Loading HT8000 Firmware onto a HT8200


Question: Why would anyone want to load HT8000 firmware (software) onto their HT8200 PVR?

Answer: One benefit is easier file navigation (the 30sec and percentage jump buttons work). Plus the recordings are not encrypted so they can be played on a PC and converted (to DVDs etc.) with the appropriate software. The USB type B port (same as on a printer) works for transferring to and from a Windows PC.


Question: What am I losing by doing this?

Answer: The downside is that any recordings already done with HT8200 firmware will no longer be playable. Plus you lose Dynamic Channel Management. DCM allows the TV stations to add, delete, rename or change their channels without you needing to rescan the channels.


Question: How do I do it?

Answer: There are 3 ways to get a HT8200 to accept HT8000 firmware. Below I will outline the 3 methods, from easiest to hardest. Note: The hardest method is the best method (I'll explain why below).


Question: Can I go back to the HT8200 Firmware?

Answer: Yes you can. But the firmware's version number must be equal to or greater than the currently installed version (you can not go backwards to an 'older' version number). The HT8200's current version is only 1.00.9A while the current HT8000 version number is 1.04.8A. If you used method 1 below there is no problem. If you used method 2 below AND changed the version number as mentioned in the note, there is no problem. If you used method 3 below then you will need to use that method again.


Warning! Upgrading incorrect firmware can damage your PVR! If you make use of any information provided on this webpage you do so at your own risk!


Method 1 - Easiest

Download a copy of the HT8000 firmware that has already had the Model ID number changed to match the HT8200.

The benefit of this method is that it is extremely easy and you do not need any special skills or understanding of what's being done. The downside is that you are reliant on me, or someone else, providing you access to a suitable firmware file any time Homecast release a newer version (assuming you want to keep the firmware up to date).


The following firmware file will load on a HT8200 and turn it into a HT8000: Download 8200-to-8000-1048.zip
Well, it will still say that it is a HT8200, with SW version 1.00.9A, but it will actually be running HT8000 SW version 1.04.8A.

  • After downloading the HT8000 firmware above you need to unzip, or extract, the zip file.
  • Then copy it onto a USB memory stick and upgrade the firmware (software) as normal.

After updating to this file you can still update to a normal HT8200 firmware file in future (the PVR still thinks it's a HT8200). If you want to update to a newer HT8000 version (when the next one is released) you will need download the latest 8200-to-8000 zip file from this web-site. Each time a new HT8000 version is released I will try to put a new 8200-to-8000 file online.


Method 2 - Medium

Download a copy of the HT8000 firmware and use a hex editor to change the Model ID number yourself.

The benefit of this method is that you are not reliant on anyone else doing the editing for you, so it is easier to keep the firmware up to date.


You need 2 things:

1. A copy of the HT8000 firmware that you want to use: http://www.homecastaustralia.com.au/downloads.asp?SKU=HT8000PVR
2. A hex editor. A free hex editor like Frhed will do just fine: http://frhed.sourceforge.net/


Hex Editor


  • After downloading the HT8000 firmware you need to unzip, or extract, the zip file.
  • Then open the _sw_code.sgn file in your hex editor (you may not see the .sgn file extension depending on your PC's settings).
  • Scroll across/down to offset 21 (or byte 0x15) and you should see the SW version followed by 20002000.
  • Switch your hex editor to Hex Edit mode.
  • Highlight the 20002000 and change it to 20002700.
  • Save the change to the original file and close the hex editor.

Your HT8000 _sw_code.sgn file is now ready to load onto a HT82000. Copy it onto a USB memory stick and upgrade the firmware (software) as normal.


Note: If you also change the version number to match your currently installed HT8200 firmware it will be much easier to revert back to HT8200 firmware, should you ever want to. The downside is that you need to remember which HT8000 version you are currently using because the Information menu will not show the actual HT8000 version.


Method 3 - Harder (Best)

Download a copy of softwareclean.bin and upload it to your HT8200 using Homecast's Upgrade application and a null-modem serial cable.

The benefit of this method is that it only needs to be done once. After loading softwareclean.bin your HT8200 won't know what it is until you then load some firmware onto it. At this point you can load ANY firmware onto it - Be CAREFUL!!! After loading a regular, unedited, HT8000 firmware onto your HT8200 from then on it will think that it is a HT8000, so when HT8000 updates are released in future you can just update using the regular HT8000 firmware from the Homecast website.


You need 5 things:

1. A copy of the HT8000 firmware that you want to use: http://www.homecastaustralia.com.au/downloads.asp?SKU=HT8000PVR
2. A copy of softwareclean.bin: http://download.homecast.de/Softwareclean.bin
3. The Homecast's Upgrade application: http://www.homecast.de/var/files/upgrade_v2.25.zip
4. A Null-Modem Serial Cable (aka a Crossover RS232 cable): http://www.homecastaustralia.com.au/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=1770
5. How to upgrade via RS232 document: http://www.pvrtools.com/firmware/Homecast/HT8200PVR-FreeView/How-to-Upgrade-by-RS232.txt


Upgrade Application


  • After downloading the HT8000 firmware and the Upgrade software you need to unzip, or extract, the zip files.
  • Then install the Upgrade software onto your Windows PC.
  • Then upload softwareclean.bin to your HT8200 by following the steps in the How To document you downloaded in step 5 above.
  • Switch your hex editor to Hex Edit mode.
  • After uploading softwareclean.bin you upload the _sw_code.sgn firmware file in the same way.

Your HT8200 now thinks it is a HT8000 and you can load any future HT8000 firmware updates using normal update methods.


Note: If you ever want to revert back to HT8200 firmware you will need to do the same procedure again loading softwareclean.bin and then regular HT8200 firmware via a null modem serial cable and Upgrade.exe.

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