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Recording on LG Smart TV (LM760T)

Discussion in 'TV Technology: Smart TV, 3D, Ultra HD, 4K' started by AndrewD, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    I wanted to try out the recording capability of my new LG LM760T. I connected my 600GB 2.4inch hard drive in a USB caddy to the USB socket of the TV, and set it up to record. However, the LM760T will not allow recording until it has formatted the drive. This is a real pain, as I use the hard drive for moving large video files around and for backup. When the LM760T formats the disk, it deletes any exiting partitions and uses all the space on the disk to create two new partitions that are not readily accessible - at least not on Windows.

    When I then connected the drive to my Ubuntu Linux box, I could see that the LM760T had created a large partition of 596GB and a small partition of 47MB. The large partition (the first one on the disk) was formatted as JFS and the small partition was formatted as Ext3. But it's a bit more complicated than that, because the normal Partion ID/Filesystem type of these partions on Linux would be 83. However, the LM760T creates both partitions with a Partition ID of A2. This is an unknown filesystem type for any other systems or tools. I guess this is part of LG's deliberate policy of obfuscation.

    So what do you need to do you if you want to record using your LG Smart TV, but still use the disk for something else? Well, unless you're happy with using the JFS partition for whatever you want to do, you will need to repartition the hard drive to make 3 or 4 partititions. The first two (JFS and Ext3) for the LG, and the third, with whatever filesystem you want, for the other stuff. You can't use the second LG partition (the Ext3 one) for anything else, because if you increase the size to anything useful, then your LG will take hours to connect after you plug it in.

    So here's a step by step guide to formating your hard drive for use by the LG while still keeping a partition for other stuff.

    First you will need a Linux box - I used Ubuntu 12.04. You might be able to do it using a Linux boot CD on a non-Linux PC, without installing Linux first, but I haven't tried this. I also use a Windows PC to fix the partition ID.

    Connect your hard drive to the Linux box. You need to make sure the disk doesn't contain any data that you want to keep, as the first step is to delete all existing partitions.

    You need a partition manager that supports JFS and Ext3 to set up the partitions. I used KDE Partition Manager plus the optional JFS package. You can install them on Ubuntu using the Software Center. First delete all existing partitions. Don't forget to apply the changes. Next create a primary JFS partition. The size of the partition is the amount of space you want to allow for LG recordings. I used about half the disk.

    Next create a primary Ext3 partition. You need to allow about 50MB for this - don't make it any bigger, or else it will take a long time to connect, when you plug the drive into your TV.

    You can use the remaining space to create a partition of whatever file system type you choose.

    Then disconnect the drive from Linux, and connect it to a Windows PC. You need to use a physical disk editor to fix the partition IDs. I used Hxd - download from mh-nexus and install it in Windows. Incidentally I tried to install it in Linux using Wine, but could not successfully access the disk. Start HxD, and from the Extras menu, choose "Open Disk", clear the "Open as Readonly" check box and select the correct disk under "Physical disks". You will probably need to choose disk 2 if you only have one other hard drive in the system. Make sure you get the right one, or else you might render your system unbootable.

    Now look for the two partition IDs, 83, which are located in the first disk sector. On my hard drive these two bytes are located at offset 1C4 and 1D4 (16 bytes apart). Change each of these two bytes to A2, and then close HxD.

    Now you're done. Disconnect the hard drive from your PC and connect to the TV. It should say "Connecting USB", and then after a short wait, you are ready to start recording. You can still use partition 3 for whatever you choose on other PCs and devices, but the one drawback is that you will not be able to play any media files on your LG TV that were not recorded by it.

    Further thoughts:
    It would be even better if the video files recorded by the LG could be openned on a Windows or Linux PC. After you have made a few recordings, there will be some files on partitions 1 and 2. You may need to alter the permissions before you can see the files by connecting the drive to a Linux box and entering a command like this one (for Ubuntu):
    sudo chmod -R 777 [volume mount point path]

    After making a test recording I found directories 00000001REC, TMP and TS on partion 1, and files LGDB.vol, LGDB.bak, LGLOGDB.vol on Partition 2.
    There are some biggish files in directory 00000001REC on Partition 1, which I guess must contain video data, but I have not been able to play these files using any of the main media players. Chances are the data is encrypted, so there's not much hope of decoding it, but any thoughts on how they could be accessed are welcome.
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  2. 2004RuN

    2004RuN Member

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    Any news?
  3. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    No, I didn't manage to figure out the format of the data files, but logic would suggest they must contain the TS data in some format, but of course, it might be encrypted.:(
  4. Rush87

    Rush87 Member

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    hey, nice work few questions?

    the partition ID part, what do you mean by 83?. and these changes i have to make, are these for my partition in this case (FAT32). just so i know im doing it to the right one.

    so i can clear this up. once ive done all the 2 main partitions for the tv and mine (FAT32), wont my smart tv pick up my partition?. if it doesn't will it work on another tv because i wanted to store downloaded movie on it for when im on the move.

    great help if you can get back to me, cheers.
  5. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    Hi, Rush.

    Sector 0 of the disk is called the Master Boot Record (MBR). Look it up in Wikipedia for more information. Within the MBR there is a field that identifies the format for each partition on the disk. For example NTFS is 07 (hexadecimal), FAT32 is 0B, Linux is 83, etc. However, when the LG smart TV creates partitions, it creates them with an ID of A2. This is not a recognized partition ID by any other operating system. Probably used by LG to make their partitions invisible on any other OS.

    You will need a hex editor, like Hxd, to find and change partition IDs. You will also need a Linux OS to format the partitions correctly, although can boot up Linux on your Windows computer using a Linux Live CD or DVD. (Just google it)

    You need to make sure that the two partitions for the LG are created as the first two partitions on the Drive. You can do this by deleting all existing partitions first. Then, LG will find the first two partitions and ignore the any additional ones, so you can create your FAT32 partition at the end.

    Just to make this clear, you need to completely erase the disk before you start. Then check that you can record on it with the LG before creating your FAT32 partition.

    Your Windows PC will see the FAT32 partition, but ignore the LG ones. I'm not sure what another TV will do with it. If it is another LG TV, it will most likely recognize the LG partitions and ignore the FAT32 one, so you would not be able to play your downloaded files. But if it is some other brand, like a Samsung, then, I guess it will ignore the LG partitions, and should be able to recognize the FAT32 one. I think it's a case of suck it and see!
  6. Lamiak

    Lamiak Member

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    I tried it under linux Ubuntu, I think the change partition IDs. It works flawlessly. Try this:
    If no Id argument given: print the partition Id of the indicated partition. If an Id argument is present: change the type (Id) of the indicated partition to the given value. This option has the two very long forms --print-id and --change-id.

    For example if I have first large disk mounted on hdb1:
    $ sfdisk --print-id /dev/hdb 1
    83
    $ sfdisk --change-id /dev/hdb 5 a2
    OK
    first reports that /dev/hdb1 has Id 83, and then changes that into a2.

    More info about sfdisk here:
    Ubuntu Manpage: sfdisk - Partition table manipulator for Linux
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  7. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    Hey, Lamiak, that's pretty cool! I'm still a novice at Linux/Ubuntu, so that's a nice addition to the procedure and makes it a whole lot easier.

    Cheers :thumbsup:
  8. LGsmart

    LGsmart Member

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  9. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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  10. razy60

    razy60 Member

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    @AndrewD. tried your method and to a degree it works. cheers.

    However the NTFS or Fat32 partition that i want to use for photos. music and video is not visible on my LG TV only in the PC, was this the case on your HDD or am i missing something?

    Any help apreciated.

    Raz
  11. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    That's correct, it's not visible on the LG TV. I didn't find a way to make this work.
  12. razy60

    razy60 Member

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    @AndrewD. Cheers for the reply. Will have to rethink my options .
  13. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    Here's a little trick to work around this problem. You need to download mbrwiz - command line version. A handy free Windows utility for saving/restoring MBRs.

    First format your hard drive as described above, with 3 or 4 partitions. Then use mbrwiz to save the MBR to a file. This will be the file to use when you want to record on the LG.

    Then delete the first 2 partitions (you can use mbrwiz to do this). Then save the MBR to a different file. This will be the file to use when you want to play videos from other sources that you have saved on partitions 3 or 4.

    Now, whenever you want to record, or play back something you recorded on the LG, you restore the MBR from the first file. When you want to play media from elsewhere, you restore from the second file.

    Note that deleting the LG partitions, as mentioned above, does NOT destroy the files stored in them. When you restore the MBR, your files are still there.

    -----

    As another aside, if you want to format your hard drive with JFS, as described in my original post, and you don't have a Linux box, you can use VMware Player which is a free download from vmware.com. You can then download a Linux appliance to run in VMware, so you can run Linux on your Windows box.
  14. nikaein

    nikaein New Member

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    @AndrewD i did all of what you say, but my lg ln57200 didn't accept that hard. do you know what i must do?
  15. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    What is the year of manufacture of this TV? If it is a new model, then it's possible that LG have changed the recording format. Try attaching an unformatted disk and then use the LG menus to format it. You can then attach the hard drive to a Linux box and view the partitions that have been created.
  16. nikaein

    nikaein New Member

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    @AndrewD 2013, but all was like what you said, jfs, ext3 47 meg, a2. all! but when i do it and reconnect it, tv say that want format!
  17. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    If you let the TV format the hard drive, then disconnect it, and then reconnect it, does it want to format it again?

    How about if you try this: Format jfs (A2) & ext3 (A2) partitions and leave empty space at the end of the disk - (unformatted). Does it still ask to reformat?
  18. nikaein

    nikaein New Member

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    no, don't want format.

    yes, need format! may those files that it create on disk is important?
  19. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    Yes, it looks like there are some differences in the 2013 LG models. I think mine was a 2011 model.

    It may be that it is checking if those files exist. If you have the possibility, you could try copy the files from the partitions created by the TV. You would have to copy the files to a safe place first, then delete and re-create the partitions then copy them back. It may not be straightforward, as you might have problems with file permissions. Good luck!
  20. nikaein

    nikaein New Member

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    @AndrewD :) i did it and everything goes well. thank you andrew. but a funny thing:
    i have a 2TB hard, and use 400GB for recording. now my tv think that drive is 2GB and 1.6 GB is full. :))
    i think there is a config file there, that save size of my hard. but i don't like go through them, and i want let my tv think what it want!
  21. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    Good - sounds like it's working.

    I agree - the disk space must be stored in the files that you copied. I guess it's not a problem.
  22. donlobo

    donlobo New Member

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    It didn't work for me, but I added a little trick.
    step 1: let the tv format the hdd.
    step 2: using Linux partition manager (Gparted for me) delete only the jfs partition and create a new one with the required size. (from 200 GB i changed to 100GB in this form).
    step 3: create a ntfs partition in the unallocated space.
    step 4: using windows hxd change the id 83 to A3. Should be only one this time for the jfs partition because the Ext3 will be A3 already.

    Worked for me with the difference of that Ext3 partition will be the last one. In the tv will show all hdd capacity for recording, but the ntfs capacity will show as occupied space (not available for recording).

    PD. Thank you so much Andrew.
  23. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    Hi, Donlobo,
    Glad to hear you got it working in the end. Hopefully your little trick will be useful for others also.
    :smashin:
  24. BenjaminAV

    BenjaminAV New Member

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    Can I just begin by saying WTF! :eek:
    I just bought an LG TV and a USB Memory stick hoping to record the TV to watch back on my laptop at my leasure.:facepalm:
    Strangely the instruction manual didn't mention any of the above.
    However it did say not to "immerse the magic remote control batteries in liquid" :clap:
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  25. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    I'm afraid you are going to be disappointed on two counts. LG can only record on a hard drive, not on a USB stick. You can pick up a 2 1/2" laptop drive and get a caddy for it quite cheap now.

    Unfortunately, even if you do that, you will not be able to watch it on your laptop. LG appears to record programs in an encrypted format.

    Buy a Humax hard drive recorder (Freesat or Freeview). You can transfer the TS files to your laptop and watch them with VLC. There is even a thread on how to record HD without encryption.
  26. BenjaminAV

    BenjaminAV New Member

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    TY. I'll do that. Is it just me being a bit naive or is all this complication absolutely insane? Also if I have to buy a seperate external HDD (permanently connected to the TV in a format unusable by anything else) to use the PVR function doesnt this render the TV's PVR function completely pointless in the 1st place?
  27. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    You have a point! :D
  28. BenjaminAV

    BenjaminAV New Member

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    Worse than that in fact. I paid extra to have the function so I didnt have to have another box, now I have to pay again for another box anyway! :(

    In my post the phrase "external HDD" has come up with some kind of SkimWords link. Sorry about that. I'm not trying to sell you anything. Dont suppose you know how that happened and how to get rid of it do you?
  29. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    You must be new to this forum thing! The system picks out random words and places links to ads. That's how they make their money. That's why it's free!
  30. BenjaminAV

    BenjaminAV New Member

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    Thanks. Was just about to do malware checks and clear everything out! :thumbsup:

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