Tuesday 1 November 2011

[HEA-3] Playing with my TV

TV Evolution
Almost all TV nowadays come with some king of a software system inside that controls the TV. This is the software that interacts with the remote controls. This software is called the Firmware. TV firmwares have undergone massive changes over time. Primarily because of advancement in hardware capability, Nowadays this firmware is similar in capability to most computer operating systems that are available. This makes TVs some kind of computers in themselves. As you will realise, Actually Samsung TV run Linux as their firmware. This means most of the things that you can do with a Linux box, you can do with a sumsung TV alone (i.e. if you are a geek of course)
However, latest firmwares from Sammy have all been ring fenced and you might not have better lucky playing with them.

Playing with my Samsung TV
Inorder for me to play with my Samsung TV, I needed to gain root access to the Linux system inside. I had to install a previous version of the firmware so that I could have  ssh access enabled. If someone is not computer savvy, they can simply follow instructions given on the SamyGo project
 It is very easy to install SamyGo Extensions on your TV. One of the primary reasons I wanted to install them in this case, was that I wanted to be able to control my TV with my Android phone. I hacked my firmware and installed the following extensions.
RemoteLAN - For TV Remote control via android phone. (however, you if you have a 2010/2011 model you may not need to do all this and android market app is just sufficient to setup a smartphone remote control)
New Internet widgets
DTS audio encoders so that I can play .mkv HD Video files with dts audio
etc, etc, etc.
I also wanted to use my TV as a samba client (to mount shares on PC) so that i can easily mount my computer folder with pics, music and movies and play them on TV.
Other cool stuff  include installing a Web browser on your TV so that you can browse the Internet without the need for any computer. There is also an extension for keyboard and mouse input/output, that enables you to just connect your wireless keyboard and mouse to your TV.
All this makes your Telly a perfect computer.

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