the forums but didn't find anything relevant, perhaps I didn't look closely enough.

One final question: Does the FOXSAT custom firmware provide remote scheduling like the HDR-FOX T2 custom firmware?
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Don't know. Not been there. I suppose you have been HERE as well. Zillions of posts. Difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff though. raydon is the main man there and also frequents this forum a lot as well.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
You can stream recordings from the Foxsat-HDR (as long as they are not encrypted) by DLNA, using the custom firmware. The Foxsat does not have a native DLNA server, but there are a couple available to add (one being MediaTomb).
 

grahamlthompson

Well-Known Member
There is one issue in streaming HD recordings from a Foxsat-HDR with nowsters patch to a HDR-FOXt2. The audio track selected is the audio described track and there is no way to select the main ac3 (Dolby Digital) audio track. As virtually always Raydon has a solution :).

The convert files package recodes the recording file to make the main ac3 (2.0 or 5.1) audio track the selected option. There are two options, retain the original file (doubles the storage space, or replace the original file. Never had an issue with replace the file, I suggest you select this merely to avoid the hassle of having to delete the original recording files.

If you have a large amount of unconverted files, be aware it will take a significant of time to convert. It took a few days to convert my recordings approaching 500GB, but the overhead for future recordings is minimal.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Then how come I just copied the *.ts files with no audio problems, or are you specifically talking streaming as opposed to copying?
 
OP
M

MofTot

Member
There is one issue in streaming HD recordings from a Foxsat-HDR with nowsters patch to a HDR-FOXt2. The audio track selected is the audio described track and there is no way to select the main ac3 (Dolby Digital) audio track. As virtually always Raydon has a solution :).

The convert files package recodes the recording file to make the main ac3 (2.0 or 5.1) audio track the selected option. There are two options, retain the original file (doubles the storage space, or replace the original file. Never had an issue with replace the file, I suggest you select this merely to avoid the hassle of having to delete the original recording files.

If you have a large amount of unconverted files, be aware it will take a significant of time to convert. It took a few days to convert my recordings approaching 500GB, but the overhead for future recordings is minimal.

Excellent, that's extremely helpful, thanks so much!
 
OP
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MofTot

Member
I've now got this up and running and it works quite well.

However, because the DLNA server (I'm using MediaTomb) only exposes the file name and nothing else to the HDR-Fox T2 DLNA client, it can get a bit tedious to understand which episode of a given TV series you're about to view. You need to use the WebIf on the Foxsat-HDR to get that information.

It would be a lot easier if the file name included the episode information, and optional season number, eg in the SXXEYY format, where XX is season number and YY is episode number.

I'm a software developer and I've had a look at the hmt command and it seems it wouldn't be that difficult to make a package that potentially could handle this. Is there any helpful information anywhere on how to start on custom firmware package development, which tools and programming languages are available, how you pack it all up, upload to repository, etc?

However, renaming files and potentially also moving files that are not regarded as part of a series to a given folder (eg BBC4's Storyville) is kind of just curing the symptoms and not the root cause. If the EPG had the episode information as part of the program title we wouldn't have this issue in the first place and the EPG (in my view) would be a lot more helpful. I'm originally from Denmark and that's how we organize EPGs there. How difficult would it be to develop a package that would enhance the EPG with episode information in the title and also potentially expose programs that are regarded as single programs as a series?
 

Trev

The Dumb One
EPG containing series info. Wouldn't that be good.
You can muck around with displayed programme names in the SUI media list and the HDD filenames with sweeper. You could possibly do what you are suggesting, but I haven't explored the possibility.
P.S. 'Muck around' is the technical term for 'modify'.
 

grahamlthompson

Well-Known Member
For what it's worth, the programme info on a freetime box has episode numbers. However some programmes do not have them. Some do but they have a habit on long running soaps to reset the episode back to 1 and start again. On a box that sorts the list by episode number when present, rather than time and date, it's a pain in the proverbial :rolleyes:
 

raydon

Well-Known Member
EPG containing series info. Wouldn't that be good.
You can muck around with displayed programme names in the SUI media list and the HDD filenames with sweeper. You could possibly do what you are suggesting, but I haven't explored the possibility.
P.S. 'Muck around' is the technical term for 'modify'.
This is a Foxsat HDR thread Trev, no sweeper.
 

raydon

Well-Known Member
I'm a software developer and I've had a look at the hmt command and it seems it wouldn't be that difficult to make a package that potentially could handle this. Is there any helpful information anywhere on how to start on custom firmware package development, which tools and programming languages are available, how you pack it all up, upload to repository, etc?
Programming language is C for binaries, Jim tcl for web interface support scripts, or plain old bash scripts for a lot of other stuff. You will need to download the Foxsat mips uClibc toolchain from the Humax Open Source website and use it to set up a cross compiler environment using gcc on a Linux box, or VM. Packages are created using a package management system called opkg. The wiki page in the link is for HD(R) Fox T2 boxes which have mipsel architecture, but you should get the drift. There are package unpacking/building utilities available for the Foxsat in the repository. There is nothing to prevent you from creating and publishing your own packages. However, upload to the official repository is subject to package vetting and approval. All existing custom binaries for the Foxsat are closed source, but there are many examples of tcl scripting to be found in the web interface folder tree /opt/webif.
 
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