It’s no secret that your TV, satellite DVR and cable box are network enabled. Sure, those guys love the fact that you can hook up your set top box to the Internet and grab move pay per view movies – hey, you can even take advantage of over the top services like BBC iPlayer and more. So, you do two and two together and figure out that there must be a way to extract those recordings made on your DVR and store them on your home server or NAS – that way, you can stream them to devices across the home, right?
Wrong. 99.9% of DVR manufacturers will encrypt those recordings (High Definition recordings, especially) and lock them to the box. Bah. What you need is a DVR with some custom firmware that can be hacked. The answer, for those of us in the UK, is the Humax HDR-FOX-T2. Let’s take a look.
Humax’s HDR-FOX-T2 is a Freeview (antenna) based DVR offering twin-tuners (record two shows at once), the choice of a 500GB or 1TB hard drive, a two hour time shift buffer, access to a small number of free to air high definition channels and an Ethernet port, so it’s network accessible. Indeed, Humax ship the box with an on board FTP server, so it’s really easy to access the box. However, the box does encrypt high definition recordings, so if you try to play them on another device, it’s all a bit messy.
Fortunately, some rather clever people around the web have got together and built HDR-FOX-T2, which neatly replicates the standard firmware, but includes a web-based management console and a host of additional features, including the ability to decrypt recordings on the fly. So you can then copy those recordings off the DVR and on to your home server. Lovely. Let’s get it set up and flashed.
Step 1: Install the Humax HDR-FOX-T2
Unbox the DVR and hook it up in the usual way to your aerial, TV and of course, your network using the Ethernet port on the rear of the device.
Power on the box, and run the channel scan.
Once configured and working, you can tidy up the wiring and tuck your box away in the TV cabinet. We won’t need to touch the hardware again.
Step 2: Download and Prepare the Custom Firmware
Okay, first up, grab yourself a USB drive and format it to ensure it’s empty. FAT32 format, rather than NTFS, please. Before proceeding, have a quick look at your existing firmware version ( via Menu > Settings > System > System Information > Software Version) and check the excellent wiki over at hummy.tv which will tell you the route you need to take to flash your box. If you have the Official 1.02.27 or higher installed, your box will be updated to the latest version of the Humax firmware automatically as part of the upgrade process. Earlier firmware? Update your box with the official firmware first, then you can install the custom firmware.
Our model shipped with v1.02.29 – not the latest, but installing the custom firmware will upgrade that to the latest release.
Download the custom firmware from hummy.tv, selecting the release you need. At the time of writing, the latest release is HDR_FOX_T2_1.02.32_mod_2.16.zip, a 17 MB file. Once downloaded, unzip the file and then copy it to the USB drive.