Update your Hisense H8 Series TV to support HDR – 50 & 55 Models

With the current firmware the 50H8c and the 55H8C TVs do not support HDR10 playback. Below is the leaked firmware to enable full HDR10 support from all sources. This has been tested on both models and some H7 owners are reporting that it even enables HDR support on their sets as well. This firmware was obtained directly from HiSense support as of 10/4/2016.

I cannot confirm or endorse installing the firmware on ANY TV so this is at your own risk. 

Now that the “it’s not my fault if you brick your TV” disclaimer is out of the way here is how you get your TV updated.


  1. Download the appropriate firmware for your TV size
    1. 50H8C Firmware
      1. Direct Download – 50H8C
      2. OneDrive Mirror – 50H8C
    2. 55H8C Firmware
      1. Direct Download – 55H8C
      2. OneDrive Mirror – 55H8C
  2. Locate the file ‘upgrade_loader.pkg’. Copy and paste this file into an EMPTY FAT32 formatted USB Stick.
    1. Please ensure that NOTHING ELSE is on the USB, ONLY the ‘upgrade_loader.pkg’ file.
    2. The file must be named ‘upgrade_loader.pkg’. If it is not named that please rename the pkg file to ‘upgrade_loader.pkg’.
  3. Safely Eject the USB from your PC by right clicking on the USB (on your Desktop or in your My Computer) and selecting ‘Eject’, then unplug the USB from your PC.
  4. Turn OFF the Hisense TV.
  5. Plug the USB in to the TV’s top most USB port(located on the rear of the TV).
  6. Press and hold the POWER button on the Hisense TV Remote Control, once you see “Software updating…” appear on the screen you may RELEASE the power button.
  7. Please wait and let the Software Update process finish.
    1. The Software Update Process will complete without any further user interaction.
    2. The Process should take between 5-8 minutes.
    3. DO NOT turn OFF the TV during this process.
  8. When the update is complete, the “Software updating…” Screen will disappear and the TV will come up as it normally does.
  9. Remove the USB from the back of the TV.

And now your TV is updated!


Following up on Chinese Back Door Cameras – LeFun/BEW/VimTag/Fujikam/SkyGenius

UPDATE (10/25/2016): They are now being sold under the brand name “SkyGenius”. STAY AWAY. These are the same backdoored cameras as before. Theses are the kinds of cameras that were likely used in the DDOS attacks that took place last week. Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZRFGXN?m=A3G20NDO3H60P2&th=1

I just wanted to make a quick post that these camera companies are removing and deleting reviews on the Amazon pages that alert people to the behavior that I outlined in my previous post: Chinese IP Cameras – The next Trojan Horses? VimTag/BEW/Fujikam

ALL the reviews on the BEW version are gone and the ones I left on the VimTag ones are removed as well. In addition to that they are now being sold under the “LeFun” brand.


[TTT] Updating and Tweaking a S905X Based Kodi/Android Box

UPDATE: I have confirmed that the firmware works on all variants of the T95X boxes.

Recently I purchased one of the Chinese made Kodi Android boxes. The particular model I picked up was from Amazon and was branded as the “Richino I9X”. After much digging and tinkering I discovered this was a re-badged Sunvell T95X. I was actually able to get the updated firmware loaded from Sunvell and this fixed a lot of little glitches and issues that were present on the one I purchased. They are also sold under the “Puersit” label as well as Sunvell and Richino.


When you get these boxes they will have a number of applications pre-loaded. I would recommend uninstalling them all and disabling any apps that you will not use. This will free up the background processes. Also note that while their hardware supports [email protected] output Netflix will NOT stream at 4K due to the lack of copy protection on the device, it will only be 1080p.

I am using mine with a USB keyboard so I downloaded an application that overrides the onscreen keyboard and allows you to change the key mappings. For example I mapped the physical “Enter” key to the Android “Enter” command so that I can press enter to search and/or execute commands like on a normal computer.

App Download: External Keyboard Helper Pro

Firmware Update

These boxes are all identical and you can tell by the housing and port layout that they have. The only thing you have to check (based on posts on numerous Android TV box forums) is that you flash the correct firmware based on the RAM and eMMC memory you have. The particular firmware I have posted here is for the 1GB of RAM and 8GB of eMMC storage variant. Now this may work on other variants but you can try at your own risk, but based on my experience with Android devices the memory shouldn’t matter and the flash should work.

Until you do this update you will have issues with the Play Store crashing as well as other typos in the system. After installing this update it will be on the OEM version of the software from Sunvell and will get their automatic firmware updates from their servers. The one that comes on the re-badged versions does NOT auto update and has numerous bugs.

August 2016 Sunvell T95X Firmware: https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ap5qRe33fRYthLgvfrG7is7FjCTThg

If you want to install this firmware you must have a Micro SD card that is 2GB or larger and something to press the hidden recovery switch.

  1. Format the SD card as FAT (NOT FAT32). If you have a large card use this utility to format it at FAT: https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ap5qRe33fRYthLNtKgG7CbUcpCEe_g
  2. Copy the contents of the firmware file posted above to the root of the MicroSD Card.
  3. Unplug the device and insert the MicroSD Card.
  4. Connect the device to HDMI.
  5. Carefully insert a long and small object into the av/headphone port, you will feel a button inside. A toothpick works very well for this.
  6. While holding the button down and the MicroSD card inserted plug the power into the device.
  7. Keep holding the button until you see the little Android Updating logo on the screen.
  8. The update will take between 5-10 minutes.

Here is a video of how to install the update once it is on the MicroSD card: https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ap5qRe33fRYthLRKkMX-jbzzAgSESg

That’s it! You are all updated.

Should you buy one?

All in all these boxes are under $35 on Amazon and if you want a small Kodi box for your TV this is it. If you pair it with a HD HomeRun tuner on your network you can ditch your cable boxes as well! If this sounds appealing pick one up.

What should you look for? 

  • You absolutely should get a minimum of the S905X CPU. There are others out there (specifically the S905) that are older and do not have the new processing features.
  • The Android version should be 6.0 or higher.
  • There are versions with clocks on the front, remote designs, external wifi antennas, and other designs. As long as it has the right CPU it doesn’t matter what one you get.
  • You will see there are different RAM and storage configurations. They are as follows: 1GB RAM+8GB Storage, 2GB RAM+8GB Storage, and 2GB RAM+16GB Storage. The S912 (higher end CPU) versions have up to 3GB of RAM on them, these are more expensive though.
  • There are also some with and without Gigabit ethernet. From my testing these devices cannot even max out a 100mbit connection so this shouldn’t be something you should worry about.
  • There are also some with 802.11AC Dual Band, 802.11N Dual Band, or 802.11N Single Band. Get the one that suits you best. I use ethernet so this was not important to me.

I would also highly recommend getting a keyboard/trackpad device as this will make it much easier to use. I put a link to the one I recommend below, the Logitech K400 is also a larger option that works.

Amazon Links:

Richino I9X – S905X CPU, 8GB Storage, 1GB RAM, 802.11N Single Band Wifi

Puersit I9X – S905X CPU, 8GB Storage, 1GB RAM, 802.11N Single Band Wifi

TICTID T12 – S912 CPU, 16GB Storage, 2GB RAM, 802.11AC Dual Band Wifi

Rii I8 Backlit Keyboard/Trackpad – USB 2.4ghz rechargeable keypad/mouse.

Logitech K400 Keyboard/Trackpad – USB 2.4ghz keypad/mouse.


Chinese IP Cameras – The next Trojan Horses? VimTag/BEW/Fujikam

I have been recently looking for a decent HD IP camera for keep an eye on things when I am away from home. I frequently buy items from SnagShout to review. They had this “BEW” brand camera for $52 so I figured I would give it a shot.

I bought the “BEW” 826-X 1080P IP camera and got it all setup. I started looking at the network traffic and it was sending all it’s video and audio to a server at that is located in China. When you go to that address it takes you to the “VimTag” website and you can see this “BEW” is a re-branded CP1 from their products. I located their US support at www.VimTag.US and called them asking why it’s sending the traffic there and if it can be disabled. They told me that it cannot and when I told them it was concerning they just hung up. For reference their number is 1-800-371-2929.

I left it connected and there were multiple connections going to and from the camera. I also noticed that it was scanning the network with PING requests. I have attached a WireShark Packet capture from start to finish of the setup of the camera. The network is my private LAN and the is the AP that I was running off my laptop, .1 being the laptop/GW.

I will also add that if you try to run a port scan on the camera it renders it completely DOA and will not restart. I did this using Zenmap on my PC and the camera is now DOA. The paranoid part of me suspects this is to prevent seeing what it’s doing and has open. The other part of me just chalks this up to poor firmware/software on the device.

That being said I just wanted to put a quick post out there in case someone else was thinking about getting these cameras. They also do NOT work with any standard IP cam applications or DVR software, this means no RTSP or ONVIF support.

Wireshark Capture:

Pictures of the camera I had:

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ASUS PG279Q BIOS Defaulting Issue – Z97 + 4790K

Yesterday my little brother Doug  (aka TopHattWaffle) called me with a weird issue on the new system that I helped him tweak. We swapped out his older Core i7 3820K and its X79 motherboard with a new Z97 board (Gigabyte Gaming 7 Z97X) and a Core i7 4790K. The system was working perfectly and quick at my place with no issues. He brought it home and once he got all his monitors and other devices connected is when the issues started. Instead of going in depth of each step and different things we tried I am going to just put a bullet point list below.

Here is the issue: When the ASUS PG279Q is connected to the system through the main GTX 970 video card and the system is restarted (particularly on a cold boot) the BIOS hangs and reverts to defaults (peripheral settings, overclocking, preferences, etc).


  • This does NOT happen when the monitor is disconnected and others are connected.
  • This is reproducible on-demand 100% of the time.

System Specs:

  • NZXT H630 Case
  • Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 7 Motherboard
  • Intel Core i7 4790K
  • Dual Gigabyte Gaming G1 GTX 970
  • Corsair H115i Cooler
  • 32GB DDR3-2400 Corsair RAM (4x 8GB)
  • Samsung EVO 850 512GB SSD
  • 3x 1TB in RAID 5 (Intel RST)
  • SteelSeries Apex Keyboard
  • Logitech G700S Mouse


  • Asus PG279Q over DisplayPort
  • HP ZR2740W over Dual Link DVI
  • HP ZR2740W over DisplayPort

Troubleshooting Steps Attempted (None Worked/Changed the Outcome)

  • Removed all RAM but 1 stick
  • Tried another stick of known good RAM
  • Disconnected ALL drives from motherboard
  • Swapped Video card slots
  • Ran only 1 video card
  • Flashed Motherboard BIOS from F8 to F7 version
  • Flashed video card BIOS to stock GTX 970 version
  • Removed ALL USB devices including keyboard and mouse
  • Removed all USB devices excluding keyboard
  • Connected ASUS PG279Q to HDMI (no video at all)
  • Factory reset motherboard BIOS
  • Checked CMOS Battery voltage (it was OK)
  • Switched active motherboard BIOS to backup BIOS
  • Checked and re-seated all power cables
  • Deleted and re-created Intel RAID arrays
  • Reinstalled Windows from new installation ISO and media
  • Wiped ALL drives in the computer
  • Reinstalled Windows and tested issue with NO drivers installed

As you can see we have tried to cover all our bases but no matter what the BIOS will always crash and reset when the ASUS PG279Q monitor is attached to the system. We can restart over and over as many times as we want with the other monitors connected with no issues but as soon as the ASUS is connected it starts.

I have never seen an issue like this. I have a feeling it is something to do with the UEFI BIOS crashing for some reason due to the ASUS monitor and causing the reset. Given the lack of logging and the Gigabyte DIAG LED not being of much use we are grasping at straws. We did order a new GTX 1070 to see if the same thing happens, if it does we will be replacing the motherboard next.

Here is a video demonstrating the issue:

Here is the Gigabyte BIOS DIAG LED when it resets to default.

You can see it reset when the DIAG light shuts off and comes back up. The BIOS codes are ambiguous at best.

If you have any ideas, comments, or suggestions please contact me using the Contact Me page.