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

Update (11/1/2016): I am getting reports that the firmware *may* be officially available if you manually check for updates through the TV itself. I can’t confirm this as I already installed the firmware below on mine but try it out and let me know if they are pushing it out over the air.

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.

Instructions:

  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!

[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.

Tweaks

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://www.dropbox.com/s/dmk1s0htwiuo4ed/firmware082016.zip?dl=0

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://www.dropbox.com/s/43ohryu4el9odxc/guiformat.exe?dl=0
  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://www.dropbox.com/s/z7s0lhysnd2ayb6/T95X%20SD%20card%20update.MOV?dl=0

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.

How to fix OBI 100 and OBI 110 Not Connecting to Google Voice

Why Isn’t My Google Voice Ringing?

This is what I was wondering earlier today when I noticed that calls were not ringing in and when I went to make a call I was greeted with an error message from the OBI100. After looking into it and logging into the OBI portal they wanted me to pay $10 for support to update the device to the latest firmware and setup my Google Voice again. I decided to look online and found that they had the firmware available publically and if you follow the steps below your service will start working again.

I think it is crazy that they want to charge you $10 for “priority support” just to do something that they offer for free on their site and support forums. I am willing to bet that some unsuspecting people have paid the fee and not realized that it can be fixed easily on their own.

This was broken because Google forced everyone to switch to OAUTH 2.0 and this broke the old Google Voice system that the older firmware used.


Step 1

Download this firmware for the OBI100/OBI110 and install it. If you do not know how to install the firmware please see below for instructions.

 

Then Reboot.


Step 2

In the OBITalk Portal, delete the device and set it up again as a new device.

Run through the Google Voice setup again and it will start working again!

NOTE – It may take 4-5 minutes for the OBI to get the new settings but just be patient.


How to Update the Firmware

If you don’t know how to install the firmware:

Dial * * * 1

It will give  you the IP Address:  192.168.XXX.XXX   (example 192.168.1.27 )

In your browser, enter the IP Address as the URL.

User Name: admin
password: admin

 

On the left side, navigate to SYSTEM MANAGEMENT

Click DEVICE UPDATE

At the top where it says “Firmware Update – Select file to update firmware [BROWSE] ….”

Click BROWSE and add the file.  Then click UPLOAD

OBI100/110 Update Screen
OBI100/110 Update Screen

Once it reboots its done.

Go back to Step 2 to continue.

Thanks for reading and enjoy this fix!

[TTT] New BETA Firmware for NetGear R7000 Released – It’s STABLE!

I just wanted to let everyone know that NetGear already has a Release Candidate out for the R7000 to fix the 2.4ghz connection issues on their 1.0.6.X version firmware.

I have had it on my R7000 for a few days and it appears to have resolved the issue.

That being said this is a BETA so there could still be hiccups but according to Nifer on the NetGear forums this is the version they plan on releasing to the public shortly. Enjoy!

Source: NetGear Forum Discussion

Firmware Download:

[TTT] NetGear R7000 Nighthawk – Wireless and Firmware Issues + Review

Update: NetGear has officially confirmed this to be the case with the issues. Here is their reply: Nifer NetGear Forum Moderator Reply

Welcome to the first Tim’sTechTips article. I figured this would be a good one to start off with since I had issues with this awesome router and was able to fix them.

Just a little background before we get started. Firmware links are at the bottom of the post.

I do not use this router as an actual router and have it operating in Access Point mode so I cannot comment on it’s routing throughput personally. However, I have many friends and co-workers that I have recommended this router to and they have not had any issues with it. My issues started with I upgraded from the 1.0.4.30 firmware to the latest 1.0.6.28 firmware that NetGear released to add support for their Arlo cameras. There are numerous posts showing that they were having issues with the firmware as well, showing that this was not an isolated incident that just myself experienced. Below there is a guide on how to get your R7000 working as intended as well as the correct firmware you need.

As for how much I use the wireless for this router here is what I have running on it:

  • 4 Google ChromeCasts (1 first generation on the 2.4ghz band and 3 2nd generation on the 5.0ghz band)
  • Lenovo Stick 300 HDMI PC (2.4ghz band)
  • 2 Axis IP Cameras (2.4ghz band)
  • Linksys Wireless AC Bridge for a wired 720P IP camera (5.0ghz band)
  • EcoBee Wireless Thermostat (2.4ghz band)
  • Numerous Android Smartphones and tablets (we have a minimum of 7 Android devices connected when we are home)
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (5.0ghz band)
  • Brother MFC-9130CW Printer (2.4ghz band)

As you can see the wireless on this device has a lot running on it. In addition, to that I live in a condo and the competition for the 2.4ghz band is high, luckily my neighbors have yet to discover the 5.0ghz band. Now that all that is out of the way lets get on to the review, issues, and resolution to said issues with this router.

Review

I purchased this router at the end of October 2013 when my old DIR-655 was failing after years of service as an access point. As I stated above I only use this router in access point mode, I run a custom SFF PFsense box for my main router. I will be going over the wireless performance of the router in my environment (3rd-floor condo, Flexi core building). The router is placed in the center of my 1500+Sqft condo for best coverage and performance.

Setup

The setup is OK. By that, I mean that if you are an IT professional you will be a little annoyed with their wizard-style approach to how it sets itself up. I really wish they had the option to bypass the wizard and go directly to the main login page. Basically, just let it time out and click through the wizard and you will get to the main screen.

This router does support acting as a NAS with it’s available USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. However when I tried a few external drives the router would not see them. This wasn’t a dealbreaker for me as I have ‘servers’ in the house but I was just seeing if it would work with the drives I have, it did not (they were generic, externally powered USB drives). From what I read online, this router is pretty particular about what drives you connect to it and none of the ones I have are compatible with it. It did work with every USB2.0 and USB 3.0 flash drives I installed on it and I got between 20-30MB/s on the flash drives.

Once you are logged in you can configure it like any other router. There is even an access point mode of operation in the advanced settings section. I am using this option for my home setup. When enabling the Access Point operation mode, the WAN port is bound to the LAN ports, effectively making it a 5 port gigabit switch with an access point built in. I have one device connected to the router for LAN access and the throughput is 90-100MB/s.

Wireless Throughput

I used multiple devices that I had on hand to test the wireless throughput. Here are the average results. The tests were done by transferring an ISO file from my local file server to the device. I was about 100feet away from the router with 1 wall in between the devices and the router. All the above devices were connected and in operation at the time of the test. Firmware was the 1.0.4.30 firmware with the wireless channels set to the least crowded in my building. Speeds are in megabytes per second, not megabits per second.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

  • 2.4ghz – 10mb/s
  • 5.0ghz – 60mb/s

Droid Turbo 2

  • 2.4ghz – 5mb/s
  • 5.0ghz – 20mb/s

Linksys AC Wireless Bridge

  • 2.4ghz – 12mb/s
  • 5.0ghz – 70mb/s

Lenovo Stick 300

  • 2.4ghz – 8mb/s

As you can see the speeds are pretty good on the 2.4ghz band given the load on the router and the interference in the building. The 5.0ghz (all 802.11AC devices) is pretty stellar and I can almost max out my gigabit network through the wireless.

Despite all the devices and interference I have in my building I am able to get a reliable connection in my garage that is 4 floors down on the 2.4ghz band. I can even pick up the 2.4ghz band in my parking lot that is a goo 600feet from where the router is.

Comments/Thoughts

As I stated above I am not using this as a router. However my brother, 2 of my friends, and one of my co-workers are using this as their ONLY router/access point and they are able to fully use their internet lines (25mbps-150mbps) with no issues. The router even has OpenVPN built in so you can setup remote access to your network through it, I have tested this and it works as expected. Given that it has a 1.0ghz dual core ARM CPU it has more than enough power for even a heavy home network. Multiple reviews online have stated that they were getting between 400mbps-500mbps for WAN to LAN throughput.

Issue & Resolution

About a month ago I had updated the firmware to the latest one that NetGear released, this is version 1.0.6.28. The firmware installed correctly and there were no issues right away. Fast forward 2-3 days after I installed the firmware all of our 2.4ghz devices started losing connection. The devices would connect for about 1 minute and then drop off the network. I restarted the router and it would start working for about 30-45 minutes and the same issue repeated. I factory reset the router and reconfigured it with the 1.0.6.28 firmware on it but it kept happening.

I called NetGear support and they recommended to do a factory reset again and that seemed to help for about 2-3 days, then the issue came back. Seeing as the router only has a 1-year warranty I started changing settings on the wireless side myself to get a better connection but it did not resolve the issue.

I looked online and started finding many forum posts having the same issue, 2.4ghz dropping out and 5.0ghz working fine. There were multiple people saying that factory resets were working on the new firmware and there were a few that were saying to roll back to an older firmware if you did not need the “Arlo” support that the new firmware added. I did a factory reset again and flashed the 1.0.4.30 firmware that I was on before the update. After reconfiguring the router with my settings, it has been working for over 2 weeks now with no issues.

The funny thing is that I went to the NetGear site before writing this article to get the firmware files to mirror here and they pulled firmware versions that they had released after the 1.0.4.30 version. I think they realized that their firmware was making the routers unstable. See here: What happened to the R7000 firmware 1.0.6.28?

Closing

All that being said I have and will continue to recommend this router for people that want great performance, reliability, and wireless coverage for their homes. Just make sure you are on the 1.0.4.30 firmware version. Anything after that is unreliable. However, SOME people on the NetGear forum have said that they are having no issues with 1.0.6.28 after a factory reset. YMMV.

I attached the 1.0.4.30 and 1.0.6.28 firmware for the R7000 that NetGear released. They have pulled all versions after 1.0.4.30 from their site as of 2/9/2016.

Downloads

 

Relevant Links

R7000 New Firmware 1.0.6.28 released

R7000 1.0.6 – They should call this the Nightmare WiFi Router, are firmware updates always this bad?

R7000 Firmware Version 1.0.6.28 – strange 3rd SSID

R7000 Firmware Version 1.0.6.28 – Arlo SSID Signal Interference with Existing Signals

R7000 2.4ghz not working but 5ghz is fine

What happened to the R7000 firmware 1.0.6.28?