LG LH3000-series USB hack
Electronics manufactured by LG are usually a good choice for those, who like to tinker with them. On many LG models you can quite easily enable certain features which are factory enabled only on high-end models. From manufacturing point of view, it is easier to disable features with software, than change components. This means, that cheaper model may have exactly same hardware (and even software) than more expensive model – they just change the settings to disable some features.
Good example is LG LH3000-series FullHD LCD television. It is a sister model to LH2000, LH4000, LH5000 and LH7000-series. LH5000 and LH7000 have USB-in features, which means that you can plug in your USB memory stick or hard drive, and play music, video and pictures stored in it. But as usual in LG devices, these features are present also on cheaper models, they are just disabled. And it is possible to enable these features with quite simple tricks. Then you are able to watch divx, mkv etc. videos from USB drive, and play mp3 etc. So, how this is done?
First of all, you have to have firmware 3.15 or greater on your tv set. Next thing is, that you have to get access to EZ Access menu. You do not find button for that on the remote controller issued with your tv set. But you can achieve this with some universal remote controllers – use code 0119 to change it into Service Remote Controller for LG. Then depending on model of your controller, you may have to press INFO, EPG, GUIDE or some other button to activate menu.
But luckily, I had Nokia N900 smartphone which still has infrared (IR) emitter. This feature is not that common anymore, after bluetooth, wifi and 3G features have taken its space. In Maemo repository, there is a clever application called Irreco, which turns your N900 into a remote controller. I installed QtIrreco and then using the program downloaded appropriate remote controller (Manufacturer: LG, Remotes: SERVICE_MENU). This gives you a remote controller with three buttons: EZ_ADJUST, IN_START and S-CHECK.
Now turn your TV on using your normal remote. Then press EZ_ADJUST button on N900 and you should get service menus on screen. Using your normal controller give password 0000 (if asked) and then navigate to TOOL OPTION 3. Activate it to access submenu. In this submenu there are many options, but you only need to touch two of them. Do not change anything else, or you may render your tv inoperable.
Change EMF to 1 and DivX to HD. Then exit and turn off your tv. When you turn on your tv and plug in a USB device (check the manual of your tv set) you should see a new item (USB) when you press MENU button on remote controller.
- Of course, there are other ways to access service menus. Some Universal Remote Controllers are able to do that, if you set up them as Service RC. Then there is also a way to access Service Menus without special controller.
- But this method does not work if the firmware is above 3.15, and this method is a bit dangerous anyway (and may void your warranty). The infrared (service control) method with N900 or some universal controller is quite safe, if you follow the instructions.
- When the TV power is off, press simultaneously OK on remote and OK button on TV (it is on right side, just a little behind) for 5 (or 10 seconds). If password is asked, type 0000. You should see EZ ADJUST menu. Then continue according to instructions above.
Now you are able to play videos and music directly from USB drive. Check the manual for supported file types. But otherwise LH3000 handles exceptionally well even HD-quality material (H.264), no jerkiness or nothing. Experience has shown that some set-top PCs do not have enough power to show H.264 encoded HD material, which makes this hack quite valuable.
There are some limitations, so it is possible that files which work on your computer, do not work this way. Not all codecs and resolutions are supported. There may be some video-audio sync problems. I usually play files directly from computer which is connected to tv or projector using HDMI cable. That way I have access to all codecs etc. As a sidenote, at least to my knowledge there actually is Linux inside LG LH3000.
- This can seriously damage your tv set and make it inoperable. I take no responsibility on that.
- This hack works on European models. It may work on others, but I cannot say anything about that.
- You must have firmware version of 3.15 or greater. Check this through MENU - SETUP - DIAGNOSTICS. If that is true, then you do not have to update it.
- This hack works also on LH4000, but you may experience trouble on certain firmware versions. This hack may work also on LH2000-series, but I have not tested it.