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First Poster
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎25-11-2014

Re: Developer mode no longer working

Unfortunately writing to the NAND of the black Now TV box won't be easy. From the internals of the box the only thing that's noticeably different about the Now TV (4200SK) and Roku 3 (4200X1) boxes is that the Roku uses a 48 pin TSOP chip with exposed legs and the Now TV box uses an integrated chip with no exposed legs, which would be a nightmare to desolder.

 

I don't think anything would stop the Roku 3 firmware booting on the Now TV box, it's just highly impractical as you'd need to either use a 360 clip on the TSOP48 chip or desolder it, dump the firmware using NANDway and a Teensy++, then flash it back on to the new chip by desoldering it too and figuring out the pinout in comparison to the original, but the chip is about 15mm x 10mm with 48 solder points...

 

The original white Now TV box can be flashed with Roku LT firmware no problem, it looks like they changed the NAND chip in the second generation of Now TV boxes to stop this from happening.

 

Software hacks are your best bet but Roku's are notoriously secure and there are no currently known exploits.

Contributor 2
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎10-03-2017

Re: Developer mode no longer working


breag wrote:

WuffleBonk wrote:

=== SNIP ===

 


Would it not be worth setting up a site/reddit or whatever elsewhere. just for this purpose, as I can't see this thread lasting long now the discussion has taken this turn!

 

I've been reading this thread with interest.  I have two NowTV boxes (one black, one 'smart' box), neither of which have ever been plugged in, much less switched on.  I recently discovered I could use FilmOn TV via Plex for a TV nowhere near an aerial, so was going to get that set up on the black box at some point, until Sky's strange decision to remove the possibility.

 

As they have never been set up, is there any way whatsoever to get Plex on them now?  I literally only want it for FilmOn TV.


We currently have a private Google Drive with everything in we've learned so far, and are all currently communicationg via Twitter private messages.

 

As for your current boxes, then yes absolutley.

 

It's the latest update that's screwed them, I forget how many pages back it is, but someone has already laid out the steps to take a box that's not been plugged in yet and get it logged into your nowtv account, but without letting the update work.

 

Basically, it's

 

Plug the box in, switch it on, as soon as the "let's get started" screen comes up, use the cheat code to get in and enable developer mode, as well as making a change to one of the server settings from "api.roku.com" to api.statging2 (Sorry I don't recall the exact details) [I think there somewhere round about page 20]

 

Once you change the api address, continue with the setup, but just before you click ok to sent your nowtv username and password in, jump back into the secret screen, change the api address back to what it was, come out then click the password button.

 

At this point the box will go off, contact nowtv.com, register your account then let you in.  As this is happening watch VERY CAREFULLY on the TV screen, and the instant you see the "searching for updates/updating" screen appear yank the power cable out the back of the box as fast as you can.

 

Once this is done, you then need to BAN your nowtv from accessing the internet, either through your routers mac filtering settings, or by blocking access to nowtv.com/roku.com domains, this has to be done to stop the box trying to update in future.

 

You won't have your catchup TV or any of the now TV stuff, but you will have a neat little box that can sideload one app at a time, and those apps can do anything your able to make them do. (By which I mean, the BrightScript programming language and developer tools that you use to write channels is freeley available, and you can easily write your own channels, then side load them as you see fit)

 

If you let the box get on the internet however, it's game over, beacuse it will eventually find the 7.5.3 update and update itself.

 

As for availability of boxes, well it's my guess that all new models getting sent out to supermarkets etc now will already be getting flashed at source with the 7.5.3 firmware, so the stocks that supermarkets currently have on sheleves and in supermarkets (Assuming they've not put returned units back on display) will be the last ones running the older firmware, so once current supplies dry up, then we'll not be able to use the "prevent an update" hack.

 

 

Occasional Poster
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎17-03-2017

Re: Developer mode no longer working

Thanks for that, WB.  I had seen that post, but as far I can tell it requires complete and permanent disconnection from the internet to keep sideloading working - so using FilmOn is impossible, right?

 

Have the Smart boxes also received this update, by the way? At least with that one I could just use it as a spare FreeviewHD box (never got round to it as I learned that you have to hand over payment details before you can use the box for anything at all, which IMO is just as ridiculous as this latest update!)

First Poster
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎16-08-2014

Re: Developer mode no longer working

hi is casting still working on other people boxes ?

Contributor 1
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎09-08-2015

Re: Developer mode no longer working


gtaman92 wrote:

Unfortunately writing to the NAND of the black Now TV box won't be easy. From the internals of the box the only thing that's noticeably different about the Now TV (4200SK) and Roku 3 (4200X1) boxes is that the Roku uses a 48 pin TSOP chip with exposed legs and the Now TV box uses an integrated chip with no exposed legs, which would be a nightmare to desolder.

 

I don't think anything would stop the Roku 3 firmware booting on the Now TV box, it's just highly impractical as you'd need to either use a 360 clip on the TSOP48 chip or desolder it, dump the firmware using NANDway and a Teensy++, then flash it back on to the new chip by desoldering it too and figuring out the pinout in comparison to the original, but the chip is about 15mm x 10mm with 48 solder points...

 

The original white Now TV box can be flashed with Roku LT firmware no problem, it looks like they changed the NAND chip in the second generation of Now TV boxes to stop this from happening.

 

Software hacks are your best bet but Roku's are notoriously secure and there are no currently known exploits.


 

From the videos of the internals on YouTube both the black and white boxes have programming headers or I am a banana. It is highly unlikely that the flash is programmed before it is soldered to the board, and I only need to program the NowTV box, so unless they are burning a one time fuse somewhere to stop being reflashed via the JTAG we are good to go. The Roku with the TSOP should make dumping the firmware image easier, which is my main first target unless someone can point me ot an image on the internet. We then analyse that to find out what packages are being used, then wait till the next exploit arises in one of them.

 

As I said previously the 7.5 firmware is most likely to have fixed exploits that we could have used :-(  All the stagefright starters.

 

 

Highlighted
Contributor 1
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎09-08-2015

Re: STV Player

Going to resurrect this. With the debarkle of the new firmware update and sideloading I received today my new Roku box, and while setting it up I was browsing the available apps and under "new apps" was an STV Player which of course previously did not exist.

 

Now that an STV Player app exists Sky/NowTV could get this added to the store for NowTV boxes. Not that it makes much difference to me as either I work out how to flash my NowTV boxes to Roku boxes or they go in the bin and get replaced with a Roku box.

Occasional Poster
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎17-03-2017

Re: Developer mode no longer working

Also @WuffleBonk, the reason I asked about another location for discussion is so that those uninvolved are able to keep up to speed with developments.  Simply because I can't believe a thread so manifestly contrary to the hoster's interests will exist for much longer Smiley Happy

Contributor 2
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎10-03-2017

Re: Developer mode no longer working


breag wrote:

Also @WuffleBonk, the reason I asked about another location for discussion is so that those uninvolved are able to keep up to speed with developments.  Simply because I can't believe a thread so manifestly contrary to the hoster's interests will exist for much longer Smiley Happy


it is a bit of a surprise ain't it...

 

and Iv'e no idea about the smart boxes, only the streaming pucks :-)

 

First Poster
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎13-10-2015

Re: Developer mode no longer working

Like many others I have been using my Nowtv box for plex but also paying subscription for entertaiment package, disgusted with sky for ruining my customer experience and can't see me taying when current passes run out.
Been playing around tonight to try and salvage something from the wreckage with reasonable success. Have managed to make use of the playto app on the Nowtv box with the companion app on my Android phone to stream plex content from a remote server to the TV. Pleasantly surprised how well it works and fairly straightforward once I'd worked things out. Basic method was, download playto universal apk (ask no questions ;-) ) and install, launch playto app on box, run playto on phone, select roku 3 as the playback device, type plex.tv address into playto browser bar which then loads up plex website, log into my account and launch the web player, select server and pick a random film, select play and it starts streaming to Nowtvbox. Pleased to note that once playback has started phone display can be turned off and playback controlled with the Nowtv remote.
Pretty happy with that although be much happier with plex restored on my box, hopefully others will find it useful.
First Poster
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎18-11-2014

Developer Mode - no more USB Player

As Sky have removed the Developer Mode from Black NowTV box can they make the USBplayer app available in the App Store?

 

I used it to listen to MP3 Audio files on a USB key plugged into the NowTV box, and to play back Images and Videos from my phone. While it was not a pretty interface it worked and was better than nothing.