Add USB playback to some European LG televisions

Here’s a pretty simple hack to enable playback from a USB drive on LG televisions. It only works on European hardware, the LH, LF, and some LU models. The hack consists of downgrading the firmware to version 3.15, then navigating through some service menus.

It’s not quite as hardcore as the Samsung firmware hacking, but the added functionality is really great.

[Thanks Jeton]

48 thoughts on “Add USB playback to some European LG televisions

  1. I’ve got a mate with a a 42″ LG LCD he baught about a year ago, and it plays DivX and MKV’s just fine.

    Do they block this in some countries or something?

    (in Australian btw)

  2. martinmuck: motivation for blocking the feature would be to release a new model television with the usb port open. or perhaps the port was only intended as a quick way to run diagnostics on the television back at the workshop or repair depot.

  3. @Digital, in the UK (at least) LG sell the higher up models with this feature enabled out of the box and they’re actively marketed as “supporting USB playback”. The lower spec models don’t, but are effectively the same hardware, albeit with a slightly smaller screen. The USB port on my LG (which had this hack applied to it in January) is labelled for diag. purposes only, but frankly it just seems like it was easier for them to churn out the same basic hardware with only software differences :)

    As for living with this hack, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but we’ve barely used it. That’s probably more to do with the fact that we have various “magic boxes” scattered around the house to stream to the Xbox or AppleTV :-/

  4. My 32LH4000 screen had mp3 and picture support via usb already enabled out of the box, I’m glad I checked whether the menu hack worked before I did any upgrading.

  5. There is no need to downgrade the lcd’s firmware to gain access to the service menu if you have a Symbian phone with IR port.
    All you have to do is to install the application irRemote in it with the “IN-START Service Menu + EZ Adjust Service” remote definition file (downloadable from Psiloc). This file configures the irRemote as a Service Remote. Press the key “2” and enter the code 0-0-0-0 (this with the regular LCD’s remote) and the Service Menu appears.

    Other universal remotes may work as well if the have the proper codes (not tried by myself)

  6. My newer 50″ plasma LG TV came with this functionality right out of the box. It also came with streaming from netflix, youtube, and over SMB to any local server.

    It also came with a copy of the GPL in the manual and a list of GPL tech it uses. It’s also got a serial port on the back. I want to play with it, but I went 50/50 on the price with the girlfriend and I know she’d kill me if I made a mistake…

  7. @El_meu

    If you have a “One For All” remote with a setup button you can send custom key-presses by pressing setup and the 3-digit button code (you can also assign the code to a button)

    Any word on what those codes are?

    1. To communicate with the LG 32ld420 set the all in one to 11840 check that communication is OK the follow the following procedure.

      1, press the device key
      2, press and hold the Magic key until the device blinks twice (the device key will blink once then twice.
      3, press 9 9 4, the device key will blink twice
      4, press the Magic key once
      5 , enter the EFC code
      EFC code 00018 for EZ-Adjust
      EFC code 00019 for in(stant ?)-start
      EFC code 00014 for power only
      EFC code 00015 for in(stant ?)-stop
      7, press the key to which the function will be assigned (don’t use 0,4,1,3 !) device key
      will blink twice.
      set the TV working and press the key that you have assigned this will now display a
      password request, enter 0413 and the EZ-adjust menu will be displayed !
      if you have allocated 0,4,1,3 as the function key you will not be able to enter the
      password via the all in one, do not despair enter it via the regular remote control.

      1. a minor correction there seems to be a limited number of keys you can use as the function key on the ucr-3920 only 2,4,5 and 7 work on my remote and 6 and 9 seem always to take you to a complete retune while I find the original LG remote must always be used to enter the password.
        one problem seems to be that once a function key has been programed you cannot alter it.

  8. Sorry, but I have no codes for the “One for All” remotes.

    Try with the different codes for the LG LCDs in the list you have, and when one code works, push every button to check if any of them has that function.

    There are other universal remotes that are reported to work, such as the “Meliconi Fully8″. In this remote, the key to press in order to get access to the service menu is the <<.

  9. it comes with a usb port or you have to solder one in yourself?
    do modern tvs have a flyback transformer or did those go out with the tubez?
    flyback transformers are fun

  10. Has anyone had any luck on the slightly older models?
    I’ve got a 26LG30D with a usb service port and as far as i can tell its got the same hardware + firmware as the rest of the supported tvs.

    I was investigating this a couple of weeks ago, im running v3.04.0 (Australian version) which doesnt have tool option 3 in the EZ adjust menu.

    I havent been able to find any info on australian model however looking at lg-hack.info, connecting to the tv via the serial port looks promising

  11. our LG tv has the usb playback and is fully functional, it plays high quality Divx and standard mp4’s nd avi’s.
    also music and pictures
    No need for a hack it comes as standard

  12. it worked just fine for me.the only thing nobody mentioned is that
    1.if you have a firmware above 3.15
    and you want to enter the service menu via telephone you will need an internet connection on the phone to refresh the list with available TV versions.
    2.you have to use the phone’s IR very very close to the TV’s IR receptor when you have to press and hold the key “2” to enter the service menu.
    The comment above is available for TV sets that won’t enter the service menu using the default remote control using a certain key sequence.
    After the hack , it will recognize memory sticks,mp3 players,card readers aaaaand the piece of ressistance it will detect even a portable HDD drive which powers through the USB port.

  13. I have a North American 47LH40 which ships with MP3 and photo “playback” from USB, but not movie playback. Some people on AVS Forum said they got it working via the same method (service menu, set DIVX to “HD”) but frankly I don’t need it badly enough to risk bricking my baby. Is there any reason to use this over e.g. playing the movie on my attached PS3 or 360?

  14. I just bought a 42LD450 that came with MP3 and picture viewing out of the box. I programmed my logitech harmony 880 with the EZ adjust menu command and unlocked Video playback. It does MKV amazingly well, although no DTS or AAC sound.

  15. You can enable Movie mode using a serial cable, this is how i did on my 42L420, the text below was copied from lgusb wiki website:

    How to enable DIVX and movie capability on LG 42LD450 using null wired serial cable
    1. Switch on your TV, go to the option menu and Set ID to 1.
    2. Connect PC via COM port or USB2COM adapter into RS232 connector on the TV
    3. Run any terminal program on the PC (hyperterminal for example)
    4. Set following parameters for COM port: speed 9600 flow control: none. All other leave at the defaults.
    5. In terminal enter: “af 0 ff” and press enter You should get following response “f 00 OK8c04x”
    6. To activate Media player enter: “af 0 0cc 040” and press enter.
    7. Restart TV. Menu submenu USB should appear in the main TV menu.
    8. If anything goes wrong, just restore the Tool option number enter “af 0 08c 040” and press enter.

  16. I did this hack on my lg 42ld450 using the Logitech harmony remote. It worked great and on the first try. I am wondering if anyone has noticed that if they are playing movies from a usb flash drive that the longer the movie plays that the audio loses sync with the video? Anyone know why this happens and if there is a way to fix it? Or would this not happen if I used an external hard drive instead?

    ALso, so far I have only tested and used this with SD movies (.avi format).

    Thanks!

  17. So, I finally decided to download and try .mkv files. The picture is awesome but it’s giving me an error about the audio format not being supported. Did I forget to change a setting or something?

  18. I have just avtivated the USB port on my 32LD450 tv, by using a Thomson ROC4238 4 in 1 Universal Remote Control, it took aprox 2 minutes to complete, this saved me messing with my firmware and ruining my warranty….thanks for all your help in this matter.

  19. can anyone please tell me if there is an hack to activate the usb (service only) on my lg 42pg20d plasma. thank you. Ken

  20. I tested this on my LG32LD450N, and it works just fine, now I get a third option under the USB meny which plays both DivX encoded avi files and MKV files. Probaqbly more formats but that is what I have tested so far. Anyone tested attaching a DVD player with USB interface?

    Greetings from Sweden, ZaphodB

  21. does any one know if this can be done on the 42LG30D? I’m in Australia, and so far, I’ve tried the menu button hold and the OK button hold but both bring up random menus that don’t seem to allow me to do what these instructions say…. HELP!

  22. How come i am unable to hear any sound after i did the hack? It shows the movie but no sound? what video format do i have to have inorder to have both and sound working at the same time. I was using the mkv file and it only displays the video no audio. Please help me and explain what i need to do in details. Thank You, Greatly Appreciate it!

    1. @MT

      MKV files are just containers. Within an MKV there can be many video and audio streams, of any format. So you should see that your TV will be able to play some MKVs and not others, depending on what encoding is used on the video or audio streams (if you don’t follow, think of it as a sort of like a “file within a file”).

      I *think* most of the LGs support the following at minimum (some may support more) –
      Video Codecs: DivX, Xvid, H.264, AVC, MPEG2
      Audio Codecs: AC3, ACC, WMA, MP3, DD

      If your file doesn’t contain one of those formats it’ll probably need to be altered using something like handbrake, or popcorn, or another program of your choice.

    1. I’ve got it working on pq3000, and pq1000, just I couldn’t entrer service menu so easily, I had to use my ppc app irremote, or you could use service remote if available. It can naw play movies but only .avi, i couldn’t get .mkv working.

  23. Not sure about all of the LG models some of them have a serial port, I wonder if the service menu password entry could be automated through it, then it’s just a question of spamming it a maximum of 10,000 times until it gets the right pass code?

  24. We have LG 50pg25 plasma (same as 50pg60) here in Canada. I was able to get into the EZ-Adjust menu however, the menu is completely different to what I have seen from most of the LG TV USB hack related post. there seemed no such as Tool-Option or any USB related option for me.
    The USB port is currently available just unable to play any video/movies…pic/music only.
    Any idea ?

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